Bill Chappell

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

Chappell's work for NPR includes being the lead writer for online coverage of several Olympic Games, from London in 2012 and Rio in 2016 to Pyeongchang in 2018 – stints that also included posting numerous videos and photos to NPR's Instagram and other branded accounts. He has also previously been NPR.org's homepage editor.

Chappell established the Peabody Award-winning StoryCorps on NPR's website; his assignments also include being the lead web producer for NPR's trip to Asia's Grand Trunk Road. Chappell has coordinated special digital features for Morning Edition and Fresh Air, in addition to editing the rundown of All Things Considered. He also frequently contributes to other NPR blogs, such as The Salt.

At NPR, Chappell has trained both digital and radio staff to tell compelling stories, promoting more collaboration between departments and desks.

Chappell was a key editorial member of the small team that performed one of NPR's largest website redesigns. One year later, NPR.org won its first Peabody Award, along with the National Press Foundation's Excellence in Online Journalism award.

Prior to joining NPR, Chappell was part of the Assignment Desk at CNN International, working with reporters in areas from the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America. Chappell also edited and produced stories for CNN.com's features division, before moving on to edit video and produce stories for Sports Illustrated's website.

Early in his career, Chappell wrote about movies, restaurants, and music for alternative weeklies, in addition to his first job: editing the police blotter.

Updated at 2 p.m. ET

"Yesterday, the number of new cases reported outside China exceeded the number of new cases in China for the first time," the head of the World Health Organization said Wednesday in an update on the coronavirus disease COVID-19.

"Outside China, there are now 2,790 cases in 37 countries, and 44 deaths," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a briefing in Geneva.

Updated at 4:42 p.m. ET

Italy reported a total of 229 novel coronavirus cases on Monday, leaping ahead of Japan (156 cases) on the list of worst-hit countries. Six people have died from the respiratory disease COVID-19 in Italy, and 27 more are in intensive care.

Where there was a white ice cap, there are now brown blotches of land; melted snow and ice have created ponds of water. Those are the effects of the recent record high temperatures in Antarctica, according to NASA, which on Friday released stunning before-and-after satellite images of the northern Antarctic Peninsula.

Iran is holding national elections Friday, as voters choose members of parliament from a list of candidates winnowed down to feature hardliners and conservatives. Midterm elections are also being held for the Assembly of Experts, the clerics who have the power to select the country's supreme leader.

Updated at 2 p.m. ET

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in South Korea has doubled in just 24 hours, to 104 from 51, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday. Many of the new cases of coronavirus are linked to a Christian sect in Daegu, a city in southern South Korea.

Korea's CDC says a woman who became the country's 31st confirmed patient on Feb. 18 had attended services held by a religious group called the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, The Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony.

Updated at 4 p.m. ET

Roughly 600 passengers left the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Yokohama, Japan, on Wednesday, as a controversial shipwide coronavirus quarantine finally began to wind down.

All of those passengers had been tested for the COVID-19 disease by the Japanese health ministry, according to cruise operator Princess Cruises. As they left, they were met in the terminal by the cruise line's president, Jan Swartz.

Of all the chicken joints in all the towns in all the world, he walked into theirs. Two married police officers were eating at their favorite fried chicken spot in Louisville, Ky., over the weekend when a masked man walked up to the counter, showed a gun and demanded money.

In a confrontation caught on video, the couple quickly decided to end their date night and take on the robber. They then chased him out of the restaurant.

Updated at 2:24 p.m. ET

Some 346 Americans who were evacuated from Wuhan, China, amid the deadly coronavirus outbreak emerged from their quarantine at two military bases in California on Tuesday, U.S. officials say.

The group includes 180 Americans who have been living under a mandatory quarantine order at Travis Air Force Base, roughly 40 miles southwest of Sacramento, and 166 U.S. citizens who have been living at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar near San Diego.

Updated at 2:20 p.m. ET

Fire officials in Australia are celebrating a landmark moment, saying that for the first time in what has been a horrendous wildfire season, every fire in hard-hit New South Wales is now under control. Bushfires have destroyed more than 2,400 homes and burned 5.4 million hectares of land – or about 13.3 million acres — in the country's most populous state.

Sudan says it has signed a deal to settle claims related to the bombing of the USS Cole 20 years ago — a move that could end lawsuits filed by victims and their families and also improve Sudan's chances of getting off the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism.

Sudan's transitional government has made it a priority to get off that punitive list since it took charge last spring.

Updated at 10:49 p.m. ET

The quarantine of the Diamond Princess cruise ship has spawned several online communities, with passengers forming groups on WhatsApp and Facebook to break through the isolation and share information. While they exchange information, they also focus on keeping each other's spirits up.

"We check on each other to see how we are each doing daily," passenger Aun Na Tan of Australia said in a message to NPR.

Pope Francis has sidestepped a request for married men to be ordained as priests and women to be ordained as deacons, saying the Roman Catholic Church should find other ways to address a dire shortage of clergy in South America's Amazon region. Bishops in that part of the world had asked for fundamental shifts in Roman Catholic policy last autumn.

Updated at 4 p.m. ET

The 195 Americans who were evacuated from Wuhan, China, last month have now been released from the first mandatory quarantine the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has ordered in more than 50 years.

The group, which faced numerous health screenings both in China and during their trip and quarantine, has now been "medically cleared," health officials said Tuesday, making it possible for them to leave the March Air Reserve Base in Southern California.

The Defense Department says 45 more U.S. service members have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries after Iran's attack on the Ain al-Asad airbase in Iraq last month — raising the total number of troops injured in the ballistic missile strike to 109.

Of those who were injured, 76 have returned to duty. A Pentagon statement about the injuries did not include details about the service members, such as their age, rank or military unit.

Monday's update is at least the fifth time the U.S. has revised the number of personnel injured during the Iranian attack.

Updated at 8:09 p.m. ET

There are 65 new coronavirus cases aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which has been under a quarantine since last week, Japan's health ministry announced Monday. With the latest cases, a total of 135 people from the ship have been confirmed to have the respiratory virus.

Those newly diagnosed include 45 Japanese and 11 Americans, as well as smaller numbers of people from Australia, Canada, England, the Philippines and Ukraine, according to Princess Cruises.

Updated Sunday at 5:17 p.m. ET

People who are quarantined aboard the Diamond Princess in Japan have been wondering how long their situation would last. On Sunday, the World Health Organization offered clarity on that question.

A month ago, Australians were praying for rain to put out horrific wildfires and save forests, animals and homes. A deluge is now falling on Australia's east coast — and while it's quashing stubborn fires, the water is also causing flash floods and other hazards.

The Bureau of Meteorology in New South Wales, the country's most populous state, warns of "very dangerous conditions" ranging from heavy rain to damaging winds.

Mississippi's former welfare director, four colleagues and a former pro wrestler have been charged with carrying out a multimillion-dollar embezzlement scheme to siphon public money from needy families for their own personal use — from business investments to a luxury rehab stay in California.

Special agents from the Office of the State Auditor arrested John Davis, who is the former head of the Mississippi Department of Human Services, and the others on Wednesday.

China is slicing tariffs on $75 billion worth of U.S. products, Chinese government news agencies report. The move is in reciprocation for the Trump administration's plan, announced last month, to halve tariffs on about $112 billion in Chinese goods.

The tariff cuts, both slated to take effect on Feb. 14, are the latest sign that the trade war between the world's largest economies is easing.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres laid out a sobering view of the current state of the world Tuesday, saying that "a wind of madness is sweeping the globe" as instability erupts into unpredictable and violent conflicts. The problems are made even worse, he said, by faltering economic situations and countries that disrespect U.N. Security Council resolutions "before the ink is dry."

Updated at 11 a.m. ET

Iran's Supreme Court has affirmed a death sentence for a man accused of giving secrets about the country's nuclear program to the CIA, a government spokesman announced Tuesday.

Updated at 10:05 p.m. ET

China says it has more than 20,000 confirmed cases of the Wuhan coronavirus, representing a huge leap from the 4,400 cases reported as of last week. Chinese health officials said Monday morning that 2,829 new cases had been diagnosed in the previous 24 hours alone.

President Trump is putting new immigration restrictions on Nigeria and five other countries, the Department of Homeland Security announced Friday, in the latest move to reshape U.S. immigration rules.

The new policy restricts immigrant visas for citizens of Nigeria, Sudan, Tanzania, Eritrea, Myanmar, and Kyrgyzstan. It does not ban them from traveling to the U.S. for other reasons.

By putting restrictions on the six countries, the Trump administration nearly doubles the number of nations targeted by some form of travel ban.

Updated 6:15 p.m. ET

The U.S. is placing 195 Americans who were evacuated from Wuhan, China, under a mandatory 14-day quarantine in an effort to limit the spread of a deadly new coronavirus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Friday. The evacuees are being housed at March Air Reserve Base in California – and the quarantine order comes after one of them tried to leave the base.

Updated at 7:25 p.m. ET

The U.S. State Department is warning Americans not to travel to China, issuing its most serious travel advisory one day after the World Health Organization declared the Wuhan coronavirus to be a global health emergency. The virus has spread to at least 22 countries, and more than 250 people in China have died.

Updated at 2:10 p.m. ET

The first human-to-human transmission of the deadly Wuhan coronavirus has occurred in the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday.

The respiratory virus was spread from a woman who had recently traveled in China to her husband when she returned to Chicago, CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield said at a press briefing.

It's the sixth confirmed case of the new coronavirus, or 2019-nCoV, in the U.S.

Updated at 9:40 p.m. ET

The deadly strain of coronavirus that emerged in Wuhan has now spread to every part of mainland China, from Shanghai to Tibet. The rapid increase caused the World Health Organization to declare a global health emergency and prompted Russia to close its long border with China.

Late Thursday, the U.S. State Department also issued a "do not travel" advisory for China.

The Interior Department has grounded its fleet of more than 800 drones, citing potential cybersecurity risks and the need to support U.S. drone production – suggesting the move is aimed at least in part at China, a leading drone producer.

Interior Secretary David Bernhardt signed an order on Wednesday grounding the drones, formalizing a "pause" he ordered nearly three months ago.

Updated at 11:15 p.m. ET

The 195 Americans who were evacuated from Wuhan, China, because of the coronavirus outbreak will remain at a military base in Southern California for three days while medical staff monitor their health, federal health officials said Wednesday, as the White House announced the formation of a special task force to handle the U.S. response to the outbreak.

Updated at 8:30 p.m. ET

NPR is asking the State Department to explain its decision to deny an NPR reporter press credentials to travel with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on an upcoming trip to Europe, NPR President and CEO John Lansing announced Tuesday.

"We have sought clarification from the State Department regarding Michele Kelemen being dropped" from the trip, Lansing wrote in an email to employees. He added, "We have also asked what it means for future trips."

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