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.

(This post was last updated at 6:29 p.m.ET.)

Two large storms are bracketing the upper corners of the continental U.S., with heavy rains and flooding in the Northwest and a fresh blanket of snow over the Northeast — that area's third bout of heavy snow.

With more than 5 feet of snow in the past 30 days, Boston set a new record Monday morning, the AP reports, citing the National Weather Service. In the city, the snow isn't expected to stop falling (this time) until late tonight.

An American woman taken hostage by the self-declared Islamic State has died after Jordanian warplanes attacked the building where she was being held in Syria, the extremist group says.

The claim was announced on Twitter and reported by the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadi activity. NPR is working to determine the facts of the story.

Update at 1:25 p.m. ET: Hostage's Name Confirmed By Family

In a unanimous ruling, Canada's supreme court struck down the country's law that bans doctor-assisted suicide Friday. The court said the law denies people the right "to make decisions concerning their bodily integrity and medical care" and leaves them "to endure intolerable suffering."

The ruling includes several provisions:

  • Patients must be competent adults who clearly consent to terminating their life.
  • They must be suffering from "a grievous and irremediable medical condition ... that causes enduring suffering that is intolerable."

Health officials in Illinois are trying to find the source of a measles infection, after five babies were diagnosed with the contagious respiratory disease in a Chicago suburb. Saying that more cases are likely, a health official warns, "The cat is out of the bag."

Because the Illinois patients are all under a year old, they can't be vaccinated. The new cluster of cases joins more than 100 other reports of measles in 14 states this year; most of them have been traced to an outbreak at Disneyland in California in December.

Within seconds of takeoff, the TransAsia Airways plane that went down in a dramatic and deadly crash in Taipei Wednesday was already in trouble. Investigators say the turboprop plane's right engine lost thrust 37 seconds into the flight, and that the left one failed to restart not long afterwards.

Repeated air strikes on the self-described Islamic State are "the beginning of our retaliation" for the extremist group's brutal killing of a captured pilot, Jordan's foreign minister says.

Nasser Judeh made the remark on CNN, adding that Jordan will continue to target ISIS fighters and facilities in both Iraq and Syria.

"We are upping the ante. We're going after them wherever they are, with everything that we have," Judeh said.

For the first time, Harvard University is banning sexual relationships between faculty and undergraduates, strengthening language in its policies on sexual misconduct. The change comes as the school examines its rules and undergoes a federal review.

Last year, Harvard was among dozens of schools the Department of Education said it's investigating for how they handle sexual abuse allegations.

Responding to criticism over a scandal involving an alleged bombing cover-up and a prosecutor's death, Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner will write letters to Mia Farrow and Martina Navratilova, who tweeted about the case this week.

A prominent cleric in the Al-Qaida in Yemen organization was among those killed in a drone strike this weekend, the group says. Sheik Harith al-Nadhari was among those who praised the recent attack on French magazine Charlie Hebdo.

From the AP:

The U.S. and its allies are holding talks today in a new push to ensure Ukraine's borders amid heightened fighting between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian troops. But a key question that's being debated is whether to supply weapons to Ukraine to counter the aggression.

"Clearly what we see is that conditions in eastern Ukraine have to change," NATO Commander Gen. Philip Breedlove tells NPR's Renee Montagne.

Breedlove says "hundreds and hundreds" of members of Russia's military are in separatist areas of Ukraine, supplying air defense and other crucial help.

London Mayor Boris Johnson's ambitious plan to reshape how the city handles cyclist traffic got final approval Wednesday, clearing the way for the spread of segregated bike lanes and dedicated traffic signals. Johnson plans to create a network for cyclists that rivals the city's transit system.

He started out in golf as a caddy, earning handfuls of change as a boy. Decades later, Charlie Sifford was named to the World Golf Hall of Fame, after a career marked by talent, character and the drive to change his sport. Sifford, the first black golfer to hold a PGA Tour card, has died at age 92.

Nearly 20 years after an earlier proposed merger was rejected by U.S. regulators, Staples says it is acquiring Office Depot for $6.3 billion. Combined, the two office supply giants would have annual sales of some $39 billion.

"Staples began discussions to acquire Office Depot in September 2014," the companies said in a news release. "The agreement has been unanimously approved by each company's Board of Directors."

Responding to a horrific video that shows one of its pilots being burned alive, Jordan has executed two jihadists, including a prisoner whose freedom had been sought by the self-declared Islamic State militant group. The father of pilot Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh is calling for revenge.

In Jordan, reactions to the pilot's killing have ranged from sorrow to anger. Today, the pilot's father said that ISIS must be eliminated.

To mark 80 years of Monopoly, game-maker Hasbro has tucked real money into 80 game sets to be sold in France. The amount of cash in the boxes varies; only one set will come with the equivalent of the Monopoly bank.

Finding the 20,580 euros will be a challenge. Hasbro is putting a sticker on 30,000 boxes of the game to announce that they might contain real cash. The company says it sells about 500,000 of the sets in France each year.

Financial ratings service Standard & Poor's will pay almost $1.38 billion to settle charges that it took part in a scheme in which investors lost billions of dollars after putting money into securities whose credit ratings didn't reflect their true risk.

Under the settlement, S&P parent company McGraw Hill Financial will make two payments of $687.5 million: one to the U.S. Justice Department and another that's divided among 19 states and the District of Columbia.

McGraw Hill says it will also pay $125 million to the California Public Employees' Retirement System.

The conflict that followed the breakup of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s included widespread killing, rape and torture, says the International Court of Justice in The Hague. But the court said Tuesday that the acts can't be deemed genocide, something both Croatia and Serbia have claimed in filings against each other.

Britain is on track to become the first country in the world to legalize a controversial procedure that uses DNA from three people to produce an embryo, as a way to cut out inherited DNA that can cause serious health problems in children.

Today is a great day to be DeMarcus Cousins. Not only did he get to serve a chilly dish of revenge to a sportswriter who dismissed him in 2010; he was also chosen for the NBA's All-Star Game.

This morning, Cousins posted a photo of a 2010 tweet by writer Clay Travis, who wrote, "There is a 100% chance that DeMarcus Cousins is arrested for something in the next five years."

Five years later, Cousins, who now plays for the Sacramento Kings, wrote, "Today's the day!! Let's all show him some love!!"

Three Americans who were working as contractors in Afghanistan died in a gunman's attack at the Hamid Karzai International Airport complex Thursday, the Associated Press reports.

The news agency adds:

"It was not immediately clear who did the shooting or whether the shooter was a member of the Afghan security forces.

"The U.S. defense officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the incident was in the early stages of investigation."

In addition to the U.S. casualties, an Afghan citizen also died, the AP says.

The execution of three inmates has been put on hold, as the Supreme Court intervenes in a case that involves the controversy over the drugs states use to put people to death. The justices cited the sedative midazolam, which has been used in three executions that did not go smoothly.

The Supreme Court's stay is likely to hold until April, when it will hear arguments from three inmates who say that Oklahoma's execution protocol violates the U.S. Constitution.

The court's order did not elaborate on the reasons or debate behind the move:

They call it "The last McDonald's hamburger in Iceland." Purchased more than five years ago, it has been displayed in the Na­tional Mu­seum of Ice­land. Now a webcam has been devoted to the hamburger (with a side of fries), among the last sold by the American company in the country.

Whatever the question, Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch has the answer. At a (mandatory) media appearance for the upcoming Super Bowl, Lynch stuck to one response Tuesday: "I'm just here so I won't get fined." After he said it nearly 30 times, he added one word: "Time."

Days after a federal judge in Alabama ruled in favor of a same-sex couple who want their marriage recognized, the chief justice of the state's Supreme Court has sent a letter telling the governor that federal courts don't have jurisdiction over what constitutes a marriage in Alabama.

Chief Justice Roy Moore said that Friday's ruling by U.S. District Judge Callie V.S. Granade "has raised serious, legitimate concerns about the propriety of federal court jurisdiction over the Alabama Sanctity of Marriage Amendment."

A former CIA officer who was accused of giving a journalist classified information about U.S. plans to spoil Iran's nuclear program has been convicted of espionage in federal court.

Jeffrey Sterling, 47, was officially fired from the CIA in 2002; he was indicted for espionage in 2011 and now faces the possibility of dozens of years in prison. He'll be sentenced in April.

The federal budget deficit will fall in 2015, the sixth consecutive year of decreases relative to the overall economy, according to new figures by the Congressional Budget Office. The office also says the U.S. economy will expand at a "solid pace" for the next few years.

In an update to a story that's become a central topic of the lead-up to the Super Bowl, the NFL says it has found evidence of footballs being underinflated at last Sunday's AFC Championship Game, hosted by the New England Patriots. The Patriots won, 45-7.

Acknowledging that he would rather be discussing the upcoming Super Bowl, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said he didn't give the game balls a thought during his team's win over the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship Game.

"I didn't alter the ball in any way," Brady told a roomful of reporters at a Thursday news conference. He described the routine he goes through before every game to select footballs that have been conditioned by the Patriots' equipment staff.

The NASCAR season that begins next month will bring the last run at a championship for Jeff Gordon, who announced today that he won't race full-time after this year. Now 43, Gordon has been part of competitive racing since he was 5 years old.

But don't call it a retirement. Gordon says he'll stay involved in both NASCAR and Hendrick Motorsports, the team he's been affiliated with for more than two decades.

A bill that would prohibit using federal money to pay for "any abortion" or for "health benefits coverage that includes coverage of abortion" has been approved by the House.

The bill passed by a vote of 242-179. Titled the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2015, it was introduced by Rep. Christopher Smith, R-N.J., and others, including Speaker John Boehner.

Its stipulations include:

Pages