Bill Chappell

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 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.

Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson says the officer who shot and killed unarmed black teenager Michael Brown last Saturday is Darren Wilson, a six-year veteran of the force who has no disciplinary actions on his record with the department.

The release of Wilson's name comes after Jackson said he wouldn't identify the man out of concerns for his safety, citing death threats made to Ferguson police and on social media. Jackson said that Wilson was treated for injuries he sustained Saturday.

Ferguson, Mo., saw more protests last night — but instead of meeting demonstrators with tear gas and armored vehicles, police walked with them, and posed for photos. The shift came after days of clashes sparked by the police killing of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown.

From St. Louis Public Radio, Rachel Lippmann reports:

Conrad Bassett–Bouchard of Portland, Ore., is the 2014 National Scrabble Champion, taking the title after a tournament that unseated Nigel Richards, who had won the previous four years in a row. Words used in the final round included "barf" and "florigen."

The championship went to Bassett-Bouchard, 24, after he drew both a blank wild-card tile and an S on his first rack of tiles. His first word was "zilch." His biggest score, of 82 points, came courtesy of "docents."

From a news release by the tournament:

A police officer's killing of Michael Brown, 18, in Ferguson, Mo., has ignited racial tensions in a town whose population is two-thirds black — and whose police force reportedly has three black members. Some black residents say that long before Brown's death, they saw the police as a potential threat.

"It's the constant pressure of every time a police officer gets behind us, we're gripping the steering wheel," Anthony Ross, 26, of neighboring Berkeley tells NPR's David Schaper. He added, "Everything on the car is right."

This post was updated at 5 p.m. ET.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol will now supervise security in Ferguson, Gov. Jay Nixon announced at a news conference Thursday. Protesters have clashed with police since the shooting of unarmed teen Michael Brown on Saturday.

"For the past several days, we've all been deeply troubled by this crisis," Nixon said, "as the pain of last weekend's tragedy has been compounded by days of grief, and nights of conflict and fear."

A federal court has cleared the way for same-sex marriage to be recognized in Virginia, denying a motion to stay its own ruling against a ban on the unions. That means same-sex couples could apply for marriage licenses in Virginia next week, state officials say.

Eduardo Campos, an economist who was running for Brazil's presidency as the leader of the Brazilian Socialist Party, has died in a plane crash near the coast southeast of Sao Paulo.

A BBC TV report on a Scottish cultural festival was upstaged Wednesday by a spider that had spun its web across the camera's lens. When a bug began struggling in the web, the spider came out to do what spiders do.

The arachnid made quick work of the bug and retreated back off-camera — but not before it surprised viewers and entertained many on Twitter and elsewhere.

Pope Francis is flying to South Korea today — and that means he'll be able to address China's leaders, as well. In what's seen as a sign of thawing relations, China is allowing the pontiff to use its airspace. The Vatican hasn't had formal relations with China since 1949, when the communists took charge.

The police chief of Ferguson, Mo., says his department has made race relations a "top priority," after a shooting of an unarmed black teen sparked days of protests.

Another man (this time armed) was reportedly shot by a St. Louis County police officer early Wednesday after police responded to reports of shots being fired.

Citing the persecution of religious minorities in Iraq, France says it will deliver weapons to Kurds fighting the extremists of the Islamic State. The news comes as thousands of Yazidi refugees have escaped their plight on Mount Sinjar, crossing into a Kurdish-controlled portion of Syria.

Here are the developments we're seeing today out of Iraq:

Citing safety concerns, police in Ferguson, the St. Louis suburb where an officer shot and killed an unarmed black teenager Saturday, say they won't release the name of the officer who fired the shots. The department reportedly received threats against the officer.

"If we come out and say, 'it was this officer,' then he immediately becomes a target," Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson said, according to the AP. "We're taking the threats seriously."

Several people were injured when an Iraqi aid helicopter crashed while trying to take people off of a mountain where they had been trapped by fighters loyal to extremist group the Islamic State. Children are believed to be among the helicopter's passengers, according to Iraqi state TV.

The piano wasn't fancy, and the acoustics were bad. But a performance of Beethoven's "Für Elise" at a Prague airport is drawing rave reviews. The impromptu concert was put on by a traveler who brightened the mood in a departure lounge and earned applause by taking on the classic in a variety of styles.

A convoy of 280 white-painted trucks headed from Russia toward Ukraine is being met with suspicion. Russia says the trucks are bringing 2,000 tons of humanitarian aid to an area that's been torn by fighting. But Ukrainian leaders worry that the convoy might conceal a military operation.

Ebola continues to spread in West Africa. The latest figures from the World Health Organization cite 1,848 cases of the disease across the region, and 1,013 deaths. Ebola's victims also include a missionary priest who died in Spain after being evacuated from Liberia last week.

The missionary, Miguel Pajares, 75, died at Madrid's Carlos III Hospital, where he was reportedly being treated with an experimental U.S.-made serum called ZMapp.

Iraq's Nouri al-Maliki is refusing to give up his position as prime minister, sending military vehicles into Baghdad's streets Monday after Iraqi President Fuad Masum asked Maliki's fellow Shiite, Haider al-Abadi, to form a government and become the country's new leader.

The use of different photos to portray shooting victim Michael Brown, who was killed by a police officer Saturday, prompted an interesting phenomenon on Twitter Monday: Users are posting "dueling" photos of themselves – one where the subject looks wholesome, and another where the same person might look like a troublemaker – with the hashtag #IfTheyGunnedMeDown.

The NCAA is moving to appeal a federal judge's ruling that would require the organization to allow colleges to compensate students who play football and basketball. Current and former students had sued on antitrust grounds over the use of their names and images for video games, TV programs and other commercial enterprises.

A judge gave the athletes a victory Friday — but the NCAA has a strong track record when it appeals.

Questions about how Tony Stewart's race car came to strike and kill another driver in a sprint car race Saturday include what prompted the other driver to stand on the track — and why Stewart, an elite NASCAR driver, was racing in the lower-level event. Police who are looking into the death of driver Kevin Ward Jr. say no charges are pending.

Iraq's president has asked the parliament's deputy speaker to form a new government, after members of the Shiite coalition that had backed Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki nominated the deputy, Haider al-Abadi, to the post Monday.

This post was updated at 6:40 p.m. ET.

In suburban St. Louis, business owners are cleaning up after a prayer vigil turned violent over the weekend. Meanwhile, protests continue over the death of an unarmed teenager who was shot by police on Saturday.

Reporter Rachel Lippmann of St. Louis Public Radio says about 60 people gathered outside of the Ferguson, Mo., police department Monday. They're calling for police to identify the officer involved and to charge him with murder. Others want the police force diversified in the majority-African-American city.

His wounds were inflicted 33 years ago, but James Brady died from John Hinckley Jr.'s attack on President Reagan, according to Washington, D.C., police who cite a Virginia medical examiner's report. The finding could lead to murder charges against Hinckley.

Update at 6:55 p.m. ET. Cause Of Death: Gunshot

From a D.C. Police Department release today:

The chances that an El Niño weather pattern will bring much-needed rains to parched areas of the West have fallen from 80 percent to 65 percent, according to a new analysis by weather experts. They add that if the warm-water system does appear, it would likely be a weak one.

President Obama signed legislation Thursday that tries to mend the broken Veterans Affairs system, providing money to improve facilities and hire more medical staff, along with allowing more veterans to use private facilities. The bill is aimed at cutting veterans' long wait times for health care.

The president signed the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014 one week after it gained congressional approval; the signing ceremony was held at Fort Belvoir, an Army base in Virginia.

Elite college sports conferences can set their own rules about sharing profits with student-athletes and other matters, under a new policy adopted by the NCAA's Division I Board of Directors on Thursday.

In what's believed to be the largest stockpile of stolen Internet credentials in history, a Russian hacking ring has gathered more than 1.2 billion unique Internet credentials, according to Web security experts. The relatively small group has reportedly collected passwords along with user names and email addresses.

"This year is already on track to be the year of the mega-mega breach," Orla Cox, director of security response for the anti-virus software company, Symantec.

The NBA now has its first full-time female assistant coach, as the San Antonio Spurs have hired WNBA star Becky Hammon to join their bench for the upcoming season. The move comes as Hammon says she'll retire after her current season playing for the San Antonio Stars.

Nearly three weeks after reports surfaced that Twenty-First Century Fox had made a spurned offer to purchase fellow media giant Time Warner, Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch confirms that the deal is off. The rejected price had been reported as $80 billion.

Instead of buying Time Warner, Twenty-First Century Fox says it will buy back shares of its own stock, embarking on a plan to repurchase $6 billion worth of the shares over the next 12 months.

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