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.

A Houston-area family whose son died during an extended power outage is suing its electricity provider and the agency that oversees most of Texas' energy grid. The family of Cristian Pavon says he died at age 11 because of negligence.

The family lives in Conroe, a city about 45 miles north of central Houston. Like millions of other people in Texas, the family members were forced to live without power as a wave of record-setting cold temperatures created chaos and life-threatening conditions across the state.

Updated at 8:50 a.m. ET

Italian Ambassador Luca Attanasio was killed in a violent attack on an aid convoy in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Monday. Two other people also died, including an Italian national police officer and a driver, Italy's foreign ministry said as it announced Attanasio's death.

The attackers struck near Goma, as Attanasio rode in a U.N. World Food Program convoy near the DRC's eastern borders with Rwanda and Uganda. The ambassador was part of a delegation visiting a feeding program at a school.

A wrongful death lawsuit filed by the parents of Harry Dunn, who police say died after being hit by a vehicle driven by the wife of a U.S. diplomat, will proceed in Virginia, a federal judge ruled Tuesday. The driver, Anne Sacoolas, had asked the judge to dismiss the U.S. case to compel Dunn's family to pursue the lawsuit in U.K. courts.

Sacoolas has admitted to driving on the wrong side of the road when her SUV struck Dunn, who was 19. But she has also claimed diplomatic immunity in Dunn's death.

With Texans facing their second day of rotating intentional power outages, Gov. Greg Abbott declared reform of the group that manages the state's power grid to be an emergency item for the legislature to take on during its current session. An investigation is needed to prevent more such outages, Abbott said.

"The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) has been anything but reliable over the past 48 hours," Abbott said. "Far too many Texans are without power and heat for their homes as our state faces freezing temperatures and severe winter weather. This is unacceptable."

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is now blocked from Instagram after he repeatedly undercut trust in vaccines. Kennedy has also spread conspiracy theories about Bill Gates, accusing him of profiteering off vaccines and attempting to take control of the world's food supply.

"We removed this account for repeatedly sharing debunked claims about the coronavirus or vaccines," a spokesperson for Facebook, which owns Instagram, told NPR on Thursday.

Lucasfilm has fired Gina Carano from her job on The Mandalorian, after the action star posted on social media that today's political climate in the U.S. is similar to Nazi Germany's treatment of Jews. The comments were "abhorrent," the company said.

"Gina Carano is not currently employed by Lucasfilm and there are no plans for her to be in the future," a Lucasfilm spokesperson said in a widely distributed statement. "Nevertheless, her social media posts denigrating people based on their cultural and religious identities are abhorrent and unacceptable."

Updated at 2:15 p.m. ET

The NBA says every team — including the Dallas Mavericks — must play the national anthem in their arenas, after news emerged that team owner Mark Cuban had ordered the Mavericks to discontinue the long-held practice.

"With NBA teams now in the process of welcoming fans back into their arenas, all teams will play the national anthem in keeping with longstanding league policy," said NBA Chief Communications Officer Mike Bass in a statement on Wednesday.

Updated at 10:20 a.m. ET

Chicago students will start returning to school for in-person classes this week, after the city and the teachers' union reached an agreement on how to reopen schools safely. The deal provides for teachers and staff to receive vaccines, prioritized according to their return to school buildings.

The agreement calls for Chicago Public Schools to provide "at least 1,500 first vaccine doses per week" to employees, with second doses guaranteed.

Updated at 10:16 p.m. ET

Authorities in Wright County, Minn., say that a local man is suspected in Tuesday's shooting at a health clinic that wounded five people, one of whom later died at a hospital.

It was supposed to be a secret, a quiet way to support people who desperately need help. But word got out about what North Charleston High School Principal Henry Darby was doing – and the state has now presented him with its highest civilian honor.

It started with a cursor moving on its own, sliding across a computer screen at the water treatment plant in Oldsmar, Fla. Someone had taken remote control of a plant operator's machine – and in just a few minutes, they increased the level of sodium hydroxide in the city's drinking water by a factor of 100. After spiking the caustic substance to unsafe levels, the hacker immediately left the system.

Elon Musk is donating $100 million to fund a competition to find new ways to remove carbon from the air or water, in a bid to help fight climate change. The race for the prize – the largest in the XPrize's history – will start on Earth Day and will run for four years, through 2025.

The U.S. will reengage "immediately and robustly" with the U.N. Human Rights Council, the State Department says, citing an order from President Biden. The move reverses the position of the Trump administration, which withdrew from the council in 2018.

The change is part of Biden's plan to reshape U.S. foreign policy to center "on democracy, human rights, and equality," Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement early Monday.

Every NFL team will offer their stadium as a possible mass vaccination site to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a letter to President Biden. The move would expand an effort that currently includes seven teams.

Updated at 12:58 p.m. ET

The Biden administration is finalizing contracts with six companies to increase the supply of at-home coronavirus tests – a plan that would bring more than 60 million tests to the U.S. market by the end of this summer, officials from the White House COVID-19 Response Team said on Friday.

German prosecutors have filed charges against a 95-year-old woman they say was complicit in the murder of more than 10,000 people at the Stutthof concentration camp during World War II. The woman worked as a typist and secretary. Despite her age, the case is being handled by a juvenile court because she was under 21 when she worked at the camp.

The public prosecutor's office in Itzehoe, a small town northwest of Hamburg, did not identify the woman when it announced charges against her Friday.

Updated at 3:50 p.m. ET

Election technology company Smartmatic filed a massive lawsuit Thursday against Fox News, saying the network and some of its biggest on-air personalities made it into a villain and perpetuated false claims about the recent election.

The suit names Fox stars Lou Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo and Jeanine Pirro, as well as Trump allies Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell.

The U.K.'s Office of Communications revoked a Chinese media company's right to broadcast Thursday, after finding that the license holder had no editorial control over the state-owned China Global Television Network. The agency says the Chinese Communist Party is ultimately in charge of the satellite news channel.

The International Criminal Court convicted child soldier-turned-Lord's Resistance Army commander Dominic Ongwen of war crimes and crimes against humanity Thursday. Ongwen, was the first LRA commander to face trial for its campaign of terror and violence in the early 2000s. The charges include numerous crimes against girls and women, including forced pregnancy.

Updated at 2:30 p.m. ET

Canada's government designated the Proud Boys and 12 other extremist groups as terrorist entities on Wednesday, placing the groups on the same list as the Islamic State and al-Qaida.

After deposing Myanmar's democratically elected government, the country's military has issued the first formal charges against its de facto leader, accusing Aung San Suu Kyi of illegally importing walkie-talkie radios. The allegation is a far cry from the claims of rampant election fraud the military invoked when it seized power on Monday.

Updated at 6:40 p.m. ET

Two FBI agents are dead and at least three others are wounded after a raid on a home in Sunrise, Fla., turned violent early Tuesday. The suspect reportedly barricaded himself in his home, where agents were serving a search warrant as part of a "violent crimes against children case," the FBI said in a statement. The suspect is also dead.

Updated at 9:50 a.m. ET

Russia's Sputnik V vaccine is 92% effective in protecting people from developing COVID-19 symptoms, according to a study published in The Lancet on Tuesday.

The study follows a Phase 3 trial in Moscow hospitals and clinics that included nearly 22,000 participants age 18 and older.

The vaccine, known as Gam-COVID-Vac, "was well tolerated in a large cohort," the researchers said. It was administered in two doses, 21 days apart.

Capt. Tom Moore, the 100-year-old World War II veteran who has raised millions of dollars to support health workers in the fight against COVID-19, now has the coronavirus and is in the hospital, according to his daughter. Moore was awarded a knighthood last year, after he inspired people in the U.K. and around the world.

"Over the last few weeks he was being treated for pneumonia and last week tested positive for COVID-19," Hannah Ingram-Moore said in a statement.

Updated at 4:15 a.m. ET on Tuesday

Myanmar's military seized control of the country Monday, detaining the country's de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, and declaring a state of emergency. The military has claimed election fraud in the November vote, in which many members of its party lost.

The coup ousted Suu Kyi and other members of her National League for Democracy party as the Parliament was poised to convene and form a new government. Instead, the Tatmadaw, Myanmar's military, announced it was taking over the country's government.

Updated at 2:15 p.m. ET

The European Union will soon start administering AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine — the third vaccine it has endorsed. The European Commission gave conditional authorization to the vaccine on Friday, hours after regulators recommended the move.

The European Medicines Agency said the AstraZeneca vaccine will prevent the deadly coronavirus from affecting people who are at least 18 years old. The vaccine has been administered in the U.K. since early this month.

The Robinhood stock-trading app sparked outrage after it halted trading on GameStop and other companies at the center of a battle between small investors and hedge funds.

Suddenly, the World Wide Robin Hood Society noticed a flood of interest online – and the U.K. group politely clarified that it isn't the Robin Hood some commenters were looking for. It gained tens of thousands of new followers anyway.

"We started with 350 yesterday and we now have over 50k" followers on Twitter, the group said on Friday in a message to NPR.

Joseph Mensah, who quit his job as a police officer in Wauwatosa, Wis., after shooting and killing three people in the line of duty over a five-year period, has a new job as a sheriff's deputy. Sheriff Eric Severson of neighboring Waukesha County says multiple authorities concluded Mensah's controversial use of force was both legal and in line with his training.

In announcing the hire, Severson acknowledged that "some have expressed concerns about Mr. Mensah's past uses of force." But he said Mensah had gone through "an extensive, thorough and exhaustive hiring process."

Updated at 2:35 p.m. ET

Health officials have identified the first U.S. cases of the coronavirus variant that was initially detected in South Africa. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the variant, known as B 1.351, has been found in South Carolina.

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