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 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.

"This is all still surreal," says Amir Hekmati, a former U.S. Marine who's one of four Americans released by Iran this past weekend. Freed after more than four years of imprisonment, Hekmati says he feels like he's been born again.

"I am an academy member and it doesn't reflect me," actor David Oyelowo said last night, rebuking the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for again failing to nominate black performers.

Speaking at a Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Award Gala in Los Angeles, Oyelowo asked those present to pray for the academy's president, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, saying she needs their support.

For more than two hours Tuesday, Twitter was largely unavailable, with users around the world unable to log in to the service. Some of those problems have now been resolved. The company hasn't provided details about what went wrong; some features were still presenting problems Tuesday morning.

Service seemed to resume in fits and starts, with users who were able to log in finding that search, direct messaging and other functions didn't work.

Not since China faced international sanctions over the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre has its economy grown at such a slow pace: just below 7 percent last year. Investors had expected the results, and now they're looking to Chinese policymakers to enact a stimulus plan.

China's growth dipped to 6.8 percent in the last quarter of 2015, dragging down annual growth to 6.9 percent.

The prospect of new support from the central bank led shares in both the Shanghai and Shenzhen composite indexes to rise by more than 3 percent Tuesday.

In Hawaii, the Coast Guard is leading a large search for 12 service members who were believed to be aboard two Marine heavy-lift helicopters that collided overnight. The incident occurred off the coast of Oahu.

So far, there's no word of any potential surivors. We'll update this post with news as it emerges.

From Hawaii News Now:

Citing concerns over pricing and pollution, the Obama administration on Friday unveiled a moratorium on new coal leases on federal lands. The change won't affect existing leases, which generated nearly $1.3 billion for the government last year.

The Department of the Interior says it wants to make sure the money it's charging for coal leases takes into account both market prices and what's often called the "social costs" of coal — its impact on climate change and public health.

The agency says federal lands account for roughly 40 percent of all U.S. coal production.

Police carried out raids and made several arrests in Indonesia on Friday, as the country tried to find anyone who helped five terrorists carry out Thursday's deadly attack in downtown Jakarta. State police say they suspect an Indonesian man allied with ISIS planned the attack from Syria.

"Police raided several locations in the early hours of Friday morning" and made arrests in the Jakarta suburb of Depok, NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports. "Police found an Islamic State flag at the site of the arrests, but it's not clear exactly how they were linked to ISIS or yesterday's attacks."

One day after the West Africa region that suffered a two-year Ebola epidemic was declared free of the deadly disease, Sierra Leone has confirmed another death from Ebola. The World Health Organization says there's still a risk of more flare-ups.

Officials are now trying to trace any contacts the person who died may have had, in a desperate attempt to cut short a potential new chain of transmission.

The competitors in the 2016 Oscars race were announced Thursday, in an event that was live-streamed from California. The winners will be announced on Feb. 28.

British actor Alan Rickman, a veteran of dozens of films, has died at age 69. Recently, Rickman was most well-known for portraying the complicated villain Severus Snape in the films based on J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books.

"Rickman had been suffering from cancer," The Guardian reports.

Attackers set off explosions inside or near a Starbucks in a busy shopping area in Indonesia's capital city Thursday, killing at least seven people — including five attackers — and injuring more than a dozen others, according to police and officials. In the hours since the assault, people in Jakarta have taken to Twitter to declare, "We Are Not Afraid."

News that the NFL's owners approved a plan to move the St. Louis Rams back to Los Angeles next season is causing excitement in California — and bitter dismay in St. Louis, where fans and officials alike say they feel betrayed.

Jérôme Valcke, a longtime ally to suspended FIFA President Sepp Blatter, has been dismissed from his post as the secretary general of soccer's world governing body.

Valcke was initially suspended from his post by FIFA's ethics committee last fall, following allegations that he was involved in a scheme to profit from World Cup ticket sales.

Acting Secretary General Dr. Markus Kattner will continue in the role, FIFA says.

Less than 24 hours after reports of their detention emerged, 10 U.S. Navy personnel have been freed by Iran. The sailors left an Iranian naval base on Farsi Island in the Persian Gulf on Wednesday morning, along with the boats they were operating when they were taken into custody.

"There are no indications that the sailors were harmed during their brief detention," the Department of Defense says, confirming the release of nine men and one woman.

The California Air Resources Board has rejected Volkswagen's plan to recall cars with 2-liter diesel engines that trick emissions tests, saying the company's plan is incomplete. The Environmental Protection Agency says it concurs.

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