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 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.

Police have arrested three men in northern Georgia who are suspected of belonging to a violent white supremacist group called The Base, saying that they were plotting to commit murder and that they belonged to a criminal street gang.

They're the second trio of suspected Base members to be arrested this week; the FBI announced Thursday that it arrested three other men in Maryland.

The Pentagon says 11 U.S. service members were injured in Iran's ballistic missile attack on U.S. assets in Iraq last week. The Americans are being treated for concussion symptoms from the blast and are expected to return to duty after a health screening, a Defense Department spokesperson says.

Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, led Friday prayers in Tehran for the first time in eight years and delivered a sermon in which he excoriated U.S. leaders as "clowns" and accused European countries of negotiating in bad faith over the foundering nuclear deal.

Khamenei also indicated that Iran might retaliate further for the U.S. drone strike that killed top Iranian commander Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, saying a missile attack on U.S. assets in Iraq had been a blow to America's dignity and its status as a superpower.

Updated at 4:50 p.m. ET

The FBI has arrested three alleged members of The Base — which authorities describe as a "racially motivated violent extremist group" — on charges that range from illegal transport of a machine gun to harboring aliens, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Maryland.

Updated at 3:45 p.m. ET

Ukraine's national police are investigating whether U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch was under surveillance in Kyiv last spring — something implied in a series of WhatsApp messages between a little-known Republican political candidate and an associate of Rudy Giuliani, President Trump's personal lawyer.

Virginia became the pivotal 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment after its Senate and House of Delegates voted Wednesday to approve the change to the U.S. Constitution.

The ERA's provisions include a guarantee that "equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex."

"The Virginia Senate voted 28-12 and the House of Delegates 59-41 to approve the ERA," NPR's Sarah McCammon reports.

Updated at 10:18 p.m. ET

A lawyer for former U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch is calling for an investigation after materials released Tuesday night as part of the impeachment inquiry suggested she was under surveillance by individuals linked to President Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani.

Updated at 3:50 p.m. ET

Iranian authorities have arrested an undisclosed number of people over the accidental shootdown of a Ukrainian airliner. The move comes as Iranians continue to protest against the government over the tragedy. Hours after the arrests, a new video emerged that purportedly shows two missiles hitting the passenger jet.

Russian hackers recently targeted the Ukrainian gas company that was at the center of President Trump's impeachment — and they succeeded in gaining access to its email accounts, according to California cybersecurity firm Area 1 Security.

The hackers are said to have infiltrated Burisma Holdings months after Trump urged Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son Hunter, who had served on Burisma's board.

Drivers who went to DMV offices Monday morning were likely hoping for a quick end to what can be a painfully slow process — but in offices around the U.S., that process ground to a halt for roughly four hours, due to a widespread network problem.

"The network that connects motor vehicle agencies across the United States to each other and to various verification services" began experiencing an outage at 10 a.m. ET, says Claire Jeffrey, communications manager for the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators.

A man accused of being a hired assassin has pleaded guilty to killing a journalist who investigated corruption in Slovakia — a shocking murder that led to the government's collapse in early 2018, along with the exit of several police and justice officials.

Northern Ireland will return to the power-sharing agreement that collapsed three years ago, as its two major parties – the nationalist Sinn Fein and the pro-U.K. Democratic Unionist Party – agreed Friday to a draft deal that would give Northern Ireland a new regional government. The deal was brokered by the governments of Ireland and the U.K.

Australia is struggling to cope with deadly infernos and faces losing nearly a billion animals in the terrible bushfires — but in the midst of those tragedies, authorities are also battling hoaxes and misinformation, including false reports of widespread arson. Many of the claims seek to suggest that arson, not climate change, was a key driver of the historic fires.

Facebook says it will continue to allow political ads that target the social media platform's users, sticking to its position despite concerns about the potential impact on the upcoming presidential election. Federal Election Commissioner Ellen Weintraub sharply criticized the policy, saying Facebook's "weak plan suggests the company has no idea how seriously it is hurting democracy."

Kentucky's Judicial Conduct Commission has suspended Kenton County Judge Dawn Gentry from her official duties as it investigates numerous accusations of professional and sexual misconduct. Among other things, Gentry is alleged to have had sex with her lover and another woman while at work.

Updated at 3:10 p.m. ET

Details are still emerging about Iran's ballistic missile attack on Iraqi bases housing American military forces, which set off rampant speculation about a potential U.S. response. But President Trump suggested Wednesday that any U.S. action would be economic, not military.

"Iran appears to be standing down, which is a good thing for all parties concerned — and a very good thing for the world," Trump said.

Updated at 4:20 p.m. ET

People across southern Puerto Rico awoke to find broken brick walls and felled power lines Tuesday, after a 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck before dawn. The major temblor hit a coastal stretch near the communities of Ponce and Guanica at about 4:24 a.m. local time, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Updated at 11:40 a.m. ET

Facebook says it's banning many types of misleading videos from its site, in a push against deepfake content and online misinformation campaigns.

Facebook's new ban targets videos that are manipulated to make it appear someone said words they didn't actually say. The company won't allow videos on its site if they've been either edited or computer-generated in ways that the average person couldn't detect.

A 5.8 magnitude earthquake rattled the city of Guayanilla and nearby areas in southern Puerto Rico on Monday morning, shoving brick houses off their foundations, knocking over walls and collapsing a local landmark: Punta Ventana, a natural rock archway that the ocean's waves had carved over centuries.

"Today our icon remains in the memory of all," Guayanilla press official Glidden López Torres said on Facebook.

Australia's government is offering new help to people who have lost their homes and others affected by bushfires that have burned millions of acres of land. At least 25 people have died in the fires, which have brought historic levels of destruction.

While conditions improved slightly over the weekend, forecasters warn that dangerously hot and windy conditions will likely return later this week.

In the binary times in which we live, it might not surprise anyone that people can't even agree on when one period of time ends and another begins. The question many are now asking is: When we ring in the new year and welcome 2020, should we also celebrate a new decade?

Confusion over the answer is similar to the uncertainty that hung over watershed events from the millennium to the 2009-2010 changeover.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be his party's leader when Israel holds a national election in March, after notching a landslide victory in the Likud Party primary Thursday. Netanyahu had faced a rare challenger in Likud's primary race, but he secured more than 70% of the vote.

From the Middle East to Southeast Asia, people looked skyward for a chance to see an annular eclipse on Thursday, as the unusual celestial event took place over a long but thin band of the world. The striking "ring of fire" phenomenon — with the moon blotting out all but a sliver of the sun — began in Saudi Arabia and ended northeast of Guam in the Pacific Ocean.

A reward for information about the killing of 14 horses in eastern Kentucky has now hit $20,000, according to Floyd County Sheriff John Hunt, whose department is trying to solve a shocking case of animal cruelty. The free-roaming horses are a favorite sighting for locals visiting the woodland southeast of Prestonburg – but someone recently began hunting them.

A vote to impeach President Trump has come from an unlikely corner: the evangelical magazine Christianity Today, whose editor-in-chief, Mark Galli, says the president's "generally disreputable moral behavior" and his actions in the White House prompted him to write an editorial titled "Trump Should Be Removed from Office."

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