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.

A crew of private astronauts will pay around $55 million each to spend about eight days at the International Space Station next January in what would be a new step for joint private-public space missions. Axiom Space, a Houston company, says the trip will be led by former NASA astronaut and space station commander Michael López-Alegría.

California is lifting stay-at-home orders for all regions in the state, including Southern California, the Bay Area and the San Joaquin Valley — the three regions that had still been under the order — citing a drop in intensive care unit projections. But health officials warn that most counties still need to follow strict guidelines.

Moderna says tests show that its COVID-19 vaccine offers protection against new variants of the coronavirus but that the vaccine is more effective against the variant first identified in the U.K. than the one found in South Africa. As a result, Moderna will test booster doses of its vaccine, including one that would be tailored to fight strains that have recently emerged.

Merck is halting development of its two COVID-19 vaccine candidates, saying that while the drugs seemed to be safe, they didn't generate enough of an immune response to effectively protect people against the coronavirus.

Updated at 10:06 a.m. ET

"I am honored to announce that the United States will remain a member of the World Health Organization," Dr. Anthony Fauci said Thursday, informing the WHO's executive board that President Biden has reversed former President Donald Trump's move to leave the U.N.'s health agency.

The U.S. will also fulfill its financial obligations to the WHO, Fauci, chief medical adviser to the president, said, as well as cease a drawdown of U.S. staff who work with the organization.

Updated at 11:45 a.m. ET

Rebekah Jones, the data scientist who helped create Florida's COVID-19 dashboard, has turned herself in to police, in response to an arrest warrant issued by the state.

Jones is charged with one count of "offenses against users of computers, computer systems, computer networks and electronic devices," the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said in a statement Monday.

Twitter locked Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene out of her account on the social media platform on Sunday, citing violations of a company policy that it recently used to remove thousands of QAnon-related accounts. The suspension is in effect for 12 hours.

Greene has repeatedly endorsed the QAnon conspiracy theory, which has sought to portray President Trump as being undermined by a deep-state cabal.

Police were on high alert in state capitals around the U.S. Sunday, after warnings that pro-Trump extremists might attempt to storm legislatures similar to the assault on the U.S. Capitol last week. But at many statehouses and capitols, security and the media outnumbered protesters.

Updated at 3 p.m. ET

New York Attorney General Letitia James has filed a lawsuit against the New York City Police Department, citing "a pattern of using excessive force and making false arrests against New Yorkers during peaceful protests" that sought racial justice and other changes.

Updated at 9:35 a.m. ET

A team of 13 World Health Organization scientists have now arrived in Wuhan, China, where they will investigate the origins of the coronavirus that has caused a global pandemic. Nearly 2 million people have died due to COVID-19, with more than 92 million infections, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Updated at 11:45 a.m. ET

At least three Democratic members of Congress have tested positive for the coronavirus this week, blaming their results on their Republican colleagues' refusal to wear face masks during the hours-long lockdown last Wednesday as pro-Trump extremists attacked the U.S. Capitol.

Updated at 4:25 p.m. ET

The Trump administration is designating Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism in a move that will return the island nation to the pariah list from which it was removed five years ago.

As he announced the designation Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused Cuba of "repeatedly providing support for acts of international terrorism in granting safe harbor to terrorists."

Updated at 9:20 a.m. ET

President-elect Joe Biden plans to nominate veteran diplomat William Burns to be the director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Burns, 64, is a former U.S. ambassador to Russia and Jordan. As a career foreign service office, he worked under Democratic and Republican presidents. He was deputy secretary of state during the Obama years, but he left the State Department in 2014 to run the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace think tank.

World leaders are condemning pro-Trump extremists' storming of the U.S. Capitol in a futile bid to stop members of Congress from certifying the Electoral College ballots for President-elect Joe Biden. The spectacle transfixed people around the globe.

Updated at 1:40 p.m. ET

The European Union is preparing to distribute the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to all its member countries, after the European Commission granted conditional authorization of the vaccine.

The EU acted hours after the European Medicines Agency endorsed the vaccine, in a move that will add another 160 million doses to its large-scale vaccination effort. Europeans have been receiving shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine since it was approved last month. And officials note that more vaccines are in the pipeline.

Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says President Trump wouldn't be allowed to visit Scotland to golf during its pandemic lockdown, responding to speculation that Trump might travel to a Scottish golf resort rather than attend President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration.

"We are not allowing people to come in to Scotland without an essential purpose right now and that would apply to him, just as it applies to anybody else," Sturgeon said after being asked about Trump on Tuesday. "Coming to play golf is not what I would consider to be an essential purpose."

All 67 of the upcoming men's March Madness games will be played in Indiana, the NCAA announced Monday, in a bid to stage the college basketball tournament that had to be canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The organization said it's still determining whether fans will be able to attend games.

"The 2021 version of March Madness will be one to remember, if for no other reason than the uniqueness of the event," said Dan Gavitt, NCAA senior vice president of basketball.

"You got 'em" — with that brief handover, Becky Hammon became the first woman to coach an NBA team Wednesday night, leading the San Antonio Spurs after coach Gregg Popovich was ejected in the first half.

"Obviously, it's a big deal. It's a substantial moment," Hammon said after the game. She noted that she has worked toward the milestone for years, spending more than a decade in San Antonio as either a player or a coach.

China's medical products agency has given market approval to the country's first COVID-19 vaccine, made by state-owned Sinopharm. The conglomerate says its vaccine has a 79% efficacy rate — surpassing the widely accepted standard of 50% efficacy.

A Boeing 737 Max carried paying passengers on a U.S. flight Tuesday for the first time since March 2019 as American Airlines put the aircraft back in service. The planes had been grounded worldwide after two deadly crashes highlighted safety problems.

American Flight 718 took off from Miami around 10:40 a.m., heading to New York's LaGuardia Airport, according to the aviation tracking site Flightradar24.com. The plane landed ahead of schedule, shortly after 1 p.m.

French designer Pierre Cardin, who extended his brand far beyond the fashion world, has died at age 98. The son of Italian immigrants worked with luminaries such as filmmaker Jean Cocteau and designer Christian Dior before launching his own fashion house, drawing on his love for futuristic design.

Cardin's family announced his death to Agence France-Presse on Tuesday. The French Académie des Beaux-Arts also issued several statements mourning his passing.

Dr. James Phillips, the Walter Reed physician who criticized President Trump's decision to greet supporters outside the facility where he was being treated for COVID-19, has worked his last shift at the hospital. "I stand by my words, and I regret nothing," Phillips wrote on Twitter.

Pfizer is pushing back on the Trump administration's suggestion that the company is having trouble producing its COVID-19 vaccine, saying it's ready to ship millions more doses – once the government asks for them. As the company spoke out, several states said their vaccine allocations for next week have been sharply reduced.

Here's what the key players are saying about a complicated situation:

What Pfizer says

A massive computer breach allowed hackers to spend months exploring numerous U.S. government networks and private companies' systems around the world. Industry experts say a country mounted the complex hack — and government officials say Russia is responsible.

The hackers attached their malware to a software update from SolarWinds, a company based in Austin, Texas. Many federal agencies and thousands of companies worldwide use SolarWinds' Orion software to monitor their computer networks.

At least 55 immunization sites across the U.S. received doses of Pfizer and BioNTech's long-awaited vaccine Monday morning, says Army Gen. Gustave Perna, chief operating officer of Operation Warp Speed. The effort to get the vaccine into medical professionals' hands, he said, has gone "incredibly well."

Perna credited a number of people for the success, from volunteers who helped to test the vaccine to those who worked over the weekend to prepare, ship and deliver the doses, which must be stored at very cold temperatures to remain viable.

Updated at 1 p.m. ET

The first people in the U.S. are receiving vaccination shots against COVID-19 on Monday, as U.S. health workers started administering the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech.

The first widely publicized vaccination took place in New York City, shortly after 9 a.m. ET. The event was live-streamed and promoted by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who said, "The vaccine only works if the American people take it."

It was supposed to be a "cruise to nowhere," a chance for travelers to enjoy ornate buffets and onboard skydiving simulations, taking in the sea air as they follow COVID-19 safety precautions. Then, Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas was forced to return to port early after a passenger tested positive for the coronavirus.

Updated at 7:59 p.m. ET

The Army is punishing 14 leaders at Fort Hood, relieving some high-ranking officers of duty and suspending other leaders after a review sparked by the killing of Spc. Vanessa Guillén.

Army Secretary Ryan D. McCarthy cited profound problems at the base, including a command climate that was "permissive of sexual harassment and sexual assault."

Swedish furniture giant Ikea is ending production of its famous catalog, saying the thick compendium of affordable sofas, knickknacks and housewares will leave "a phenomenal 70-year legacy."

The catalog has given people around the world a chance to reimagine their surroundings, featuring everything from new shelves and chairs to an entirely revamped kitchen.

"For both customers and co-workers, the IKEA Catalog is a publication that brings a lot of emotions, memories and joy," said Konrad Grüss, managing director of Inter IKEA Systems B.V. — the worldwide Ikea franchiser.

The U.K. will administer its first doses of COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday, government and health officials say, raising hopes that the vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech could help them tame the coronavirus.

"We're looking forward to the race starting on Tuesday," Chris Hopson, CEO of the U.K.'s NHS Providers, said Friday in an interview with the BBC. His organization represents hospitals and medical service groups.

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