Bill Chappell

Bill Chappell is a blogger and producer who currently works on The Two Way, NPR's flagship blog. In the past, he has coordinated digital features for Morning Edition and Fresh Air, and edited 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.

As the world's financial markets struggle to cope with fears of a U.S. recession and a spreading European debt crisis, China on Tuesday called for more cooperation to stabilize markets and encourage growth.

Adding its seal of approval to a joint statement from finance ministers and central bank governors of the Group of 20 nations issued Monday, China's top officials urged "relevant nations" to cut their deficits and get debt problems under control.

The New York City Triathlon was the scene for an unprecedented tragedy Sunday, is considering changes to its screening process, after two competitors died during Sunday's race. Both Michael Kudryk, 64, and Amy Martich, 40, died during the swim portion of the event.

U.S. stock benchmarks took another big hit Monday, in the first day of trading since America's credit was downgraded by Standard and Poor's rating agency late Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial index closed below the 11,000 mark for the first time since late 2010, ending the day at 10,811.

The Standard and Poor's 500 Index, meant to reflect the U.S. domestic economy, sank by 6.7 percent Monday. According to Bloomberg, all 500 of the stocks in the index declined on the same day — something that hadn't happened since at least 1996.

Cars and buildings were burning and stores were looted in areas across London Monday, on the third night of riots and violence in the British capital. "Area is an absolute war zone," pub manager Alan McCabe told the BBC in Croydon.

Prime Minister David Cameron is returning early from his summer vacation to help get the riots under control. He will meet with police and Home Office officials Tuesday, part of his "COBRA" emergency response team. The group takes its name from the Cabinet Office Briefing Room in which it meets.

A ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit is being seen as a victory against "patent trolls," companies that acquire intellectual property for the sole purpose of extracting licensing fees or settlements, despite having no intention of using the protected technology or idea themselves.

Scientists have long thought that Earth's continents once formed a "supercontinent" called Pangaea. Now they've found evidence that parts of North America and East Antarctica were joined in a supercontinent called Rodinia 1.1 billion years ago — even earlier than Pangaea.

"I can go to the Franklin Mountains in West Texas and stand next to what was once part of Coats Land in Antarctica," said geochemist Staci Loewy, who led the work. "That's so amazing."

New details are emerging about the downing of a Chinook military helicopter in Afghanistan early Saturday that killed 30 U.S. service members and 8 Afghans. Of the American casualties, 22 were Navy SEALS. The NATO mission in Afghanistan released a statement about the crash Monday.

For Newscast, Ahmad Shafi reported:

Syria's President Bashar Assad has removed the country's defense minister and replaced him with the army chief of staff, according to Syria's state-run news agency. The change, one of several in key government posts, comes during Syria's "brutal crackdown on a five-month-old uprising" against Assad, the AP reports.

That crackdown is bringing pressure on Syria and Assad from nearly all quarters. As Eyder reported earlier, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have now recalled their ambassadors. Here's a quick rundown of other developments:

DuPont Co. is pulling a new herbicide from the market, after it was blamed for damaging or killing thousands of trees. Since the EPA approved the weedkiller Imprelis for sale last October, it has become the target of several lawsuits.

As reported by the Lawn and Landscape website, DuPont has posted a letter announcing the suspension of sales, and instituting a return-for-refund policy. The company also expressed regret for any "tree injuries."

U.S. stock markets finished Friday with a mix of gains and losses, ending a volatile week of steep declines on Wall Street. The release of better-than-expected July job numbers helped early in the day, but the data only seemed to pause, not end, the blood-letting.

But for drivers, there's an upside to the market's losses: The price of gasoline is going to fall, as well, dragged down by the same fears that prompted the flight from stocks.

Small beer brewers in Massachusetts were shocked this week, when the state alcohol commission announced a new rule that any "farmer-brewers" in the state must grow at least 50 percent of their beer's hops and grain themselves, or get them from a domestic farm they've contracted with for the purpose.

When it announced the advisory, the commission emphasized that farmer-brewer licenses were created to encourage development of the state's domestic farms. But the license also costs far less money than a full "manufacturer" permit.

President Obama outlined his plan to help veterans find jobs Friday, calling for better training for demobilized soldiers and tax credits for employers who hire them. In June, there were 1 million unemployed veterans in America, and the jobless rate for post-Sept. 11 veterans stood at 13.3 percent — about four points higher than the national average.

Ari Shapiro filed this report for Newscast:

The Los Angeles school district has rehired 450 elementary school teachers who had been laid off in June. The AP reports that the jobs were restored after "a combination of retirements, resignations, dismissals and a four-day furlough agreement with the teachers union allowed the district to rescind the layoffs."

The layoffs were part of massive job cuts instituted this summer, as Los Angeles dealt with state funding cuts. Although the school district has rehired 4,170 teachers and support staff since those initial cuts were made, some 1,450 personnel remain laid off.

Cable and Internet provider Comcast is launching a new initiative aimed at bridging the digital divide, offering discounted web access and home computers to families that meet income requirements.

The plan, called Internet Essentials, will be available wherever Comcast offers Internet services — which it currently does in 39 states. The company has launched websites in English and Spanish to promote the program.

Dog lovers in China and elsewhere can sleep easier tonight, after officials in Jiangmen withdrew a proposed ban on dogs in the city. The near-total ban, which would have resulted in thousands of dogs being either killed or transported to rural areas, was prompted by fears of rabies in the city of 3.8 million.

An unlikely story has emerged from the world of the NFL, which until recently exported only tales of internecine warfare among millionaires. But first: If you're a football fan — but love to hate the Pittsburgh Steelers — you may want to just click away now. Because what happened recently may diminish your ability to despise the Steel Curtain.

The day before Steelers secondary coach Ray Horton left to become the Arizona Cardinals' defensive coordinator, he stopped by the team complex for some final farewells.

Is Budweiser puttin' on the Ritz? The self-crowned King of Beers will soon be sold in a newly designed can — one whose graphics are dominated by a bow tie. And the can's new look was created by a London-based design firm.

Japan is firing three top nuclear energy officials, nearly five months after the country suffered the worst nuclear disaster since the Chernobyl accident of 1986. And Banri Kaieda, the industry minister in charge of energy policy, said that he will resign as soon as he replaces the officials.

"I'm planning to breathe fresh air into the ministry with a large-scale reshuffle," Kaieda said at a news conference. "I'll have new people rebuild the ministry."

Fifty years after it was brought back from extinction, a Southern flower has taken another step toward survival, as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plans to take it off its Threatened and Endangered Species list.

The Tennessee purple coneflower is only the fifth plant ever to be removed from the list due to recovery. The move, announced Wednesday, will become official on Sept. 2.

The currency of Switzerland has soared to record highs against the U.S. dollar and the euro. And that has the Swiss government worried, as a stronger franc also makes the country's exports more expensive.

Investors have rushed to buy Swiss francs, seeing them as a safe haven. In much the same way, gold prices have soared in recent times of economic uncertainty. Gold hit a new record this week, trading at $1,661 an ounce.

The FAA's partial shutdown will be coming up on the two-week mark Saturday, and there's little sign of movement on the issue. Here's a collection of recent developments to keep you updated:

The shutdown doesn't include air traffic controllers. But it has left 4,000 FAA employees, and an additional 70,000 contractors, either furloughed or fired outright.

NPR's Richard Gonzales spoke to Richard Zemlok, an electrician in Oakland, Calif., who was one of those left without a paycheck:

Officials in Jiangmen, China, are banning residents from keeping dogs, in a move that will take effect at the end of August, according to Chinese media. In one week, owners can begin taking their dogs to drop-off centers, where they will be either adopted by residents of rural areas or euthanized.

The ban targets dogs in densely populated sections of Jiangmen, a city with a population of 3.8 million. Any owners who wish to keep their dogs must apply for a license, reports China Daily.

Jeffrey Quick doesn't have any family ties to legendary Yankees ballplayer Lou Gehrig. But his collection of mementos from Gehrig's life — a glove and a grade-school autograph book among them — are the kinds of things passed down from one generation to the next. And that's how Quick got them. Gehrig's mother, Christina, left them to Quick's mother, back in 1954.

As Quick tells All Things Considered co-host Michele Norris, his mother, Ruth Quick, briefly dated Lou Gehrig, back when he was a single superstar in New York.

The Federal Aviation Administration has been in a partial shutdown mode since July 22. And Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says the shutdown will continue, with some 4,000 federal workers remaining on furlough.

"It'll be closed until... maybe not September, maybe more than that," he tells All Things Considered co-host Michele Norris.

The House of Representatives' vote to raise the debt ceiling Monday was upstaged by the surprise appearance of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), making her first visit to the chamber since being shot in the head in January during a visit to her home state.