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

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, and editing and producing stories for'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.

Next week, it will be easier for people, money, and goods to flow between Cuba and the U.S., which announced a new round of relaxed sanctions Friday. The changes also allow U.S. companies to provide Internet and communications services in Cuba.

The new rules by the Department of the Treasury and the Department of Commerce will take effect Monday.

"This qualifies as huge," John Kavulich, president of the U.S.-Cuba Trade and Economic Council, tells NPR's Michele Kelemen. "We'll see what the Cubans do with it, but from the U.S. side, this is just unprecedented."

"The only way to see a scale model of the solar system," Wylie Overstreet says, "is to build one." So he and a group of friends did just that, tracing out the planets' orbits and then filming a time-lapse video from a nearby mountaintop in Nevada's Black Rock Desert.

After nearly 10,000 refugees and migrants entered Croatia in the past two days, the country has placed its army on alert to deploy on the country's border with Serbia. People who were turned away by Hungary now see Croatia as an alternate route into European Union countries.

Reporting from the Croatia-Serbia border, Lauren Frayer spoke to Jamal al-Shahoud, a refugee from Syria, who told her, "Here no food, no water. No buses, no trains. Nothing here. Just tired."

Lauren reports for our Newscast unit:

The Syrian man who became part of an international story after he was tripped by a camerawoman in Hungary is now in Spain, where a sports organization plans to offer him work. Osama Abdul Mohsen was tripped by a camerawoman as he ran from police, holding his young son.

Arriving in Spain late Wednesday, Mohsen said, "I love you all. Thank you for all. Thank you for España."

Mohsen was part of a crowd of refugees and migrants who were trying to enter Hungary last week, when a videographer put her foot out and tripped him, sending him and his son to the turf.

European telecom giant Altice is buying the largest cable provider in New York City's metropolitan area, agreeing to pay $17.7 billion to acquire Cablevision, the company that was founded in 1973 by the Dolan family.

The total value of the transaction reflects $10 billion in equity (valuing Cablevision at $34.90 a share) and another $7.7 billion in net debt.

After an absence of 17 years, Karin Kanzuki, the Goldilocks lookalike who became an unlikely hit in the long-running Street Fighter video game series in the late '90s, is returning to the game.

In a Democratic mayoral primary race in Bridgeport, Conn., that pitted a former mayor who served a seven-year prison sentence for corruption against a two-term incumbent, Joe Ganim pulled off a surprising comeback Wednesday night.

"Ganim's message that everybody deserves a second chance earned the former felon the endorsement of the city's police union and the support of the FBI agent who'd locked him up," Diane Orson of member station WNPR reports from New Haven.

Updated at 4:20 p.m. ET

Weeks before a scheduled national election to choose a new government, soldiers of Burkina Faso's presidential guard say they've taken over the country. The announcement comes after members of the military arrested the interim president Wednesday.

Expressing his admiration for a high school student's curiosity about science, President Obama has invited Ahmed Mohamed to the White House.

A tweet from the president reads: "Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House? We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It's what makes America great."

Rock fans who are going to Metallica's concert in Quebec City Wednesday will see an unusual sight: a 48-foot tanker truck filled with Metallica-branded beer. Made at the Labatt facility, the beer is to commemorate the band as it opens a large new venue, the Centre Vidéotron.

The Centre Vidéotron says:

"Budweiser has partnered with legendary rock band Metallica to channel the brute force of this historic show and be inspired by its vibrations, its energy and its decibels to create a beer in the image of the power of rock."

A 14-year-old boy says he was just trying to show off his engineering skill when he brought a digital clock he had made to his new high school in Irving, Texas. But Ahmed Mohamed was detained and reportedly suspended from school, after a teacher thought that his clock looked like a bomb.

With Hungary's southern border now sealed, many refugees and other migrants are looking for other ways to reach refuge in northern Europe — and they hope to find an answer in a tricky route through Croatia.

Update at 1 p.m. ET: Tear Gas And Water Cannons At Hungary's Border

With thousands of migrants now bottled up in Serbia after Hungary sealed its border, a tense scene played out after frustrations boiled over Wednesday.

From the border, Lauren Frayer reports for our Newscast unit:

After last week's crane collapse that killed at least 107 people at the Grand Mosque in Mecca, the main developer in the city, the Saudi Binladin Group, is barred from any future projects, according to a statement from Saudi Arabia's Royal Court.

Updated 11:10 p.m. ET

Leaders of Seattle's public school teachers voted Tuesday evening to suspend their week-old strike and return to work on Wednesday. The district's 53,000 students begin classes on Thursday.

The decision follows a tentative contract agreement which will go before the full membership for a vote on Sunday.

The Associated Press reports the plan includes a pay hike:

In a new expansion of commercial efforts to launch earthlings into space, founder and CEO Jeff Bezos plans to build rockets on Florida's Space Coast — in an area he calls "a gateway to humankind's greatest adventures."

Defeating Democrats' attempt to filibuster a large budget shift, Republicans in Alabama's state Senate approved transferring $100 million from the education budget to the general fund to help cover a large deficit.

A critic of the move said his colleagues decided to "rob children" instead of finding the money elsewhere.

That statement came from Sen. Bobby Singleton, D-Greensboro, whose attempt to filibuster the move was cut off by the Republican supermajority.

Saying it has restarted a nuclear facility shut down since 2007, North Korea announced Tuesday that it has also upgraded its nuclear weapons program. The country has been working to restart the Yongbyon reactor since 2013.

The news about the reactor that produces weapons-grade plutonium was announced by the Korean Central News Agency, which says the Yongbyon 5MWe reactor and other facilities have "started normal operation."

With new border control laws taking effect, Hungary has sealed its border with Serbia. Processing areas that were packed with more than 9,300 refugees and other migrants on Monday now stand empty.

Hungary declared a crisis in two southern counties today, as crowds of migrants were halted in Serbia, having missed the midnight deadline before the new and stricter laws took effect.

After Prime Minister Tony Abbott's ouster at the hands of his own party, Australians are marking the controversial leader's sudden exit by posting photos of onions. It's an homage to one of the more puzzling moments of Abbott's reign, when he zestfully ate a raw onion.

"We have begun to build a problem-solving machine," say the members of a governor-appointed panel that has spent months identifying entrenched issues in Ferguson, Mo., and talking with members of the community about ways to tackle those problems.

From eliminating jail time for minor offenses to changing how police are trained and raising the minimum wage, the commission is issuing "calls to action" for Ferguson, for St. Louis and for the state of Missouri that cover broad ground.

After less than two years in office, Tony Abbott's often contentious reign as Australia's leader has ended. Abbott was ousted by his own Liberal Party, which voted to make Malcolm Turnbull its leader after Abbott was dogged by sinking opinion polls.

The vote to unseat Abbott took just over 30 minutes, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. He lost by a 54-44 vote.

A man suspected of killing a state trooper on Interstate 24 has died after he was shot by police in Kentucky. The suspect, Joseph Thomas Johnson-Shanks, 25, was shot after a brief manhunt, according to the Kentucky State Patrol.

It all began Sunday night, when Trooper Cameron Ponder, 31, pulled a car over on I-24. The suspect then drove off, setting off a car chase, police say. After a pursuit of some 10 miles, the chase ended, and Ponder was shot to death in his police car.

Updated 3:15 p.m. ET

An unusually fast-moving wildfire in Northern California's Lake and Napa counties has destroyed at least 400 homes since it started Saturday, officials say. The fire is 5 percent contained; it has injured four firefighters, and authorities are investigating reports of a civilian death.

Updated at 5 p.m. ET

The World No. 1 Serena Williams was upset by the unseeded Roberta Vinci of Italy 2-6, 6-4, 6-4, ending Williams' quest to win the first calendar Grand Slam since 1988.

Favored at 300-1 odds and having never lost a match to the 32-year-old Vinci, Williams seemed destined to move on to the U.S. Open final. When she won the first set 6-2 with relative ease, it looked all but guaranteed that she would find herself in the championship match.

John Richard Moore Jr., who starred in the Our Gang shorts of the 1930s that later became TV's The Little Rascals, has died just days short of his 90th birthday. Moore's busy career as a child actor included scores of films; in one, he shared a kiss with Shirley Temple.

The South Korean man who attacked U.S. Ambassador Mark Lippert in Seoul six months ago has been sentenced to 12 years in prison. Lippert, who had only recently taken the Korea post, received cuts to his face and hand but survived the attack by Kim Ki Jong.

The power-sharing deal that has allowed Catholic nationalists and Protestant unionists to run Northern Ireland since 1998 is in jeopardy, after leading ministers resigned in a political crisis that has deepened amid allegations that members of the Irish Republican Army may be linked to a murder.

First Minister Peter Robinson, the leader of the Democratic Unionist Party, resigned along with three other ministers from the party, leaving a sole DUP politician — Finance Minister Arlene Foster — in place. In a protective measure, Robinson named Foster the acting first minister.

Petra Laszlo, the videographer caught on camera sticking out her leg to trip a migrant as he ran from police while clutching a child to his chest, says she is sorry — and that she's not "heartless." Laszlo says she panicked when she saw people running toward her in a field close to Hungary's border with Serbia.

The airspace around Disneyland is restricted. That's the lesson learned by a company that was set to spray for mosquitoes in Orange County, Calif., Wednesday night — but had to call off the mission because it didn't have a waiver to fly near the theme park.

"A complication arose in the operation regarding permissions to fly over restricted airspace around Disneyland," the Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District says. "The contractor was unable to secure the permission in time to conduct a full operation."

New images of the dwarf planet Ceres give fresh detail to its most intriguing features: a cluster of bright spots that NASA says "gleam with mystery" and are intensely different from anything else on Ceres' surface.

Taken from fewer than 1,000 miles away, the images may finally help NASA figure out what's behind the brightness.