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.

London Mayor Boris Johnson's ambitious plan to reshape how the city handles cyclist traffic got final approval Wednesday, clearing the way for the spread of segregated bike lanes and dedicated traffic signals. Johnson plans to create a network for cyclists that rivals the city's transit system.

He started out in golf as a caddy, earning handfuls of change as a boy. Decades later, Charlie Sifford was named to the World Golf Hall of Fame, after a career marked by talent, character and the drive to change his sport. Sifford, the first black golfer to hold a PGA Tour card, has died at age 92.

Nearly 20 years after an earlier proposed merger was rejected by U.S. regulators, Staples says it is acquiring Office Depot for $6.3 billion. Combined, the two office supply giants would have annual sales of some $39 billion.

"Staples began discussions to acquire Office Depot in September 2014," the companies said in a news release. "The agreement has been unanimously approved by each company's Board of Directors."

Responding to a horrific video that shows one of its pilots being burned alive, Jordan has executed two jihadists, including a prisoner whose freedom had been sought by the self-declared Islamic State militant group. The father of pilot Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh is calling for revenge.

In Jordan, reactions to the pilot's killing have ranged from sorrow to anger. Today, the pilot's father said that ISIS must be eliminated.

To mark 80 years of Monopoly, game-maker Hasbro has tucked real money into 80 game sets to be sold in France. The amount of cash in the boxes varies; only one set will come with the equivalent of the Monopoly bank.

Finding the 20,580 euros will be a challenge. Hasbro is putting a sticker on 30,000 boxes of the game to announce that they might contain real cash. The company says it sells about 500,000 of the sets in France each year.

Financial ratings service Standard & Poor's will pay almost $1.38 billion to settle charges that it took part in a scheme in which investors lost billions of dollars after putting money into securities whose credit ratings didn't reflect their true risk.

Under the settlement, S&P parent company McGraw Hill Financial will make two payments of $687.5 million: one to the U.S. Justice Department and another that's divided among 19 states and the District of Columbia.

McGraw Hill says it will also pay $125 million to the California Public Employees' Retirement System.

The conflict that followed the breakup of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s included widespread killing, rape and torture, says the International Court of Justice in The Hague. But the court said Tuesday that the acts can't be deemed genocide, something both Croatia and Serbia have claimed in filings against each other.

Britain is on track to become the first country in the world to legalize a controversial procedure that uses DNA from three people to produce an embryo, as a way to cut out inherited DNA that can cause serious health problems in children.

One of the Taliban officials who were released last year in exchange for the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has raised U.S. officials' suspicions that he might attempt to reconnect with the group.

The exchange of five men who had been detained at the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay for the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who had been captured in 2009, occurred on May 31, 2014. It set off a range of reactions, from happiness at the soldier's safe return to anger that the Obama administration had released five senior members of the Taliban.

It would be perfectly normal to think of archery as a sport defined by accuracy. But a Danish man who says he researched archery's historic methods is arguing for speed and agility, as well: Lars Andersen has released a video in which he fires three arrows in 0.6 seconds.

In fact, Andersen makes a claim to the title of "the fastest archer alive."

Today is a great day to be DeMarcus Cousins. Not only did he get to serve a chilly dish of revenge to a sportswriter who dismissed him in 2010; he was also chosen for the NBA's All-Star Game.

This morning, Cousins posted a photo of a 2010 tweet by writer Clay Travis, who wrote, "There is a 100% chance that DeMarcus Cousins is arrested for something in the next five years."

Five years later, Cousins, who now plays for the Sacramento Kings, wrote, "Today's the day!! Let's all show him some love!!"

A record nine car models recorded driver death rates of zero, in a periodic study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The group's focus on 2011 models driven through 2012 also found the overall death rate fell by more than a third from its previous study.

The new study found that when looking at 2011 models through the 2012 calendar year, driver deaths per million registered vehicle years fell to 28; just three years earlier, the driver death rate was 48.

Three Americans who were working as contractors in Afghanistan died in a gunman's attack at the Hamid Karzai International Airport complex Thursday, the Associated Press reports.

The news agency adds:

"It was not immediately clear who did the shooting or whether the shooter was a member of the Afghan security forces.

"The U.S. defense officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the incident was in the early stages of investigation."

In addition to the U.S. casualties, an Afghan citizen also died, the AP says.

In an update to a complicated situation, a Japanese hostage held by the violent extremist group ISIS has reportedly been forced to record a message setting a Thursday deadline for Jordan to release an Iraqi prisoner. If not, the message says, the group will kill a Jordanian pilot it's holding.

The new demand and deadline was reported Wednesday, the day ISIS's original 24-hour deadline for the release of Sajida al-Rishawi, Iraqi prisoner held in Jordan, was to expire.

It's been nearly 100 years since a sighting of a Sierra Nevada red fox was documented in Yosemite National Park, according to park staff. But a remote motion-sensitive camera recently took photos of one of the rare animals as it padded across the snow.

"The Sierra Nevada red fox of California is one of the rarest mammals in North America," reports Ed Joyce of Capital Public Radio, "likely consisting of fewer than 50 individuals."

Now researchers believe they've seen one of the foxes twice since the start of December.

During her first day of confirmation hearings for attorney general, nominee Loretta Lynch gave answers that seemed in line with President Obama. But then she was asked about marijuana, and whether she supports legalizing it.

"Senator, I do not," Lynch told Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., when he asked whether she supports making pot legal.

The execution of three inmates has been put on hold, as the Supreme Court intervenes in a case that involves the controversy over the drugs states use to put people to death. The justices cited the sedative midazolam, which has been used in three executions that did not go smoothly.

The Supreme Court's stay is likely to hold until April, when it will hear arguments from three inmates who say that Oklahoma's execution protocol violates the U.S. Constitution.

The court's order did not elaborate on the reasons or debate behind the move:

They call it "The last McDonald's hamburger in Iceland." Purchased more than five years ago, it has been displayed in the Na­tional Mu­seum of Ice­land. Now a webcam has been devoted to the hamburger (with a side of fries), among the last sold by the American company in the country.

Coastal flooding and dangerous conditions were still affecting New England Tuesday evening, with blizzard warnings declared from Rhode Island to parts of New Hampshire and Maine. Since Sunday, parts of Connecticut, Massachusetts and other states have had more than two feet of snow.

Strong winds were a main concern along the coast, as they drove flood waters inland and caused other problems. The National Weather Service says winds gusted at over 70 mph in Nantucket and Chatham, Mass.

A jury has found two former members of the Vanderbilt University football team guilty of multiple counts of aggravated rape and aggravated sexual battery, in a case that stems from a 2013 assault in a dorm room. Others also face charges in the case.

Brandon Vandenburg and Cory Batey will face sentencing on March 6. Convicted of multiple felonies, the two could be sentenced to decades in prison.

From Nashville, Blake Farmer of member station WPLN reports:

Reversing what had been an unpopular approach, the White House says it is dropping the idea of ending a tax break for 529 college savings plans. Critics had called the proposal a tax hike. All 50 states and the District of Columbia sponsor 529 plans.

Money in 529 accounts is meant to grow along with future college students, and then be distributed to pay for education expenses without being taxed.

Whatever the question, Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch has the answer. At a (mandatory) media appearance for the upcoming Super Bowl, Lynch stuck to one response Tuesday: "I'm just here so I won't get fined." After he said it nearly 30 times, he added one word: "Time."

Days after a federal judge in Alabama ruled in favor of a same-sex couple who want their marriage recognized, the chief justice of the state's Supreme Court has sent a letter telling the governor that federal courts don't have jurisdiction over what constitutes a marriage in Alabama.

Chief Justice Roy Moore said that Friday's ruling by U.S. District Judge Callie V.S. Granade "has raised serious, legitimate concerns about the propriety of federal court jurisdiction over the Alabama Sanctity of Marriage Amendment."

Updated: 3:25 a.m. ET Tuesday:

Along the East Coast, people are waiting to see what Mother Nature unleashes. Forecasters had predicted the storm could bring 1 to 3 feet of snow and hurricane-force winds. But early Tuesday morning, the National Weather Service downgraded some of the numbers. It says New England will get slammed the hardest but not as badly as had been expected.

Original Post:

One week after an Argentine prosecutor was found dead on the eve of his testimony about an alleged government cover-up of a terrorist attack, President Cristina Fernandez has announced the dissolution of her government's intelligence agency.

Fernandez said she plans to shut down the SI, the Secretariat of Intelligence, in favor of a newly created agency, the Federal Intelligence Agency. She said it's time to reform the intelligence service because the existing one "has not served the national interests."

A former CIA officer who was accused of giving a journalist classified information about U.S. plans to spoil Iran's nuclear program has been convicted of espionage in federal court.

Jeffrey Sterling, 47, was officially fired from the CIA in 2002; he was indicted for espionage in 2011 and now faces the possibility of dozens of years in prison. He'll be sentenced in April.

The federal budget deficit will fall in 2015, the sixth consecutive year of decreases relative to the overall economy, according to new figures by the Congressional Budget Office. The office also says the U.S. economy will expand at a "solid pace" for the next few years.

Shannon Conley, 19, has been sentenced to four years in prison for trying to travel to Turkey and work as a nurse for the extremist group ISIS. Conley reached a plea agreement over charges of trying to provide support for the terrorist group last fall.

When she was arrested, Conley was living in the Denver suburb of Arvada, where she had initially raised suspicions by visiting the grounds of a church and making notes and drawings. She was arrested months later, after several warnings from FBI agents.

A hip chronicle of ag life isn't dead yet, the owner of Modern Farmer says. The National Magazine Award winner lost its last paid editorial staff Friday, The New York Times reports. But the story comes with a clarification: Modern Farmer's owner says he'll publish again this summer.

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.

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