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.

The FBI and Apple are looking into how private photos of Jennifer Lawrence and other celebrities were stolen, in an apparent breach of security that is raising new questions about storing personal information online.

"This is a flagrant violation of privacy," Lawrence's spokeswoman said Sunday, after nude images of the actress and others began to emerge online. Some of the celebrities have denied the photos are of them; others, such as Mary Elizabeth Winstead, say they deleted the images long ago.

After operating for only two years, the Revel Casino Hotel has closed down, part of a trend that will reportedly shutter a third of Atlantic City's big gambling halls by the end of September. It cost $2.4 billion to build the Revel facility.

"It's a tragedy," massage therapist Lori Bacum, who worked at the resort's spa, tells NJ.com. "There were some warnings, but none of us thought it would happen. We felt so safe, because this was the place that was going to take (the city) to a new level."

Faulting the U.S. approach to dealing with hostage situations, Michael Foley says more could have been done to free his brother, American journalist James Foley, who was beheaded by extremist group the Islamic State after being held captive since 2012.

From Yahoo News:

Cyclists may soon have a convenient way to discourage bike thieves, thanks to new designs that use parts of the bikes themselves as locks. Two projects — one based in Chile, another in Seattle — are promising to provide peace of mind without the fuss of carrying a separate lock.

The question of who owns a striking image taken by a crested black macaque may be closer to being settled, as the U.S. Copyright Office says the photo can't be copyrighted — by the person who owns the camera or by any other entity — because it wasn't taken by a human.

Updated at 3:25 p.m. ET

One day after an Israeli airstrike killed three of its senior military leaders, Hamas says it has executed more than a dozen people in the Gaza Strip, after concluding that they had been spying for Israel.

A four-year-old Israeli boy was also reportedly killed in a mortar attack near the Gaza border.

From Jerusalem, NPR's Jackie Northam reports:

"Hamas confirmed that there were two separate rounds of executions in Gaza for people suspected of collaborating with Israel.

The Pentagon didn't give enough notice to Congress and misused nearly $1 million when it swapped Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for five senior Taliban members, the Government Accountability Office says. The nonpartisan agency's findings led Defense officials to say they had to act quickly to free Bergdahl, who had been held for five years.

GAO investigators looked into the incident at the request of several Republican senators, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and members of the Appropriations Committee.

American aircraft have carried out more strikes against the Islamic State, after the extremist group beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley. The attacks come despite threats to kill other hostages; a White House official says the U.S. could also target areas in Syria, if warranted.

An Israeli attack on a house has killed three military commanders in Gaza, Hamas says, including one of the group's most senior leaders. Thursday's strike follows what Hamas says was a failed attack on its top military leader earlier this week.

From Gaza, NPR's Philip Reeves reports:

"The attack happened overnight and targeted a residential house in Rafah close to Gaza's border with Egypt.

The two U.S. patients who were treated for Ebola have been discharged from Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, where they had been in an isolation ward since returning from Liberia early this month. They are the first patients treated for Ebola on American soil.

Dr. Kent Brantly and missionary Nancy Writebol have been released after "a rigorous course of treatment and thorough testing," Emory's Dr. Bruce Ribner said. He added that he's confident that their release from care "poses no public health threat."

A video that shows an American journalist being beheaded by extremist militants has sparked outrage, along with arguments over whether the images should be restricted online.

The extremist group that carried out the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley engages in "cowardly acts of violence" and "has no place in the 21st century," President Obama said Wednesday, referring to the videotaped execution carried out by militants with the Islamic State.

Obama also said the group attacks women and minorities, "for no other reason than they practice a different religion."

Update at 2:41 p.m.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said today his country's offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip is "a continuous campaign," a day after a cease-fire between the two sides collapsed, leading to the resumption of both rocket fire against Israel and Israeli strikes on the Gaza Strip.

Tear gas and Molotov cocktails were absent from the streets of Ferguson, Mo., last night, as protesters and police avoided the clashes that have marred demonstrations over the death of an an unarmed black teenager at the hands of a white police officer last weekend in the St. Louis suburb.

Missouri Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson, who is in charge of security in Ferguson, announced that 47 arrests had been made and that three loaded handguns were confiscated.

This post was updated at 2:25 p.m. ET.

A video that was released online Tuesday in which the extremist group the Islamic State claimed to behead American journalist James Foley is authentic, according to U.S. intelligence analysts. Foley was abducted in Syria in 2012.

The video was uploaded to YouTube on Tuesday afternoon and later removed; since then, it has resurfaced elsewhere online. The images show Foley kneeling next to a masked militant and reciting comments against the U.S. before being killed.

Some Brita water bottles made for children pose a possible danger due to lids that can break apart into pieces with sharp edges, says Brita, which has announced a safety recall. The bottles have white lids with fold-up straws and filters that sit inside the bottle.

"Brita has received 35 reports of lids breaking or cracking," the Consumer Product Safety Commission reports. "No injuries have been reported."

Cuba's parliament isn't big on dissent. Most legislation that makes it to a vote is endorsed unanimously, as a matter of course. But Mariela Castro, the daughter of President Raul Castro — and the niece of Fidel Castro — is making waves by voting "no" on a workers' rights bill, saying it didn't protect people with unconventional gender identities.

It seems that before the December 2013 vote was publicized recently in a Cuban blog, no one could recall anyone voting against a measure in Cuba's legislature. Some say a dissenting vote has simply never happened in Havana.

The motorcade of a Saudi prince was hit by thieves Sunday night, as armed men burst from two BMWs and carjacked a vehicle that contained 250,000 euros (about $335,000). The motorcade had been headed from a luxury hotel in Paris to an airport; police suspect the gunmen had inside knowledge.

At least six bullets hit Michael Brown, 18, when he was shot to death by a Ferguson, Mo., police officer, according to a preliminary private autopsy report. Only one of those wounds — to the top of the teenager's head — was deemed not survivable by former New York City chief medical examiner Dr. Michael Baden.

Baden and another pathologist hired by Brown's family say they believe that the two bullets that struck Brown in the head "were most likely the last two" to hit him during a confrontation on a street last Saturday.

Members of the National Guard have arrived in the St. Louis area, one day after Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said he would deploy troops to prevent violence in Ferguson, a St. Louis suburb that's been wracked by outrage and looting over the police shooting of an unarmed black teenager last weekend.

"Members of the National Guard are arriving in South St. Louis," local TV news KMOV reports, in a tweet this morning. "They will be heading to #Ferguson today."

Ukraine's government and pro-Russian separatists are blaming one another for an attack that reportedly hit at least one bus carrying people who were fleeing the fighting near the eastern city of Luhansk. Ukraine made gains in that area over the weekend; it's not known how many people might have died in Monday's attack.

Citing health concerns, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says he'll leave the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he has lived in diplomatic asylum for more than two years. Assange didn't name a date for his exit, which will seemingly come without a deal over potential criminal charges against him.

Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson says the officer who shot and killed unarmed black teenager Michael Brown last Saturday is Darren Wilson, a six-year veteran of the force who has no disciplinary actions on his record with the department.

The release of Wilson's name comes after Jackson said he wouldn't identify the man out of concerns for his safety, citing death threats made to Ferguson police and on social media. Jackson said that Wilson was treated for injuries he sustained Saturday.

Ferguson, Mo., saw more protests last night — but instead of meeting demonstrators with tear gas and armored vehicles, police walked with them, and posed for photos. The shift came after days of clashes sparked by the police killing of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown.

From St. Louis Public Radio, Rachel Lippmann reports:

Conrad Bassett–Bouchard of Portland, Ore., is the 2014 National Scrabble Champion, taking the title after a tournament that unseated Nigel Richards, who had won the previous four years in a row. Words used in the final round included "barf" and "florigen."

The championship went to Bassett-Bouchard, 24, after he drew both a blank wild-card tile and an S on his first rack of tiles. His first word was "zilch." His biggest score, of 82 points, came courtesy of "docents."

From a news release by the tournament:

A police officer's killing of Michael Brown, 18, in Ferguson, Mo., has ignited racial tensions in a town whose population is two-thirds black — and whose police force reportedly has three black members. Some black residents say that long before Brown's death, they saw the police as a potential threat.

"It's the constant pressure of every time a police officer gets behind us, we're gripping the steering wheel," Anthony Ross, 26, of neighboring Berkeley tells NPR's David Schaper. He added, "Everything on the car is right."

This post was updated at 5 p.m. ET.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol will now supervise security in Ferguson, Gov. Jay Nixon announced at a news conference Thursday. Protesters have clashed with police since the shooting of unarmed teen Michael Brown on Saturday.

"For the past several days, we've all been deeply troubled by this crisis," Nixon said, "as the pain of last weekend's tragedy has been compounded by days of grief, and nights of conflict and fear."

A federal court has cleared the way for same-sex marriage to be recognized in Virginia, denying a motion to stay its own ruling against a ban on the unions. That means same-sex couples could apply for marriage licenses in Virginia next week, state officials say.

Eduardo Campos, an economist who was running for Brazil's presidency as the leader of the Brazilian Socialist Party, has died in a plane crash near the coast southeast of Sao Paulo.

A BBC TV report on a Scottish cultural festival was upstaged Wednesday by a spider that had spun its web across the camera's lens. When a bug began struggling in the web, the spider came out to do what spiders do.

The arachnid made quick work of the bug and retreated back off-camera — but not before it surprised viewers and entertained many on Twitter and elsewhere.

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