Bill Chappell

Bill Chappell is a writer and producer who currently works on The Two Way, NPR's flagship news portal. In the past, he has edited and coordinated digital features for Morning Edition and Fresh Air, in addition to editing the rundown of All Things Considered. He frequently contributes to other NPR blogs, such as All Tech Considered and The Salt.

Chappell's work at NPR has ranged from being the site's first full-time homepage editor to being the lead writer and editor on the London 2012 Olympics blog, The Torch. His assignments have included being the lead web producer for NPR's trip to Asia's Grand Trunk Road, as well as establishing the Peabody Award-winning StoryCorps on

In 2009, Chappell was a key editorial member of the small team that redesigned NPR's web site. One year later, the site won its first Peabody Award, along with the National Press Foundation's Excellence in Online Journalism award.

At NPR, Chappell has trained both digital and radio staff to use digital tools to tell compelling stories, in addition to "evangelizing" — promoting more collaboration between legacy and digital departments.

Prior to joining NPR in late 2003, Chappell worked on the Assignment Desk at CNN International, handling coverage in areas from the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America, and coordinating CNN's pool coverage out of Qatar during the Iraq war.

Chappell's work for CNN also included producing Web stories and editing digital video for, and editing and producing stories for's features division.

Before joining CNN, Chappell wrote about movies, restaurants and music for alternative weeklies, in addition to his first job: editing the police blotter.

A holder of bachelor's degrees in English and History from the University of Georgia, he attended graduate school for English Literature at the University of South Carolina.

The Federal Communications Commission is proposing a change to allow travelers to make phone calls as they fly on jetliners in the U.S. The agency's new chairman, Tom Wheeler, calls the current ban on the use of cellphones during flights "outdated and restrictive."

Here's a statement from Wheeler that was released Thursday:

The Dow Jones industrial average tacked on 109 points Thursday for a gain of less than 1 percent. But the small rise brought a big milestone, as the industrial index closed above 16,000 for the first time in its history. The index had touched the mark earlier this week but fell short by the day's end.

Today, the Dow closed at 16,009.99.

The historic moment for the benchmark index that tracks 30 leading U.S. companies came on a day that began with positive economic news.

The number of homeless people in the U.S. shrank from 2012 to 2013, according to a large government study that found the number of veterans and others who are homeless declined for the third straight year. But homeless numbers rose in New York and other states, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The study also found that nearly 20 percent of homeless people were in either New York City (11 percent of the U.S. total) or Los Angeles (9 percent).

In an agreement settling many U.S. claims over its sale of troubled mortgages, JPMorgan Chase will pay a record $13 billion, in a deal announced by the Justice Department Tuesday. The plan includes a $4 billion payment for consumer relief, along with a payment to investors of more than $6 billion and a large fine.

The latest updates on this story are at the bottom of this post. We've also added a few key points to the main post.

It pays to be unique when you're going for the title of best restroom in the land. Design details are crucial, and so is the choice of materials. It also doesn't hurt if you serve drinks in a commodious chamber. Those are the strengths of the Varsity Theater, a concert hall in Minneapolis that has won America's Best Restroom Contest for 2013.

Friday was a busy day in the crime-fighting world. As a superhero might say, you never know when a dastardly plot will emerge. And sometimes you're outnumbered. But not in Gotham, and not today — because an entire city seemed to stand with Batkid, aka a 5-year-old boy named Miles, whose wish to be a superhero has been granted.

Prosecutors in Michigan are charging a man with second-degree murder for a Nov. 2 incident in which Renisha McBride, 19, was shot in the face after knocking on Theodore Wafer's door at night in Dearborn Heights, a suburb west of Detroit.

McBride's family has said they believe she was seeking help after being in a car wreck hours earlier. We've updated this post with the latest information we have.

Update at 6:40 p.m. ET: Comments And Questions From Detroit

The House has approved a Republican-sponsored bill that would allow insurance companies to continue offering policies that would be canceled because they don't meet the standards of the Affordable Care Act. The Keep Your Health Plan Act, H.R. 3350, was adopted by a vote of 261-157, with 17 members not voting.

We've updated the top of this post with the results of the vote and other news.

Update at 7:30 p.m. ET: States Reportedly Confused By Obamacare Fix

Recreational marijuana is legal in Colorado. But that doesn't mean residents want the air to smell like a pot rally. Denver is getting more calls to enforce an odor ordinance that can impose a buzz-killing fine on violators. To find them, the city relies on a device called the Nasal Ranger.

Janet Yellen cleared a key hurdle Thursday, as her confirmation hearing to become the next chair of the Federal Reserve went smoothly. There were only a few snags in roughly two hours of questions and discussions between Yellen and members of the Senate banking committee.

Many of the senators lauded Yellen's extensive experience, as well as her adherence to views they heard her discuss in private meetings on Capitol Hill in recent weeks.

James "Whitey" Bulger has been sentenced to two terms of life in prison, to run consecutively, plus five years for his role in the murder of 11 people. Bulger, 84, is also being punished for racketeering and other crimes. Before announcing the sentence, U.S. District Judge Denise Casper read aloud the names of Bulger's victims.

A House oversight hearing examining the troubled start of was contentious from the start Wednesday, as Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., sought to cut short the opening remarks of one of the first officials to speak, Frank Baitman, the deputy assistant secretary for Information Technology in the Department of Health and Human Services.

Issa, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, asked Baitman to conclude his statement, noting that the panel's time was short. The interruption came as Baitman discussed the work of his agency to save taxpayers money.

More than 106,000 Americans selected health plans in the first reporting period of open enrollment for the new health insurance marketplace, according to data released Wednesday by the Department of Health and Human Services.

That number is only "about 20 percent of the government's October target," as NPR's Scott Horsley reports for our Newscast unit.

Less than 27,000 people used the federal site to select a plan. The overall number includes enrollments made via federal and state marketplaces from Oct. 1 to Nov. 2, the agency says.

Sports officials from cycling's governing body and the World Anti-Doping Agency will meet this week to discuss an in-depth review of doping among cyclists. But WADA's chief says that one topic that's not likely to be reviewed is Lance Armstrong's lifetime ban, which he calls "done and dusted."

WADA president John Fahey made that comment Tuesday in South Africa, where officials are meeting for the World Conference on Doping in Sport.

Citing high rates of sexual harassment and female genital mutilation, a new survey finds that women in Egypt face the worst treatment in any Arab country. Other countries with high levels of unrest — Iraq and Syria — are also among the worst for women, along with Saudi Arabia, according to the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

A man who served in the U.S. military and as a Texas police officer has been arrested near Monterrey, Mexico, where authorities say he led a kidnapping gang. The 32-year-old suspect is known by two names: Luis Ricardo Gonzalez Garcia and Javier Aguirre Cardenas, according to Mexican law enforcement officials. The 16-member gang is blamed for several violent crimes.

Officials say the suspect was traveling in a car in an upscale neighborhood on the edge of Monterrey last month when he was arrested. He was reportedly carrying a 9 mm handgun.

In a move that took many fans by surprise, the Atlanta Braves announced Monday that the team will move to the city's suburbs, where it will build a new stadium. The team's lease on Turner Field, the Braves' home since 1997, will expire in 2016.

The new stadium will be located "just outside Atlanta's city limits," reports Atlanta Daily World.

Georgia Public Broadcasting's Jane Hammond reports:

Americans are marking Veterans Day in a variety of ways Monday, from public ceremonies to proud notes on social media and quiet remembrances in homes and offices. Photos of husbands and grandfathers, mothers and sisters popped up on Facebook as a way to honor military veterans; on Twitter, the top four tags Monday afternoon revolved around veterans.

Here's a rundown of events and stories about those who served:

More than a ton of advanced electronics, including an ion engine and sensors that help detect variations in gravity, crashed into Earth's atmosphere Sunday night, when the European GOCE satellite ended its four-year mission. Most of the 2,425-pound craft disintegrated when it re-entered the atmosphere over the South Atlantic Ocean; about 25 percent did not.

There comes a time, it seems, when even parodies must face reality. And for The Onion, that time will come in December, when the satirical news source will stop publishing print editions and shift to being all-digital.

That's the news from Milwaukee Public Radio, which calls today "a sad day for the sarcastic among us."

Many health insurers must treat coverage of mental health and substance abuse in the same way they handle treatments for physical illness, according to a new rule issued Friday by the Obama administration.

After winning an election on a platform of pragmatism and compromise, Robert "Heshy" Bucholz, 39, is set to become what many believe will be the first Whig to hold elected office in Philadelphia since before the Civil War. A member of the upstart Modern Whig Party, Bucholz won the post of judge of elections in one of the city's wards.

It was prostate cancer, not an assassin's poison, that killed poet Pablo Neruda, officials in Chile announced Friday. The Nobel laureate's body was exhumed for testing this spring, due to claims from an employee and Neruda's family that the Chilean poet had been murdered at age 69.

From The Santiago Times:

Some of the classified documents leaked by Edward Snowden were acquired using the credentials of other NSA workers — including people who had higher security clearance than the former spy agency contractor, according to Reuters. As many as 25 people may have been duped, the news agency says, citing people close to the inquiry.

Snowden reportedly gained his National Security Agency colleagues' trust — and access to documents and data beyond his security clearance — by saying he needed to know their security information as part of his job as a computer systems administrator.

Clifford Nass, the Stanford University sociologist who helped pioneer studies that undermined ideas about multitasking, has died at age 55. The man who dedicated his career to thinking about how humans live in a digital age died after taking part in a hike near Lake Tahoe Saturday.

At Stanford, Nass was "a larger than life character," his colleague professor Byron Reeves tells NPR's All Things Considered. Reeves says Nass "was just incredibly enthusiastic about his work, about students."