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.

Numbers drive baseball, a game whose managers, analysts and fans obsess over matchups, tendencies and results. Its box scores, those proto-spreadsheets, instantly turn human accomplishments into history. The quest is for clean, comparable data.

But for decades, the human aspect of the game — specifically, the racism that pro baseball both reflected and perpetuated — clouded that data. While the feats of white players were carefully recorded and celebrated, the accomplishments of Black players in the Negro Leagues were set apart or forgotten entirely.

Elite female cyclists will be part of the world's most famous bike race next summer, when the Tour de France will hold a women's stage race for the first time since the 1980s.

Women have been riding the men's route in recent years, urging race officials to include them in cycling's crown jewel. Now they'll get a shot at their own yellow jersey.

Royal Caribbean's new megaship, Odyssey of the Seas, was supposed to hail the company's return to business as near-usual this summer. But the ship's launch is now delayed after eight crew members tested positive for the coronavirus. Its first scheduled trips are now canceled.

The Odyssey of the Seas had been slated to make its debut sail with paying passengers on July 3 — more than a year after the pandemic hobbled the cruise ship industry. Its first voyage is now delayed for four weeks, until July 31. By then, summer will be nearly halfway over.

Shelby Houlihan, the middle-distance runner who currently holds two U.S. records, says she's been banned from the Tokyo Olympics after testing positive for the steroid nandrolone. Houlihan says she's clean and is blaming the test result on a pork burrito she got from a food truck.

Anti-doping officials don't agree with the runner. They've handed Houlihan a four-year ban, just before U.S. Olympic trials for the track and field team will begin in Eugene, Ore., this weekend.

Earthworms are often seen as a welcome presence in gardens, and even on fishing hooks. But in the Northeast, experts say invasive "crazy worms" from Asia are creating havoc in forests — and they say the unusual worms are a danger to animals and plants, and especially to sugar maple trees.

"The street cred that they have is hiding the invasion," Josef Görres, a soil scientist at the University of Vermont, says of the worms.

Queen Elizabeth II's portrait will no longer hang in a key gathering place at Oxford University's Magdalen College after students voted to remove the picture due to concerns about it symbolizing colonialism.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson sharply criticized the move, calling it "simply absurd," and saying the queen is "a symbol of what is best about the UK."

Canada's public health agency says people can mix COVID-19 vaccines if they want to, citing cases where local supply shortages or health concerns might otherwise prevent some from completing their two-dose vaccination regimen.

A nonprofit group that helps Black and marginalized communities in Kentucky has received a six-figure donation from a white donor who says they recently inherited family wealth — and then learned that their great-grandfather owned enslaved people.

The money is a reparations payment, said the donor, who has chosen to remain anonymous.

The COVID-19 pandemic proves that the world needs a pandemic treaty, says WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. It's the one major change, Tedros said, that would do the most to boost global health security and also empower the World Health Organization.

"This is an idea whose time has come," Tedros told diplomats attending the final day of the World Health Assembly in Geneva.

"I can't breathe." "I'm scared." For many people, hearing someone say those words would prompt a scramble to help. But not all. It depends on who's listening.

Updated May 18, 2021 at 1:07 PM ET

Enough rhetoric, it's time to act: that's the gist of a new report from the International Energy Agency, which says the world must bring about "a total transformation" of its energy systems if it hopes to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 and minimize the worst effects of climate change.

Working long hours poses an occupational health risk that kills hundreds of thousands of people each year, the World Health Organization says.

People working 55 or more hours each week face an estimated 35% higher risk of a stroke and a 17% higher risk of dying from heart disease, compared to people following the widely accepted standard of working 35 to 40 hours in a week, the WHO says in a study that was published Monday in the journal Environment International.

Updated May 13, 2021 at 3:23 PM ET

The trial on state charges facing Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao will be pushed back to March of 2022, a judge ruled Thursday. The former Minneapolis police officers are also facing federal charges over the killing of George Floyd that outweigh state charges of aiding and abetting.

Airstrikes, rocket attacks and street violence are reaching new levels of intensity in Israel and Gaza, with at least 90 people dead from the unrest as of Thursday. Many large international air carriers have now halted flights to Tel Aviv, a key target of rocket barrages.

The violence has killed at least 103 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, including at least 27 children, according to Palestinian health officials. Israeli officials say seven people in Israel have been killed, including two children.

Updated May 12, 2021 at 8:47 PM ET

LOD, Israel — Intense exchanges of rocket fire and airstrikes have turned life upside down for people in Gaza and Israel, and the conflict has no end in sight. In many instances, the violence has killed indiscriminately.

The COVID-19 pandemic exposed dangerous failings on the national and international scale, according to an independent review ordered by the World Health Organization. The review found a range of problems, from a slow initial reaction to the coronavirus to "weak links at every point in the chain of preparedness and response."

Despite the pandemic, the growth rate in the world's renewable energy capacity jumped 45% in 2020, part of "an unprecedented boom" in wind and solar energy, according to a new report from the International Energy Agency. It's the largest annual rate of increase since 1999.

"An exceptional 90% rise in global wind capacity additions led the expansion," the report states. It also cites a 23% expansion in new solar power installations.

Anyone needing a ride to get a COVID-19 vaccine shot will be able to get a free trip from the ride-sharing companies Lyft and Uber, the White House announced Tuesday, in the latest push to encourage Americans to get vaccinated.

"The feature will launch in the next two weeks and run until July 4," the White House said.

People who want to use the program would need to select a vaccination site near them and then redeem the companies' offer of a free ride. The two ride-sharing firms will promote the offer in their apps.

The Food and Drug Administration said Monday that children 12 to 15 years old are now eligible to receive a key COVID-19 vaccine as the agency expanded its emergency use authorization for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

Dr. Janet Woodcock, the acting FDA commissioner, said the expansion "brings us closer to returning to a sense of normalcy."

China will set up a "line of separation" on one side of Mount Everest's peak, saying the measure is needed to keep Nepal's COVID-19 outbreak from crossing the border, according to state media.

The plan is part of China's "zero contact strategy" to keep climbers from the Chinese and Nepalese sides of Everest from mixing if they reach the summit on the same day, said Nyima Tsering, head of the Tibetan Sports Bureau, according to the state-run Xinhua news outlet.

A Malian woman has given birth to nine babies in what could become a world record. Halima Cissé had been expecting to have seven newborns: Ultrasound sessions had failed to spot two of her babies.

"The newborns (five girls and four boys) and the mother are all doing well," Mali's health minister, Dr. Fanta Siby, said in an announcement about the births.

The number of babies born in the U.S. dropped by 4% in 2020 compared with the previous year, according to a new federal report released Wednesday. The general fertility rate was 55.8 births per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44, reaching yet another record low, according to the provisional data.

"This is the sixth consecutive year that the number of births has declined after an increase in 2014, down an average of 2% per year, and the lowest number of births since 1979," the National Center for Health Statistics said.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expected to authorize the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children 12 to 15 years old, a decision that could come by some time early next week. The vaccine is currently authorized only for people age 16 and older.

A ruling should come "shortly," Pfizer Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla told investors in a conference call Tuesday morning.

India has now reported more than 20 million coronavirus infections, including nearly 3.5 million people who are actively being treated for COVID-19. The country's health system is in a state of collapse as hospitals and clinics face dire shortages of beds and lifesaving supplies.

The number of children contracting COVID-19 in the U.S. is much lower than the record highs set at the start of the new year, but children now account for more than a fifth of new coronavirus cases in states that release data by age, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. It's a statistic that may surprise many: Just one year ago, child COVID-19 cases made up only around 3% of the U.S. total.

The gates of Disneyland are opening again Friday to welcome customers for the first time since the resort was closed at the start of the global pandemic. Only California residents will be allowed to visit, and daily crowd sizes will be limited due to safety protocols.

"I can't wait to just be there and feel it and listen to the music and smell the churros," Robert Laird, a Disney megafan, said in an interview with NPR's Morning Edition.

New York City, which one year ago was the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic, will "fully reopen" for business on July 1, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday. The announcement marks a stirring rebound for a city that lost more than 10,000 people in just the first month of the pandemic.

"We are ready for stores to open, for businesses to open," de Blasio said on MSNBC's Morning Joe. Offices and theaters, he said, would be able to operate at "full strength."

Updated April 27, 2021 at 4:38 PM ET

Andrew Brown Jr. died from a fatal gunshot to the back of head, his relatives and family attorneys said Tuesday, citing the results of an independent autopsy. The finding bolsters the claim that Brown was "executed," the family said.

"It was a kill shot to the back of the head" that cost Brown his life, family attorney Ben Crump said Tuesday as his office released the results.

Fox News says a New York court should dismiss Smartmatic's $2.7 billion lawsuit against the cable TV network and some of its hosts, saying its coverage of bogus election-fraud claims is protected by the First Amendment. Fox also says the voting technology company hasn't backed up its allegations of "actual malice" related to its defamation claims.

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