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 2:20 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.

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."

Updated at 3:20 p.m. ET

Charles Lieber, the chair of Harvard University's Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, has been arrested and criminally charged with making "false, fictitious and fraudulent statements" to the U.S. Defense Department about his ties to a Chinese government program to recruit foreign scientists and researchers.

Updated at 9:30 a.m. ET

The U.K. government says it will allow telecom giant Huawei a "limited role" in building its new 5G data network, despite U.S. pressure to cut the Chinese company out of development plans. The U.S. considers Huawei a security risk and has long cited its ties to China's Communist Party and possible links to the military.

Updated at 7:35 p.m. ET Tuesday

Investigators are poring over the scene where former NBA superstar Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven other people died Sunday in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif. It's not clear why the aircraft went down, although weather conditions at the time were difficult. The National Transportation Safety Board has sent a team to the site and is now leading the investigation.

A mortar attack landed a rare direct hit on the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad's Green Zone on Sunday night, damaging buildings and reportedly leaving at least one person with minor injuries. Iraq's prime minister condemned the strike, saying it could turn the country into a battlefield and complicate efforts to get the U.S. to withdraw troops from Iraq.

The State Department plans to deny tourist visas to pregnant women if officials believe they are traveling here to secure American citizenship for their child by giving birth on U.S. soil.

The Trump administration says it is targeting the practice known as "birth tourism." The State Department says that traveling to deliver a child in the U.S. is not "a legitimate activity for pleasure or of a recreational nature."

Forecasters in southern Florida had warned a sharp cold snap could bring a high chance of falling iguanas – and that's just what happened: The National Weather Service's office in Miami says immobilized iguanas began falling from the trees after temperatures plunged into the 30s and 40s early Wednesday.

Updated at 4:45 p.m. ET

President Trump says he plans to widen a controversial travel ban that prohibits nearly all people from seven countries from traveling or immigrating to the U.S., calling it "a very powerful ban" that's necessary to ensure national security.

"We're adding a couple of countries" to the ban, Trump told reporters at a news conference at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. "We have to be safe. Our country has to be safe. You see what's going on in the world. Our country has to be safe," he said.

Australia's southeast was already dealing with the terrible effects of historic bushfires and huge smoke clouds. Then Canberra, Melbourne and other places were hit by golf-ball-sized hail that destroyed car windshields, killed birds and shredded the leaves off trees.

The Bureau of Meteorology in New South Wales, the country's most populous state, warned residents of "damaging winds, large, possibly giant hailstones and heavy rainfall" as it issued severe thunderstorm warnings in the east and northeast.

Updated at 4:40 p.m. ET

Thousands of gun ownership enthusiasts and armed militia members gathered at the Virginia State Capitol on Monday for a rally aimed at quashing new gun restrictions. The rally ended without any violence, but Richmond remains under a state of emergency and Gov. Ralph Northam's temporary ban on weapons on Capitol grounds will remain in place until Tuesday.

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