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.

Hank Aaron, a hero of baseball and of civil rights, is being buried in Atlanta Wednesday, drawing friends, family and sports luminaries to say farewell to the widely respected slugger and activist.

Aaron's wife, Billye, their family and friends gathered in church and online to celebrate the man that Friendship Baptist Church Pastor Richard W. Wills Sr. called "this iconic marvel from Mobile."

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 3:10 p.m. ET

Hank Aaron, seen as a hero for shattering Babe Ruth's home run record and also for his longtime advocacy for civil rights, has died. "Hammerin' Hank" was 86. The Atlanta Braves confirmed his death on Friday.

A U.N. treaty outlawing nuclear weapons went into effect on Friday, having been ratified by at least 50 countries. But the ban is largely symbolic: The U.S. and the world's other nuclear powers have not signed the treaty.

"For the first time in history, nuclear weapons are going to be illegal in international law," Elayne Whyte, Costa Rica's former U.N. ambassador who oversaw the treaty's creation, tells NPR's Geoff Brumfiel.

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 3:33 p.m. ET

Militias and mass protests did not appear in Washington, D.C., during President Biden's inauguration Wednesday — a welcome development for security and law enforcement agencies. Some 25,000 National Guard members are in the city, where insurrectionists stormed the U.S. Capitol just two weeks ago.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is accusing China and its Communist Party of carrying out genocide against Muslim Uighurs and other minority groups in the western Xinjiang region in a forceful statement issued on Pompeo's last full day in his diplomatic role.

An art project that turned the border wall at the U.S.-Mexico border into the temporary base for pink seesaws – inviting children on each side to come play together – has won the London's Design Museum award for best design of 2020.

"We are totally surprised by this unexpected honor," said Ronald Rael, who designed the project with fellow architect Virginia San Fratello. They share the award, he said, with the Ciudad Juárez, Mexico-based art collective Colectivo Chopeke.

President-elect Joe Biden is nominating Pennsylvania health expert Dr. Rachel Levine to be assistant secretary for health in the department of Health and Human Services, in a move that could make Levine the first openly transgender federal official to win Senate confirmation.

Levine is currently the secretary of health in Pennsylvania, where she leads the state's fight against COVID-19. She is also professor at the Penn State College of Medicine. Levine began her medical career as a pediatrician at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York.

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.

Updated at 9:41 a.m. ET

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has won a sixth term in office, fighting off a challenge by former singer Bobi Wine — who was just a child when Museveni came into power back in 1986. Wine's run drew many young Ugandans to pay attention to politics.

Updated at 5:12 p.m. ET

The National Mall, where millions of people have gathered to mark historic events in Washington, D.C., was closed to the public late Friday morning, as officials announced a string of security measures meant to foil any attempts to derail next week's inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.

Updated at 3:05 p.m. ET

The top federal prosecutor for the District of Columbia said Friday that investigators have not uncovered direct evidence at this point of any "kill/capture teams" targeting elected officials during the U.S. Capitol insurrection, contradicting allegations made earlier by federal prosecutors in Arizona.

U.S. prosecutors in Arizona said Thursday in a court filing against Jacob Chansley, also known as the "QAnon Shaman," that they have "strong evidence" members of the pro-Trump mob wanted to "capture and assassinate" officials.

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.

The violent attack on the U.S. Capitol is "the darkest day" of his career in Congress, Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., said in his opening statement Wednesday as the House prepared to take up a resolution to impeach President Trump.

But pursuing impeachment, Cole said, would only further divide the country. And he noted that the effort comes one week before Trump is set to leave office.

"We are debating this historic measure at an actual crime scene," Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., said Wednesday morning, discussing House Resolution 24, the measure that would impeach President Trump for the second time. He was speaking in the same chamber that was evacuated one week ago as a mob of pro-Trump extremists breached security and flooded into the halls of Congress.

Updated at 2:30 p.m. ET

Officials in Troy, N.H., are keeping the doors to their Town Hall locked after news that the town's police chief attended last week's large pro-Trump protest in Washington, D.C., triggered threats of violence.

The messages have been coming "more or less nonstop," Dick Thackston, chairman of the Troy Board of Selectmen, said by phone on Tuesday. He added that the Town Hall building only has one phone line.

"Every time we think that's got to be the last phone call or the last crazy email, there's another one," he said.

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 1:40 p.m. ET

Parler, the messaging app favored by far-right activists, has filed a lawsuit against Amazon Web Services alleging anti-trust and breach of contract. The company is seeking a temporary restraining order to prevent Amazon from removing Parler from its servers.

Amazon had told Parler it would suspend its account at 11:59 p.m. PT Sunday. The website has been offline since that deadline passed.

The Trump administration says it will designate Yemen's Houthi movement a terrorist organization, in a move that has elicited consternation from international aid organizations and authorities.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the U.S. wants to "deter further malign activity by the Iranian regime" that backs the Houthis.

The designation is set to take effect on Jan. 19 — the day before Trump leaves office and President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in.

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.

Updated at 4 p.m. ET

The Justice Department says Richard Barnett, identified as the man who sat at a desk in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office during the siege of the U.S. Capitol by pro-Trump extremists, has been arrested.

Barnett was taken into custody in his home state of Arkansas. His identity and place of residence became a hot topic of discussion online, sparked by the striking photo of him with his feet up on the desk.

Two days after a shocking insurrection took over the U.S. Capitol, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has ordered the building's flags be flown at half-staff in honor of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who died after being injured in the mayhem.

"On behalf of the House of Representatives, I send our deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of Officer Brian Sicknick, who died following the assault on the Capitol complex and protecting those who serve and work here," Pelosi said on Friday.

Lehigh University has revoked an honorary degree that President Trump held for more than 30 years. The Pennsylvania school's board of trustees held a special vote this week after Trump incited an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

"The decision came after a special session of the Executive Committee on Thursday and was fully affirmed earlier today," student newspaper The Brown and White reported.

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