Bill Chappell

Bill Chappell is a writer and producer who currently works on The Two Way, NPR's flagship news portal. In the past, he 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.

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.

French politician Marine Le Pen, the head of the far-right National Front party, has been cleared of charges that she incited hatred when she compared Muslim street prayers to the Nazi occupation of her country during World War II.

If found guilty, Le Pen could have faced a penalty of a year in prison and a steep fine.

From France 24:

One week after Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced women in the U.S. military can serve in any combat role, a federal appeals court is considering a lawsuit from a men's group that says a male-only draft is unconstitutional.

It's a historic day in Saudi Arabia, where officials are touting municipal elections in which women are not only voting for the first time, but also standing for office. But if they want to cast a vote, they'll have to catch a ride: the kingdom still forbids women from driving.

The elections are for nearly 300 local councils. The official Saudi news agency says polling stations are reporting a large turnout, and a smooth voting process.

From Jeddah, NPR's Deborah Amos reports:

In what supporters are calling a historic achievement, 196 nations attending the COP21 climate meetings outside Paris voted to adopt an agreement Saturday that covers both developed and developing countries. Their respective governments will now need to adopt the deal.

A New York state appeals court is temporarily allowing daily fantasy sports sites FanDuel and DraftKings to continue operating in the state, blocking a lower court's ruling to bar the websites that was handed down earlier in the day.

The order allows the companies to continue business while the issue is fully considered, at least through next month, the Associated Press reports.

Months after he was fired from the Oklahoma City police force, Daniel Holtzclaw was found guilty of four counts of first-degree rape and numerous other sexual offenses against eight victims.

The 12-member jury in the case — eight men and four women — had deliberated since Monday. They found the former officer guilty of half of the 36 counts he faced.

The two largest chemical companies in America will become one entity named DowDuPont, as Dow Chemical and DuPont say they're joining in a "merger of equals." The new company will have a market capitalization of around $130 billion.

After the merger, the resulting behemoth would be split into what Dow Chairman and CEO Andrew Liveris calls "three powerful new companies," with a combined revenue of around $83 billion.

Citing a potential fire hazard, major U.S. airlines are banning hoverboards from their cabins and cargo holds. Announcing its ban, Delta acknowledged the toy's "presence on many gift lists this holiday season" but said safety comes first.

The bans come as the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says it's looking into at least 10 reports of the self-balancing electric scooters bursting in flames — an occurrence that's allegedly been captured on video, in some cases.

After images emerged on social media of cadets wearing white pillowcase hoods, The Citadel says it has suspended those involved in the incident. Citadel President Lt. Gen. John Rosa says it seems the cadets "were singing Christmas carols as part of a 'Ghosts of Christmas Past' skit."

The Capitol Hill office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations was evacuated by police Thursday, after a suspicious "foreign substance" was received in the mail. Early tests showed the substance isn't dangerous; the FBI is now investigating.

CAIR says its personnel came in contact with an envelope that contained a powdery, white substance and a message referring to a "painful death."

After a transit train took off without an operator during Thursday's morning commute near Boston, Gov. Charlie Baker says the train was "tampered with." The question now, Baker says, is whether this was "negligence versus something else."

Furthering a thaw in relations that began 50 years ago, the Vatican has released a new document about Catholics' historic ties with Jews, whom Pope Benedict once called the church's "fathers in faith." Among the panel's conclusions: Jews don't need to be converted to find salvation.

"While affirming salvation through an explicit or even implicit faith in Christ," the Vatican document reads, "the Church does not question the continued love of God for the chosen people of Israel."

The mysterious bright spots glowed from Ceres' dark surface like alien headlights, capturing many Earthlings' imaginations. But researchers say they're the result of mineral salts, citing data captured by NASA's Dawn mission to study the dwarf planet.

Ending a run of more than 30 years on the air, talk show host Diane Rehm plans to retire, according to WAMU, the NPR member station where the show is produced in Washington, D.C.

Rehm's exit from the show will not take place immediately; she is expected to remain as its host through the 2016 presidential election. A date for her exit has not been established.

Leading Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's call for "a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States" has drawn criticism both at home and abroad.

Trump says the ban would remain in effect "until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on."

The best photos from the New Horizons spacecraft that buzzed Pluto earlier this year are now making their way back to Earth, providing resolutions of less than 100 yards per pixel.

More than 300 years after it sank during an attack in the Caribbean near Cartagena's coast, a Spanish treasure ship has been found, says Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos.

Santos announced the discovery of the legendary galleon Friday night, tweeting: "Great news: we found the Galeón San José!"

After news emerged Friday that the female shooter in a deadly attack in California had pledged allegiance to ISIS, the extremist group issued a radio bulletin calling Tashfeen Malik and her husband Syed Rizwan Farook "supporters." The group did not claim to have planned or ordered the attack.

Negotiators at COP21, the U.N. climate change conference in Paris, have settled on a rough blueprint for approaching the complex and contentious task of reining in emissions and reducing global warming. But many issues will need to be resolved by the summit's end next Friday.

"It always seems impossible until it's done," French Ecology Minister Segolene Royal told the conference Saturday, quoting Nelson Mandela. She then added, "We will do it."

You can read the 48-page draft accord farther down in this post.

From Paris, NPR's Christopher Joyce reports:

The term "space race" will take on new meaning in a few months, if a British astronaut carries out his plan of running the 2016 London Marathon while he's nearly 250 miles above the Earth's surface. Astronaut Tim Peake says he got the idea after being assigned to the International Space Station.

The FBI said it is officially investigating Wednesday's mass shooting that killed at least 14 people in San Bernardino, Calif., as a terrorist act.

"We are now investigating these horrific acts as an act of terrorism," David Bowdich, assistant director of the FBI's Los Angeles office, announced during a news conference Friday. He said the shooters had attempted to erase their digital footprints and that agents had recovered two deliberately destroyed cellphones.

The U.S. economy added 211,000 jobs in November, the Labor Department says in its new report. The unemployment rate remained steady at 5 percent, according to the monthly data from the agency's Bureau of Labor Statistics – the last such report before the Fed meets later this month.

Three weeks after extremist gunmen shot at customers on its terrace, the Bonne Bière cafe reopened for business Friday, serving coffee and pastries to patrons who sat on the sidewalk behind memorials to the attack's victims.

It's the first of the targeted cafes to reopen, according to Le Parisien.

At least 16 people were killed and several others injured at a Cairo nightclub, after Molotov cocktails set fire to the club and restaurant early Friday morning. Police say the attack followed a dispute between club employees and some young men.

NPR's Leila Fadel reports:

"A statement from Egypt's Ministry of the Interior says following the argument, the young men threw Molotov cocktails into the club out of anger.

Marking the 500th day Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian has been detained by Iran, his brother delivered a petition to Iran's U.N. Mission in New York, calling for his release. The U.S. also repeated its demand that Rezaian be released.

More than two weeks after it received the case, the jury in the trial of former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship has delivered a mixed verdict, finding Blankenship guilty of "conspiring to violate federal mine safety standards, a misdemeanor charge that carries up to a year of jail time," as West Virginia Public Broadcasting reports.

Saying America's military must draw from "the broadest possible pool of talent," Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Thursday that women in the U.S. military — including the Army and Marines — can now serve in combat posts.

The formal process to open combat jobs to women began in January of 2013; in finishing that process, Carter acknowledged that in recent years, U.S. women have fought — and sometimes given their lives — in combat posts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

After traveling in the same direction for more than 50 years, Italian tire maker Pirelli pulled a U-turn for its 2016 calendar, putting ostentatious sexuality in its review mirror – for at least one year – to focus on women's strength and achievements in new images by photographer Annie Leibovitz.

Instead of exotic beaches and sensual close-ups, the 2016 calendar presents black-and-white portraits of a wide range of accomplished women, from athlete Serena Williams and comedian Amy Schumer to investment banker Mellody Hobson.

They connect via online services — especially Twitter — and in everyday life. Their ages range from 15 to 47, and their roles range from cheering attacks to plotting violence. And curbing their growth is a dynamic challenge without a simple solution: There are currently 900 active investigations into ISIS sympathizers in every American state.

Those are some of the findings of a new study that glimpses life "inside the bubble of American ISIS sympathizers, a diverse and diffuse scene that the FBI estimates include hundreds, if not thousands, of individuals."

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