Bill Chappell

Bill Chappell is a blogger and producer who works with NPR's Morning Edition and Digital Media group. In addition to coordinating Web features, he frequently contributes to NPR's blogs, from The Two Way and All Tech Considered to The Salt.

Chappell's work at NPR has ranged from being the site's first full-time homepage editor to leading 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 trains both digital and radio staff to use digital tools to tell compelling stories, in addition to "evangelizing" — promoting more collaboration between departments. Other shows he has worked with include All Things Considered, Fresh Air, and Talk of the Nation.

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.

Chappell's work for CNN also included producing Web stories and editing digital video for SI.com, as well as editing and producing stories for CNN.com's features division. He also worked at the network's video and research library.

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

From 2002-2003, Chappell served as editor-in-chief of The Trans-Atlantic Journal, a business and lifestyle monthly geared for expatriate Europeans working and living in the United States.

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.

In an update to a story that's become a central topic of the lead-up to the Super Bowl, the NFL says it has found evidence of footballs being underinflated at last Sunday's AFC Championship Game, hosted by the New England Patriots. The Patriots won, 45-7.

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah has died. The health of Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud had previously been the subject of rumors; word emerged earlier this month that he was indeed ill with a lung infection.

Abdullah was 90 years old. He ruled Saudi Arabia for nearly 10 years, having assumed the throne after his brother King Fahd died in 2005.

The kingdom's new ruler is King Salman, Abdullah's half-brother, according to state TV. Salman is reportedly 79.

The news has just emerged. We'll update this post as we learn new details.

Acknowledging that he would rather be discussing the upcoming Super Bowl, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said he didn't give the game balls a thought during his team's win over the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship Game.

"I didn't alter the ball in any way," Brady told a roomful of reporters at a Thursday news conference. He described the routine he goes through before every game to select footballs that have been conditioned by the Patriots' equipment staff.

The NASCAR season that begins next month will bring the last run at a championship for Jeff Gordon, who announced today that he won't race full-time after this year. Now 43, Gordon has been part of competitive racing since he was 5 years old.

But don't call it a retirement. Gordon says he'll stay involved in both NASCAR and Hendrick Motorsports, the team he's been affiliated with for more than two decades.

A bill that would prohibit using federal money to pay for "any abortion" or for "health benefits coverage that includes coverage of abortion" has been approved by the House.

The bill passed by a vote of 242-179. Titled the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2015, it was introduced by Rep. Christopher Smith, R-N.J., and others, including Speaker John Boehner.

Its stipulations include:

The Justice Department is poised to declare that former police officer Darren Wilson should not face civil rights charges over the death of Michael Brown, law enforcement sources tell NPR. Wilson, who is white, shot and killed Brown, who was black, in August. Brown was not armed.

"Two law enforcement sources tell NPR they see no way forward to file criminal civil rights charges" against Wilson, NPR's Carrie Johnson reports. She adds, "Those charges would require authorities to prove the officer used excessive force and violated Brown's constitutional rights."

Rich German says he had been dreaming of getting a close look at orcas. That dream came true recently, as a pod of five orcas swam around — and even under — German while he stood on his paddle board off of Laguna Beach, Calif.

The intimate sighting came after years in which German says he has seen graceful sea animals, from dolphins to blue whales.

Massachusetts State Police are crediting New England Patriots defensive tackle Vince Wilfork with helping a driver at an accident Sunday night, after Wilfork helped lift a woman out of a crashed car — "with one hand," police say. The car had turned over on its side, trapping the driver.

The incident occurred at 12:45 a.m., as Wilfork, whose NFL bio lists as being 6 feet 2 inches tall and 325 pounds, was heading home from the Patriots' win in the AFC Championship Game. That's when he saw a car had crashed on Route 1, which runs past his team's stadium in Foxborough.

On a graph, they look like detonations. Scientists call them "fast radio bursts," or FRBs: mysterious and strong pulses of radio waves that seemingly emanate far from the Milky Way.

The bursts are rare; they normally last for only about 1 millisecond. In a first, researchers in Australia say they've observed one in real time.

NPR's Joe Palca reports:

One day before he was to testify about an alleged cover-up after a deadly terrorist bombing at a Jewish center in Argentina, a federal prosecutor was found dead of a gunshot wound in his Buenos Aires apartment.

Alberto Nisman's body was found Sunday. Officials say they also found a gun, but no note that might indicate his death was a suicide, according to local daily Clarin. An autopsy is being performed today, the newspaper adds.

Did the New England Patriots tamper with the footballs used in the AFC Championship Game? The NFL is asking that question, after the host Patriots beat the Indianapolis Colts, 45-7, in rainy conditions Sunday.

Less than a week after his actions were credited with saving the lives of customers at the grocery store where he works, Lassana Bathily has learned that France wants to give him citizenship.

Citing Bathily's "act of bravery," Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve says France will expedite a citizenship application that Bathily filed last July. The minister will also head Bathily's naturalization ceremony next Tuesday.

Federal workers with a pressing need can take an advance of up to six weeks of sick leave under a new policy unveiled by President Obama on Thursday. The White House is urging Congress to make paid sick leave mandatory in the U.S.

The president signed a memorandum today instructing federal agencies to advance up to six weeks of paid sick leave to workers who need the time to care for a new child, a family member or for similar uses.

The FBI arrested Christopher Lee Cornell of Cincinnati, charging him with buying weapons to carry out a terrorist attack on Washington, D.C. Cornell, 20, was monitored by federal agents who say he used Twitter to express support for the extremist group Islamic State as well as "violent jihad."

The arrest warrant for Cornell, who authorities say was known online as Raheel Mahrus Ubaydah, says that he "purchased and possessed firearms in furtherance of a plan to shoot and kill United States Government officers and employees."

As it mourns the tragedy of last week's attack in Paris, France's government is also concerned about more attacks and how to adapt to prevent them. The concerns range from coping with 5,000 radical youth to becoming a society of immigration, France's ambassador to the United States, Gerard Araud, says.

While France's leaders had feared a terrorist attack within its borders, Araud says that "what happened was in a sense maybe worse than what we were expecting, because it was done in a very professional way."

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