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
6:29 am
Sun September 22, 2013

Nairobi Mall Attack: Civilians Remain Hostages; Dozens Dead

Kenyan soldiers secure a section of Nairobi's upscale Westgate Mall, in this image taken from AFP TV. At least 68 deaths have been reported as a result of Saturday's midday attack by gunmen at the mall.
Nichole Sobecki AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 22, 2013 4:26 pm

This post was last updated at 5:25 p.m. ET.

A standoff that began with a shocking attack at Kenya's Westgate Mall Saturday is in its second day, with civilians held hostage by gunmen in the upscale shopping center.

The authorities say they have isolated the attackers. As of Sunday afternoon, Red Cross officials reported 68 deaths and at least 200 wounded in the assault, with 49 people still missing. We'll add news to this post as it emerges.

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The Two-Way
11:24 am
Sat September 21, 2013

North Korea Cancels Plans For Cross-Border Family Reunions

South Korean Cho Jang-geum, 81, weeps as she fills out an application to reunite with family members who live in North Korea, at the headquarters of the Korean Red Cross in Seoul Saturday. North Korea announced today that it is indefinitely postponing the reunions of families who were separated by the 1950-53 Korean War. The meetings were to take place in the coming week.
Park Dong-ju AP

Originally published on Sat September 21, 2013 1:54 pm

A chance for families in South and North Korea to meet their long-lost relatives has been put off indefinitely, as North Korea canceled reunions that were to take place in the coming week. A South Korean official called the decision "inhumane" Saturday.

"The North's postponement shattered the thrill and hopes of nearly 200 families overnight and deserves denunciation as an inhumane act," Unification Ministry spokesman Kim Eyi-do said, according to The Korea Herald.

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The Two-Way
10:11 am
Sat September 21, 2013

Bombings Kill Dozens Of Mourners At Baghdad Funeral

Originally published on Sat September 21, 2013 2:04 pm

In Baghdad's Sadr City, a bombing attack that struck during a funeral has killed dozens of people, with the death toll continuing to rise Saturday. Multiple reports are citing at least 65 deaths in the attack, one of several in Iraq today.

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The Two-Way
7:47 am
Sat September 21, 2013

Syria Meets Deadline On Chemical Weapons; Fighting Continues

A rebel fighter cleans his weapon in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo Friday. Syria's civil war continues, even as the country follows a schedule of releasing information on its chemical weapons program.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat September 21, 2013 9:44 am

Syria has delivered documents about its arsenal of chemical weapons, meeting a deadline set in the framework agreement between the U.S. and Russia that was announced Sept. 14. The deal calls for destroying all of the weapons by June of 2014. But the country's civil war is showing no sign of slowing down.

Saying that it was confirming Syria's "expected" disclosure, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons announced Saturday that its technical teams are "currently reviewing the information received."

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The Two-Way
6:19 am
Sat September 21, 2013

Hostages Trapped Inside Nairobi Shopping Mall

A line of soldiers from the Kenya Defense Forces runs around the front of the Westgate Mall in Nairobi this morning.
Ben Curtis AP

Originally published on Sun September 22, 2013 4:28 am

Updated Sunday 5:46 a.m. ET


The death toll at an upscale shopping mall in Nairobi has increased to at least 52, and civilians are still inside as militants exchange sporadic barrages of gunfire with Kenyan security troops outside.

"The priority is to save as many lives as possible," Joseph Lenku, Kenya's Interior cabinet secretary told AP early today. Kenyan forces have already rescued about 1,000 people, he said.

He said that five to 15 attackers are involved in the standoff, but declined to estimate the number of hostages.

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The Two-Way
4:19 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

Car Factories Turn Robots And Humans Into Co-Workers

A robot arm helps make engine components at a Volkswagen factory in Germany. For the first time, robots are working alongside humans without guards or other safety barriers between them.
Universal Robots

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 5:24 pm

Robots are working alongside humans on car production lines, taking what Technology Review calls "a huge step toward revolutionizing the role of robots" at car factories. Previously, robots had been seen as being too unsafe to place them shoulder-to-arm-joint with humans on the assembly line.

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The Two-Way
9:29 am
Tue September 17, 2013

'I Miss Her Already': Profiles Of The Navy Yard Victims Emerge

Kathy Gaarde, one of the people killed in Monday's shootings at Washington's Navy Yard, in a family photo. Her husband, Douglass, says the picture depicts Gaarde "with her 94-year-old mother who she cared for until she passed away last year."
Douglass Gaarde

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 4:28 pm

This post was last updated at 4:40 p.m. ET.

The victims of the Navy Yard shootings that brought panic and tragedy to a corner of Washington, D.C., on Monday morning are in many people's thoughts as their names and other information are released. We'll collect what we know about the victims here.

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The Two-Way
2:21 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Cycling Team Defends American Chris Horner After Win In Spain

American cyclist Chris Horner celebrates winning Spain's Vuelta bicycle race Sunday. Anti-doping officials say that Horner, who at 41 is the oldest ever to win one of cycling's top events, was not at the hotel drug testers visited.
Jaime Reina AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 3:40 pm

The cycling team of Chris Horner, the 41-year-old American who won Spain's Vuelta bike race on Sunday, says the racer followed the rules in telling doping officials where they could test him. And Monday afternoon, U.S. doping officials agreed that Horner had done his part to allow surprise out-of-competition testing.

Conjecture over Horner's victory in the three-week Vuelta a Espana grew after drug testers couldn't find him at a team hotel in Madrid on Monday morning. His team says the officials went to the wrong hotel.

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The Two-Way
11:17 am
Mon September 16, 2013

Sarin Attack On Syrian Civilians Is A 'War Crime,' U.N. Says

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who received the report on Syria's chemical weapons over the weekend from professor Ake Sellstrom, expressed his "profound shock and regret" at its findings.
Paulo Filgueiras UN Photo

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 4:09 am

Chemical weapons were used in Syria "on a relatively large scale" on Aug. 21, says U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who issued a report by U.N. inspectors Monday. The attack killed civilians, "including many children," and constitutes a "war crime," Ban wrote. He expressed his "profound shock and regret" at the findings.

Ban received the report over the weekend from professor Ake Sellstrom of Sweden, who headed the inspection team in the incident that took place near Damascus. The secretary-general briefed the Security Council on the report earlier Monday.

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The Two-Way
9:26 am
Mon September 16, 2013

Former U.N. Inspector: Syria Plan 'Optimistic,' Requires Troops

Secretary of State John Kerry discusses the U.S.-Russia plan to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons with top British diplomat William Hague (left) and French diplomat Laurent Fabius, on Monday. Former weapons inspector David Kay says the plan includes "unrealistic" deadlines.
Kenzo Tribouillard AFP/Getty Images

The U.S.-Russia plan to rid Syria of chemical weapons by next summer faces many hurdles and includes "unrealistic" deadlines, says former U.N. weapons inspector David Kay, who worked on efforts to detail chemical weapons in Iraq.

Kay says the plan will require an international military presence — "boots on the ground" — to make sure the weapons don't fall into the wrong hands.

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The Two-Way
3:15 pm
Sun September 15, 2013

Summers Pulls Out Of Running To Be Federal Reserve Chief

Citing what he calls an "acrimonious" confirmation process, Lawrence Summers called President Obama to tell him of his decision not to seek the job of Federal Reserve Chairman Sunday.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 9:01 am

Larry Summers has removed his name from the running to be the next chairman of the Federal Reserve. The former Treasury secretary informed President Obama of his decision in a phone call Sunday. The withdrawal was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

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The Two-Way
2:29 pm
Sun September 15, 2013

Obama Says He And Iran's Rowhani Have Exchanged Letters

Iran's President Hasan Rowhani, who was elected in June, has exchanged lettes with President Obama, the U.S. leader said in an interview that aired Sunday. Here, Rowhani speaks to Iran's Parliament in Tehran.
Atta Kenare AFP/Getty Images

In the weeks since Iran's President Hasan Rowhani was elected this summer, he and President Obama have swapped letters, Obama says. The U.S. president discussed the exchange for the first time publicly in an interview with George Stephanopoulos that aired on ABC's This Week Sunday.

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The Two-Way
11:59 am
Sun September 15, 2013

'Flying Scotsman' Cyclist Obree Sets A New Speed Record

British cyclist Graeme Obree, 48, celebrates setting the land speed record for prone cycling at the International Human Powered Vehicle track near Battle Mountain, Nevada.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Cyclist Graeme Obree, 48, has set a new world speed record for prone bicycles, as the man known as the Flying Scotsman topped 56 mph during a session at the just-completed World Human Speed Championships, held at Battle Mountain in the Nevada.

Pedaling with his nose less than an inch away from the front wheel of his custom-built, smooth-skinned bike, Obree finally succeeded Friday, after early runs failed to break the record of 54.9 mph set by Steve Ball in 1983.

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The Two-Way
10:23 am
Sun September 15, 2013

Death Toll Likely To Rise In Colorado Flooding, Officials Say

A woman walks past Boulder Creek, whose swollen waters have receded a bit after intense rain that fell for days has abated, in Boulder, Colo., Sunday.
Brennan Linsley AP

Originally published on Sun September 15, 2013 11:51 am

The floods that have repeatedly inundated large parts of central and northeastern Colorado since Wednesday likely killed more than the four people who have been confirmed dead, officials say. The search for victims has taken second priority to rescue and relief operations, as agencies rush to help people who remain at risk. President Obama has declared a major disaster in the area.

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The Two-Way
9:08 am
Sun September 15, 2013

Police Wound Two Bystanders In Shooting Near Times Square

Originally published on Sun September 15, 2013 9:56 am

Caught in the line of fire by police officers, two women were shot near crowded Times Square in Manhattan last night. The bystanders were wounded as police struggled to deal with a man who was behaving erratically. The man had "simulated" firing a gun at police; he was not found to have a weapon.

The incident began just after 9:30 p.m. Saturday, when police say an agitated man was running around in traffic in the area of 42nd Street and Eighth Avenue.

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The Two-Way
7:41 am
Sun September 15, 2013

Mexico Faces A One-Two Punch From Tropical Storms

An image provided by NOAA taken at 2:45 a.m. EDT Sunday shows Hurricane Ingrid approaching from the Gulf of Mexico and Tropical Storm Manuel just off the western coast of Mexico.
AP

Originally published on Sun September 15, 2013 10:00 am

From the east and the west, two storm systems are closing in on Mexico, bringing strong winds and heavy rains. Hurricane Ingrid is moving toward the country's east coast in the Gulf of Mexico; Tropical Storm Manuel is closing in on the southwest coast in the Pacific Ocean.

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The Two-Way
6:53 am
Sun September 15, 2013

Assad Regime Hails Chemical Weapons Deal As 'Victory' For Syria

The Syrian regime calls a new deal on its chemical weapons a victory, in a reaction that came one day after the U.S. and Russia announced the plan. On Saturday, live coverage of the the deal drew the attention of a Damascus flower shop owner.
Anwar Amro AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 15, 2013 10:06 am

One day after the United States and Russia announced a deal to rid Syria of its chemical weapons, the first official reaction has emerged from the Syrian regime, which calls it a "victory." Syria's rebels are criticizing the plan, saying it doesn't punish President Bashar Assad.

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The Two-Way
3:17 pm
Sat September 14, 2013

Costa Concordia Salvage Operation To Begin Monday

Work at the wreckage of the Costa Concordia continues through the night Sept. 14, off the Italian island of Giglio. The Costa Concordia is due to be righted, in a project set to begin Monday.
Marco Secchi Getty Images

Originally published on Sat September 14, 2013 4:25 pm

A complicated salvage operation is set to begin Monday at the site of the Costa Concordia, the luxury cruise ship that ran aground off Italy in 2012. Even if it succeeds, it will be a long time before things return to normal on the island of Giglio, where the ship wrecked last January.

A large team has gathered to try to move the wreck of the ship, which measures 952 feet in length and weighs more than 114,000 tons. NPR's Sylvia Poggioli filed this report for our Newscast unit:

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The Two-Way
11:51 am
Sat September 14, 2013

Japan Uses Laptops, Cost-Cutting To Launch Rocket Into Space

Japan's new solid-fuel rocket lifts off from the launch pad at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Uchinoura Space Center in Kimotsuki, Kagoshima prefecture, on Japan's southern island of Kyushu Saturday.
Jiji Press AFP/Getty Images

Japan has sent a space telescope into orbit, as its new Epsilon rocket delivered its payload Saturday. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency says the successful launch is a step toward its goal "to lower hurdles to space" by simplifying rocket launches and making them more affordable. The launch was reportedly done via laptop.

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The Two-Way
10:08 am
Sat September 14, 2013

Bookless Public Library Opens In Texas

An artist's rendering shows computer stations at the new BiblioTech bookless public library in Bexar County, Texas. The library is holding its grand opening Saturday.
Courtesy of Bexar County

Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 4:02 pm

An all-digital public library is opening today, as officials in Bexar County, Texas, celebrate the opening of the BiblioTech library. The facility offers about 10,000 free e-books for the 1.7 million residents of the county, which includes San Antonio.

On its website, the Bexar County BiblioTech library explains how its patrons can access free eBooks and audio books. To read an eBook on their own device, users must have the 3M Cloud Library app, which they can link to their library card.

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The Two-Way
8:25 am
Sat September 14, 2013

Colorado Gets Brief Break From Flood Warnings; Rain Is Forecast

Samantha Kinzig of Longmont, Colo., and her daughter Isabel, 5, took a close look at a damaged bridge in Longmont Friday. Heavy rains that fueled widespread flooding in numerous Colorado towns have eased, but forecasters predict more on Saturday and Sunday.
Marc Piscotty Getty Images

Originally published on Sat September 14, 2013 2:17 pm

The rains that brought severe flooding to parts of northern and central Colorado have eased, allowing people a chance to regroup before more rain comes, possibly as soon as Saturday afternoon. Thousands of residents have been displaced by the flooding, from Fort Collins in the north to Colorado Springs in the south, since waters hit dangerous levels Wednesday.

The floods have been blamed for four deaths, as the Two-Way reported Friday.

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The Two-Way
6:13 am
Sat September 14, 2013

U.S. And Russia Form A Plan On Syria's Chemical Weapons

Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced a plan to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons arsenal from Geneva on Saturday.
Larry Downing AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat September 14, 2013 11:06 am

Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart have reached a deal that calls for Syria to destroy all of its chemical weapons. The plan, which Kerry announced in a news conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Geneva on Saturday, gives Syria a week to detail its chemical arsenal.

"The world will now expect the Assad regime to live up to its public commitments," Kerry said. "And as I said at the outset of these negotiations, there can be no games, no room for avoidance, or anything less than full compliance by the Assad regime."

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The Two-Way
4:39 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

In Iowa, Blind People Can Carry Guns In Public; Not Everyone's A Fan

A debate is taking place in Iowa over the ability of people who are legally or completely blind to carry guns in public. The issue stems from a 2011 change in the state's gun permit rules, allowing visually impaired people to carry firearms in public.

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The Two-Way
2:54 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

In Argentina, A Winter Heat Wave Brings Record Highs

Temperatures have reached record highs in Buenos Aires this week. Here, the city's market of Plaza Dorrego in San Telmo is seen on Sunday.
Alexander Hassenstein Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 3:31 pm

It's still officially wintertime in Buenos Aires, but the city is in a record heat wave. Tuesday's high was 34.4 degrees Celsius (94 degrees Fahrenheit), the hottest temperature recorded in September since 1940, La Nacion reports.

"The unusually high temperatures are expected until tomorrow and may reach the maximum of 40 degrees," the Buenos Aires Herald reports.

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The Two-Way
12:00 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

Used-Car Impresario Cal Worthington Dies At Age 92

Cal Worthington, who was a bomber pilot during World War II, flew his own private plane later in life.
Carrie Kahn NPR

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 3:21 pm

Cal Worthington, a man whose used-car ads rose to the level of a cultural phenomenon, died Sunday at age 92. He was a fixture on televisions in California for decades, with zany sales pitches that drew both customers and fame.

"I will stand upon my head to beat all deals," was Worthington's slogan, "until my ears are turning red."

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The Two-Way
9:43 am
Tue September 10, 2013

New International Olympic Committee President Is Thomas Bach Of Germany

Thomas Bach (right) has been chosen to succeed International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge (left). The pair are seen here at the IOC sessions in Argentina over the weekend.
Alexander Hassenstein Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 2:04 pm

The International Olympic Committee has elected a new president, naming Germany's Thomas Bach to replace outgoing chief Jacques Rogge, who served in the post for 12 years. Bach was chosen by secret ballot on the last day of meetings in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

An Olympic fencer whose successes include a gold medal at the 1976 Montreal Games, Bach later became an executive at Adidas. He was widely seen as the favorite in the race to lead the IOC.

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The Two-Way
7:40 am
Tue September 10, 2013

World's Largest Ferris Wheel Takes Shape In Las Vegas

The 55-story High Roller, which will be the world's largest Ferris wheel, is scheduled to open in early 2014.
Isaac Brekken AP

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 3:41 pm

Las Vegas is adding an eye-catching tourist attraction, in the form of a huge wheel that can take more than 1,000 people on a ride 550 feet into the sky over the city's famed Strip. The main construction of the wheel, called the High Roller, is nearly finished; it is expected to open in early 2014.

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The Two-Way
11:53 am
Mon September 9, 2013

Craft Beer's Success Makes Sam Adams Founder A Billionaire

Founder and Chairman of the Boston Beer Co. Jim Koch has seen shares of his company rise from $20 in 2009 to a record $227 Monday.
Isaac Brekken Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 1:38 pm

These are good times for craft beers — and not just for people who like to drink them, but for those who make them. As an example, look to the brewer of Sam Adams. Boston Beer Co.'s soaring stock price has made its founder, Jim Koch, into a billionaire, Bloomberg News reports.

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The Two-Way
9:53 am
Mon September 9, 2013

Luxury Retailer Neiman Marcus Sells For $6 Billion

The Chicago skyline is reflected in the exterior of Neiman Marcus on Michigan Avenue in Chicago in a file photo from 2009. The luxury retailer sold for six billion dollars on Monday.
M. Spencer Green AP

Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 1:32 pm

Two large investors — Ares Management LLC and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board — have reached a deal to purchase Neiman Marcus for $6 billion, the companies said Monday. The two buyers will hold equal shares of Neiman, which is based in Dallas.

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The Two-Way
9:26 am
Mon September 9, 2013

Found At Sea: 30 Tons Of Hashish, On Fire

An aerial image shows the Gold Star cargo ship ablaze. Officials say the ship's crew set fire to 30 tons of hashish after authorities approached the vessel for inspection.
Guardia di Finanza

Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 10:21 am

A fire aboard a cargo ship in the Mediterranean Sea was set in order to get rid of 30 tons of hashish, according to officials in Italy and Malta. Authorities had approached the Gold Star, a Tanzania-registered ship, for an inspection Friday afternoon. But members of the crew reportedly set fire to their cargo, which Italian authorities identified as hashish resin.

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