Bill Chappell, NPR

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

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, and editing and producing stories for'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.

The annual hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, was struck by tragedy Thursday, as a stampede near the holy city killed at least 717 people and left more than 860 injured, according to Saudi officials.

The death toll and the number of injured have risen as authorities get reports from the site; initial reports stated that more than 300 people had died. We're updating this post as new information arrives.

More than a month after Sandra Bland died in a Texas jail, a city is naming the street on which Bland was arrested after her. Bland, 28, was found dead in her cell on July 13; her mother and other supporters were present for Tuesday night's Prairie View City Council vote.

From Houston Public Media, Syeda Hasan reports for our Newscast unit:

New demonstrations in Ferguson, Mo., led to a standoff with police and the arrests of 23 people Monday night, one day after a vigil for Michael Brown was marred by gunfire. The arrests came as police in riot gear tried to force people to disband and leave the street.

As events marking the anniversary of the shooting death of Michael Brown were winding down Sunday night, gunfire erupted in Ferguson, Mo., leaving a gunman in the hospital. Police say the suspect was not part of the weekend's rallies, which have been peaceful.

The shooting, in which dozens of rounds were reportedly fired, began near the intersection of Ferguson Avenue and West Florissant Avenue, the epicenter of last summer's standoffs between protesters and police.

Releasing details — and photographs — from the autopsy of Sandra Bland, officials in Waller County, Texas, say that the cause of death for Bland, a black woman who died in the county's jail, was suicide by hanging. Officials also say she had marijuana in her system.

The case has drawn national scrutiny as Bland, who had driven to Texas from Illinois, died in police custody three days after she was pulled over by a state trooper for allegedly failing to signal a lane change. She was 28.

New images of Pluto have arrived from a NASA space probe, and they're already allowing scientists to update what we know about the dwarf planet — such as its size. NASA's New Horizons probe has traveled more than 3 billion miles to send photos and data about Pluto back to Earth.

In a public signing ceremony staged in the lobby of the Statehouse where slain Rev. Clementa Pinckney once worked in the state Senate, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley signed a bill to remove the Confederate battle flag from a flagpole on the Capitol grounds.

Thursday afternoon's event drew an extensive list of South Carolina's political establishment, including former Govs. Jim Hodges, David Beasley and Dick Riley — as well as the families of Pinckney and the eight other shooting victims who were attacked in a black church in Charleston last month.

South Carolina's most prominent political leaders say it's time for their state to stop flying the Confederate battle flag on the grounds of its Statehouse. Gov. Nikki Haley made their position clear Monday afternoon, speaking alongside Sen. Lindsey Graham, Sen. Tim Scott and others.

Calls for moving the Confederate battle flag have grown since the shooting of nine black church members in Charleston last week. After speaking about the efforts to cope with that tragedy, Haley said that she has seen "the heart and soul" of South Carolina.

Flood watches have been issued for areas of central and northern Texas, since Tropical Storm Bill came ashore and makes its way up the state. Rainfall of 4-8 inches is forecast in a band stretching from Texas up to Missouri, with some areas receiving up to 12 inches, according to the National Weather Service.

"These rains may produce life-threatening flash floods," the service's forecasters say.

Saying that the United States can no longer beat its international competition, Donald Trump announced his candidacy to be the country's next president.

"Our country needs a truly great leader, and we need a truly great leader now," Trump said. He said that rather than being a cheerleader for America, President Obama has been "a negative force."

We need somebody that can take the brand of the United States and make it great again," Trump said. At one point, he also said the country needs a leader who has written The Art of the Deal — his 1987 book.

Days after a dramatic video surfaced of a Texas police officer pulling a gun and screaming at young people at a community pool, the teenage girl he forced to the ground has spoken out. So have local residents who back the police.

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals will not lift a hold that has stalled President Obama's plan to shield millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation. The president sought to give temporary protection to people who were brought to the U.S. as children, and to the parents of people who live in the U.S. legally.

The decision blocks an executive action the White House issued late last year and leaves in place a hold that was issued in February by District Judge Andrew Hanen in South Texas.

Update at 4:35 p.m. ET: White House Evaluating Options

The death of Freddie Gray was a homicide, and six Baltimore police officers now face criminal charges that include second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter, Baltimore chief prosecutor Marilyn J. Mosby says.

Mosby announced the charges Friday morning, citing her office's "thorough and independent" investigation and the medical examiner's report on Gray's death. She said warrants were issued Friday for the officers' arrest.

Updated at noon ET.

Nepal's devastating earthquake that hit Saturday is now blamed for at least 4,000 deaths. Reconstruction is estimated to cost billions. International aid efforts are underway, but aftershocks are rattling survivors' nerves and making the recovery even more challenging.

Rescue crews and aid groups are working to reach survivors — but their efforts are being hampered by the stricken areas' remote locations. Roads that are drivable are clogged with traffic.

Texas ice cream maker Blue Bell Creameries has widely expanded a voluntary recall over Listeria concerns, seeking the return of all of its products currently on the market. Blue Bell products are sold in 23 states.

Aaron Hernandez, whose rise to elite status in the NFL was ended by charges that he shot and killed a man, has been found guilty of first-degree murder. In 2013, Hernandez was accused of killing the boyfriend of his fiancee's sister.

The verdict comes on the seventh day of a jury's deliberations on counts that ranged from murder to gun and ammunition charges. As the findings were read in a Fall River, Mass., courtroom, Hernandez sat between his lawyers and occasionally shook his head.

South African comedian Trevor Noah will become the new host of Comedy Central's The Daily Show, stepping into the role Jon Stewart has filled for 16 years.

Confirming reports of his new job Monday morning, Noah tweeted, "No-one can replace Jon Stewart. But together with the amazing team at The Daily Show, we will continue to make this the best damn news show!"

St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said two police officers were shot and seriously wounded shortly after midnight outside the Ferguson, Mo., police department. The shooting occurred as a protest outside the police station had begun to wind down.

A St. Louis County police officer and an officer from nearby Webster Groves, Mo., were shot, according to Belmar. He did not identify them by name.

The man who has been recorded in videos threatening and killing several Western hostages in the name of the self-proclaimed Islamic State is Mohammed Emwazi. He is from London and is a British citizen of Kuwaiti descent.

British security services have been aware of the identity of the militant many have dubbed "Jihadi John," the BBC says, adding that "they chose not to disclose his name earlier for operational reasons."

Along with learning who won an Oscar at last night's Academy Awards, we learned a lot more: Who to call (your parents), and what women should be paid (the same as men). From civil rights to immigration and health issues such as Alzheimer's and Lou Gehrig's diseases, advocacy was a big part of last night's show. Here's a quick rundown of what people are saying Monday.