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 NPR.org.

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 SI.com, and editing and producing stories for CNN.com'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.

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.

Confessed Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik's "manifesto" references many statistics and papers dealing with both science and global population. But what if you were a writer — and you learned that the man who killed 77 people had quoted some of your work?

Efforts to help people in southern Somalia, where famine relief efforts have been stymied by al-Shabaab, a group on the U.S. terrorism watchlist, may get easier in the coming weeks. That's because pending changes to U.S. rules will allow aid groups to deliver food in those areas, according to an AP report.

Citing sources who wished to remain anonymous, the AP says:

Americans put more of their money into savings in June, at the expense of consumer spending — and that came as a surprise to analysts. The month's drop in spending was the first in nearly two years (20 months).

The House of Representatives' vote to approve a bill raising the U.S. federal debt ceiling ended weeks of uncertainty and bitter debate. But even as the vote tally came in, the loudest cheers in the chamber were heard when Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) made her first appearance on the House floor since she was severely wounded by a gunman in January.

The House of Representatives has approved legislation to raise the federal debt ceiling and prevent a possible U.S. default, as the nation moves toward ending a bitter standoff.

The bill passed by a vote of 269 to 161; it required only a simple majority to pass.

A loud round of applause broke out on the House floor as the votes came in — apparently prompted by the sudden appearance of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon condemned Syria's use of violence against anti-government protesters, urging Damascus to halt its military attacks on those unhappy with the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. In a statement, Ban said that Syrian officials "are accountable under international human rights law for all acts of violence perpetrated by them against the civilian population."

The SEAL mission that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden was in doubt for around a full minute after one of its helicopters crash-landed at the al-Qaida leader's hideout in Abbottabad, Pakistan. That and other details are in Nicholas Schmidle's account of the raid, in a piece in The New Yorker.

The state of South Carolina has lost a leading light of its Civil Rights transformation, as U.S. District Judge Matthew J. Perry died this past weekend. Perry, who spurred social and educational integration, would have celebrated his 90th birthday this week.

For the second year in a row, two universities in towns named Athens are at the top of the Party Schools rankings put out by the Princeton Review. But this year, Ohio University topped the University of Georgia for the No. 1 spot.

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