Bill Chappell

Bill Chappell is a writer and producer on the Newsdesk, in the heart of NPR's newsroom in Washington, D.C.

Chappell's work at NPR has ranged from being the site's first full-time homepage editor to being the lead writer and editor for online coverage of several Olympic Games, from London 2012 to Pyeongchang 2018. 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 the past, Chappell 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.

In 2009, Chappell was a key editorial member of the small team that redesigned NPR's web site. One year later, 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, Chappell was part of 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 on major events.

Chappell's work for CNN included editing digital video and producing web stories for He also edited and produced 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, Chappell attended graduate school for English Literature at the University of South Carolina.

China is reporting its fastest economic growth in seven years, saying its gross domestic product grew by 6.9 percent in 2017. It's the first time since 2010 that the speed of China's economic growth went up rather than edging down.

In releasing the number Thursday, the National Bureau of Statistics of China said, "The economy has achieved stable and healthy development."

The State Department is withholding $65 million it planned to send to the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees, calling for reforms and for other nations to step up their support — especially those that criticize the Trump administration's positions regarding Palestinians and Israel.

The details of how North Korea will participate in the upcoming Winter Olympics in South Korea are still being worked out, but the two countries say their athletes will march together at the opening ceremony, under a unification flag.

The two countries will also form a unified women's hockey team to compete at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in February, NPR's Elise Hu reports from Seoul. In addition, North Korea will send a cheering squad of 230 people to support athletes who make the trip.

A new gun law in Washington state that lets domestic violence survivors find out if their abusers illegally attempt to buy a gun is detailing the number of failed background checks, with officials reporting 1,231 denied applications — including 71 by people who are named in active protective orders.

Arizona Republican Joe Arpaio, the former Maricopa County sheriff who became famous for his controversial stance on immigration, has announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate, saying he wants to join Congress so he can help President Trump.

Arpaio made the announcement in a tweet on Tuesday, contending that helping Trump was his "one unwavering reason" for running.

Japanese kayaker Yasuhiro Suzuki says his desperation to compete in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics led him to lace a fellow countryman's drink with an anabolic steroid — and now he's been banned for eight years. Before Suzuki admitted the plot, his rival Seiji Komatsu had been banned.

Komatsu's ban was overturned on Tuesday, after the Japan Anti-Doping Agency found that Suzuki had laced Komatsu's water bottle with a banned substance at the 2017 Canoe Sprint Japan Championships last fall. Komatsu failed a doping test at the event, part of the Olympics qualifying process.

Citing the popularity of Apple's phones and tablets among children and teenagers, two large investors say the company should do more to help parents protect their kids from the risks of digital addiction and the side effects of social media.

Together, California's teacher pension fund, or CalSTRS, and the Jana Partners investment group own more than $2 billion in Apple stock. In a letter to the tech giant's board, they're calling on Apple to give parents options beyond a "binary" system in which tools and functions are either freely available or closed off.

Updated at 1 p.m. ET

The Trump administration says it will end the temporary protected status that has allowed some 200,000 natives of El Salvador to live in the U.S. without fear of deportation for nearly 17 years, the Department of Homeland Security says.

In announcing the designation's end, DHS Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen also said she's extending it for another 18 months, to Sept. 9, 2019 — a delay that her agency says is to ensure "an orderly transition."

An armed man who stopped an Amtrak train in Nebraska is facing a terrorism charge after the FBI discovered ties to "an 'alt-right' Neo-Nazi group," a cache of weapons and allegations that the suspect, Taylor Michael Wilson, had talked about a desire to kill black people.

Federal authorities have filed a terrorism charge against Wilson, 26, of St. Charles, Mo., who was arrested in October after Amtrak personnel said he entered a restricted area of a train and applied the emergency brake in Furnas County, Neb.

The U.S. economy added 148,000 jobs in December, the Labor Department says, issuing the monthly jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate was 4.1 percent, unchanged from November.

Analysts had predicted the Labor Department report would show another month of solid job gains. But it's a sharp dropoff from the revised November result of more than 250,000 jobs.

The city of Fort Collins, Colo., will build a system to deliver "high speed next-generation broadband to the entire community," after its City Council enacted a ballot initiative that voters approved in November. The move comes despite resistance from cable and telecom companies.

Aurora, a startup company led by three veterans of Google, Tesla, and Uber, has signed deals with both Volkswagen and Hyundai with the goal of putting autonomous vehicle technology on the market within three years — and doing so "quickly, broadly and safely."

The partnerships will pair Aurora's sensors and software — its machine learning and artificial intelligence technology — with two companies that together produce more than 15 million vehicles each year.

Self-driving Hyundai models will be on the market by 2021, the company says.

Updated at 2:15 a.m. ET Thursday

Steve Bannon, President Trump's former chief strategist, once called a now-famous meeting among Donald Trump Jr., campaign chairman Paul Manafort, Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner and a group of Russians "treasonous," according to accounts of an upcoming book.

Chinese billionaire Jack Ma's yearlong effort to buy U.S. money transfer company MoneyGram is now over, after American regulators objected to the $1.2 billion deal. Ma's Ant Financial Services Group has dropped its bid for the Dallas-based company.

Announcing the spiked merger, MoneyGram CEO Alex Holmes said, "The geopolitical environment has changed considerably since we first announced the proposed transaction with Ant Financial nearly a year ago."

Updated at 12:50 p.m. ET

After publishing images of a visit to Japan's "suicide forest" that included footage of a dead body, YouTube star Logan Paul is apologizing — and critics are denouncing both the video and Logan's behavior in it. The video was watched millions of times before he removed it.

A week after admitting to intentionally slowing down older iPhones without telling customers, Apple is apologizing and slashing $50 off its normal $79 price to put a new battery into old phones.

"We know that some of you feel Apple has let you down. We apologize," the company said in announcing the change. It added that there has been "a lot of misunderstanding about this issue."

South Korea has seized a Hong Kong-flagged vessel under suspicions that it illegally transferred oil to North Korea, in violation of U.N. sanctions. The vessel, the Lighthouse Winmore, was seized one month after it allegedly ferried oil, South Korean media report.

Such ship-to-ship transfers are prohibited by a U.N. Security Council Resolution that was adopted in September, part of a suite of sanctions that target North Korea over its nuclear and missile programs.

Updated at 3:58 p.m. ET

A terrorist attack targeted a Christian church south of Cairo on Friday, killing at least nine people, Egyptian officials say. The assailant was apprehended after a gun battle that killed at least one police officer.

In a statement on its Amaq media outlet, ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack. It said the shooting was committed by an ISIS "security detachment."

"Bitter cold" is gripping a broad swath of the U.S., the National Weather Service warns, with dangerous wind chills and other hazards. Freezing temperatures are common across the Southern U.S. this week; in the North, multiple states report subzero conditions.

States are declaring emergencies and cities are working to extend their shelter capacity. And at all levels, officials are telling people to stay inside unless they absolutely must be outdoors.

Explosions caused what Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's office calls "a massacre" in a Shiite area in Kabul on Thursday. The attack targeted civilians at a cultural center and affected a nearby news agency. At least 41 people died, and dozens more are wounded.

"Local media reported there were two suicide bombers," NPR's Diaa Hadid reports from Islamabad. "One of them detonated his explosives at the gate of a Shiite cultural center — the blast also damaged an Iranian-owned news agency."

Updated at 2:20 p.m. ET

Republican Roy Moore's upset loss to Democrat Doug Jones is now official, after Alabama's State Canvassing Board certified the results of the special election for a seat in the U.S. Senate early Thursday afternoon.

"I am looking forward to going to work for the people of Alabama in the new year," Sen.-elect Jones said in a statement. "As I said on election night, our victory marks a new chapter for our state and the nation."

Tesla founder Elon Musk says his company will build an electric pickup truck, feeding interest among the entrepreneur's fans and sparking speculation about when it might be produced. Tesla is still working to get several vehicles to market, including its Roadster and Semi.

Musk made the remark on Twitter, responding to a request for a pickup truck by saying, "I promise that we will make a pickup truck right after Model Y."

California regulators say Nestle may have to stop collecting a large portion of the water it bottles from the San Bernardino National Forest, because it lacks the legal permits for millions of gallons of water. Nestle sells the water under the Arrowhead label.

The State Water Board says that of the 62.6 million gallons of water that Nestle says it extracted from the San Bernardino spring each year on average from 1947 to 2015, the company may only have a right to some 8.5 million gallons. Those numbers come from a nearly two-year investigation.

The Virginia State Board of Elections has postponed a drawing that would have broken a tie in the state's recent election, after Democrats asked a court to review the awarding of a single vote that left the tally even rather than wresting the House of Delegates from Republicans' sole control.

"Drawing names is an action of last resort," elections board Chairman James Alcorn said. And with new court procedures underway, he said, other options are still available.

From shocking science news to human tragedies and political surprises, NPR's readers embraced a wide range of stories in 2017. Through hundreds of millions of pageviews, our audience followed along as the year presented news like we've never seen before.

Here are the most-viewed stories of in 2017:






Confirming iPhone owners' suspicions that Apple purposefully slows the operation of older phones, Apple says that it does just that — and that slowing down processors makes it easier for old batteries to perform after they've begun to lose capacity.

A fire in a large commercial building in central South Korea killed at least 29 people on Thursday, after flames raged through the structure that houses a sauna, a gym, and other recreational facilities. The blaze struck in Jecheon, in central South Korea.

"The fire engulfed an eight-story building and trapped dozens inside," NPR's Elise Hu reports from Seoul. "At least 15 of the dead were trapped in a second floor sauna, fire officials told reporters on the scene. This single fire represents 10 percent of all fire deaths in South Korea annually."

The city of Columbia, S.C., has banned the use of bump stocks, the attachment that dramatically accelerates the rate-of-fire of semi-automatic rifles. Columbia is believed to be the first, or one of the first, U.S. cities to enact such a ban.

Bump stocks allow semi-automatic rifles to fire bullets nearly as rapidly as automatic weapons. The ban is meant to prevent the device's use, not its sale — a discrepancy that Columbia officials say is due to a state law that bars cities from regulating firearms or firearm components.

Days after Barry and Honey Sherman were found strangled in their basement, police are investigating what they call their "suspicious" deaths. The case has sparked speculation and debate in Canada, where the billionaire couple were famous both for their ties to the pharmaceutical company Apotex and for their philanthropy.

Russian athletes who compete in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics must wear a simple logo that reads "Olympic Athlete from Russia" — and their uniforms can't include other words or references to their home country, an International Olympic Committee panel said Wednesday.