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.

On a weekend that saw extremist group the Islamic State release a video showing the murder of a Western hostage, support for a coalition to fight the group is building. Several Arab states are reportedly willing to participate in strikes on the group, and Australia has offered to send hundreds of troops to help.

Secretary of State John Kerry has been visiting countries in the Middle East to build support for President Obama's plan to fight the group, ahead of a conference about the crisis that'll begin in Paris Monday.

In a move seen as a way to fight off a potential takeover by Anheuser-Busch InBev, large brewer SABMiller has reportedly offered to buy Heineken. The family that controls the Dutch-based brewer rejected the idea, according to Bloomberg News.

Citing "people with knowledge of the matter," the business news agency says SABMiller made its offer in the past two weeks. The two companies would not comment on the story, but Bloomberg portrayed it as part of SABMiller's strategy to remain a competitor to AB InBev — instead of becoming one of its many acquisitions.

Posting photos this weekend that show him recovering from a chainsaw accident, Australian golfer Greg Norman says he's a lucky man. Norman says he hurt his left hand while cutting branches off a tree at his home in Florida.

Norman, 59, a former world No. 1 player who went on to a successful business career that includes ventures in sport, apparel and wine, announced his injury via Instagram Saturday by posting a photo of himself in a hospital bed.

Billboard's album sales chart has a new entry in its No. 5 spot: Legend, the greatest hits record by Bob Marley and the Wailers. It's the highest spot ever for Marley. And while the 30-year-old album has sold millions of copies over the years, it only reached No. 54 when it was released.

The cease-fire in eastern Ukraine is being tested Sunday, with intense fighting reported near the airport in Donetsk Saturday and Sunday. An NPR team in that city was forced to flee the shelling.

Reporting from Donetsk, NPR's Eleanor Beardsley says she was with members of the international monitoring group the OSCE — Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe — when they nearly came under fire in Donetsk Sunday.

Vowing justice for murdered aid worker David Haines, Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron says his killing by extremist group the Islamic State is "an act of pure evil." A video purporting to show Haines' beheading was released Saturday.

After being accused of working against North Korea's government, American citizen Matthew Miller was sentenced to six years of hard labor Sunday, after a trial at North Korea's Supreme Court in Pyongyang. Miller, of Bakersfield, Calif., had entered the country on a tourist visa in April.

From Seoul, Jason Strother reports for NPR:

News that San Diego Unified School District has acquired an MRAP, or mine-resistant ambush protected vehicle, is adding a new facet to discussions about the practice of giving surplus military equipment to civilian agencies.

Overcoming an injury to their star center, the Phoenix Mercury won its third WNBA title last night, beating the Chicago Sky in three games. An eye injury suffered in game two forced Phoenix center Brittney Griner to sit out.

"Phoenix got 24 points each from Candice Dupree and the sublime guard Diana Taurasi – the Finals MVP – to win," NPR's Tom Goldman reports. "The Mercury dominated this year, they won a record 29 regular-season games. They're fitting champions."

Rocket fire tested — but didn't break — a week-old cease-fire between Ukraine and pro-Russian separatists Friday night. The deal has brought the release of dozens of prisoners and cut the number of casualties from fighting, even as both sides have reportedly violated its rules in skirmishes.

The sky danced with bands of green, yellow and other colors last night, as the aurora borealis, or northern lights, dazzled viewers in the upper Northern Hemisphere. The light show was sparked by a powerful solar flare that erupted from the sun Wednesday.

Police are searching for a shooter who opened fire at a state police barracks in northeast Pennsylvania. The attack killed one trooper and left another wounded, police say. The troopers were shot at a barracks in Pike County.

This story is developing; we'll provide updates as they come in.

From the AP:

The family of Michael Brown issued a new call for the police officer who shot and killed the 18-year-old to be arrested Tuesday. Supporters of the family held a news conference in Ferguson, Mo., where Officer Darren Wilson had a fatal confrontation with the unarmed Brown one month ago today.

From St. Louis Public Radio, Emanuele Berry reports:

The wife of Ray Rice, whose NFL career was derailed Monday by the release of surveillance footage showing him hitting his then-fiancee in an elevator, says the new attention is making the couple relive one of the most painful moments of their lives. Janay Rice says the media have used the episode to boost ratings.

After months of rumors and dozens of fan-created images of what an Apple watch might look like, today the tech giant will show us what it's been working on. Apple CEO Tim Cook unveiled a new smart watch at a splashy event in Cupertino, Calif., called the Apple Watch

We'll be updating this post with news from Apple today, including tweets from NPR's Laura Sydell, who's at the event at the Flint Center.

Update at 2:40 p.m. ET: Apple Watch Price: $349

Roads both big and small have been overtaken with rainwater in the Phoenix area today, after strong storms hit early this morning. At least one death has been reported in the region, and a state of emergency has been declared.

Weather experts say that the more than 3 inches of rain already recorded in the Phoenix region Monday breaks a record that was set more than 70 years ago.

After months of uncertainty and political wrangling, Iraq has a new government, led by Shiite Haider al-Abadi. After hours in session Monday, the country's parliament gave its approval to Abadi and several cabinet ministers.

Abadi was nominated to lead Iraq last month, as support for Nouri al-Maliki unraveled in the face of factional strife and the advances of extremists the Islamic State. One month ago, as Maliki attempted to hold on to power, Abadi's nomination sparked demonstrations by Maliki's supporters. Today, Maliki was given a vice president post.

A leaked video of the altercation between football star Ray Rice and his then-fiancee, Janay Palmer, that took place earlier this year has led the Baltimore Ravens to terminate Rice's contract.

The NFL says Rice has also been suspended indefinitely.

The newly released video shows the couple in an apparent argument before Palmer collapses after being hit in the face. It emerged early Monday, days before Rice's two-game suspension over the incident had been set to end.

Fifty years after he created the sandwich that launched America's top chicken restaurant chain, Georgia businessman Samuel Truett Cathy died early Monday. Cathy's Chick-fil-A has now grown to $5 billion in annual sales, and its stores still close on Sundays, reflecting its founder's religious beliefs.

Cathy's death was announced by Chick-fil-A, which said, "He died peacefully at home, surrounded by loved ones."

In less than two weeks, voters in Scotland will decide whether to pursue their independence from the United Kingdom — and for the first time, a poll shows the push to break away now has the edge over the "unity" vote.

The Scottish National Party has been urging people to vote "Yes" in the Sept. 18 vote on splitting with the U.K. The group recently published a video touting Scotland's economic strength and its energy assets. The video closes by urging voters to "put Scotland's future in Scotland's hands."

When Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki faced off Sunday, the current and former world No. 1 players were both trying to make their own brand of history. For Williams, it was a chance to match Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova; for Wozniacki, a win would have brought her first Grand Slam title.

But Williams, who has been dominating this tournament, did not slow down and quickly took the first two sets 6-3, 6-3.

An experimental Ebola vaccine is now being tested in people, according to scientists who say the drug has shown promising results when it was tested on monkeys. The small clinical trial is using healthy human volunteers in the U.S.

The Ebola vaccine is the subject of a study published Sunday in the journal Nature Medicine. Researchers say the vaccine treatment includes a booster shot to help the immune system fight off the virus for months after it's first administered.

Citing a broad threat posed by the Islamic State, President Obama said Sunday that he'll deliver a national address Wednesday to discuss the U.S. approach to fighting the group that has beheaded two American journalists this summer.

Decades after the threat of extinction led to them being protected from whalers, there are now about 2,200 blue whales off the West Coast, according to a new study. That's roughly 97 percent of historical levels, say researchers at the University of Washington who call their findings a conservation success story.

Trying to protect a key piece of Iraq's infrastructure, U.S. forces carried out airstrikes on extremist fighters from the group Islamic State. The attacks struck near a huge dam in western Iraq's Anbar Province.

U.S. fighters and bombers carried out the attack, "destroying five Islamic State Humvees, another armed vehicle, a checkpoint and damaged a militant bunker," The Associated Press reports.

From Baghdad, NPR's Graham Smith reports:

Preparing for its initial public offering, e-commerce company Alibaba estimates its stock will sell for $60 to $66 a share. The retailing giant will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange, in what's expected to be one of the biggest IPOs ever.

NPR's Zoe Chace reports:

"Alibaba says that it expects to raise about $24 billion in the IPO — and yeah, that would be the biggest. More than Google, Facebook, Visa — the heavyweights.

The so-called Bridge fire that started Friday afternoon is already threatening hundreds of homes. The blaze in Mariposa County is one of many large fires burning in drought-stricken California. Officials say this weekend's conditions will make the danger even greater.

The Bridge fire has moved quickly, and officials say it now threatens hundreds of homes near Yosemite National Park. (You can follow the state's wildfire season on member station KPCC's Fire Tracker).

NPR's Nathan Rott reports:

Update at 6:15 p.m. EDT

After dispatching world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in four sets Saturday, Kei Nishikori put a buzz into the U.S. Open crowd in New York and put himself into the history books, becoming the first Asian man to reach a Grand Slam tennis final. Saturday's match was also the first elite semifinal he'd reached.

In the final, Nishikori will meet Marin Cilic of Croatia, who defeated Roger Federer in the other semifinal. Cilic, the 14th seed, beat second-seed Federer 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.

The men's final is scheduled for Monday at 5 p.m. ET.

Responding to fellow Democrats' concerns in a tight election season, President Obama will delay acting on his own on immigration issues until after November's midterm vote, the White House says. Earlier this summer, the president had pledged to use executive actions to address immigration if Congress did not.

"The reality the president has had to weigh is that we're in the midst of the political season," a White House official says, noting that Obama "believes it would be harmful to the policy itself and to the long-term prospects" for reform if he acted before November.

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