Bill Chappell

Bill Chappell is a blogger and producer who works with NPR's Morning Edition and Digital Media group. In addition to coordinating Web features, he frequently contributes to NPR's blogs, from The Two Way and All Tech Considered to The Salt.

Chappell's work at NPR has ranged from being the site's first full-time homepage editor to leading 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 trains both digital and radio staff to use digital tools to tell compelling stories, in addition to "evangelizing" — promoting more collaboration between departments. Other shows he has worked with include All Things Considered, Fresh Air, and Talk of the Nation.

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.

Chappell's work for CNN also included producing Web stories and editing digital video for SI.com, as well as editing and producing stories for CNN.com's features division. He also worked at the network's video and research library.

Before joining CNN, Chappell wrote about movies, restaurants and music for alternative weeklies, in addition to his first job: editing the police blotter.

From 2002-2003, Chappell served as editor-in-chief of The Trans-Atlantic Journal, a business and lifestyle monthly geared for expatriate Europeans working and living in the United States.

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
7:59 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Sweet Deal? Chocolatier Lindt Buys Russell Stover

A store manager arranges merchandise in a Russell Stover Candy store in Overland Park, Kan., in this file photo. The candy maker is being bought by Swiss company Lindt & Spruengli.
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 10:07 am

In a push for greater prominence in the American market, Swiss chocolate company Lindt & Sprungli has reached a deal to acquire Russell Stover, the company whose products include the time-tested Whitman's Sampler box of chocolates, a product featured in the 1994 film Forrest Gump.

The deal would make the combined company the No. 3 chocolate maker in North America, Lindt says in a news release announcing the deal. The company says the acquisition is the "biggest and most important strategic acquisition" in its history.

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The Two-Way
6:18 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Israel Shoots Down Drone As Clash With Hamas Continues

A missile leaves an "Iron Dome" battery, Israel's short-range missile defense system, Monday. Israel shot down a drone Monday, using a Patriot missile to take out the unmanned aircraft.
David Buimovitch AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 10:24 am

  • Ari Shapiro on 'Morning Edition'
  • Hear Emily Harris on 'Morning Edition'

Exchanges of rockets and airstrikes continue between Israel and militants in Gaza, one week after violence broke out in the area. The Palestinian death toll is being reported at 172; no Israelis have reportedly died in the fighting.

From Haaretz:

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The Two-Way
5:05 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Costa Concordia Cruise Ship Floats Again, After 2 Years

The process of refloating the Costa Concordia cruise ship started off Italy's Giglio Island on Tuesday.
Guiseppe Cacace AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 9:26 am

More than two years after it ran aground off the Italian coast, the cruise ship Costa Condordia is floating again. Salvage workers managed that feat Monday by expelling water from large caissons, the pontoons that are attached to its sides.

"Six hours after the refloating began, the 115,000-ton vessel had cleared its custom-made platform by one meter," reports NPR's Sylvia Poggioli. "The ship is to be raised another meter today. Then it will be towed 90 feet eastward and anchored to the seabed and land with chains and cables."

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The Two-Way
11:40 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Border Patrol Ceases Flying Migrants To San Diego

Miguel Hernandez (right), an immigrant rights activist, stands among anti-immigration activists outside of the U.S. Border Patrol's Murrieta station on Monday. The federal agency says it will not fly more detained migrants to be processed at the facility.
Sandy Huffaker Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 12:22 pm

Migrants from Central America who enter the U.S. illegally in Texas will no longer be flown to San Diego for processing, the U.S. Border Patrol says. The practice came under fire last week, when opponents led protests against it in Murrieta, Calif.

In announcing the change, the agency didn't mention the fierce local opposition. Instead, it said it had eliminated the congestion in its system that spurred the plan to transport detained migrants.

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The Two-Way
10:46 am
Fri July 11, 2014

LeBron James Will Return To The Cleveland Cavaliers

A Cleveland Cavaliers fan holds up a LeBron James poster at a New York Yankees game Thursday. One day later, the fan's wish was granted: James will return to the Cavs for this year's new season.
Tony Dejak AP

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 11:20 am

The Miami experiment is over: LeBron James will play for the Cleveland Cavaliers next season. The NBA star opted out of his contract with the Heat after spending four seasons in Miami, where he won two championships.

James, 29, played for Cleveland for seven seasons before leaving the town, and his home state of Ohio, for Miami. Speculation about his next move heated up after James and the Heat were trounced in the NBA Finals by the San Antonio Spurs.

Update at 12:45 p.m. ET: 'I'm Coming Home'

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The Two-Way
9:41 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Fly Like An Eagle: Site Picks The Best Aerial Drone Photos

An eagle flies over Bali's Barat National Park, in this award-winning image taken by a camera attached to a drone.
capungaero Dronestagram

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 10:15 am

An eagle soars above a national park in Bali, Indonesia. A waterfall in Mexico is seen from above its shelf of cascading water. Those are the top two finishers in a contest held to find the best images captured by cameras mounted on aerial drones. The winners were recently unveiled by the site Dronestagram.

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The Two-Way
7:41 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Liverpool Unloads 'The Biter,' Sending Suarez To Barca For $128 Million

Luis Suarez will wear the number 9 for Barcelona.
FC Barcelona

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 9:45 am

Luis Suarez, the Uruguayan striker who became headline news in the U.S. after biting an Italian player during the World Cup, is moving to a new club. He'll play for Barcelona, after the team reached terms with Liverpool in a transfer widely reported at 75 million pounds, or more than $128 million.

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The Two-Way
6:39 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Dozens Of Ukrainian Troops Reportedly Killed By Militants

Ukrainian soldiers man a checkpoint about 30 miles from Donetsk on Thursday. A government official said Friday that a rocket attack had killed as many as 30 troops.
Genya Savilov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 9:35 am

Separatists in eastern Ukraine reportedly used a rocket-launching system in an attack Friday that a Ukrainian official says might have killed as many as 30 government troops. The strike comes after days of steady gains against the rebels by Ukrainian forces.

From the Interfax-Ukraine News Agency:

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The Two-Way
5:38 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Israel And Hamas Keep Up Attacks, Ignoring Calls For Peace

Israeli firefighters extinguish vehicles at a gas station in Ashdod, Israel, that was hit by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip on Friday.
David Buimovitch AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 11:54 am

This post was updated at 1 p.m. ET.

The number of Palestinians killed in Israel's aerial offensive that began this week has surpassed 100, according to health officials in Gaza. More than 600 people have been wounded in the ongoing exchange of airstrikes and rockets between Israel's military and the militant group Hamas.

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The Two-Way
11:43 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Wham! McIlroy Tees Off, Reaches Green On 436-Yard Hole

Rory McIlroy hits a drive during the Scottish Open Thursday, in a round that saw him set a new course record at Royal Aberdeen. McIlroy drove the green on the 436-yard 13th hole.
Andrew Redington Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 10, 2014 12:31 pm

Golfer Rory McIlroy had an outstanding first day at the Scottish Open, finishing with a seven-under-par 64 to break the Royal Aberdeen course record Thursday. But he hit one shot that staggered spectators: a drive on the 13th hole that streaked down the fairway before rolling onto the green 436 yards away, as the Golf Channel reports.

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The Two-Way
9:35 am
Thu July 10, 2014

HBO And 'Game Of Thrones' Haul In The Most Emmy Nominations

The 66th Primetime Emmy Awards nominations were unveiled Thursday by Mindy Kaling and Carson Daly. Big winners included HBO, for Game of Thrones, and Netflix, for Orange Is the New Black.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 10, 2014 10:06 am

Cable network HBO has received 99 nominations for the 2014 Emmy Awards, running its streak as the network with the most Emmy nods to 14 years. HBO's Game of Thrones got 19 nominations, one ahead of the FX miniseries Fargo.

NPR's Neda Ulaby reports for our Newscast unit:

"HBO also got nominated for its movie The Normal Heart, for its drama True Detective and, in a surprise, for its comedy Silicon Valley.

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The Two-Way
8:38 am
Thu July 10, 2014

U.S. Willing To Facilitate Gaza Cease-Fire, White House Says

Palestinians inspect the rubble of a house hit by an Israeli missile strike in Gaza City on Thursday. Israel escalated its aerial assaults on Gaza on Thursday, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying there are no plans for a cease-fire.
Hatem Moussa AP

Originally published on Thu July 10, 2014 5:16 pm

Update at 6:31 p.m. ET

The U.S. is prepared to facilitate a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, the White House said Thursday, as Israel continued its campaign of airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, and rockets fired by Hamas and other groups kept raining down on Israel.

The Israeli airstrikes have hit more than 700 targets in Gaza, killed at least 89 people and wounded more than 600. Hamas' rocket attacks have reached farther into Israel than ever before, sending people into shelters, but so far not causing any deaths.

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The Two-Way
6:04 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Kurdish Leaders Boycott Iraqi Government Meetings

Soldiers with the Kurdish peshmerga man an outpost near Kirkuk, a city they've sought to control during the chaos that has gripped Iraq.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 10, 2014 8:40 am

A dispute between Iraq's Shiite-led central government and the semi-autonomous Kurdish region is boiling over, as Kurdish ministers withdrew from all Cabinet meetings. In response, Baghdad is reportedly halting some cargo flights between Kurdish cities.

The spat is playing out amid the threat posed by the self-proclaimed "Islamic State," an extremist group that has taken over cities and territories in parts of Iraq and Syria.

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The Two-Way
5:26 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Hackers In China Reportedly Targeted U.S. Federal Workers

Originally published on Thu July 10, 2014 10:01 am

Chinese hackers successfully accessed U.S. government computer networks in March apparently hoping to find information about "tens of thousands of employees who have applied for top-secret security clearances," The New York Times reports.

The newspaper says the attack centered on the Office of Personnel Management was reportedly detected and blocked — but not before the hackers had gotten into some of the agency's databases.

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The Two-Way
12:17 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

What Happens When Israeli Mourners Visit A Palestinian Family

On Monday, Hussein Abu Khdeir, father of 16-year-old Palestinian Mohammed Abu Khdeir, held a photo of his son as he met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank. On Tuesday, the Abu Khdeir family received Israeli guests who wanted to apologize for their loss.
Mohamad Torokman AP

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 1:30 pm

The family of slain Palestinian teenager Mohammed Abu Khdeir received condolences from an unlikely source Tuesday: Israelis who had asked to come and mourn with them.

The scene was predictably awkward, even painfully so. But as NPR's Ari Shapiro reported for today's Morning Edition, the visit also brought a moment of grace for many of those involved.

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The Two-Way
10:04 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Flop Life: What If We All Acted Like We Were In The World Cup?

In a new video, people casually bump into one another in cafes and groceries, sparking histrionics like those seen in the World Cup.
YouTube

Originally published on Thu July 10, 2014 6:13 am

The flailing about, the protests, the sheer agony — what if everyone behaved like international soccer stars who can evidently be slammed to the ground by a fingertip?

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The Two-Way
9:43 am
Wed July 9, 2014

As Deadline Nears, Snowden Seeks To Extend His Stay In Russia

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 1:22 pm

Edward Snowden remains a fugitive from U.S. authorities over leaking secret documents about its surveillance programs. Now he's asking Russia to extend the one-year term of asylum the country granted the former NSA contract worker last summer.

Snowden's asylum, which was granted last August, is set to expire at the end of this month. His lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, says they've filed papers for an extension.

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The Two-Way
8:53 am
Wed July 9, 2014

5,000 Years Old: Ancient Yew Tree Identified In Wales

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 11:18 am

It might be the oldest tree in Britain. A yew tree that sprawls over a churchyard in Wales is more than 5,000 years old, according to experts. While it's not exceptionally tall, the tree has a wide canopy. And it dates back to the era of Egypt's pharaohs.

From NPR's London bureau, Rich Preston reports:

"The 60-foot-wide yew tree sits in the grounds of St Cynog's churchyard near Swansea in Wales. Recent DNA and ring-count testing shows the tree to be more than 5,000 years old — making it older than the Great Pyramid of Giza.

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The Two-Way
8:14 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Defending Tour De France Champ Froome Quits Race

Britain's Chris Froome gestures to a teammate (right) after getting up from his third crash in two days. Froome, who hurt his wrist in Tuesday's fall, has abandoned the race that he won in 2013.
Laurent Cipriani AP

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 12:32 pm

Chris Froome, who raced to the top of the podium in Paris last July, is out of this year's Tour de France after falling in treacherous conditions on today's stage of the bicycle race.

Today's stage had been predicted to be harrowing, owing to the course's inclusion of cobblestones. But Froome went down twice before the race even reached that point, leaving his riding kit torn on both thighs and one shoulder, where a bloody wound could be seen.

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The Two-Way
7:19 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Brazil Reels From Thrashing That Bounced It From World Cup

A fan screams as she watches Brazil lose to Germany, in a live telecast Tuesday in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. The host nation is reeling from its loss in the World Cup semifinal.
Bruno Magalhaes AP

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 10:45 am

"The worst game I saw in my life" is how one Brazilian fan describes it. Another says it's simply a tragedy. Some angry fans burned Brazil's flag in the street.

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The Two-Way
5:23 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Israel Continues Gaza Offensive, Hints At Ground Operation

Smoke and debris rise after an Israeli strike on the Gaza Strip Wednesday. Since the Gaza offensive began Tuesday, Israel has attacked more than 400 sites in Gaza.
Ariel Schalit AP

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 1:21 pm

Update at 2:42 p.m. ET

Israeli leaders are signaling that a ground invasion might be imminent as the offensive on Gaza intensifies, killing at least 53 people and wounding 465 others.

The toll comes from the Palestinian Authority's Health Ministry.

Reporter Daniel Estrin tells NPR's Newscast unit that Israel's military struck at least 200 Hamas targets on the second day of its offensive on the Gaza Strip. The operation is in response to rocket attacks from Gaza toward Israeli cities.

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The Two-Way
10:47 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Police Use Dog To Find Memory And Hard Drives In Search

In June, the 167th Patrol Dog Class graduated from their canine narcotics and electronic media detection training, held by the Connecticut State Police Canine Unit. At far left is Thoreau, who now helps police in Rhode Island find computer hard drives.
Daniel Owen Courtesy of The Hartford Courant

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 12:18 pm

Police in Rhode Island have a secret weapon to fight child pornography: a 2-year-old Labrador named Thoreau, who's been trained to sniff out computer hard drives. The dog is credited with finding a thumb drive that was hidden deep inside a metal cabinet last month.

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The Two-Way
10:26 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Senator Asks U.S. To Investigate Possible Cuban Plot Against Him

New Jersey Democrat Robert Menendez, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has asked the Justice Department to investigate a smear campaign against him.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 11:46 am

Did fake accusations that Sen. Robert Menendez had visited underage prostitutes come from Cuba's intelligence agency? That's the question the senator wants the Justice Department to look into.

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The Two-Way
8:10 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Roller Coaster Stops Rolling, Traps Riders High In The Air

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 12:59 pm

A tree branch got in the way of the fun for more than 20 riders who were on the Ninja roller coaster at Six Flags Magic Mountain north of Los Angeles Monday, stranding them above the ground for hours before rescue crews freed them.

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The Two-Way
7:59 am
Tue July 8, 2014

U.N. Urges U.S. To Treat Migrants As Refugees

The U.N. is encouraging the U.S., Mexico and other countries to treat migrant children as refugees, on the grounds that they're fleeing danger. Last week, immigration activists demanded that Mexico protect the rights of minors and families crossing its territory, during a protest outside the Mexican Consulate in Los Angeles.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 12:29 pm

People who enter the U.S. and nearby countries illegally from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras should not be forced to return home and should be treated as refugees, a U.N. agency says. The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees says people from those countries are subject to persecution.

From Geneva, Lisa Schlein reports for our Newscast unit:

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The Two-Way
7:07 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Ukraine And Militants Continue A Standoff In Donetsk

People walk under a destroyed railroad bridge over a main road leading into the city of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine Monday. Kiev is calling on pro-Russian militants to disarm before holding peace talks.
Dmitry Lovetsky AP

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 7:54 am

Coming off of two victories this weekend, Ukraine is calling for pro-Russian separatists to lay down their arms in Donetsk before taking part in peace talks. Rebels in the city are reportedly preparing to resist Ukraine's forces.

Plans for talks about a cease-fire are now in limbo, as President Petro Poroshenko and the militants also disagree on the location. From the AP:

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The Two-Way
5:50 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Powerful Typhoon Whips Japan's Okinawa Islands

A reporter stands next to a wooden house and restaurant that collapsed across a street due to strong winds from Typhoon Neoguri, in Naha city on the island of Okinawa on Tuesday.
Hitoshi Maeshiro EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 9:03 am

Bringing winds that gust higher than 100 mph, Typhoon Neoguri is bearing down on the Okinawa island chain in southern Japan. More than 100,000 households are without power, and over a half-million people have reportedly been asked to evacuate.

As it neared the coast, the storm "weakened from its original status as a super typhoon but remained intense," the Japan Times says, "with gusts of more than 250 km per hour (155 mph)."

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The Two-Way
5:01 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Israel Expands Attacks On Gaza As Rockets Target Israeli Cities

Israeli soldiers stand on their tanks near Israel's border with the Gaza Strip on Tuesday. Israeli warplanes pounded Gaza with more than 50 strikes overnight after Hamas militants fired scores of rockets over the border.
Jack Guez AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 3:36 pm

Updates at 5:32 p.m. ET

Israel said Tuesday it is expanding its operations against Hamas "and other terrorist organizations" in the Gaza Strip amid an escalation of violence that saw a barrage of rockets fired from the enclave toward Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and other parts of the country.

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The Two-Way
11:30 am
Mon July 7, 2014

Meeting Abuse Victims, Pope Francis Begs Forgiveness

Pope Francis spent parts of Sunday and Monday meeting with six people who had been sexually abused by priests, speaking with them about the lingering effects of their experiences and asking for their forgiveness.

The sessions brought the first official meetings with abuse survivors for Francis; his predecessor, Pope Benedict, met with the victims on several occasions.

From Rome, NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reports:

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The Two-Way
10:17 am
Mon July 7, 2014

Will You Ride The World's Tallest Water Slide?

A view from the top of the Verrückt water slide's launch point, in a video that showed a recent test of the slide.
Schlitterbahn Development Group

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 10:36 am

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