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.

Suicide car bombers carried out a deadly strike on a school and a police station near Tel Afar, a small town in northeastern Iraq, Sunday. At least 12 students and their principal died in the attack on an elementary school, according to reports.

Part of the school building is believed to have collapsed as a result of the blast. The suicide bombing at the town's police station reportedly did not cause further casualties.

In Syria, a team of international weapons experts has begun the process of destroying the country's chemical weapons arsenal.

"The inspectors used sledgehammers and explosives to begin the work," NPR's Deborah Amos reports for our Newscast unit. "They are on a tight deadline to destroy more than 1,000 tons of nerve gas and banned weapons within a year."

Karen, once feared to hit the U.S. Gulf Coast as a hurricane, has stalled out and weakened into a tropical depression. The National Weather Service says the storm is "drifting" at 2 mph, moving toward Louisiana's southeastern edge. As of early Sunday morning, it was about 165 miles west-southwest of the mouth of the Mississippi River.

(Updated 8:50 p.m. ET)

A force that struck foreign fighters in Somalia early Saturday included members of a U.S. Navy SEAL team, according to reports. The team targeted a senior leader of the militant group al-Shabab, but there were conflicting reports about that man's fate.

The New York Times reported Saturday night:

The Department of Defense is ordering most of its furloughed civilian employees back to work, in a move announced just after midday Saturday. The plan will put hundreds of thousands of workers back on the job next week.

"Today, I am announcing that most DoD civilians placed on emergency furlough during the government shutdown will be asked to return to work beginning next week," Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in a statement.

Pirate Joe's, the grocery store that made waves — and attracted a lawsuit — for selling Trader Joe's items in Canada, has won a battle in its legal fight with the supermarket chain. A U.S. district court judge has granted the Vancouver store's motion to dismiss a trademark infringement lawsuit.

After the lawsuit was filed, Pirate Joe's took on the name _Irate Joe's. The store's owner, Mike Hallatt, says he began his enterprise on a small scale last year, driving groceries across the border from Washington State to Vancouver. Trader Joe's does not operate any stores in Canada.

The man who set himself on fire on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., Friday has died of his injuries, according to a police spokesman cited by the AP. The man reportedly used gasoline to commit the act, which drew attempts from passers-by to extinguish the flames.

The federal shutdown that has idled some 800,000 government workers could be over by now — if members of Congress were able to vote on a bill that doesn't include an attack on the new U.S. health care system, President Obama says. "There are enough votes in the House of Representatives to make sure that the government reopens today," he told The Associated Press Friday.

Federal workers who were furloughed by a government shutdown will receive back pay once they return to work, if a bill approved by the House of Representatives Saturday meets Senate approval. The White House has said it favors such a move.

The vote came after the U.S. government began the fifth day of a shutdown that has put 800,000 people out of work. The bill was approved without a vote against it. The Senate is expected to hold its own Saturday session that begins at midday.

More than two feet of snow has crippled roadways in western South Dakota, the worst-hit target of a storm that brought snow to Wyoming and tornadoes to Nebraska Friday. Heavy snowfall and low visibility have combined to cause crashes and shut down roads.

The death of Miriam Carey, killed by police gunfire Thursday after leading a car chase from the White House to the Capitol, is prompting questions from her family about whether she deserved to die. The incident, of which details remain unexplained, is leading experts to analyze the actions of the officers present.

"We're still very confused as a family why she's not still alive," Carey's sister Amy Carey-Jones told the AP late Friday. "I really feel like it's not justified, not justified."

A Los Angeles jury has found concert promoter AEG Live was not negligent in the death of pop superstar Michael Jackson, who died of a sedative overdose four years ago.

Jackson's mother had sought $1.5 billion in damages — a figure AEG's attorney called "ridiculous" last week.

Reuters reports the jury ruled unanimously. The 12-person panel in the wrongful death lawsuit was made up of six men and six women, but only nine jurors were needed to decide the case.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took aim at Iran and its new president, Hasan Rouhani, in a speech at the United Nations Tuesday, saying that Iran is trying to fool the international community into easing sanctions on it, even as the country expands its nuclear program.

"Rouhani thinks he can have his yellowcake and eat it too," Netanyahu told the U.N. General Assembly, referring to yellowcake uranium, a concentrated form of the radioactive element.

Worldwide, roughly 1 in 8 people suffered from chronic hunger from 2011 to 2013, according to a new report from three U.N. food agencies.

They concluded that 842 million people didn't get enough food to lead healthy lives in that period, a slight drop from the 868 million in the previous report.

The modest change was attributed to several factors, from economic growth in developing countries to investments in agriculture. And in some countries, people have benefited from money sent home by migrant workers. But the gains were unevenly distributed, the report's authors say.

Edward Snowden, the former NSA contract worker who leaked documents detailing America's secret and broad surveillance activities, is on the short list of nominees for Europe's Sakharov Prize, which recognizes those who fight for human rights.

Other finalists include Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl who survived being shot in the head; and three political prisoners in Belarus.

A team of chemical weapons experts has arrived in Syria, where they will begin the long and complicated task of destroying the country's chemical weapons arsenal. Under a plan endorsed by the U.N. Security Council, the weapons are to be destroyed by next June.

Syria is wracked by a civil war that has killed more than 100,000 people and forced more than 2 million others to flee the country, according to recent U.N. figures.

Months after federal agents raided its Knoxville, Tenn., headquarters over charges that it withheld millions in diesel fuel rebates from customers at its truck stops, Pilot Flying J says it is paying the companies that were cheated.

From Nashville, Blake Farmer of member station WPLN filed this report for our Newscast unit:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is at the White House, meeting with President Obama to discuss security and intelligence matters, including Iran's nuclear program.

The White House says the two will discuss "final status negotiations with the Palestinians, as well as developments in Iran, Syria and elsewhere in the region."

Update at 4:45 p.m. ET: Leaders Describe Their Meeting

The White House has released a transcript of the two leaders discussing their meeting. Below are some highlights.

Canada is ushering in what it projects to be a $1.3 billion medical marijuana free market this week, as it replaces small and homegrown pot production with quality-controlled marijuana produced by large farms. The market could eventually serve up to 450,000 Canadians, according to government estimates.

A spate of car bombs exploded during Baghdad's morning rush hour Monday, killing at least 47 people and wounding dozens more. Most of the bombs struck areas with large Shiite populations; various news agencies are reporting that from nine to 14 separate bombs were detonated.

Many of the car bombs resulted in far more injuries than deaths. But at least one explosion was especially deadly. According to the BBC and Reuters, an attack in Baghdad's Sadr City district killed at least seven people.

Kenyan authorities say they've made another arrest in the deadly attack on an upscale mall that shocked Nairobi last week. But officials are also facing questions over reports of intelligence that may have given warnings about the attack, which ended with at least 67 deaths.

According to the Kenyan Red Cross's last update which came on Friday, 59 people who are believed to have been in the mall remain unaccounted for.

A car auction unlike any other is going on this weekend in Pierce, Neb., where hundreds of cars that were stockpiled by a Chevrolet dealer are finally being sold — many for the first time. The Lambrecht Chevrolet collection stretches back to the 1950s and has drawn bids and interest from around the world.

As many as 50 students may be dead in Nigeria, after gunmen attacked an agricultural college's dormitories in the country's northeast. The attack, which occurred as many students slept, is being blamed on the group Boko Haram, which wants to form an Islamic state.

From The Associated Press:

"As many as 50 students may have been killed in the assault that began at about 1 a.m. Sunday in rural Gujba, Provost Molima Idi Mato of Yobe State College of Agriculture, told The Associated Press."

A Saudi cleric who warned women against driving cars by saying it could harm their ovaries is facing criticism and mockery. The comments of Sheikh Saleh al-Luhaydan came a month before a planned day of disobedience, with activists encouraging women to drive — a right they do not have in Saudi Arabia.

A powerful explosion has killed at least 37 people in Peshawar, Pakistan, where authorities say they suspect a car bomb was detonated in a market district near a police station. The explosion left a scene of devastation, with casualties and severe damage to nearby buildings in the city's historic Qissa Khawani market.

The federal government has moved closer to the brink of a shutdown, as the House of Representatives approved a temporary funding bill Saturday night that the Senate and White House say has no chance of becoming law.

The House bill would avert the budget deadline at midnight Monday by funding the U.S. government into December. But it also includes a one-year delay of Obamacare — a provision that Democrats and some Republicans say has no place in a stopgap funding bill.

Efforts by the National Security Agency to track potential suspects and find connections between them have led the agency to collate its reams of data with information drawn from sources that include GPS locators and Facebook profiles, according to The New York Times. The newspaper cites documents provided by Edward Snowden, the former NSA contract worker, as well as interview with officials.

The 19 firefighters who died after being trapped by an Arizona wildfire in late June were only about 600 yards from a designated safety zone at a ranch, according to a task force formed by the Arizona State Forestry Division to investigate the firefighters' deaths.

In Iran, President Hassan Rouhani was both celebrated and vilified Saturday for speaking to President Obama by phone during his trip to the United Nations in New York. After Rouhani's return, crowds that gathered near Tehran's airport were divided, with many voicing their support for Rouhani. A hardliner held a sign reading, "Down with USA."

One critic threw a shoe at Rouhani's car, according to the Agence France-Presse.

The International Cycling Union (UCI) has chosen a new leader. Britain's Brian Cookson beat incumbent Pat McQuaid in a contentious vote held in Italy Friday. Cookson, who led British Cycling to new heights, says he will focus on improving cycling's reputation, tarnished by years of doping scandals.

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