Bill Chappell | KCUR

Bill Chappell

Bill Chappell is a writer and editor on the Newsdesk in the heart of NPR's newsroom in Washington, DC.

Chappell's work for NPR includes being the lead writer for online coverage of several Olympic Games, from London in 2012 and Rio in 2016 to Pyeongchang in 2018 – stints that also included posting numerous videos and photos to NPR's Instagram and other branded accounts. He has also previously been NPR.org's homepage editor.

Chappell established the Peabody Award-winning StoryCorps on NPR's website; his assignments also include being the lead web producer for NPR's trip to Asia's Grand Trunk Road. Chappell has coordinated special digital features for Morning Edition and Fresh Air, in addition to editing the rundown of All Things Considered. He also frequently contributes to other NPR blogs, such as The Salt.

At NPR, Chappell has trained both digital and radio staff to tell compelling stories, promoting more collaboration between departments and desks.

Chappell was a key editorial member of the small team that performed one of NPR's largest website redesigns. One year later, NPR.org won its first Peabody Award, along with the National Press Foundation's Excellence in Online Journalism award.

Prior to joining NPR, Chappell was part of the Assignment Desk at CNN International, working with reporters in areas from the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America. Chappell also edited and produced stories for CNN.com's features division, before moving on to edit video and produce stories for Sports Illustrated's website.

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

The U.K. economy contracted by 0.2% in the most recent quarter, feeding fears of a recession as the country approaches a deadline to exit from the European Union. The last time the economy shrank was nearly seven years ago, in late 2012. Economists had been expecting a flat quarter from the economy, not a contraction.

If the U.K. sees similar negative growth in the current quarter, the country will officially be deemed to be in a recession.

Updated at 9:08 p.m. ET

Prosecutors in Springfield, Mo., have filed formal charges of making a terrorist threat in the second degree against a 20-year-old man arrested for wearing body armor and carrying a loaded rifle — and more than 100 rounds of ammunition — at a Walmart store Thursday.

If they appear, "Shoeless" Joe Jackson and Archibald "Moonlight" Graham will only be there in spirit. But for one night, big leaguers will play baseball at the Iowa farm that was made famous in the beloved film Field of Dreams.

The gun that was used on Sunday to kill nine people and wound more than a dozen others in Dayton, Ohio, inflicted that damage within just 30 seconds. But while the weapon might look like a rifle to many people, it's technically classified as a pistol under federal law.

Updated at 9:15 p.m. ET

As national and local leaders grapple with the nation's raw emotions over the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, the mayor of El Paso, Dee Margo, confirmed that President Trump will visit his city on Wednesday.

England's largest retailers are now selling 90% fewer plastic bags than they did before a 5-pence plastic bag fee began in late 2015, the U.K. government says. In the past year alone, the retailers' sales fell by nearly half, from more than 1 billion bags to fewer than 550 million.

The statistics come from reports by the seven biggest retailers in England: Asda, Marks & Spencer, Morrisons, Sainsbury's, The Co-operative Group, Tesco and Waitrose.

Five Columbus, Ohio, police officers are facing departmental punishment for their roles in arresting Stephanie Clifford — better known as Stormy Daniels — in a strip club last summer. They include a police commander, a lieutenant, a sergeant, and two of the officers who arrested Daniels.

Bangladesh is grappling with a record-breaking spike in dengue fever, with 1,477 new patients diagnosed just within the past 24 hours, according to the health ministry. Experts say the rise is part of a regional trend, driven by climate change and other factors.

Updated at 1:10 p.m. ET

The Trump administration is outlining two possible ways certain drugs that were intended for foreign markets could be imported to the U.S. — a move that would clear the way to import some prescription drugs from Canada.

A stretch of the border wall between the U.S. and Mexico was adorned with a set of pink see-saws this week — allowing children (and grownups) to play together across the barrier. The event was "filled with joy, excitement, and togetherness," says architect Ronald Rael, a leader of the project.

The seesaws were installed on Sunday, when their steel beams were eased through the slats of the tall fence that divides Sunland Park, N.M., from Colonia Anapra — a community on the western side of Ciudad Juárez in Mexico.

Updated at 3:07 p.m. ET

Jill Ellis, who won back-to-back World Cup titles with the U.S. Women's National Team, is stepping down as its coach, U.S. Soccer announced Tuesday. Ellis will make her official exit in October, after winning 102 games and losing only seven.

"When I accepted the head coaching position, this was the timeframe I envisioned," Ellis, 52, said in a statement from U.S. Soccer.

A judge in California may have been kept in the dark when she issued a search warrant allowing San Francisco police to monitor the phone of a journalist who was suspected of obtaining a leaked police report, according to newly unsealed court records and the journalist's lawyer.

Attorney Tom Burke, who represents freelance journalist Bryan Carmody, says Superior Court Judge Rochelle East might not have been made aware of his client's profession when the police sought the warrant. (Editor's note: Burke represents NPR on freedom of information matters.)

The U.S. Navy warship that the Pentagon says brought down an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz last week may also have brought down a second drone, according to CENTCOM Commander Gen. Kenneth McKenzie.

"We're confident we brought down one drone; we may have brought down a second," McKenzie said in an interview with CBS News on Tuesday, referring to the USS Boxer's encounter with an unmanned aircraft.

Updated on July 20 at 4:11 a.m. ET

British media outlets say the government is warning ships to stay away from the area after Iran's military apparently seized the U.K.-flagged Stena Impero oil tanker as it passed through the Strait of Hormuz near Iran's coast on Friday.

Updated at 3:25 p.m. ET

The USS Boxer used electronic measures to take down a drone that the U.S. says was operated by Iran's military, according to Pentagon sources familiar with the situation. The Navy says the drone was destroyed in the Strait of Hormuz on Thursday after it came close to the vessel and repeated warnings went unheeded.

Iran has disputed the U.S. claims, saying that all of its drones are accounted for — and suggesting the U.S. ship might have accidentally taken down one of its own military drones.

The Netherlands' Supreme Court has affirmed that the country's troops are partly to blame for the deaths of 350 Muslim men and boys after the fall of the Bosnian enclave of Srebrenica. But in a break with an earlier ruling, the court lowered the Dutch liability for the massacre to 10%, from 30%.

Updated at 1:45 a.m. ET on Friday

A U.S. Navy warship called the USS Boxer took down an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz on Thursday, President Trump said, adding, "The drone was immediately destroyed." A senior Iranian official has denied that the country lost a drone.

"The Boxer took defensive action against an Iranian drone," Trump said, giving details about the encounter at the start of a flag presentation ceremony at the White House. He said the drone had closed to about 1,000 yards from the U.S. ship, "ignoring multiple calls to stand down."

Martin Shkreli — the former pharmaceutical CEO widely known as "Pharma Bro" — lost his bid to overturn a seven-year prison sentence for fraud Thursday. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit affirmed Shkreli's 2017 conviction.

The appeals court judges ruled against Shkreli by a 3-0 vote. In addition to ordering him to stay in prison, the judges affirmed that he must forfeit more than $7.3 million, pay restitution of $388,336 and pay a $75,000 fine.

Iran says that its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy has seized a foreign-flagged oil tanker in the Persian Gulf, alleging that the ship was smuggling 1 million liters (264,000 gallons) of fuel. Iranian state news outlets report that the ship had a crew of 12 aboard.

The vessel was seized south of Larak Island in the Strait of Hormuz, according to the state-run IRNA news agency. The island sits less than 20 miles off the Iranian mainland, south of the city of Bandar Abbas.

Five days after Turkey defied NATO and the U.S. by accepting the first components of an advanced Russian missile defense system, the White House says the deal means Turkey won't be able to buy 100 new F-35 fighter jets, as it had planned.

"Unfortunately, Turkey's decision to purchase Russian S-400 air defense systems renders its continued involvement with the F-35 impossible," White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said, in a statement released Wednesday.

Updated at 1 p.m. ET

A federal judge in Brooklyn, N.Y., has sentenced drug kingpin Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán to a term of life in prison without the possibility of parole plus 30 years for his role in leading Mexico's Sinaloa cartel. A life sentence was mandatory; U.S. prosecutors had asked that three decades be added onto Guzmán's punishment.

The sentence also includes a multibillion-dollar financial penalty for the wealthy drug dealer.

A diver looking for interesting undersea video footage recently got more than she bargained for off the coast of Cornwall, England, when she happened upon a giant barrel jellyfish that was bigger than she is.

It took a week, but wildlife officials in Chicago say they've finally captured a 5-foot-long alligator nicknamed Chance the Snapper. The gator surprised city residents who spotted it last Tuesday in Humboldt Park, on the city's West Side.

The Bank of England's new 50-pound note will feature mathematician Alan Turing, honoring the code-breaker who helped lay the foundation for computer science.

Updated at 3:35 p.m. ET

The Trump administration is moving forward with a tough new asylum rule in its campaign to slow the flow of Central American migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. Asylum-seeking immigrants who pass through a third country en route to the U.S. must first apply for refugee status in that country rather than at the U.S. border.

The restriction will likely face court challenges, opening a new front in the battle over U.S. immigration policies.

Updated at 11 p.m. ET

Tropical Storm Barry is beginning to take a toll on the central Gulf Coast, bringing high winds and heavy rains to parts of southeastern Louisiana, where residents have been preparing to cope with flooding and power outages.

As Barry slowly approached land, an oil rig southwest of the mouth of the Mississippi River reported "sustained winds of 76 mph and a wind gust of 87 mph," the National Hurricane Center said Friday.

In New Orleans, officials told residents to get off the streets and shelter in place.

The first pieces of the S-400 missile defense system Turkey bought from Russia — against the wishes of the U.S. and NATO — began arriving Friday, according to Turkey's National Defense Ministry. In response, the Pentagon is expected to announce that Turkey will be barred from receiving the new F-35 fighter.

Updated at 11:07 p.m. ET

Tropical Storm Barry formed in the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday, and it could become a hurricane by late Friday, the National Hurricane Center says. Forecasters say the storm could bring a storm surge and heavy rains to Louisiana.

Barry is now predicted to become a Category 1 hurricane shortly before making landfall Saturday morning. Its maximum winds are expected to reach only around 75 mph — but officials are warning of perilous flash floods and other hazards.

Updated at 12 p.m. ET

The U.S. Women's National Team is celebrating their World Cup championship with a ticker tape parade in New York City. Throngs of fans packed Manhattan's famed "Canyon of Heroes" to greet the squad led by Megan Rapinoe.

"This group is so resilient, is so tough, has such a sense of humor — is just so bad-ass," Rapinoe said as she praised her teammates.

France plans to put an "ecotax" on nearly all airline flights starting in 2020, French Transport Minister Elisabeth Borne said Tuesday. The new tax could bring in some $200 million annually that would support modes of travel that pollute less — such as trains.

"With the eco-contribution, air transport will play its part in financing the daily transport of all our citizens," Borne said via Twitter. She added, "It is a response to the ecological urgency and sense of injustice expressed by the French."

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