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 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 1:35 p.m. ET

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.

The Swedish Academy has chosen Kazuo Ishiguro as the winner of the Nobel Prize in literature Thursday morning, in an event that began at 7 a.m. ET. You can watch it online.

The academy's citation for Ishiguro said he is a writer "who, in novels of great emotional force, has uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world."

A new tropical depression has formed in the southwestern Caribbean Sea — and it is expected to develop into a hurricane before possibly hitting the U.S. Gulf Coast late this weekend, the National Hurricane Center says.

The 2017 Nobel Prize in chemistry has been awarded to researchers Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank and Richard Henderson for their work that developed cryo-electron microscopy, which the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences says "both simplifies and improves the imaging of biomolecules."

Updated: 6:56pm ET

Police are still trying to determine what motivated Stephen Paddock to rain gunfire on some 22,000 music fans along the Las Vegas Strip on Sunday night. The attack left 59 people dead and more than 500 people were injured, in the worst mass shooting in recent U.S. history.

In an afternoon news conference, Las Vegas Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said that the number of injured, reported at 527 yesterday, has "decreased slightly...maybe 20, because we had a double count error occurring at one of the hospitals."

The deadliest mass shooting in recent U.S. history has renewed conversations about America's gun laws, after one man strafed a country music festival from a high-rise hotel in Las Vegas on Sunday. The attack prompted a musician who played at the festival to say he's changed his mind — and that the U.S. needs new gun control.

Three colleagues, Rainer Weiss, Barry C. Barish, and Kip S. Thorne, have won the 2017 Nobel Prize in physics, for their contributions to work that led to the observation of gravitational waves — something that happened for the first time in 2015.

Speaking of decades of trial and error that preceded their discovery, Weiss said Tuesday, "It's very, very exciting that it worked out in the end."

Weiss spoke by phone to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, roughly one hour after he had been woken up by Secretary General Göran K. Hansson.

Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W. Young are the joint winners of the 2017 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine, winning for their discoveries about how internal clocks and biological rhythms govern human life.

The three Americans won "for their discoveries of molecular mechanisms controlling the circadian rhythm," the Nobel Foundation says.

Barbuda was the first place Hurricane Irma made landfall as the Category 5 storm devastated a string of islands in the Caribbean earlier this month. As of noon ET on Friday — 24 days after the storm destroyed much of the island — Barbuda's evacuation order was officially lifted.

After racial slurs were scrawled outside black students' doors at the U.S. Air Force Academy's preparatory school, Superintendent Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria gathered all 4,000 cadets in a hall Thursday so they could hear one message: Treat people with dignity and respect — or get out.

It's been nearly a year since Turkey detained American pastor Andrew Brunson — and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says if the U.S. wants Brunson freed, it should extradite an elderly Turkish cleric living in the U.S., whom Erdogan accuses of organizing last year's failed coup attempt.

"Erdogan has voiced frustration with American demands for more evidence pointing to Gulen's involvement in the coup effort," NPR's Peter Kenyon reports from Istanbul.

The Supreme Court added 11 cases to its term that begins next week, agreeing to hear a pivotal case on unions that represent government employees. Other cases involve a range of topics, from searches by police to overtime pay for car dealership service advisers.

The newly accepted cases were announced Thursday morning — and so far, the union case, Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, is attracting the most attention.

Equifax is promising consumers new control over access to their personal credit data — for free, and for life — as interim CEO Paulino do Rego Barros Jr. apologized to people affected by the company's recent data breach. He said the company had failed to live up to expectations.

"On behalf of Equifax, I want to express my sincere and total apology," Barros wrote in an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal.

Thousands of people are trying to get off of Ambae island in the South Pacific nation of Vanuatu, where a volcano's increasing activity has created fears of a strong eruption. Some 11,000 people live on the island.

As of Thursday, some 8,000 people had crowded into evacuation centers on Ambae, emergency officials said. Authorities then expanded the effort to a complete evacuation, saying residents and families would be taken to three nearby islands.

The mass exodus is being carried out primarily via boats; it might not be complete until next Friday, Oct. 6, officials say.

Hours after U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis arrived in Afghanistan's capital for an unannounced visit Wednesday, militant fighters fired several rockets that exploded at or near Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul. No injuries have been reported.

Mattis is visiting Afghanistan along with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, to discuss security plans and training in the country.

NPR's Tom Bowman, who is traveling with Mattis, reports:

Thailand's Supreme Court imposed a five-year prison sentence on former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, nearly one month after she became a fugitive and the court issued an arrest warrant over charges of criminal negligence.

Shinawatra, who pleaded not guilty to the charges that carried a 10-year maximum, is believed to have fled the country.

A military coup removed Shinawatra from office in 2014. She faced negligence charges over her government's handling of rice deals with Chinese state enterprises that cost Thailand billions of dollars.

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