Bill Chappell

Bill Chappell is a blogger and producer who currently works on The Two Way, NPR's flagship blog. In the past, he has coordinated digital features for Morning Edition and Fresh Air, and edited 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.

It's not as if two worlds will collide tonight — Venus and Jupiter are only converging into a small area of the Earth's sky. NASA says the two bright planets will be "a jaw-dropping one-third of a degree apart."

In a promotion announced Tuesday, the American Ballet Theatre named Misty Copeland as the first black female principal dancer in its 75-year history. Copeland had previously been a soloist with the ABT, the premiere dance company in the U.S.

The Internet is abuzz about the latest Easter egg found in Apple's Siri, as the virtual assistant gives a philosophical — and, to some, a personal — response to the question "What is zero divided by zero?"

Siri's on-screen answer is straightforward. But her more elaborate verbal reply easily surpasses the simple "Does not compute" with which robots in old sci-fi movies used to announce a bout of cognitive dissonance. For one thing, her answer invokes Cookie Monster.

The Supreme Court has placed a stay on a lower court's ruling that upheld new abortion standards in Texas, to give opponents of a controversial 2013 law time to take their case to the nation's highest court.

The stay is temporary: If the Supreme Court refuses to hear the case, the stay will be lifted and the law will take effect. If the justices agree to hear the case, the stay would remain in effect until a ruling is issued.

In the longest leg of its planned around-the-world flight, the Solar Impulse took off from Nagoya, Japan, and is now headed to Hawaii. The plane is powered solely by the sun's energy that's stored in batteries; the current trip is expected to last 120 hours — five days and five nights.

U.S. states' efforts to counter extreme gerrymandering won a victory Monday, as the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a bipartisan Arizona panel that draws the state's districts. The court's vote was 5-4; Chief Justice John Roberts dissented, as did Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote the opinion for the majority, in which her citations included James Madison writing in The Federalist Papers.

There was jubilation among supporters of same-sex marriage Friday, after the Supreme Court ruled that gay marriage is legal in all 50 states. We've rounded up some of the best reactions, below.

Ice cream makers Ben & Jerry's seemed to be poised for this moment, unveiling a new package for its popular Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough flavor — which was renamed "I Dough, I Dough."

States cannot keep same-sex couples from marrying and must recognize their unions, the Supreme Court says in a ruling that for months has been the focus of speculation. The decision was 5-4.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, seen as a pivotal swing vote in the case, wrote the majority opinion. All four justices who voted against the ruling wrote their own dissenting opinions: Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito.

One person has been killed and at least 12 others injured in an attack on a gas factory in a small town in southeastern France. Officials say it was a terrorist attack: A flag of the self-declared Islamic State was reportedly found at the factory southeast of Lyon.

One suspect has been arrested over the attack, which also included an explosion at the facility operated by Air Products, an American company whose headquarters are in Pennsylvania. It's not yet certain whether he was acting alone.

Many people took notice when a Sports Illustrated analyst dismissed women's sports as "not worth watching" earlier this week. Unfortunately for SI's Andy Benoit, two of those who noticed were Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers.

Civil rights groups won a victory Thursday, as the Supreme Court ruled that claims of racial discrimination in housing cases shouldn't be limited by questions of intent.

The court affirmed a Court of Appeals decision in a case in which a nonprofit group, the Inclusive Communities Project, said that the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs had contributed to "segregated housing patterns by allocating too many tax credits to housing in predominantly black inner-city areas and too few in predominantly white suburban neighborhoods."

Mourners will gather in South Carolina on Thursday for the funerals of the Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton and Ethel Lance, two of the nine people who were killed during a Bible study meeting in Charleston last week.

Both Coleman-Singleton, 45, and Lance, 70, were integral members of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, where police say a white gunman attacked last week with the stated intention of killing black people. The case is being investigated as a hate crime.

Taxi drivers in France formed virtual blockades around airports and key train stations Thursday, causing chaos in Paris and other French cities as part of a wide protest against the Uber ride-booking service, known in France as UberPOP.

Government and transportation officials urged travelers to take trains to many airports, as the roads around them were completely blocked.

As a region, the Americas fare quite well in Gallup's new global index of personal well-being, but the U.S. fell from No. 12 to No. 23 worldwide. The top 10 includes Costa Rica, Belize, and Mexico.

Panama took the top spot for the second straight year in the Gallup-Healthways Country Well-Being report, with Costa Rica second. Switzerland was the top European country, in fourth. At No. 23, the U.S. is one spot behind Israel and one ahead of Canada.

Better communication with the families of kidnapped Americans — and a pledge that those relatives won't face criminal charges if they pay ransoms — are at the heart of an update to the U.S. federal hostage policy, released Wednesday.

It could have been a routine out in foul territory. Instead, a pop-up at a Chicago Cubs game was caught by a dad who was also holding a baby — and the crowd went wild. It didn't hurt that the fan momentarily robbed the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers of an out.

The play was eventually ruled to be fan interference, as Cubs fan Keith Hartley was found to have reached over into the field to nab the ball before it could land in the glove of the Dodgers' first baseman, Adrian Gonzalez.

Updated at 12:45 p.m. ET

The death of Baltimore man Freddie Gray was the result of a "high-energy injury" to his spine and was ruled a homicide due to "acts of omission" by police, according to The Baltimore Sun. The newspaper cites a copy of the unreleased autopsy report from the state medical examiner's office.

China's customs agents have seized thousands of tons of frozen chicken wings, beef and pork that were smuggled by gangs. Weighing more than 100,000 tons, the meat has an estimated value of more than $480 million — but it also poses serious health risks, officials said.

The U.S. ambassador to France has been summoned to the French Foreign Ministry to answer new claims that the NSA monitored the communications of three sitting French presidents and their top staff.

Those said to be targeted include President Francois Hollande, who is holding an emergency meeting today with top French lawmakers.

From Paris, NPR's Eleanor Beardsley reports:

In what Major League Baseball says is a first, French baseball player Melissa Mayeux has had her name added to the list of international prospects who could be signed by clubs on July 2.

At age 16, Mayeux plays shortstop for two of France's national teams: the U-18 junior squad and the senior softball team. She's known as a smooth fielder who can also handle a bat.

The Solar Impulse, an aircraft that generates power solely from the sun's energy, is set to embark on the longest leg of its planned round-the-world journey: a trip of some 115 hours between Nagoya, Japan, and Hawaii. But weather concerns have forced another delay.

The Solar Impulse 2 had initially been slated to take off from Japan around 1:30 p.m. ET.

New images of Ceres are the clearest ever taken, but NASA's scientists still haven't figured out the enigmatic dwarf planet. The agency's latest photos of Ceres show multiple bright spots — and a "pyramid-shaped peak towering over a relatively flat landscape."

That's according to an update posted by the space agency, saying that Ceres and its bright spots "continue to mystify."

Update: 11:30 p.m. ET

In a statement Tuesday night, the talent agency that represented Horner mourned "the tragic passing of our dear colleague."

South Carolina's most prominent political leaders say it's time for their state to stop flying the Confederate battle flag on the grounds of its Statehouse. Gov. Nikki Haley made their position clear Monday afternoon, speaking alongside Sen. Lindsey Graham, Sen. Tim Scott and others.

Calls for moving the Confederate battle flag have grown since the shooting of nine black church members in Charleston last week. After speaking about the efforts to cope with that tragedy, Haley said that she has seen "the heart and soul" of South Carolina.

President Obama talks about his own life, America's race relations and the trouble with politics during the much-anticipated new episode of the WTF with Marc Maron podcast, in an interview that is making headlines for its candid discussion of race.

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