Bill Chappell, NPR

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" β€” 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.

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Texas
12:47 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Will You Ride The World's Tallest Water Slide?

A view from the top of the VerrΓΌckt water slide's launch point, in a video that showed a recent test of the slide.
Schlitterbahn Development Group

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 11:36 am

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Economy
10:22 am
Thu July 3, 2014

U.S. Added 288,000 Jobs In June, Labor Department Says

Originally published on Thu July 3, 2014 12:27 pm

Analysts' expectations of continued growth in the jobs report for June were surpassed by federal data issued this morning, as the Labor Department says U.S. employers added 288,000 jobs last month. The government released the numbers one day early because of the July 4 holiday.

Update at 8:35 a.m. ET: 288,000 Jobs Added

"Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 288,000 in June, and the unemployment rate declined to 6.1 percent," the Bureau of Labor Statistics says.

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World Cup
9:50 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Tim Howard Emerges As Hero In U.S. World Cup Loss

No Score: Belgium's Divock Origi throws himself into the net behind goalkeeper Tim Howard of the U.S. during Tuesday's World Cup Round of 16 game.
Ruben Sprich Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 11:34 am

After a wrenching loss to Belgium ended the U.S. team's World Cup run, fans are still touting the play of goalkeeper Tim Howard, Photoshopping his head onto U.S. currency and even (briefly) dubbing him Secretary of Defense on Wikipedia.

In Tuesday's game, Howard set a new World Cup record by making 16 saves. The mark dates back to at least 1966, when organizers started keeping records of that statistic. He was elected man of the match in the 2-1 loss.

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World Cup
1:43 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

5 Things To Know For The U.S. Vs. Belgium Game

The return of U.S. striker Jozy Altidore, who had been sidelined by a hamstring injury, could help the Americans as they face off against a talented and young Belgian team Tuesday.
Marcos Brindicci Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 1:24 pm

Today, players and fans of the U.S. and Belgium are building toward a decisive game that will send one team to the World Cup's quarterfinals and send the other packing. Two key questions are whether the U.S. can strike early, as it did against Ghana, and whether Belgium can pull away late, as it has in all its games so far in Brazil.

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Hobby Lobby at Supreme Court
9:46 am
Mon June 30, 2014

Some Companies Can Refuse To Cover Contraception, Supreme Court Says

Customers enter a Hobby Lobby store in Antioch, Calif., this past spring. The Supreme Court is ruling on the crafts store chain's resistance to portions of the Affordable Care Act. The store's owners cite their religious freedom.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 12:54 pm

The Supreme Court has ruled that family owned and other closely held companies can opt out of the Affordable Care Act's provisions for no-cost prescription contraception in most health insurance if they have religious objections.

The owners of the Hobby Lobby chain of arts and crafts stores and those of another closely held company, Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp., had objected on the grounds of religious freedom.

The ruling affirms a Hobby Lobby victory in a lower court and gives new standing to similar claims by other companies.

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World Cup
5:43 am
Thu June 26, 2014

U.S. Vs. Germany In The World Cup: What To Look For

U.S. midfielder Jermaine Jones warms up during a training session at Recife's Pernambuco Arena Wednesday, one day before the Americans face Germany in a decisive Group G soccer match. The game begins at noon, ET.
Patrik Stollarz AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 7:28 am

Anticipation is building for the U.S. Men's National Team's showdown with Germany on Thursday. The Americans need a win or a tie to decide their own fate; a loss would mean they need help to advance to the round of 16.

The game will start at noon ET β€” when the other Group G match, between Portugal and Ghana, also starts. You can follow the game or just comment on the action here at The Two-Way. For now, we've rounded up analysis and predictions.

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Supreme Court
10:01 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Aereo's TV Streaming Service Is Illegal, Supreme Court Says

Aereo.com, a Web service that provides television shows online, is shown on an iPhone on April 22. The company lost a Supreme Court case Wednesday, as the justices ruled it violates copyright law.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 25, 2014 11:18 am

Aereo, the company that lets subscribers watch TV stations' video that it routes onto the Internet, violates U.S. copyright law, the Supreme Court has ruled. The court's 6-3 decision reverses a lower court ruling on what has been a hotly contested issue.

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World Cup
3:04 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

World Cup Ratings Spike: How Popular Is Soccer In The U.S.?

Fans gather in Chicago's Grant Park to watch the U.S. play Portugal Sunday β€” a game that set a new ratings record for soccer on ESPN.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 24, 2014 12:42 pm

Sunday's thrilling and frustrating World Cup match between the U.S. and Portugal drew an average of 24.7 million viewers, according to the Nielsen ratings company, a result that puts the game above the recent NBA finals.

The game's total U.S. viewership of 24.7 million includes ratings from both ESPN (18.2 million viewers) and the Spanish-language Univision (6.5 million); it doesn't include the 1.37 million people ESPN says streamed the game online.

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Obama on Iraq
12:40 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Obama: U.S. Forces Won't Return To Combat In Iraq Crisis

President Obama speaks about Iraq in the Brady Briefing room of the White House Thursday. Obama said the U.S. will send up to 300 military advisers to Iraq β€” but that U.S. forces won't engage in combat with Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 1:56 pm

President Obama says the U.S. will send up to 300 military advisers to Iraq to help it cope with the Sunni extremist group ISIS, which has won several key battles in recent days.

Obama said Americans won't be taking up combat roles in the conflict β€” and he said the U.S. won't take actions "that support one sect inside of Iraq at the expense of another."

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Iraq
6:32 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Militants Attack Iraq's Largest Oil Refinery As Sectarian Clashes Spread

An Iraqi boy and other civilians look at the aftermath of a car bomb in Baghdad's Sadr City on Wednesday. The violence in the Shiite district comes as Sunni militants advance in northern Iraq.
Karim Kadim AP

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 10:06 am

The Sunni militant group that has stormed across Iraq invaded the country's largest oil refinery today, hitting it with mortars. The government is using limited air attacks to strike back at ISIS, which now controls large areas of Iraq's north.

"The oil refinery in Beiji has been under siege since the militant fighters of ISIS seized the town of Beiji in their sweep through northern Iraq," NPR's Deborah Amos reports from Irbil, Iraq. "In an offensive at dawn, ISIS fighters attacked the refinery with machine-gun fire and mortars, according to Iraqi security forces."

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Politics
1:29 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

Eric Cantor Says He'll Quit Majority Leader Post After Primary Defeat

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia takes the podium to speak to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Wednesday. He announced that he would step down as majority leader on July 31.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 4:50 pm

This post was updated at 4:50 p.m. ET

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, fresh from a stunning primary upset at the hands of a Tea Party rival, said today that he would vacate his leadership post by the end of July to make room for a successor.

"Effective July 31, I will be stepping down as majority leader," Cantor told reporters at a news conference. "It is with great humility that I do so."

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Education
12:29 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

Bill To Allow Refinancing Of Student Loans Dies In Senate

"Who does Washington work for?" asked Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., after her bill that would let people refinance student debt was shot down Wednesday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 1:42 pm

A bill that would have let millions of people refinance their student loans at a lower interest rate has failed in the Senate, after Republicans objected that it included a tax on the wealthy to pay for it. The measure would have allowed people with older loans to benefit from today's low interest rates.

The bill from Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., didn't get past a procedural vote, falling by a 56-38 vote. Called the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act, it was shot down days after President Obama urged Congress to help ease the burden of student debt.

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Politics
9:26 am
Wed June 11, 2014

'Stunning': Reactions To Eric Cantor's Election Loss In Virginia

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., left, and Dave Brat react after the polls closed Tuesday. Brat defeated Cantor in the Republican primary, a result that shocked many political analysts.
AP

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 9:00 am

"Dollars don't vote β€” you do." And with that statement to his supporters, college professor Dave Brat ousted seven-term Rep. Eric Cantor in their primary battle Tuesday night. The loss by the No. 2 House Republican shocked many political analysts and the congressman himself.

"It's disappointing, sure," Cantor told supporters after the results came in. "But I believe in this country. I believe there's opportunity around the next corner for all of us."

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Technology
11:27 am
Tue June 10, 2014

Drones Approved: FAA Gives OK To First Commercial Use Over Land

A 2011 photo shows an AeroVironment Puma drone being prepared for launch by University of Alaska researchers. The FAA says it approved BP's use of the drone to survey oil fields in Alaska.
Keith Cunningham AP

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 12:24 pm

The Federal Aviation Administration says it has issued the first permit in its history for an unmanned aircraft to fly over U.S. soil. Oil company BP will use a drone from the company AeroVironment to conduct surveys in Alaska.

The first drone flights under the recently issued waiver have already taken place, the FAA says.

From the agency's news release:

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NBA Finals
11:13 am
Fri June 6, 2014

In San Antonio, Spurs Beat The Heat Twice In One Game

LeBron James and the Miami Heat couldn't handle the heat in San Antonio, as Tim Duncan and the Spurs took the first game of the 2014 NBA Finals. The air conditioning in the Spurs arena didn't work during the game.
Chris Covatta Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 6, 2014 9:58 am

The first game of the NBA finals was a scorcher. Yes, it was played indoors – but the air conditioning in San Antonio's arena broke down, leaving the host Spurs and the Miami Heat sweating in 90-degree temperatures. The Spurs overcame the heat, and the Heat, 110-95.

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Politics
6:34 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Bergdahl's Hometown Cancels Celebration Of His Return

Hailey, Idaho: A sign announcing the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl outside Zaney's coffee shop, where Bergdahl worked as a teenager. A rally celebrating his return home has been canceled, after organizers received threats of protests and hate mail.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 7:48 am

The news of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's release from five years of captivity had been welcomed as a reason to celebrate in Hailey, Idaho. But organizers of a rally held in Bergdahl's honor while he was a prisoner say they're canceling this year's event, citing backlash over the U.S. deal with the Taliban that freed him.

In recent years, the Bring Back Bowe Rally has been an annual June event in the small town of Hailey, where bikers and POW-MIA support groups gathered to call for his return. Last year's event reportedly drew a crowd of more than 3,000.

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Afghanistan
7:28 am
Wed June 4, 2014

Taliban Release Video Of Handoff That Freed Bergdahl

An image taken from a video obtained from the Voice of Jihad website shows Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl (right) with a Taliban fighter just before he was released to U.S. forces in eastern Afghanistan.
AP

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 11:20 am

A Black Hawk helicopter swoops in to pick up Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in a valley in Afghanistan, in a video of the handover of the American prisoner of war that was posted online early Wednesday. The Pentagon says it's reviewing the video; a spokesman says there's no reason to question its authenticity.

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Life & Arts
2:59 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

National Spelling Bee: Rare Co-Champions, And A Star Online

Ansun Sujoe, of Fort Worth, Texas, and Sriram Hathwar, of Painted Post, N.Y., were named co-champions of the 2014 Scripps National Spelling Bee on Thursday. Their siblings helped them celebrate the first shared title since 1962.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 11:41 am

For the first time in 52 years, the Scripps National Spelling Bee crowned two winners last night, after the final two competitors exhausted the word list. The winners were Sriram Hathwar, an eighth-grader from Painted Post, N.Y., and Ansun Sujoe, a seventh-grader from Fort Worth, Texas.

"I like sharing the victory with someone else," Ansun said. "It's been quite shocking and quite interesting, too. It's very rare."

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Veterans Affairs
10:52 am
Fri May 30, 2014

VA Chief Eric Shinseki Resigns Post, Obama Announces

Eric Shinseki resigned as the head of the Department of Veterans Affairs on Friday, in what President Obama said was a decision spurred by a desire to not distract from efforts to fix the agency's problems. Earlier Friday, Shinseki spoke at a conference in Washington.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 12:10 pm

Embattled Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki has resigned his position, hours after saying he would work to fix "systemic" problems in the VA's health care system.

President Obama said Friday that the decision was made so Shinseki wouldn't be a "distraction" from efforts to address the agency's wide-ranging problems.

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