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.

Tropical Storm Beta's heavy rainfall and slow movement is raising the risk of flooding "from the middle Texas coast to southeast Louisiana," the National Weather Service said. Beta is heading for a part of Louisiana where electricity service for thousands of people hasn't recovered from being knocked out by Hurricane Laura last month. Some isolated areas could see 15 inches of rain.

The U.K.'s COVID-19 numbers are rising fast and could reach new 50,000 cases per day by mid-October, the country's top science adviser announced Monday. Sir Patrick Vallance said his warning is based on current trends that show "the epidemic is doubling roughly every seven days."

"There's no doubt we're in a situation where the numbers are increasing," Vallance said during an online briefing hosted by 10 Downing Street. The challenge now, he added, is to prolong the time it takes for infection rates to double.

Updated at 2:41 p.m. ET

The Trump administration is banning Americans from downloading popular video-sharing app TikTok and limiting the use of WeChat because of national security concerns, the Commerce Department announced on Friday.

As of midnight on Sunday, TikTok will also not be able to receive system updates, which could affect its functionality, including slowing down the app, but the app's current version will still work for American users. Over time, however, TikTok may stop working altogether.

The remnants of Hurricane Sally are dropping torrential rain on southeastern states — and its center was still in Alabama early Thursday, more than 24 hours after making landfall as a Category 2 hurricane. The storm has brought rainfall that is being measured in feet, not inches, in many places.

Sally is now a tropical depression, but it's bringing new flood threats to Georgia and South Carolina Thursday, the National Hurricane Center says.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says he and other staff will take an unpaid furlough week, part of an effort to respond to billions of dollars in lost revenue and to show solidarity during the COVID-19 pandemic and related economic shutdowns.

Updated at 11:17 p.m. ET

Hurricane Sally brought 100-mph winds and the threat of historic flooding to southeastern Alabama and the western Florida Panhandle on Wednesday after making landfall as a Category 2 storm. Some isolated areas in its path could see nearly 3 feet of rain.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and representatives of Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates officially opened normal relations Tuesday, signing diplomatic agreements during a White House ceremony that was hosted by President Trump.

Updated at 6:15 a.m. ET Wednesday

Hurricane Sally's eye made landfall Wednesday morning, bringing a perilous threat of floods to areas along the northern Gulf Coast, according to forecasters. The hurricane is crawling along at just 2 mph, giving its heavy rains even more potential impact. A tornado watch has also been issued.

"Because of that slow movement, we're going to see torrential rainfall, a dangerous amount of rainfall," National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham said in an online briefing Tuesday morning.

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Portland, Ore., Mayor Ted Wheeler is telling the city's police to "end the use of CS gas for crowd control" in a policy change that he says is effective immediately.

Updated at 10:37 p.m. ET

At least 14 people have died in wildfires that are raging in Oregon, California and Washington state, adding to the horrible toll from record-setting fires in 2020.

Intense winds caused havoc on Utah's highways Tuesday, flipping dozens of semi trucks onto their sides and forcing officials to restrict travel on interstates. Hurricane-force wind gusts were common, forcing the Capitol building to be closed to employees.

Gov. Gary Herbert declared a state of emergency on Wednesday due to the severe wind event.

Updated at 10:27 p.m. ET

Intense wildfires are ravaging large swaths of the West Coast, prompting thousands of people to flee parts of Oregon and forcing power outages in California, where fires have already burned a record of more than 2.3 million acres this year. Fires are burning from Washington state to Southern California.

Updated at 5:58 p.m. ET

La'Ron Singletary is resigning as police chief in Rochester, N.Y., as protests continue over the March death of a Black man, Daniel Prude, by asphyxiation after being restrained by police. Much of the encounter was caught on video.

Other senior police leaders are joining Singletary in leaving the department, Rochester Mayor Lovely A. Warren said.

Nine drug companies pledged Tuesday that they will not submit vaccine candidates for FDA review until their safety and efficacy is shown in large clinical trials. The move is intended to bolster public confidence amid the rush to make a COVID-19 vaccine widely available, and counter fears of political pressure to have a vaccine before the November presidential election.

Updated at 2:25 p.m. ET

Rescue workers in Beirut are delicately exploring the rubble of a collapsed building where a specialist team says it detected signs of life — one month after Lebanon's capital was devastated by a massive explosion at its port.

The effort began after a sniffer dog named Flash signaled to his Chilean search and rescue team that someone might be alive under the concrete and debris in the neighborhood of Mar Mikhael.

"There's no doubt whatsoever" that an operation to poison Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was approved at the highest levels of Russia's government and intelligence services, according to Steven Hall, the former CIA chief of Russia operations.

"There really is no other way to explain this," Hall said in an interview with NPR's Mary Louise Kelly. "And this is something that the Russian intelligence services have been doing literally for decades, if not longer."

Updated at 10:55 a.m. ET

Facebook said it won't accept any new political ads in the week leading up to the presidential election, one of several policies that CEO Mark Zuckerberg said will help ensure a fair election in November. One such measure involves deleting posts that claim people will get COVID-19 if they vote.

The Army has removed Maj. Gen. Scott Efflandt from his post as Fort Hood's senior commander, a week after another soldier from the base was found dead. The Army also says it will expand its inquiry into the killing of Spc. Vanessa Guillén, who is one of a string of disappearances and deaths at the Texas post.

Updated at 2 p.m. ET

Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny was poisoned with a variant of Novichok, a Soviet-era nerve agent, according to tests carried out by a German military laboratory. A German government spokesman said the evidence is "without a doubt."

Navalny "is the victim of a crime that intended to silence him," German Chancellor Angela Merkel said during a news conference Wednesday about the findings. The crime, she said, was an "attempted murder."

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is ordering state agencies to end their relationships with Quest Diagnostics after the large medical laboratory said it had mistakenly delayed reporting the results of nearly 75,000 coronavirus tests to the state.

The delayed results dated as far back as April. Quest has apologized, saying a technical error was at fault.

While the problem resulted in Florida's Department of Health being left in the dark about a large clump of results, it did not keep people who took the tests from getting their results, the lab said.

New York City will delay its start of in-person classes at public schools until Sept. 21 as part of a deal with the United Federation of Teachers, Mayor Bill de Blasio and other officials announced Tuesday.

The union, which represents most of the city's educators, had been on the brink of voting whether to authorize a strike over safety precautions related to the coronavirus. The new agreement is aimed at addressing health concerns for educators and their students.

Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies shot and killed a Black man Monday afternoon, sparking a protest and an investigation by homicide detectives. Two deputies tried to stop the man as he was riding his bicycle and the encounter turned violent, the Sheriff's Department says.

Hurricane Laura unleashed terrible winds on the Louisiana coast, but its effects are "looking relatively tame from an economic perspective" – especially when compared with other powerful storms, according to an early analysis by Moody's Analytics.

Alexei Navalny has been in a medically induced coma and on a ventilator since last week, but the Charité hospital in Berlin says the Russian opposition figure's condition is stable and his life is not in danger.

"While his condition remains serious, there is no immediate danger to his life," the hospital said in a statement released Friday.

"There has been some improvement" in Navalny's condition, it added.

Emergency crews, utility workers and residents are mourning over the damage and cleaning up the mess Hurricane Laura made in southwest Louisiana. The storm — whose 150-mph winds tie for the strongest to ever hit the state — wrought destruction on a broad scale, leveling warehouses and crashing trees through roofs.

Residents are finding telephone poles and large trees strewn across streets. In Iowa, a small town a few miles east of Lake Charles on Interstate 10, the hurricane smashed Fire Station No. 1.

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