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.

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The Two-Way
10:29 am
Wed March 4, 2015

Born In 1898: World's Oldest Living Person Celebrates Birthday

Misao Okawa, the world's oldest living person, poses for a photo with her son Hiroshi Okawa, 92, left, and other family members and friends on her 117th birthday celebration at Kurenai Nursing Home in Osaka, Japan.
Buddhika Weerasinghe Getty Images

It's now past midnight in Japan, meaning that Misao Okawa, the world's oldest human being, has officially turned 117. She was born on March 5, 1898, and now lives in a retirement home in Osaka.

Okawa has reigned as the world's oldest living person since 2013, when Guinness World Records certified that she was 115.

Okawa celebrated her birthday by eating cake and taking photos with her family, which includes several great-grandchildren.

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The Two-Way
9:12 am
Wed March 4, 2015

Man's Identity Questioned In LAPD Skid Row Shooting

Protesters gather in front of the Los Angeles Police Department Headquarters Tuesday, to express anger over the fatal shooting of an unarmed homeless man Sunday.
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 4, 2015 9:48 am

New details have emerged in the case of a homeless man who was killed by Los Angeles police Sunday, as officials say he was the subject of a federal warrant related to violating probation. There's also word that he lived under a stolen identity; for now, his true name is a mystery.

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The Two-Way
8:26 am
Wed March 4, 2015

For U.S. Children, Minorities Will Be The Majority By 2020, Census Says

The Census Bureau predicts shifts in the U.S. over the coming years, with a more diverse — and older — population.
U.S. Census Bureau

America is heading toward the day when whites will no longer make up the majority of the population. And U.S. children will get there soon, according to a new U.S. Census Bureau report. The agency also says the overall U.S. population will grow older — and grow more slowly — in coming years.

By around 2020, "more than half of the nation's children are expected to be part of a minority race or ethnic group," the Census Bureau says, putting Americans under the age of 18 at the front of a trend that will see the overall population follow suit some 20 years later.

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The Two-Way
7:02 am
Wed March 4, 2015

Boston Marathon Bombing Trial Begins For Dzokhar Tsarnaev

In this courtroom sketch, Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, third from right, is depicted with his lawyers and U.S. District Judge George O'Toole Jr., as O'Toole addresses a pool of potential jurors. The trial begins Wednesday.
Michael Dwyer AP

Originally published on Wed March 4, 2015 9:46 am

The trial of accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzokhar Tsarnaev begins in earnest Wednesday, with opening statements in a capital trial that's expected to last several months. It took nearly two months to seat a jury.

The 18 jurors (including 6 alternates) will hear and see what prosecutors say is irrefutable evidence of Tsarnaev's role in the notorious twin bombings that killed three people and injured more than 260, as well as in the events that followed, in which a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer was also killed.

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The Two-Way
11:33 am
Tue March 3, 2015

David Petraeus Enters Into Plea Deal With Justice Department

Former CIA Director and retired four-star Gen. David Petraeus speaks at the University of Southern California on March 26, 2013, his first public speech after resigning as CIA director.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 3, 2015 1:17 pm

Former CIA Director and retired Gen. David Petraeus, whose military career has been overshadowed by charges that he provided classified data to his mistress, has made a deal with the Justice Department in which he will plead guilty to one count of unauthorized removal and retention of classified material.

The deal will allow Petraeus, who rose to the rank of a four-star general before becoming director of the CIA, to avoid a trial and plead guilty to a misdemeanor. He'll also avoid a prison sentence, if a federal court agrees with the plea deal's terms.

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The Two-Way
10:29 am
Tue March 3, 2015

Hillary Clinton's Use Of Personal Email At State Department Raises Questions

Hillary Clinton, seen here in 2011 during her tenure as secretary of state, used a personal email account instead of an official government account.
POOL Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue March 3, 2015 1:33 pm

During her four years as secretary of state, Hillary Clinton did not use a State Department email account, opting instead to conduct official business through a personal email account that wasn't then and is not now under the government's control.

The arrangement circumvented a federal process that could have automatically preserved Clinton's email communications in government archives.

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The Two-Way
8:22 am
Tue March 3, 2015

With Iran's Help, Iraqi Force Pushes Toward ISIS-Held Tikrit

Iraqi security forces and Shiite fighters fire artillery during clashes with ISIS militants in Salahuddin province. The push to retake Tikrit is being aided by Iran, which is providing rockets and other support to Iraq.
THAIER AL-SUDANI Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue March 3, 2015 6:31 pm

The new Iraqi effort to retake Tikrit from the self-styled Islamic State, or ISIS, brought fierce fighting to areas around the city Tuesday. A local source says that Iran, which has already been aiding Iraq with artillery and intelligence support, has sent fighters to help seize Tikrit.

NPR's Alice Fordham reports:

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The Two-Way
7:11 am
Tue March 3, 2015

LAPD Shooting Update: Two Body Cameras And A Gun Malfunction

People view a memorial to a man killed by police on Skid Row in Los Angeles. The police say two officers who were at the scene were wearing body cameras.
LUCY NICHOLSON Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue March 3, 2015 3:00 pm

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Police Chief Charlie Beck are calling for calm and patience as three investigations are underway into the police killing of a homeless man Sunday. Police say the man "forcibly grabbed" an officer's gun before he was shot to death.

Beck called the incident a tragedy that followed a "brutal, brutal fight."

The police confrontation with a man known as Afrika was filmed by at least two eyewitnesses. A dramatic video sparked criticism of the police, as it showed several officers attempting to hold him down before shots rang out.

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The Two-Way
2:55 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Cuteness Break: The Genial Quokka Steals Scenes And Hearts

A photo from the Taronga Zoo shows a 6-month-old quokka, a marsupial that's a hit on social media.
Taronga Zoo EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 8:33 pm

We'll get back to the day's serious news soon — but for now, we wanted to be sure you're aware of the insanely cute quokka, a small furry animal that in recent months has become a favorite photo partner in Australia.

The quokka had a flurry of fame in 2013, when it was called "the happiest animal in the world" due to the natural (and photogenic) curl of its mouth and what seems to be a friendly nature. Now people are taking photos with the marsupial that lives in southwestern Australia.

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The Two-Way
11:34 am
Mon March 2, 2015

Nasdaq Index Hits 5,000 For First Time Since 2000

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 7:23 pm

Updated at 4:27 p.m. ET

The Nasdaq composite index returned to territory it hasn't seen since the heyday of the dot-com boom, closing above the 5,000 mark Monday. The index hit the mark nearly 15 years to the day since it surpassed the 5,000 mark on March 9, 2000.

We'll note that the index didn't have far to rise from Friday's close of 4,963.53.

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The Two-Way
10:20 am
Mon March 2, 2015

Video Shows LA Police Shot And Killed Man On Sidewalk

A cellphone video captured the deadly struggle between Los Angeles police officers and a man on a city sidewalk (in background). Seconds after this image appears in the video, shots were fired that killed the man, a robbery suspect.
Anthony Blackburn Facebook

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 1:46 pm

An altercation Sunday in Los Angeles in which police killed a man in the Skid Row area is putting new scrutiny on law enforcement's use of deadly force. Police say the man tried to grab an officer's weapon. A dramatic video posted online shows the man was on the ground struggling with officers when he was shot.

The LAPD says two officers sustained minor injuries and were treated and released. Police say three officers fired their weapons.

Here's a summary of what happened:

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The Two-Way
8:53 am
Mon March 2, 2015

Netanyahu In Washington For Controversial Speech To Congress

A handout image provided by the Israeli Government Press Office shows Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife, Sarah, leaving Tel Aviv on their way to Washington Sunday.
Handout Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 3, 2015 12:38 pm

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in Washington, D.C., where he'll deliver a speech to Congress Tuesday — an event that's causing debate both in the U.S. and Israel. The leader's plans were made without consulting the White House; he will not meet with President Obama during the visit.

Netanyahu will appear Monday morning at the annual conference of AIPAC, a powerful pro-Israeli lobby, where he's expected to urge the U.S. to impose sanctions on Iran instead of making a deal over the country's nuclear ambitions.

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The Two-Way
6:51 am
Mon March 2, 2015

Iraq Launches Effort To Retake Tikrit From ISIS Fighters

Members of Iraqi security forces drive toward an area south of Tikrit, Iraq, over the weekend. An Iraqi force has launched a military offensive, hoping to push ISIS out of Tikrit.
AHMAD AL-RUBAYE AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 4:43 pm

An Iraqi force has begun a large-scale operation to recapture Tikrit, according to state TV. Tikrit, the hometown of Saddam Hussein, lies between Baghdad and Mosul, a city in northern Iraq that's in the heart of territory claimed by the self-proclaimed Islamic State.

The push is relying on artillery and airstrikes, as well as militia that reportedly include both Shiite and Sunni fighters.

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The Two-Way
2:00 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

5 Quotes From Earl Lloyd, The First Black Player In The NBA

Earl Lloyd, who became the first black player to play in the NBA in 1950, died Thursday at 86. He's seen here (center) being inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame's Honors Ring in 2003.
Jim Bourg Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 7:31 pm

Earl Lloyd, who became the first black player in the NBA nearly 65 years ago, died Thursday at age 86.

Lloyd had a long career that stretched from West Virginia State to basketball's Hall of Fame. He once told a young man who thanked him for being a pioneer, "Man, you owe me absolutely nothing."

As a player, the 6-foot-5-inch Lloyd was nicknamed The Big Cat. He was drafted in the same year as other black players, but he was the first to play in the regular season, for the then-Washington Capitols.

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The Two-Way
9:32 am
Fri February 27, 2015

9 People Found Dead In Southern Missouri

Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 11:20 am

Police say a gunman is among nine people found dead in south-central Missouri, following a series of shootings in multiple locations Thursday night. The man was 36; police say he died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The attacks happened in Texas County, Mo., and the gunman's body was found in nearby Shannon County. Police say an elderly woman whose body was found in a residence seems to have died from natural causes. Seven other people died of gunshot wounds; one person who was wounded is in the hospital.

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The Two-Way
8:48 am
Fri February 27, 2015

Congress Agrees To Maintain Homeland Security Funding — For A Week

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio walks to the House chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Friday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 10:44 pm

(This post was last updated at 9:55 p.m. ET.)

With just hours before the Department of Homeland Security would have run out of funding, the GOP-controlled House voted to approve a week-long funding extension that both sides hope will provide time needed to find a full solution through the end of the fiscal year.

The House immediately adjourned following the 357-60 vote.

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The Two-Way
7:51 am
Fri February 27, 2015

More Details On 'Jihadi John': Early Run-Ins And Radicalization

A playground can be seen outside an address in London where Kuwaiti-born London computer programmer Mohammed Emwazi is believed to have lived. Emwazi has been identified as masked ISIS militant "Jihadi John."
Niklas Halle'n AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 3:58 pm

More details are emerging about Mohammed Emwazi, the man identified as the militant seen in beheading videos released by the self-styled Islamic State. His name came out Thursday.

Emwazi is a British citizen who was born in Kuwait and grew up in West London. He reportedly graduated from the University of Westminster with a degree in computer programming.

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The Two-Way
12:06 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

FCC Approves Net Neutrality Rules For 'Open Internet'

At the start of a meeting to decide the issue of net neutrality, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler (center) holds hands with FCC Commissioners Mignon Clyburn (left) and Jessica Rosenworcel at the FCC headquarters Thursday.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 6:27 pm

The Federal Communications Commission approved the policy known as net neutrality by a 3-2 vote at its Thursday meeting, with FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler saying the policy will ensure "that no one — whether government or corporate — should control free open access to the Internet."

The Open Internet Order helps to decide an essential question about how the Internet works, requiring service providers to be a neutral gateway instead of handling different types of Internet traffic in different ways — and at different costs.

"Today is a red-letter day," Wheeler said Thursday.

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The Two-Way
10:19 am
Thu February 26, 2015

NASA Sees 'Bright Spots' On Dwarf Planet In Our Solar System

An image of Ceres taken by NASA's Dawn spacecraft shows that the brightest spot on the dwarf planet has a dimmer companion.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 4:50 pm

Scientists are puzzled by a new image taken by NASA's Dawn spacecraft, which found two bright spots on the dwarf planet Ceres. The spots are noticeably brighter than other parts of the surface, which looks to be rocky and pockmarked.

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The Two-Way
8:13 am
Thu February 26, 2015

Ukraine Starts Withdrawing Heavy Weapons From Front Lines

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 8:13 pm

A cease-fire that seemed on the verge of collapse is showing signs of taking hold in Ukraine, where the government says it's withdrawing artillery weapons from the front lines of battle with Russian-backed separatists and their allies. The news comes as combat deaths have fallen to zero.

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