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.

The first Borat movie sparked anger in Kazakhstan, for its portrayal of Kazakhstanis as coarse and backward-minded. But the sequel, which was just released, is getting a warmer reception: Kazakhstan's tourism board is using Borat's famous catchphrase "Very nice!" as its new slogan.

The phrase is the centerpiece of a new ad campaign, punctuating videos that highlight Kazakhstan's natural beauty, architecture and culture. The goal is to give people a look at a nation that the tourism agency says is Asia's best-kept secret.

It started as a ripple: anger over higher subway prices. But a growing wave of protests followed, and now people in Chile have voted overwhelmingly to throw out their country's Pinochet-era constitution and create a new document under which to live. Nearly 80% of the voters chose to form a new constitution.

The result threw Chile into a huge celebration. One year after Santiago's streets were jammed by protesters, they were filled Sunday with revelers, ecstatic over the results of a national plebiscite. There were music and fireworks. Signs declared "Renace Chile" — Chile Reborn.

NASA has confirmed the presence of water on the moon's sunlit surface, a breakthrough that suggests the chemical compound that is vital to life on Earth could be distributed across more parts of the lunar surface than the ice that has previously been found in dark and cold areas.

Police arrested 11 people Sunday in New York City after fights erupted in Times Square as a large Jews for Trump convoy rolled through. Skirmishes broke out after some counterdemonstrators yanked flags off vehicles – and some drivers and passengers got out of their cars.

The clashes were caught on video and posted to social media, showing frequent outbursts of violence as people shouted threats at each other. At least one car had red paint thrown on it.

Israel and Sudan have agreed to normalize their relations and open economic and trade ties, the countries and the U.S. announced Friday. The U.S. said earlier this week that it would remove Sudan from the state sponsors of terrorism list as part of the agreement.

"This is an incredible deal for Israel and Sudan," President Trump said in the Oval Office, according to a White House pool report. "For decades, Sudan has been at a state of war with Israel. They have been in a state of war and boycotted Israeli goods. There was no relationship whatsoever."

The U.S. recorded 71,671 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, the most in one day since the outbreak hit alarming heights in July, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. One day earlier, around 63,000 new cases had been reported.

The U.S. also recorded 856 deaths from COVID-19 on Thursday, raising the death toll to more than 223,000 people lost to the pandemic.

Updated at 4:27 p.m. ET

Ghislaine Maxwell's answers to questions about the sex-trafficking operation she allegedly ran with the late Jeffrey Epstein were made public Thursday as a federal court released Maxwell's 2016 deposition. The transcript is more than 400 pages long, but it has been redacted to protect the privacy of some people it mentions.

Hatice Cengiz is suing Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in a U.S. court over the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, saying the prince and more than 20 other people should be held responsible for a plot to murder the U.S.-based journalist and democracy advocate.

"This brutal and brazen crime was the culmination of weeks of planning and conspiratorial actions taken collectively by Defendants and their co- conspirators," the lawsuit states.

Rush Limbaugh is giving an update on his stage 4 case of lung cancer, saying that despite some success in treating the disease, recent scans showed the cancer has progressed. "It's not dramatic, but it is the wrong direction," Limbaugh told listeners to his conservative radio show.

Updated at 12:45 p.m. ET

A federal court has cleared the path to unseal the transcript of Ghislaine Maxwell's deposition from 2016, a lengthy document that may shed light on the sex-trafficking operation she allegedly ran with the late Jeffrey Epstein that catered to rich and powerful men.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit affirmed a federal judge's ruling from July, saying the lower court was correct to reject "meritless arguments" from Maxwell, who is accused of procuring young girls for Epstein.

A federal judge has vacated the Trump administration's rule that would have forced hundreds of thousands of Americans off food stamps. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's rule change was capricious and arbitrary, Chief U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell said.

The USDA rule "radically and abruptly alters decades of regulatory practice," Howell said in her ruling, adding that it would have "exponentially" increased food insecurity for tens of thousands of Americans and imposed significant costs on states.

The U.S. Supreme Court said it will hear cases that involve the U.S. "Remain in Mexico" policy and the border wall, two of President Trump's most controversial attempts to limit migration across the southern border with Mexico.

The court did not say when it will hear the cases, but arguments are likely to be heard well after the Nov. 3 election. The outcome of next month's presidential election could render both cases moot if Trump loses his reelection bid.

The world hit a new benchmark in the COVID-19 pandemic on Monday, surpassing 40 million coronavirus infections, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. With the flu season looming, the rate of new cases in the U.S. and other countries is rising at rates not seen in months.

The European Union is hitting six high-placed Russian officials with sanctions over the suspected assassination attempt of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, citing the use of forbidden chemical weapons. Lab tests found Navalny was poisoned by a variant of Novichok, a rare Soviet-era nerve agent.

London, Birmingham and other U.K. cities are now at a high alert for COVID-19, as officials tighten restrictions on people and businesses in a huge swath of England. The alert level rose Thursday as part of a new system meant to tamp down regional outbreaks.

"Things will get worse before they get better," U.K. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said as he announced the changes in Parliament. Europe is seeing a huge spike in new cases, Hancock said, "And here, we certainly saw the highest figure for daily deaths since early June."

Coronavirus restrictions are taking effect in the Netherlands, the U.K., the Czech Republic and other parts of Europe on Wednesday as nations try to reverse an alarming wave in new cases. The continent is now seeing more new coronavirus cases – an average of 100,000 daily — than at any other time during the pandemic.

Bars, restaurants and schools are being shut down or sharply limited, and officials are working to bolster hospital capacity, to accommodate an expected influx of new COVID-19 patients.

A Greek court has sentenced Nikos Michaloliakos, the leader of the far right anti-immigrant Golden Dawn party, to 13 years in prison. Michaloliakos and others from Golden Dawn were found guilty last week of being part of a criminal organization that ordered or encouraged violence.

Other leaders received sentences ranging from five to 13 years on Wednesday. The court will decide soon if any of the sentences will be suspended.

Administrators at Brigham Young University's campus in southeastern Idaho say they are "deeply troubled" by reports that students may have intentionally tried to contract COVID-19, lured by blood donation centers that are paying a premium for plasma with COVID-19 antibodies.

"Students who are determined to have intentionally exposed themselves or others to the virus will be immediately suspended from the university and may be permanently dismissed," the university said in a statement issued Monday.

Updated at 4:45 p.m. ET

Two of the men accused of plotting to kidnap Michigan's governor took part in a discussions earlier this year with members of self-styled militia groups about potentially abducting Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, an FBI agent testified Tuesday.

The testimony came during a hearing Tuesday in federal court in Grand Rapids, Mich., as part of the Justice Department's case against six men charged with conspiring to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Texas can limit absentee ballot drop-off spots to one per county, a federal appeals court said, reversing a lower court's ruling from days ago. Democrats said Gov. Greg Abbott's order could suppress voters; the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed, saying, "[O]ne strains to see how it burdens voting at all."

Updated at 10:09 p.m. ET

Hurricane Delta has weakened after making landfall Friday near Creole, La., becoming a Category 1 storm. Delta had come ashore as a Category 2 storm with winds of 100 mph.

The maximum sustained winds fell to 80 mph, the National Hurricane Center announced at 10 p.m. ET.

The NHC reported strong winds "continue to spread inland across Louisiana."

Updated at 7:25 a.m. ET

The 2020 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the World Food Programme on Friday morning with the award committee stating, "The need for international solidarity and multilateral cooperation is more conspicuous than ever."

Updated at 7:06 p.m. ET

The FBI says it has thwarted a plot by militia members to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, and six people are facing federal charges. In a coordinated move, Michigan is pursuing state felony charges against seven people with ties to a militia called the Wolverine Watchmen.

In a statement early Thursday, Whitmer said two militia groups "were preparing to kidnap and possibly kill me."

The Trump administration has "taken a crisis and turned it into a tragedy" in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, The New England Journal of Medicine says in a scathing editorial that essentially calls on American voters to throw the president out of office.

It is the first time the prestigious medical journal has taken a stance on a U.S. presidential election since it was founded in 1812.

Updated at 1:45 a.m. ET Friday

A large part of Louisiana's coast is under a hurricane warning, as Hurricane Delta heads toward an expected landfall Friday afternoon. The storm has maximum sustained winds of 120 mph, making it a Category 3 major hurricane, though it is expected to weaken somewhat before hitting land.

The National Hurricane Center's most recent advisory says Delta will bring a "life-threatening storm surge" up to 11 feet along portions of the Louisiana Gulf coast.

Updated at 11:56 p.m. ET

Hurricane Delta is back in the Gulf of Mexico northwest of Cancún after making landfall around 6:30 a.m. ET Wednesday on Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula as a Category 2 storm, with winds estimated at 110 mph, the National Hurricane Center said.

The hurricane has weakened, with maximum winds of 90 mph. But it's expected to regain power before approaching the U.S. coast on Friday. Hurricane and storm surge warnings have been issued for parts of the northwestern and northern Gulf Coast.

Updated at 5 a.m. ET Wednesday

Hurricane Delta took aim at Mexico's northeast Yucatan coast Wednesday as a Category 3 storm with maximum sustained winds of 115 mph, having weakened somewhat since Tuesday, the National Hurricane Center said. It is still categorized as a major storm.

Delta earlier grew at an extraordinary rate, rising from sustained winds of only 40 mph Monday morning, to Category 4 on Tuesday with winds of 130 mph. The NHS says the storm is expected to strengthen once again as it heads for the U.S. Gulf coast.

More than 7,000 movie screens will be dark in the U.S. this weekend as the Regal theater chain said it will shut down all 536 locations on Thursday. The closure reflects "an increasingly challenging theatrical landscape" due to the COVID-19 pandemic and is temporary, the chain said.

Regal is shutting down theaters again less than two months after it started to reopen U.S. locations in late August. The decision was announced after the James Bond franchise's No Time to Die was shelved until 2021, further pushing back a release that had already been delayed.

Updated at 11:02 p.m. ET

The storm called Delta, which formed in the Caribbean Sea on Monday morning, has strengthened into a hurricane, the National Hurricane Center says. The storm will likely reach the northern Gulf Coast early Friday.

Updated at 4:45 p.m. ET

A court released some 15 hours of recorded grand jury proceedings in the Breonna Taylor case Friday – an extraordinary action that comes after a juror disputed Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron's explanation for why no one was directly charged in Taylor's killing by Louisville police this spring.

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