Bill Chappell

Bill Chappell is a writer and producer who currently works on The Two Way, NPR's flagship news portal. In the past, he 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.

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

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, and editing and producing 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, he attended graduate school for English Literature at the University of South Carolina.

Its name will be "Red Dragon." And if the latest partnership between SpaceX and NASA works out, the privately funded craft will land on Mars to collect scientific data — possibly within the next two years. The plan is to use the Dragon capsule, but without a human crew.

"SpaceX is planning to send Dragons to Mars as early as 2018," the company said via Facebook Wednesday. "These missions will help demonstrate the technologies needed to land large payloads propulsively on Mars."

Airstrikes in Syria's largest city killed more than a dozen people at a well-known hospital, says aid group Doctors Without Borders, adding that the violence claimed one of the last pediatricians working in Aleppo.

"We are outraged at the destruction of Al Quds hospital," the group said in a tweet Thursday, saying that the facility included an intensive care unit and an emergency room.

A friend of the pediatrician who died told NPR's Alice Fordham via Skype that Mohammed Wassim Moaz was "very kind" and that the children in Aleppo "love him very much."

After tens of thousands of votes, the pair of eaglets born in the National Arboretum last month now have official names. Freedom and Liberty won, beating out other options such as Stars and Stripes.

The eagles have been very popular. Since February, more than 35 million people have watched them progress from eggs to hatchlings to eaglets, according to the American Eagle Foundation, which set up cameras near the birds' nest in the arboretum in Washington, D.C.

A 27-year quest for vindication ended in triumph Tuesday for the families of 96 people who were killed in the Hillsborough Stadium disaster in 1989. A jury says Liverpool fans weren't to blame for the worst sports disaster in Britain's history — the police and other factors were.

It's illegal for Australia to hold asylum seekers on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea's Supreme Court says, in a decision that clashes with a recent ruling by Australia's high court. The justices said Tuesday that the detention center runs afoul of Papua New Guinea's constitution and should be closed.

Australian officials have been adamant in saying that refugees who reach Australia outside of official means will not be allowed to settle there, citing immigration policies that were tightened in recent years.

Trains began picking up passengers at the Maelbeek metro station in Brussels on Monday morning, more than a month after a terrorist bombing killed more than a dozen people there and wounded many more. The city's metro is now largely back to normal — with a noticeable security presence.

"Only two entrances per station will be open for now, and police and army patrols will be maintained," Teri Schultz reports for our Newscast unit. "A commemorative wall has been put up in the station for anyone who wants to leave a message of support and condolences."

The first cruise ship to sail between the U.S. and Cuba in more than 50 years can now carry passengers who were born in Cuba, after the island nation eased its ban against native-born Cubans returning by boat. The cruise ship, operated by Carnival, is set to depart Miami for Cuba on May 1.

It only opened around six months ago — and now comes word that Apple's iTunes Movies store in China is closed at least temporarily, along with its iBooks Store. The company has issued a statement saying that it hopes to reopen the movie and book services soon.

The closure was reportedly ordered by the Chinese government last week; according to local media, it comes just as a controversial Hong Kong film that's been censored in China is being released on Apple's Hong Kong iTunes service.

Prince — the Purple One, who reeled off pop hits in five different decades — has died at age 57. The shocking news was confirmed by Prince's publicist after reports that police were investigating a death at his Paisley Park compound outside Minneapolis.

"It is with profound sadness that I am confirming that the legendary, iconic performer Prince Rogers Nelson has died at his Paisley Park residence this morning at the age of 57," publicist Yvette Noel-Schure said. "There are no further details as to the cause of death at this time."

A buyback of emissions-cheating cars was one solution Volkswagen offered in federal court Thursday, outlining an agreement between the carmaker and the Justice Department over hundreds of thousands of diesel vehicles that were sold in the U.S. despite not meeting pollution standards.

Car owners would be able to choose between having their vehicle fixed or accepting a buyback; financial details weren't revealed about the plan, which both the government and VW are calling an "agreement in principle."

Joanie Laurer, who overcame a troubled home life in Rochester, N.Y., to win an international following as the pro wrestler Chyna, has died at age 45, according to her official website and World Wrestling Entertainment. Police found her body at her home in Redondo Beach, Calif., on Wednesday, according to local media.

The news emerged after this message was posted to her Facebook page last night:

A large boat that sank in the Mediterranean Sea between Libya and Italy may have been carrying as many as 500 people who lost their lives, according to a U.N. Refugee Agency team that spoke to survivors of the sinking.

It would be one of the worst catastrophes suffered by refugees and migrants in the past year, if officials are able to confirm details provided by the 41 survivors.

Nearly five years after a federal jury found them guilty of either gunning down unarmed civilians or covering up the incident on New Orleans' Danziger Bridge, five former police officers have entered guilty pleas as part of a deal with the government. The deal sharply reduces the penalties they faced before their initial convictions were overturned in 2013 over prosecutorial misconduct.

The judge in the case accepted the terms of the deal shortly before 1 p.m. local time, after a hearing on the case began around noon.