Bill Chappell

Bill Chappell is a blogger and producer who currently works on The Two Way, NPR's flagship blog. In the past, he has coordinated digital features for Morning Edition and Fresh Air, and edited the rundown of All Things Considered. He frequently contributes to other NPR blogs, such as All Tech Considered and The Salt.

Chappell's work at NPR has ranged from being the site's first full-time homepage editor to being the lead writer and editor on 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 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 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 during the Iraq war.

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

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The Two-Way
7:05 am
Fri April 10, 2015

Huge Tornadoes Tear Through Illinois And The Midwest

A tornado is viewed near Pearl Street from a home in Kirkland, Ill., Thursday. One person was killed in the tiny community of Fairdale, officials said.
Emily Mains AP

Originally published on Tue April 14, 2015 12:56 pm

A tornado that hit Illinois on Thursday was so massive and the damage so extensive that in some areas, plows had to push debris off the streets so emergency crews could reach survivors.

At least one person died as a result of twisters that raked the state and other areas Thursday. Numerous injuries were also reported.

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The Two-Way
2:38 pm
Thu April 9, 2015

'I'm With Stupid' T-Shirt Trips Up Ecuador's President

Originally published on Thu April 9, 2015 3:48 pm

Politicians have basic rules about photo ops: Smile when you pose with kids, point at random things, and don't stand next to people taller than you. This week, Ecuador's President Rafael Correa learned one more: Don't get on the wrong side of an "I'm With Stupid" T-shirt.

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The Two-Way
10:35 am
Thu April 9, 2015

Sabra Hummus Announces A Recall Over Listeria Fears

Sabra has announced a voluntary recall of some products, including Classic Hummus, after a sample tested positive for Listeria.
Sabra via Facebook

Originally published on Thu April 9, 2015 2:35 pm

A nationwide recall has been announced for some 30,000 cases of hummus made by the Sabra company, due to possible contamination. The FDA says the recall is voluntary and no illnesses have been reported.

The recall covers several products with a "best by" date of May 11 or May 15 (see details below). The products are predominantly the "Classic" variety of the hummus, in a range of sizes.

The FDA says anyone who has bought the packages should either dispose of them or take them back to retailers for a refund.

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The Two-Way
8:31 am
Thu April 9, 2015

Tentative Nuclear Deal In Hand, Iran Says All Sanctions Must Be Lifted

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, seen here in a photo released by his official website Thursday, stopped short of giving his endorsement to the framework nuclear deal struck last week.
AP

Originally published on Thu April 9, 2015 11:02 am

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says his country will only sign an agreement restricting his country's nuclear program if economic sanctions are lifted. The remarks on state TV came as Iran's supreme leader said he's neither for nor against the deal.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei also said that any arrangements must respect Iran's interests and dignity. He questioned the need for talks if they don't trigger the removal of sanctions, and he reiterated his distrust of the United States.

From Istanbul, NPR's Peter Kenyon reports:

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The Two-Way
7:53 am
Thu April 9, 2015

French TV Network Hacked By 'Cyber Caliphate' Group

A screen grab of the newly restored TV5Monde website shows its coverage of the hacking attack.
NPR

Originally published on Thu April 9, 2015 3:10 pm

The large and influential French TV network TV5Monde was taken off the air and its online presence was hijacked by a group calling itself the Cyber Caliphate. Hours after the attack began, the network was still unable to produce live programming.

The attack by what are being called cyber jihadists began at 10 p.m. in Paris on Wednesday, when screens that would normally show TV5Monde went blank, with normal programming replaced by a message: "Je suIS IS."

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The Two-Way
6:52 am
Thu April 9, 2015

Secret Service Supervisor Put On Leave After Assault Accusation

Originally published on Fri April 10, 2015 7:51 pm

A senior manager is on leave from the Secret Service, after an employee he supervised reportedly told investigators that he assaulted her by making forceful and unwelcome sexual advances.

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The Two-Way
2:14 pm
Wed April 8, 2015

'I Was Sickened By What I Saw,' Police Chief Says Of S.C. Shooting

North Charleston Mayor R. Keith Summey (left) and police Chief Eddie Driggers spoke Wednesday about a video that shows a white police officer fatally shooting a fleeing black man after a traffic stop.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 9, 2015 1:32 pm

Discussing the case of a North Charleston, S.C., police officer shooting an unarmed man in the back, police chief Eddie Driggers said Wednesday, "I have been praying for peace."

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The Two-Way
1:05 pm
Wed April 8, 2015

NFL Makes It Official: Sarah Thomas Is First Woman To Be A Full-Time Ref

Sarah Johnson makes a call during the first half of an April 2014 preseason NFL football game between the Seattle Seahawks and the San Diego Chargers.
Stephen Brashear AP

Originally published on Wed April 8, 2015 5:30 pm

Confirming a long-anticipated move, the NFL has hired its first female official on a full-time basis. Sarah Thomas, 41, has spent nearly a decade working her way through the ranks in the NCAA.

The league announced the move Wednesday, days after the news of Thomas' impending hire came out. For several years now, her name has been mentioned as a candidate for a spot at football's elite level.

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The Two-Way
11:44 am
Wed April 8, 2015

'My Heart Was Broken,' Says Father Of S.C. Man Slain By Police

A handout booking photo issued by the Charleston County Sheriff's Office shows North Charleston police Officer Michael Thomas Slager, 33, who faces a murder charge in the death of Walter Scott.
Charleston County Sheriff's Office EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri April 24, 2015 1:01 pm

Editor's note on April 24: An image from the video taken by a witness has been removed from this post because the copyright holder has rescinded the permission he granted to the AP to distribute that content.

The police officer who fatally shot his son "looked like he was trying to kill a deer running through the woods," says Walter Scott Sr. That officer, Michael Slager, now faces a murder charge in the death of Walter Scott, who was unarmed and running away from Slager when he was shot multiple times.

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The Two-Way
8:29 am
Wed April 8, 2015

London Thieves Take Up To $300 Million In Gems In Easter Heist

In an elaborate crime that went undetected until Tuesday morning, thieves broke into a safe deposit center used by many jewelers. Here, a woman believed to be a police forensics officer emerges from the building.
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 8, 2015 10:12 am

In a complex crime that relied on a descent down an elevator shaft and on heavy cutting equipment, thieves made away with up to $300 million in gems and other valuables stolen from a secure facility where jewelry stores often stow their holdings. It could go down as the richest heist in Britain's history.

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The Two-Way
7:03 am
Wed April 8, 2015

Ferguson Voters Elect 2 Black Members To City Council

Rich Baranowski (left) and Tracy Hardy vote Tuesday in the Ferguson, Mo., municipal election. Three of the city's six seats will now be filled by black council members.
Jeff Roberson AP

Originally published on Wed April 8, 2015 10:13 am

In a first, the City Council in Ferguson, Mo., is now half white and half black, after voters added two more African-Americans to the six-member group. Voter turnout was reported at 30 percent in the majority-black community.

The voter turnout "surpasses recent municipal elections in Ferguson — and nearly doubles the roughly 16 percent turnout in the rest of St. Louis County," St. Louis Public Radio reports.

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The Two-Way
2:09 pm
Tue April 7, 2015

Three-Peat Or Upset? UConn And Notre Dame Play For Women's NCAA Title

Jewell Loyd and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish will again face Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and the Connecticut Huskies in the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament Championship. They're seen here in last year's title game.
Frederick Breedon Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 7, 2015 4:24 pm

In a rematch of the 2014 final, the University of Connecticut will face off against Notre Dame in the NCAA women's basketball final Tuesday night. UConn's Huskies will be trying for their third consecutive title.

The championship game will start at 8:30 p.m. ET; it'll air on ESPN.

For Notre Dame, tonight brings a chance to overcome years of frustration. In three of the past four years, the team has lost in the championship game. The Irish last won it all in 2001.

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The Two-Way
12:07 pm
Tue April 7, 2015

Lucille Ball Sculptor Apologizes For 'By Far My Most Unsettling' Work

A bronze sculpture of Lucille Ball is displayed in Lucille Ball Memorial Park in her hometown of Celoron, N.Y. Since the sculpture was unveiled in 2009, it has been blasted by critics who say it bears little or no likeness to the popular 1950s sitcom actress and comedian.
The Post-Journal AP

Originally published on Tue April 7, 2015 1:34 pm

Responding to complaints about a sculpture meant to honor comedian Lucille Ball in her hometown, artist Dave Poulin says he'll fix it for free. "I take full responsibility for 'Scary Lucy,' " he says, adding that he didn't mean "to disparage in any way the memories of the iconic Lucy image."

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The Two-Way
8:11 am
Tue April 7, 2015

In Movie Piracy Case, Australian ISPs Are Ordered To Share Customers' Info

The producers of Dallas Buyers Club want to contact people who have viewed pirated copies of the film. Here, actor Jared Leto accepts an award for his work in the film at the 2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 7, 2015 11:17 am

Australia's Federal Court has ordered six Internet service providers to hand over information about people accused of illegally downloading and sharing the film Dallas Buyers Club online. The companies had initially refused a request to provide their customers' data.

It's being called a landmark ruling in Australia, where delayed film release dates are blamed for helping create one of the highest rates of Web piracy in the world.

From Sydney, Stuart Cohen reports for NPR's Newscast unit:

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The Two-Way
7:03 am
Tue April 7, 2015

In Reclaimed Tikrit, Mass Graves From Brutal ISIS Occupation

Iraqi soldiers salute as they stand next to a mass grave believed to hold Shiite soldiers from Camp Speicher who were killed by Islamic State militants.
Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue April 7, 2015 11:49 am

As many as 1,700 bodies are believed to be in mass graves that have been unearthed near the site of a massacre of Iraqi soldiers manning a former U.S. military base. The killings took place last summer, when fighters from the self-proclaimed Islamic State seized Tikrit.

Soldiers and forensic teams are sifting through the graves; so far, they have found more than 10 different burial sites that hold what are believed to be the bodies of soldiers and recruits who had been captured at Camp Speicher. The men were then machine-gunned in front of mass graves.

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The Two-Way
12:40 pm
Mon April 6, 2015

Opening Day: Baseball Season Starts In Earnest

The Minnesota Twins warm up before their Opening Day game against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park in Detroit Monday.
Leon Halip Getty Images

In 204 days, two teams will face off in the World Series. Until then, fans can dream about their team winning it all, as Major League Baseball's regular season gets going. St. Louis and Chicago played the first game Sunday night; the Cubs lost, 3-0.

Along with that loss, Chicago's fans also endured restroom wait times of up to 30 minutes. Blaming the problem on at least two bathrooms being closed, the club has apologized, Chicago news TV WGN says.

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The Two-Way
9:54 am
Mon April 6, 2015

French Special Forces Free Dutch Hostage Held In Mali Since 2011

Originally published on Mon April 6, 2015 11:08 am

More than three years after he was taken hostage by an al-Qaida-linked group, a Dutch citizen was freed by French commandos early Monday morning in West Africa. The raid in northern Mali killed several of Sjaak Rijke's captors; others were taken captive.

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The Two-Way
8:33 am
Mon April 6, 2015

NCAA Men's Final: Wisconsin And Duke Play For It All Monday Night

Frank Kaminsky of the Wisconsin Badgers will face off against the Duke Blue Devils' Jahlil Okafor in Monday night's NCAA title game. When the teams played in December, Duke won 80-70.
Mike McGinnis Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 6, 2015 10:11 am

Not since the World War II era has Wisconsin vied for the NCAA's top men's basketball championship. They'll do it tonight against Duke, in a game that pits two balanced teams — and two talented big men — against each other.

For Wisconsin, a win will bring its first title since 1941. Perennial power Duke last won it all in 2010. Tipoff at 9:18 p.m. ET. You can watch the game on CBS or at the NCAA website.

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The Two-Way
7:01 am
Mon April 6, 2015

Red Cross Plans To Fly Supplies, Medical Workers Into Yemen

Aid shipments are being planned for Yemen, after the International Committee of the Red Cross negotiated safe passage with Saudi Arabia, which has been bombing Houthi rebels. Help could arrive Monday.

When they arrive, medical teams and rescue workers will try to help those caught in the fighting that has intensified in the past two weeks. Three Yemen Red Crescent volunteers have died in the past week while trying help, the group says.

A pause in the fighting would also allow civilians to venture out for crucial supplies — and to hold funerals.

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The Two-Way
12:18 pm
Fri April 3, 2015

NFL Is Reportedly Hiring Its First Female Full-Time Official

Sarah Thomas calls holding during a preseason game between the Oakland Raiders and New Orleans Saints in 2013.
Michael Democker The Times-Picayune/Landov

Originally published on Fri April 3, 2015 2:41 pm

Sarah Thomas has officiated football games in the NCAA and for the NFL's preseason and training camps. For the 2015 NFL season, she'll reportedly be a full-time official.

The news was broken this morning by Baltimore Sun reporter Aaron Wilson, who called it "a ground-breaking move." Thomas, 42, is a Mississippi native who has been widely regarded as a contender for a regular NFL contract.

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The Two-Way
10:27 am
Fri April 3, 2015

Did A 19th-Century Brothel Tunnel Cause A Sinkhole In Dublin?

A sinkhole that opened on Dame Street in Dublin, Ireland, this week is suspected of being caused by an old tunnel lawmakers used to visit brothels. The street is seen here in 1911.
Topical Press Agency Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 3, 2015 2:59 pm

A sinkhole opened up on Dame Street in Dublin this week, and an Irish historian says a storied tunnel that allowed politicians to visit brothels in the 19th century could be to blame. The hole was measured at 6 feet deep and 2 feet wide.

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The Two-Way
8:15 am
Fri April 3, 2015

Kenya Copes With Deadliest Attack Since 1998 Embassy Bombing

Garissa University students comfort each other after they were rescued from Thursday's deadly attack.
Daniel Irungu EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Fri April 3, 2015 10:21 am

One day after four gunmen killed at least 147 people in an attack on a university campus in Kenya, police are hunting terrorism suspects, and students are debating whether to return to Garissa University College. A teachers union says the school should shut down.

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The Two-Way
6:54 am
Fri April 3, 2015

Germanwings Co-Pilot Accelerated Toward Crash, Officials Say

The crash site of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Evidence from the flight data recorder shows the co-pilot accelerated as the airliner headed toward the mountainside, French investigators say.
BEA

Originally published on Fri April 3, 2015 4:01 pm

Citing data from the flight recorder of crashed Germanwings Flight 9525, officials say that the co-pilot accelerated several times as the airliner made its fatal descent with 150 people on board last week.

France's aviation safety agency says the plane's newly recovered data recorder shows the co-pilot, Andreas Lubitz, set the aircraft's autopilot to put it on a course and altitude that would crash it into a mountainside in the French Alps. He dialed the plane's altitude down to 100 feet, the lowest setting.

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The Two-Way
2:19 pm
Thu April 2, 2015

Like Mars: Dusty Sandstorm Blocks Visibility And Travel In Dubai

Cars are seen driving Thursday amid a sandstorm that engulfed the city of Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Marwan Naamani AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 2, 2015 5:32 pm

Dubai took on a Mars-like glow Thursday, after a major sandstorm descended upon the city in the United Arab Emirates. Conditions forced airlines to delay or cancel flights in Dubai after the sandstorm arrived from Saudi Arabia early in the morning.

For a sense of the scale of the sandstorm's impact, consider that Dubai is a city of more than 2 million people. Earlier this year, Dubai International Airport was named the busiest in the world, supplanting London's Heathrow.

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The Two-Way
10:09 am
Thu April 2, 2015

World's Muslim Population Will Surpass Christians This Century, Pew Says

Indonesian Muslims perform Eid Al-Adha prayer at Al-Akbar Mosque in Oct. 2014 in Surabaya, Indonesia.
Robertus Pudyanto Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 2, 2015 11:03 am

Islam is growing more rapidly than any other religion in the world, according to a new report by the Pew Research Center that says the religion will nearly equal Christianity by 2050 before eclipsing it around 2070, if current trends continue.

"The main reason Muslims are growing not only in number but in share worldwide is because of where they live," Alan Cooperman, Pew's director of religion research, tells NPR's Tom Gjelten. "Muslim populations are concentrated in some of the fastest-growing parts of the world."

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The Two-Way
9:37 am
Thu April 2, 2015

Airbnb Starts Listing Homes In Cuba; Average Rate Is $43 A Night

A new section of the Airbnb home rental site shows places available for short-term stays in Havana.
Airbnb

Originally published on Thu April 2, 2015 11:53 am

Less than three months after the U.S. announced it will ease travel to Cuba, home rental site Airbnb is listing properties in the island nation. The average price for a room or home in Havana is currently $43. The company says it's starting out with more than 1,000 listings.

A look at the offerings Thursday morning found everything from "beautiful colonial rooms for rent in the heart of Havana" for $27 a night to a "a holiday sanctuary" chalet on the outskirts of Havana that can accommodate 10 guests for $1,000. It includes a pool.

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The Two-Way
7:40 am
Thu April 2, 2015

Yemen's Rebels Seize Presidential Palace In Aden, Despite Airstrikes

Houthi fighters gather in the Yemeni city of Aden on Thursday. The Shiite rebels and their allies seized the presidential palace in this southern coastal city.
Wael Qubady AP

Originally published on Thu April 2, 2015 4:32 pm

Updated at 3:30 p.m. ET

Yemen's Houthi fighters and their allies seized a central area of Aden, capturing the presidential palace on a hilltop of the southern port city. The Shiite rebels took the area despite an eight-day air campaign by a Saudi-led coalition to stem the Houthis' advance.

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The Two-Way
6:53 am
Thu April 2, 2015

Kenya Says Operation Against Al-Shabab Militants Is Over; 147 Dead

Students gather at a distance from the Garissa University College after an attack by gunmen in Garissa, Kenya, Thursday. The attack has injured dozens of people; a siege is ongoing.
AP

Originally published on Thu April 2, 2015 4:52 pm

Updated at 4:50 p.m. ET

Kenya's National Disaster Operation Center says the government's operation against al-Shabab militants on a university campus in Garissa is over. It says that 147 people were killed, along with four militants.

The center added that 587 students had been evacuated from the building; 79 people were injured. It said all students were accounted for. The school reportedly is attended by more than 800 students.

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The Two-Way
3:28 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

Madison, Wis., Council Votes To Ban Discrimination Against Atheism

Originally published on Thu April 2, 2015 8:22 am

Updated at 5:20 p.m. ET

In what is believed to be a first in the United States, the Common Council of Madison, Wis., has voted to amend the city's equal opportunities ordinance "to add nonreligion as a protected class."

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The Two-Way
12:37 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

'Girl Drifter' Race Driver Freaks Out Instructors In Prank

Malaysian pro driver Leona Chin took several driving instructors for a spin for their first day on the job.
YouTube

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 1:28 pm

"It's my brother's car." That's what Leona Chin told four instructors about her high-powered sports car. She then stalled the stick-shift car in first gear and randomly turned the wipers on — before unleashing the skills she has honed as a professional driver. Havoc, and some panic, ensued.

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