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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.

A 17-year-old undocumented immigrant to the U.S. underwent an abortion procedure on Wednesday morning, after a weeks-long legal fight with the Trump administration, which had sought to block her from leaving the detention facility where she's being held in Texas. A federal appeals court ruled in her favor on Tuesday.

After a string of rulings and reversals in the case, the American Civil Liberties Union says that Jane Doe was finally able to get the treatment she had sought. She was referred to as Jane Doe to protect her privacy as a minor and a medical patient.

Nearly one month after an entire island was evacuated over concerns of a pending volcanic eruption, thousands of people are now being allowed to return to Ambae, and island in the South Pacific nation of Vanuatu.

Some 11,000 people live on the island, an oblong land mass that's dominated by the volcano that looms nearly 5,000 feet above sea level.

Police in Honolulu on Wednesday will begin writing tickets for people who get distracted by their cellphones while walking in a crosswalk. Honolulu is the first major city in the country to pass such a law, citing a high rate of pedestrians being hit in crosswalks.

"Starting today, texting while walking in a crosswalk can get you a ticket," Hawaii Public Radio's Bill Dorman reports for our Newscast unit. "In fact, a downward glance at a screen of any kind will cost you — a phone, a tablet, a video game."

E-cigarettes and vaping are being banned in indoor public areas in New York, after Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill into law that will place the same restrictions on new and old nicotine delivery systems.

Using language not heard since the Mao Zedong era, the Communist Party of China has adopted Xi Jinping's ideas for Chinese socialism, embracing its president anew and adding his "thoughts" to the party constitution.

The party added a section with the formal title "Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era" on Tuesday, as it winds down the congress it holds every five years.

Updated at 9:45 a.m. ET Tuesday

Interest in "Properties of Expanding Universes" is at an all-time high: Stephen Hawking's doctoral thesis of that name crashed Cambridge University's open-access repository on the first day the document was posted online.

U.S. District Judge Susan Ritchie Bolton says that President Trump's pardon of former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio does not "revise the historical facts" of his case — and that she will not vacate her ruling that found Arpaio guilty of criminal contempt.

A federal appeals court has temporarily blocked a judge's ruling that would have allowed a detained teenager who is in the U.S. illegally to have an abortion, in the latest twist in a legal battle between the ACLU and the Trump administration.

Federal prosecutors in Brazil are charging former Brazilian Olympic Committee President Carlos Nuzman with helping to run a criminal organization and other crimes, in a scheme that paid for the votes that brought the Olympics to Rio de Janeiro last summer. The evidence includes undeclared assets in the form of 16 gold bars.

Nuzman was arrested on Oct. 5, prompting him to resign as president of Brazil's national Olympic committee. Prosecutors announced charges against him that range from corruption and money laundering to evading foreign currency laws.

The state of Vermont has one year to prepare for something it has never had: a Target store. After years of pleading from some residents and anti-big-box sentiment from others, the retail giant says it will finally open a store in South Burlington in 2018.

The news prompted a "Breaking News" banner on the local paper's website. As they're saying over at Vermont Public Radio: "This is not a drill."

In response, Adam Maxwell wrote on the VPR Facebook page: "Welcome to 1995, Vermont!"

A federal judge in Maryland has blocked parts of President Trump's most recent attempt to impose broad limits on who can enter the U.S., granting a motion for a preliminary injunction that was filed by plaintiffs led by the International Refugee Assistance Project.

The plaintiffs "have established that they are likely to succeed on the merits," District Judge Theodore D. Chuang wrote in the Tuesday order dealing another setback to the Trump administration's attempt to ban travel to the U.S. by citizens of certain countries.

In late August, Hurricane Harvey brought record rainfall to Houston. In mid-October, the city's two large federal reservoirs have finally been emptied of the massive amount of water that had filled each of them to the brim.

Need a break from hard news? How about an old-fashioned stakeout? An unidentified bovine — it looks to be a young bull — drove a section of New York City to distraction, leading a very slow speed chase into and around outdoor sports fields in the Prospect Park area of Brooklyn.

Live video from the scene provided by ABC 7 TV's helicopter showed the animal ambling around a soccer field as a New York City police truck idled nearby. A crowd gathered outside the fence at the Prospect Park Parade Ground; several times, the bull stopped in its tracks to stare back at them.

Rep. Tom Marino, R-Pa., has withdrawn his name from consideration as America's drug czar, President Trump said Tuesday. Marino is stepping back days after reports that legislation he sponsored hindered the Drug Enforcement Administration in its fight against the U.S. opioid crisis.

Updated at 11:40 a.m. ET

The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces are in the process of kicking ISIS out of Raqqa, the extremist group's self-declared capital where it has terrorized civilians and plotted attacks against targets linked to the U.S. and its allies. Now ISIS fighters are reportedly bottled up in a stadium complex in the Syrian city.

A federal jury has convicted Ahmad Khan Rahimi of all counts related to last fall's bombing in New York City's Chelsea neighborhood and two related plots. One device injured 30 people in Chelsea; another failed to explode in Manhattan — but a third went off at a Marine Corps charity race at the Jersey Shore.

Rahimi "now faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison," says acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim, who said the bomber had "attacked our country and our way of life" after being inspired by ISIS and al-Qaida.

Updated at 11:45 a.m. ET

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was held by the Taliban after leaving his base in Afghanistan in 2009, has pleaded guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. Bergdahl was freed in 2014 in exchange for five Taliban detainees.

Bergdahl, a native of Idaho, pleaded guilty before the military judge in the case, Army Col. Jeffery R. Nance, at a hearing at Fort Bragg, N.C., on Monday, according to The Associated Press.

Updated at 2:30 a.m. ET Tuesday

Iraqi forces took over key positions in the Kurdish city of Kirkuk and nearby oil-rich areas on Monday, after Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said he ordered troops sent in because Iraq is in danger of "partition," citing the Kurdish independence movement.

Abadi also ordered the Kurdish flag to be taken down and the Iraqi flag to be raised in disputed areas — and that's what happened at the governor's office and in other official buildings.

One year after fireworks celebrating Diwali, the religious festival known as the festival of lights, enveloped New Delhi in a thick, choking smog, courts in India have issued bans on fire cracker sales and restrictions on when fireworks can be exploded.

An NCAA infractions panel says that although athletes "likely benefited from the so-called 'paper courses' " for some 18 years at the University of North Carolina, it can't conclude there were violations beyond beyond two employees' failure to cooperate with the investigation.

The university had been facing five Level 1 violations for "severe breaches of contract."

Ian Brady killed five children in the 1960s, in an infamous case of depraved murder. Brady died five months ago, but arguments over disposing of his body only now seem to be over, with a U.K. court saying Brady will be cremated with "no music and no ceremony," rejecting a plan to play the "Witches' Sabbath" portion of Hector Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique.

"We cannot keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders" in Puerto Rico "forever," President Trump said Thursday, hinting at a possible limit on federal aid to the island territory where 3.4 million Americans have struggled to recover from two destructive hurricanes.

Here are the president's comments on the issue, compressed from three consecutive tweets:

Updated at 3:45 p.m. ET

The U.S. Postal Service hasn't abandoned Santa Rosa, Calif., where hundreds of people are coping with total losses of their homes from an explosive wildfire. The scene in Santa Rosa has been compared with an apocalypse — but that didn't stop a mail truck from making the rounds in at least one devastated neighborhood this week.

By failing to reach the World Cup for the first time since 1986, the U.S. men's soccer team has set off shock and surprise — and, depending on where you stand, elation or sadness. It's a huge setback for the squad that fell to Trinidad and Tobago Tuesday night; it is also an upset that set off a wide range of strong reactions.

Updated at 3:15 p.m. ET

Louisiana State University police have issued arrest warrants for 10 students who belonged to the Phi Delta Theta fraternity after an investigation showed that freshman pledge Maxwell Gruver had died last month after a night of playing a drinking game. The charges range from hazing to homicide.

University spokesman Ernie Ballard told NPR in an email that the students turned themselves in to LSU police on Wednesday.

Updated at 11:40 p.m. ET

In the outbreak of powerful and destructive fires that have struck California since Sunday, there are now 22 large wildfires burning in the state. They've caused at least 23 deaths and scorched nearly 170,000 acres, officials said Wednesday.

Updated at 6:17 p.m. ET

At least 15 people have died in intense wildfires that have destroyed thousands of buildings in Northern California, where firefighters are battling 17 large blazes in the state's wine country, including Napa and Sonoma counties. Together, they've burned 115,000 acres, according to Cal Fire.

A Japanese court says the government and Tokyo Electric must compensate people in Fukushima for their suffering in the 2011 nuclear power plant disaster, saying officials should have been prepared for a potentially ruinous tsunami. It's the largest ruling of its kind over the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant.

In holding the government and TEPCO liable in the class-action lawsuit, the Fukushima district court ordered payments totaling nearly $4.5 million to about 3,800 plaintiffs — roughly $1,184 per person.

Charles "Chuck" Svatos hit it big in the Iowa lottery — as Iowa Lottery says, "$25,000 a year for life!" But Svatos, 92, is taking his money in a lump sum, a decision that was presumably made easier because of his age.

By taking the cash option, Svatos received $390,000 — of which the federal government took nearly $100,000 and the state took nearly $20,000, still leaving him with a hefty $273,000, according to Iowa Lottery.

Updated at 2 p.m. ET

A tropical cyclone in the northwestern Caribbean Sea has been upgraded to a named storm, Tropical Storm Nate. The system is likely to become a hurricane in the next three days and could hit the northern Gulf Coast on Sunday morning, forecasters say.

"Residents along the Gulf Coast from Louisiana through the Florida Panhandle should monitor the progress of this system and heed any advice given by local officials," the National Hurricane Center says.

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