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
6:59 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Baseball Man Don Zimmer Dies, Ending An Epic Sports Career

Don Zimmer, manager of the Chicago Cubs, watches batting practice before the 1990 All-Star game with fellow managers Jim Leyland of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Tony LaRussa of the Oakland Athletics and Roger Craig of the San Francisco Giants at Wrigley Field.
Getty Images Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 9:34 am

His big-league career began in the 1950s and included the most recent Yankees dynasty. Along the way, the word "beloved" was often attached to his name. Baseball — the players, the fans, seemingly the sport itself — is mourning Don Zimmer today, after he died at age 83 Wednesday.

The tributes to the feisty guy with a good sense of humor and a bottomless love for the game are pouring out from all over, proof that he didn't waste any time during his 66 years in baseball. In recent years, Zimmer had been suffering from kidney and heart problems.

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The Two-Way
5:29 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Bergdahl's Hometown Cancels Celebration Of His Return

Hailey, Idaho: A sign announcing the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl outside Zaney's coffee shop, where Bergdahl worked as a teenager. A rally celebrating his return home has been canceled, after organizers received threats of protests and hate mail.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 6:48 am

The news of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's release from five years of captivity had been welcomed as a reason to celebrate in Hailey, Idaho. But organizers of a rally held in Bergdahl's honor while he was a prisoner say they're canceling this year's event, citing backlash over the U.S. deal with the Taliban that freed him.

In recent years, the Bring Back Bowe Rally has been an annual June event in the small town of Hailey, where bikers and POW-MIA support groups gathered to call for his return. Last year's event reportedly drew a crowd of more than 3,000.

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The Two-Way
1:44 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

1 Baby, 3 Parents: Scientists Say Due Date Is In Two Years

A British scientific panel has been reviewing treatments for mitochondrial disease that involve using material from two women and one man with the goal of producing a healthy baby.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 4:17 pm

A new medical technique that could prevent mitochondrial disease would also create babies with three parents, a British health agency says. Officials say the time is coming for a technique that would use material from two women and one man to produce a healthy embryo.

"I think that [two years] is not a bad estimation," Robin Lovell-Badge of the Medical Research Council tells the BBC. "The other sorts of experiments that we thought were necessary, again it will take about two years to complete all of those."

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The Two-Way
8:26 am
Wed June 4, 2014

Germany Opens Formal Inquiry Into Tapping Of Merkel's Phone

German Chancellor Angela Merkel at a session of the Bundestag Lower House of Parliament in Berlin Wednesday. Germany's top federal prosecutor told legislators today that he is opening a formal inquiry into allegations that the NSA tapped her phone.
John MacDougall AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 1:12 pm

Germany's top federal prosecutor is investigating allegations that the U.S. National Security Agency tapped Chancellor Angela Merkel's cellphone. The inquiry won't focus on wide spying activities attributed to the agency, which allegedly included snooping on data connections and companies in Germany.

As newspaper Deutsche Welle reports, the public announcement is a reversal from last week, when it seemed the prosecutor wouldn't pursue the case.

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The Two-Way
7:05 am
Wed June 4, 2014

25 Years After Tiananmen Protests, Chinese Media Keep It Quiet

Chinese paramilitary police stand guard in Tiananmen Square in Beijing on June 4, the 25th anniversary of a violent crackdown on protesters by Chinese troops.
Kevin Frayer Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 12:23 pm

On the 25th anniversary of the massacre that broke up pro-democracy protests in Beijing's Tiananmen Square, China's government is quashing many attempts to mention the fateful date, with heavy security and online monitoring.

"Silence surrounds this anniversary. So, too, does repression," NPR's Louisa Lim reports. "For the first time, activists trying to hold private commemorations have been detained."

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The Two-Way
5:33 am
Wed June 4, 2014

Taliban Release Video Of Handoff That Freed Bergdahl

An image taken from a video obtained from the Voice of Jihad website shows Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl (right) with a Taliban fighter just before he was released to U.S. forces in eastern Afghanistan.
AP

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 10:20 am

A Black Hawk helicopter swoops in to pick up Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in a valley in Afghanistan, in a video of the handover of the American prisoner of war that was posted online early Wednesday. The Pentagon says it's reviewing the video; a spokesman says there's no reason to question its authenticity.

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The Two-Way
10:54 am
Mon June 2, 2014

Mailman Accused Of Stealing 20,000 Pieces Of Mail

A postman has been accused of stealing credit cards, Netflix movies and other items. The U.S. Postal Service says a search of Jeffrey L. Shipley's home found his apartment had bags of mail in it.
Ivana Starcevic iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 12:56 pm

For some folks in Catonsville, Md., it must have seemed like their mail was disappearing into a black hole. Passports, money orders and Mother's Day cards are among the items a U.S. Postal Service worker is accused of stealing in the town near Baltimore.

Officials say mail carrier Jeffrey L. Shipley stole 20,000 items during a postal career that began in 1993.

From The Baltimore Sun:

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The Two-Way
8:56 am
Mon June 2, 2014

Chemical Weapons Law Doesn't Apply To Jilted Lover, Supreme Court Rules

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that an international treaty wasn't meant to be invoked in an assault case in Pennsylvania.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters/Landov

Federal laws that were meant to prevent the international use of chemical weapons can't be applied to a woman who tried to poison her husband's mistress, the Supreme Court has ruled. Carol Anne Bond had smeared toxic chemicals in the hopes that the other woman would develop a rash.

The Supreme Court ruled that the federal law shouldn't have been used to prosecute Bond, as her actions were forbidden under state or local laws. The opinion was written by Chief Justice John Roberts.

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The Two-Way
8:00 am
Mon June 2, 2014

Russia's Smokers Must Take It Outside, As Ban Begins

Women smoke in a Moscow bar in May. Tough new anti-smoking rules took effect Sunday in Russia, banning smoking in bars, restaurants and other public spaces.
Alexander Utkin AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 12:17 pm

It's now illegal to light up in Russia's bars, restaurants and other public spaces, as a national smoking ban went into effect this month. Russian officials say the ban could save 200,000 lives a year in a country known for having many heavy smokers.

In 2009, the Russian Federation consumed 2,786 cigarettes per capita, according to the Tobacco Atlas, put out by the World Lung Foundation.

From Moscow, NPR's Corey Flintoff reports for our Newscast unit:

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The Two-Way
7:32 am
Mon June 2, 2014

EPA Unveils New Proposal Targeting Greenhouse Gases

The EPA is proposing rules that would govern carbon dioxide gas emissions by U.S. power plants. Here, coal is transported via conveyor belt to the coal-fired Jim Bridger Power Plant outside Point of the Rocks, Wyo., in March.
Jim Urquhart Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 9:52 am

New federal regulations announced Monday aim to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by 30 percent by 2030.

The draft proposal from the Environmental Protection Agency has sparked opposition from industry groups who say the changes would be prohibitively expensive. But the proposal's backers say the rules are needed to cut carbon pollution that scientists say contributes to climate change.

Update at 10:45 a.m. ET: Proposed Rule Published

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The Two-Way
5:31 am
Mon June 2, 2014

Spain's King Juan Carlos Will Abdicate In Favor Of Son

Spain's King Juan Carlos signs a document in the Zarzuela Palace, planning his abdication, in this photo released by the Royal Palace. Juan Carlos will be replaced by his son, Crown Prince Felipe.
AP

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 10:54 am

This post was updated at 10:45 a.m. ET

The news comes as something of a surprise: King Juan Carlos of Spain is abdicating and will be succeeded by his 46-year-old son, Crown Prince Felipe.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy made the announcement at a hastily called news conference Monday, saying that Juan Carlos is "convinced that this is the best moment for a change in the leadership of state with complete normalcy," according to El Pais.

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The Two-Way
11:08 am
Fri May 30, 2014

Richard III: Not The Hunchback We Thought He Was?

King Richard III, seen here portrayed by actor Paul Daneman in 1962, has often been described as a hunchback. A new study of his skeleton seeks to set the record straight about the monarch's condition.
John Franks Getty Images

The physical condition of England's King Richard III has been a subject of debate for centuries. Now scientists say 3-D skeletal modeling shows the monarch who lived 500 years ago had a common form of scoliosis and that he's been a victim of spin on a historic scale.

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The Two-Way
8:15 am
Fri May 30, 2014

VA Chief Eric Shinseki Resigns Post, Obama Announces

Eric Shinseki resigned as the head of the Department of Veterans Affairs on Friday, in what President Obama said was a decision spurred by a desire to not distract from efforts to fix the agency's problems. Earlier Friday, Shinseki spoke at a conference in Washington.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 11:10 am

Embattled Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki has resigned his position, hours after saying he would work to fix "systemic" problems in the VA's health care system.

President Obama said Friday that the decision was made so Shinseki wouldn't be a "distraction" from efforts to address the agency's wide-ranging problems.

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The Two-Way
6:34 am
Fri May 30, 2014

National Spelling Bee: Rare Co-Champions, And A Star Online

Ansun Sujoe, of Fort Worth, Texas, and Sriram Hathwar, of Painted Post, N.Y., were named co-champions of the 2014 Scripps National Spelling Bee on Thursday. Their siblings helped them celebrate the first shared title since 1962.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 10:41 am

For the first time in 52 years, the Scripps National Spelling Bee crowned two winners last night, after the final two competitors exhausted the word list. The winners were Sriram Hathwar, an eighth-grader from Painted Post, N.Y., and Ansun Sujoe, a seventh-grader from Fort Worth, Texas.

"I like sharing the victory with someone else," Ansun said. "It's been quite shocking and quite interesting, too. It's very rare."

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The Two-Way
5:48 am
Fri May 30, 2014

NBA Says LA Clippers Sale 'Resolved,' But Sterling Vows To Sue

Los Angeles Clippers co-owner Shelly Sterling (left) has announced a "binding contract" to sell the team to former Microsoft executive Steve Ballmer for $2 billion. Any sale of the team would require the NBA's approval before it is made official.
Mark J. Terrill AP

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 5:49 pm

Shelly Sterling says her family's trust has reached a deal to sell the Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft executive Steve Ballmer for $2 billion. The wife of embattled Clippers owner Donald Sterling issued a news release announcing a "binding contract" Thursday night.

"I am delighted that we are selling the team to Steve, who will be a terrific owner," Shelly Sterling said in the news release. "We have worked for 33 years to build the Clippers into a premiere NBA franchise. I am confident that Steve will take the team to new levels of success."

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The Two-Way
10:33 am
Thu May 29, 2014

LeBron James And Lance Stephenson Share Odd And Quiet Moment In NBA Game

Lance Stephenson blows into Lebron James' ear during their playoff game Wednesday night.
YouTube

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 1:05 pm

There are many ways to psych out an opponent. The Indiana Pacers' Lance Stephenson went the unconventional route last night, softly blowing into LeBron James' ear during a pause late in their playoff game.

"He didn't just do that," James' face seems to say.

"Yes I did," Stephenson's expression answers.

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The Two-Way
8:52 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Former Army Chief Cruises To Win In Egypt's Presidential Election

A picture taken in Cairo shows ballots sitting on a table as polling station officials count votes in the country's presidential election. Former army chief Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi is projected to be the overwhelming winner.
Marwan Naamani AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 12:47 pm

Egypt's former army chief Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi will be its next president, according to preliminary results from the country's three-day election that was held this week. The overwhelming victory for Sisi over left-wing candidate Hamdeen Sabahi had been widely expected.

From Cairo, NPR's Leila Fadel reports for our Newscast unit:

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The Two-Way
8:15 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Downed Ukraine Helicopter Had General On Board; 14 Die In Attack

Black smoke rises from the spot where a Ukrainian army helicopter was shot down outside Slovyansk, Ukraine, on Thursday. Rebels shot the craft down amid heavy fighting around the eastern city.
Alexander Zemlianichenko AP

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 1:16 pm

Militants in Ukraine shot down a military helicopter near the eastern city of Slovyansk Wednesday, killing 14 soldiers that included an Army general. The incident comes days after Ukraine stepped up its operations against pro-Russian rebels this week.

From Kiev, NPR's Peter Kenyon reports for our Newscast unit:

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The Two-Way
7:40 am
Thu May 29, 2014

U.S. GDP Fell 1 Percent; First Drop In 3 Years

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 11:39 am

Revising its early numbers for the first quarter of 2014, the Commerce Department says the U.S. economy shrank by 1 percent at an annualized rate. Last month, estimates of the quarter's gross domestic product had shown a small gain of 0.1 percent.

Government analysts blame the slump on "a significant decline in inventory investment," especially among car dealerships. They also say U.S. exports declined along with spending on housing and government programs.

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The Two-Way
6:55 am
Thu May 29, 2014

'Oh My Jesus!': Shots Fired During NPR Interview In Chicago

Police cordon off the area around a shooting in Chicago Wednesday. The violence broke out down the street from where NPR's David Schaper was conducting an interview about urban renewal efforts.
David Schaper NPR

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 12:41 pm

An NPR interview in Chicago included an all-too-real example of the city's violence when a burst of gunfire erupted down the street from where NPR's David Schaper was conducting an interview Wednesday. He had been speaking to a neighborhood activist when a gunman opened fire nearby.

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The Two-Way
5:31 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Judge Halts Ohio Executions, Citing Drug Controversy

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 11:33 am

A federal judge has put Ohio's next two scheduled executions on hold, saying he needs more information about the state's proposed changes to its lethal injection process.

A scarcity of the drugs that were once commonly used to carry out U.S. executions has complicated the lethal injection process — and has prompted several death row inmates to challenge whether Ohio and other states are violating the Constitution's protections against cruel and unusual punishment.

From Ohio Public Radio, Karen Kasler reports for our Newscast unit:

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The Two-Way
5:10 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Search For Flight MH370 Black Boxes Ends; 'Pings' In Dispute

The Australian ship Ocean Shield, seen here earlier this month, has been ordered back to its dock, after a search for the black boxes of a missing Malaysian airliner ended without finding anything.
Paul Kane Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 12:02 pm

The underwater search for black boxes from a missing Malaysian Airlines jet has ended, as the robotic sub that searched nearly 330 square miles of the ocean hasn't found anything to back the idea that "pings" detected in that area came from emergency equipment.

Search and salvage teams will now assess where they should look next for the jet's remains, after Australia's Joint Agency Coordination Center said that "no signs of aircraft debris have been found" by the American Bluefin-21 robotic sub.

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The Two-Way
2:03 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Church Group Announces Boycott Of NPR Over 'Tell Me More' Cancellation

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 2:43 pm

The National Black Church Initiative is calling for its members not to give money to NPR in response to the cancellation of Tell Me More, the nationally syndicated show that the company plans to stop producing after July.

"This cancellation disheartens us deeply," NBCI President Rev. Anthony Evans said in a statement. "Tell Me More is a brilliantly formatted radio program that showcases a multitude of viewpoints."

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The Two-Way
8:37 am
Wed May 28, 2014

Son Of Late Snake-Handling Pastor Is Bitten By Rattlesnake

Boxes housing snakes sit on the floor of the Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus Name in Middlesboro, Ky.
NGT

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 10:45 am

Snake-handling is a tradition for the Coots family of Kentucky. But months after taking over for his father to lead a Pentecostal church, Cody Coots says he was bitten this week. His father, Jamie, died of a poisonous snakebite in February.

The family has been featured on a reality TV show, as the Two-Way reported:

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The Two-Way
7:08 am
Wed May 28, 2014

In NBC Interview, Snowden Says He Was 'Trained As A Spy'

Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden spoke to NBC's Nightly News anchor Brian Williams in Moscow last week.
NBC Nightly News

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 1:26 pm

Seeking to correct what he calls "misleading" statements about his work for U.S. government agencies, former NSA contractor Edward Snowden tells NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams he "was trained as a spy" and worked for several.

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The Two-Way
5:58 am
Wed May 28, 2014

Google's New Car Lacks A Steering Wheel (And Brakes)

An image released by Google Tuesday shows an early version of its driverless vehicle. The company has built several prototypes of the self-driving car.
Google

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 7:43 am

Google gave us an update on its driverless car project Tuesday, posting video and images of people trying out its self-driving car. The tech company built three prototypes from scratch, creating compact cars that look like they're on an extreme no-options diet. For now, their top speed is 25 mph.

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The Two-Way
5:22 am
Wed May 28, 2014

Ukraine Promises To Crush Insurgency; Chechnya Denies Sending Troops

Coal miners rally in Donetsk, Ukraine, Wednesday. The miners have gone on strike to demand Ukrainian troops and other forces leave the region, where fighting has left dozens dead this week.
Ivan Sekretarev AP

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 5:25 am

Chechnya's leader says the country hasn't sent fighters to join rebels in eastern Ukraine, denying a charge that gained substance after Chechens were reportedly found in the aftermath of recent fighting in Donetsk. Ukraine is continuing its offensive against the rebels.

Ukraine's President-elect Petro Poroshenko says he will crush the pro-Russian insurgency, promising to step up operations against armed men who have occupied buildings and set up barricades.

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The Two-Way
9:44 am
Tue May 27, 2014

Florida's IQ Limit For Death Penalty Isn't Constitutional, Supreme Court Says

Florida death row inmate Freddie Lee Hall challenged the state's use of an IQ cutoff to determine mental disability. The Supreme Court sided with him on Tuesday, saying Florida's law doesn't take standard errors of measurement into account.
Florida Department of Corrections/AP

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 2:53 pm

A Florida law that sets an IQ test score of 70 as a minimum in determining who's eligible for the death penalty is unconstitutional, the Supreme Court says. In a reversal of a state court's decision, the justices say Florida's rule ignores norms in the psychiatric profession. The opinion also cites the Eighth Amendment, which bars cruel and unusual punishment.

"Florida set a hard-line rule that the death penalty could not be imposed on convicted felons whose IQ is 70 or below," NPR's Washington desk says in its summary of the case.

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The Two-Way
7:27 am
Tue May 27, 2014

Soldiers Arrest Thai Politician As He Speaks Out Against Coup

Former Thai Education Minister Chaturon Chaisang (center) was detained by soldiers after speaking at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Thailand in Bangkok on Tuesday.
Apichart Weerawong AP

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 5:12 pm

A former minister of Thailand's ousted Cabinet was detained Tuesday at a news conference at which he criticized the coup that took control of the country last week. The arrest comes as another detained official — ousted Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra — was released.

From Bangkok, Michael Sullivan reports for our Newscast unit:

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The Two-Way
5:52 am
Tue May 27, 2014

Ukraine Retakes Airport, After Airstrikes And Dozens Of Deaths

A pro-Russian fighter takes position behind a car as a truck full of rebel fighters heads toward a battle with Ukrainian forces near the airport in Donetsk Monday. The rebels say more than 30 of their number were killed in the violence.
Fabio Bucciarelli AFP/Getty Images

Pro-Russian rebels who had taken over an international airport in Donetsk have been pushed back, Ukraine's government says. Violent clashes erupted Monday and Tuesday; at least 35 people have died.

From Kiev, NPR's Peter Kenyon reports for our Newscast unit:

"The battle for Donetsk airport appears to symbolize the government's tougher stance on the pro-Russian insurgents in the east. Using fighter jets and helicopter gunships, the military says it has retaken control of the airport, though rebels dispute that claim.

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