Bill Chappell

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

Chappell's work for NPR includes being the lead writer for online coverage of several Olympic Games, from London in 2012 and Rio in 2016 to Pyeongchang in 2018 – stints that also included posting numerous videos and photos to NPR's Instagram and other branded accounts. He has also previously been NPR.org's homepage editor.

Chappell established the Peabody Award-winning StoryCorps on NPR's website; his assignments also include being the lead web producer for NPR's trip to Asia's Grand Trunk Road. Chappell has coordinated special digital features for Morning Edition and Fresh Air, in addition to editing the rundown of All Things Considered. He also frequently contributes to other NPR blogs, such as The Salt.

At NPR, Chappell has trained both digital and radio staff to tell compelling stories, promoting more collaboration between departments and desks.

Chappell was a key editorial member of the small team that performed one of NPR's largest website redesigns. One year later, NPR.org won its first Peabody Award, along with the National Press Foundation's Excellence in Online Journalism award.

Prior to joining NPR, Chappell was part of the Assignment Desk at CNN International, working with reporters in areas from the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America. Chappell also edited and produced stories for CNN.com's features division, before moving on to edit video and produce stories for Sports Illustrated's website.

Early in his career, Chappell wrote about movies, restaurants, and music for alternative weeklies, in addition to his first job: editing the police blotter.

Updated October 15, 2021 at 3:20 PM ET

A British bakery has been forced to pull its top-selling cookies from the market, after regulators informed the owner that the sprinkles are illegal. The U.S.-made sprinkles contain a coloring that's legal for some uses — but not for sprinkling.

Nikolas Cruz will plead guilty next Wednesday to killing 14 students and three staff members at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., his defense team says.

With the admission of guilt in the 2018 mass shooting, Cruz's legal team will focus on the penalty phase of the trial, hoping to secure a punishment of 17 consecutive life sentences for their client, rather than the death penalty that prosecutors are seeking.

Texas lawmakers are considering legislation that would give workers legal grounds to refuse COVID-19 vaccine mandates for "reasons of conscience" — and to sue their employers if they don't agree. The measure would codify Gov. Greg Abbott's ban on vaccine mandates into state law.

Jon Gruden's exit as an NFL coach is prompting calls for the league to release more information from the investigation that unearthed years' worth of misogynistic, homophobic and racist emails.

Some of the loudest calls are coming from former cheerleaders and other employees whose mistreatment by the Washington Football Team (WFT) prompted the NFL inquiry in the first place.

Parents whose children have been infected with the coronavirus in Wisconsin have an unlikely ally: a brewery and its super PAC.

Filing lawsuits in both of Wisconsin's federal court districts, the parents are suing school districts for rescinding mask requirements and flouting other federal and state health guidance. They're backed by the Minocqua Brewing Company of Minocqua, Wis., which sells what it calls "progressive beer" — and whose owner is using its political action committee to help fund the legal fight.

Updated October 12, 2021 at 3:38 PM ET

Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents will no longer conduct mass raids on workplaces where undocumented immigrants are employed, according to a new order by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

The real problem, Mayorkas said in a memorandum released Tuesday, are "exploitative employers," not unauthorized workers.

Norway just hit a record in its move to phase out cars that rely on fossil fuels.

More than 9 in 10 new cars sold there in September were either electric or rechargeable hybrids, according to the Norwegian Information Council for Road Traffic, or OFV. Of all new passenger cars sold so far in 2021, less than 5% are gas-powered. A slightly smaller percentage use diesel.

A large hospital system in Colorado says people on its organ transplant wait list won't be offered an organ if they refuse to get the COVID-19 vaccine, citing the "significant risk the virus poses to transplant recipients."

UCHealth, which operates 12 hospitals from its headquarters in Aurora, Colo., says it has long been standard practice to require many organ recipients or donors to get vaccines such as hepatitis B or the MMR shot.

Jannique Martinez's home sits in a tidy cul-de-sac in Virginia Beach, Va., where she lives with her husband and kids and hosts the occasional bake sale. There's just one problem, and it's a loud one: a man who lives next door blares monkey sounds, banjo music and racist slurs at Martinez and her family — a situation that went on for months.

The police said there was nothing they could do to stop the offensive noise. But since the community held a rally to support Martinez on her block, the cacophony has gotten much quieter.

They went pound for pound, gut to gut. Coming into the final round, both animals had fervent support online. But in the end, 480 Otis was crowned the winner of the Fat Bear Week tournament — a competition made all the more unique by the fact that none of its entrants have any idea it exists.

Fat Bear Week is put on in Alaska by the Katmai National Park and Preserve, explore.org and the Katmai Conservancy, as a way to highlight the park's natural beauty and to share the story of its large brown bear population.

When Facebook suffered an outage of about six hours on Monday, businesses suffered along with it. The platform and its Instagram and WhatsApp siblings play key roles in commerce, with some companies relying on Facebook's network instead of their own websites.

But on Monday, that network came crashing down. It wasn't a hack, Facebook said, but rather a self-inflicted problem.

Captain James T. Kirk is blasting off into the final frontier. In the latest sign of the strange new world we inhabit, the actor William Shatner will join the crew of Blue Origin's New Shepard on a spaceflight that's slated to launch on Oct. 12.

"Yes, it's true," Shatner said on Twitter. "I'm going to be a 'rocket man!' "

Anyone looking to celebrate the fall and winter holidays without spreading COVID-19 should consider a window fan or a walk-by greeting, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. The suggestions are part of the agency's list of safe ways to get festive — sort of an epidemiologist's take on Martha Stewart's Home for the Holidays.

It seems unlikely, but it did indeed happen: A man "wearing full ninja garb" attacked members of a U.S. Army special operations unit in the middle of the night in the California desert, setting off a scramble for safety and resulting in at least two injuries, according to police and other records.

The incident occurred a little after 1 a.m. on Sept. 18, when authorities in Ridgecrest, Calif., got word of a sword-wielding man dressed as a ninja on the loose at the Inyokern Airport in Kern County, north of Los Angeles.

The governors of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin are joining forces to build a new network for charging electric vehicles. The bipartisan plan aims to improve the region's economy while also reducing toxic emissions from cars and trucks.

The new plan is called REV Midwest — the Regional Electric Vehicle Midwest Coalition. In addition to creating jobs and improving public health, its backers say it will help the Midwest compete for both private investment and federal funding.

Tommy Kirk, whose prolific work as a child actor included classic movies such as Old Yeller, The Shaggy Dog and Swiss Family Robinson, has died at age 79. Kirk's death was announced by his friend and fellow Mickey Mouse Club alum Paul Petersen, who said the actor was found dead in his home in Las Vegas.

Generations of children, and more than a few adults, cried along with Kirk when his character Travis Coates tearfully pulled the trigger to end his beloved dog's life in Old Yeller in 1957.

The two Belarusian coaches accused of trying to punish sprinter Kristina Timanovskaya by forcing her to fly home early from the Tokyo Olympics are now under investigation, the International Olympic Committee announced Thursday.

The money was supposed to be used to create modern art. And it was — but not in the way a Danish museum expected when it gave an artist the equivalent of $84,000. In return, it received two empty canvases.

The artist, Jens Haaning, says the blank canvases make up a new work of art — titled "Take the Money and Run" — that he calls a commentary on poor wages. One thing it's not, he says, is a theft.

Pfizer and BioNTech are another step closer to seeking authorization for young children to receive the COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine, submitting data to the Food and Drug Administration that shows a "robust" antibody response and "favorable" safety outcomes in kids ages 5 to 11 who received the two-dose regimen in clinical trials.

Updated September 28, 2021 at 3:10 PM ET

A judge in Maryland has sentenced the gunman who killed five people in the Capital Gazette newsroom in 2018 to five life sentences without parole, along with other prison time. A jury found Jarrod Ramos criminally responsible for the massacre in July, rejecting his insanity plea.

Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen, John McNamara, Rebecca Smith and Wendi Winters died in the attack.

Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker set an NFL field goal record on Sunday, striking true from 66 yards — nearly 200 feet. The football smacked the crossbar and bounced through the goal, sealing a 19-17 win over the Detroit Lions with time running out.

"That was awesome," Tucker said at the post-game news conference before any questions were asked.

When he was reminded he had also kicked a 61-yard game-winner against the Lions early in his career, he smiled and said, "Man, I love Detroit. I'm thinking about getting a place here."

Hurricane Sam is poised to become a major hurricane Saturday — just one day after it reached hurricane status. The storm will rapidly intensify as it passes over warm 84-degree water far out in the Atlantic Ocean, according to the National Hurricane Center. Wind conditions in the area are also favorable for storm growth.

No coastal watches or warnings are currently in effect for Sam, which is more than 1,300 miles east-southeast of the northern Leeward Islands that rim the Caribbean Sea.

Updated September 24, 2021 at 4:01 PM ET

There are no longer any Haitian migrants in the camp under the Del Rio International Bridge in Texas, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told reporters Friday.

The camp grew to hold 15,000 people at one point, with a total of nearly 30,000 migrants passing through since Sept. 9, Mayorkas said. He called it an "unprecedented" number.

The search for Jelani "J.J." Day is officially over, as the coroner's office in LaSalle County, Ill., identified a body found in a river as Day's. The Illinois State University graduate student had been missing since Aug. 24; the cause and circumstances of his death are being investigated.

Some people call them futuristic; others say they're a new take on the classic double-breasted tunic. But it seems everyone has a reaction to the new Space Force uniforms that the chief of space operations, Gen. John Raymond, unveiled at a conference this week.

To many, the uniforms resemble those worn by officers in the sci-fi TV series Battlestar Galactica from the 2000s. Similar design elements include the jacket's high collar and its asymmetrical, angled row of buttons.

Migrants whom the U.S. is forcibly returning to Haiti are expressing anger, frustration and desperation when they arrive at Toussaint Louverture International Airport in Port-au-Prince.

The situation devolved into chaos Tuesday when a group of migrants rushed to try to get on a plane heading back to the United States.

Scenes of desperation on the airport tarmac

Adult migrants who had just been deported from the U.S. "caused two separate disruptions on the tarmac," a Department of Homeland Security spokesperson told NPR.

The toys that come in McDonald's Happy Meals will soon be made mostly from corn and other materials rather than from fossil fuel-based plastic, the fast-food chain says. The switch is already underway in some international markets; it's expected to be complete globally by 2025.

Updated September 21, 2021 at 10:22 PM ET

Images of U.S. Border Patrol agents on horseback chasing Haitian migrants along the Rio Grande are "horrific," the White House says.

The migrants were attempting to return to a camp near the international Bridge in Del Rio, Texas, where thousands of migrants have gathered on the U.S. side of the border river. Many of them carried food they'd just bought in Mexico.

The world's largest tree recently got a blanket to help protect it from a raging wildfire. Photos of the sequoia named General Sherman — with a base measuring a massive 36 feet in diameter — set off a flurry of interest in why and how a blanket might work against flames.

A court in Rwanda has convicted Paul Rusesabagina, whose heroism inspired the film Hotel Rwanda, on terrorism charges related to a group he supports. Rusesabagina is a prominent opposition activist, calling for democracy in Rwanda.

Rusesabagina has been a vocal critic of President Paul Kagame, who has now led Rwanda for more than 20 years. His arrest followed his calls for change — and his support for a group that is affiliated with a rebel group accused of carrying out violence.

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