Bill Chappell | Connecticut Public Radio
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Bill Chappell

Bill Chappell is a writer and editor on the News Desk in the heart of NPR's newsroom in Washington, D.C.

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.

Updated at 11:11 p.m. ET

Florida will stop testing for the coronavirus for several days due to concerns about the potential impact from Tropical Storm Isaias.

After the state's testing sites close Thursday evening, they won't reopen until at least Tuesday morning, Candy Sims of the Florida Department of Health in Broward County told NPR. Some locations could be closed for longer, she added, depending on the weather.

Updated at 6:13 p.m. ET

The United States crossed a grim milestone Wednesday, with more than 150,000 lives now lost as a result of the coronavirus.

The tragic number includes around 33,000 people who have died in New York, nearly 16,000 in New Jersey and more than 8,700 in California.

Updated at 7:30 a.m. ET

Two emus – siblings Kevin and Carol — are now banned from a hotel in a tiny town in Australia's vast Outback. Raised by an animal rescuer, the birds are usually a friendly and wide-eyed source of entertainment. But then the emus learned to climb the stairs.

The new skill gave the birds access to the pub of the Yaraka Hotel in Queensland. Once inside, they unleashed a long-legged brand of chaos. They snatched toast and French fries away from customers. One of the birds even went behind the bar. A stern response was required.

The European Union successfully flattened the curve of COVID-19 cases in the spring – but a second wave could be building in parts of the EU, according to both British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the head of Germany's disease agency.

"I'm afraid you are starting to see, in some places, the signs of a second wave of the pandemic" in Europe, Johnson said Tuesday.

An alarming spike in U.S. coronavirus cases is prompting McDonald's to require customers to wear face masks at all of its more than 14,000 domestic-market restaurants, the company announced Friday. The policy takes effect on Aug. 1.

The U.S. now has more than 4 million known coronavirus cases; 1 million infections were diagnosed in just over two weeks.

Thousands of people attended prayers at Istanbul's historic Hagia Sophia on Friday, completing the famous building's conversion from a secular space into a Muslim house of worship. It had been a museum for more than 86 years.

The crowd was large with people spilling outside and into a plaza and grassy areas near the sixth century building that is revered by both Muslims and Christians. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sat front and center, removing a white face mask to recite passages from the Quran as he sat on a blue carpet.

The Justice Department's Office of the Inspector General has opened an investigation into allegations that DOJ personnel have improperly used force this month in Portland, Ore., as well as an inquiry into their role in responding to mass protests in Washington, D.C., since late May.

Federal agents in Portland, Ore., used tear gas on Mayor Ted Wheeler and other people Wednesday night during a protest against heavy-handed police tactics and racial injustice.

"It was not great," Wheeler said, according to NPR member station Oregon Public Broadcasting. "It makes your eyes really burn."

Police are investigating the death of a Fort Hood soldier whose body was found at a nearby lake — the third service member from the Texas base to be found dead in the past month.

Pvt. Mejhor Morta, 26, was found unresponsive on July 17 in the area of Stillhouse Hollow Lake, according to the Fort Hood Press Center. His death is currently being investigated by the Bell County Sheriff's Department.

Chicago Police are investigating a mass shooting that left at least 15 people wounded Tuesday night at a funeral on the city's South Side. One of the victims remains in "extremely critical condition," and another is in critical condition, police say.

The violence exploded outside a funeral home in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood, where mourners had gathered for a large funeral. Investigators say they found roughly 60 shell casings at the scene.

Updated at 10:37 p.m. ET

Federal agents operating in Kansas City, Mo., as part of a new push against violent crime will be identifiable and won't be roving the streets to make arrests, the local U.S. attorney said, responding to questions sparked by the controversial use of federal agents in U.S. cities.

"These agents won't be patrolling the streets," U.S. Attorney Timothy Garrison said in a statement to NPR. "When they are making arrests or executing warrants, these federal agents will be clearly identified by their agency's visible badges or insignia."

People traveling to New York, New Jersey and Connecticut from 31 other states are now required to self-quarantine for 14 days, after 10 states with significant community spread of the coronavirus — including Virginia, Maryland, Indiana and Alaska — were added to a travel advisory Tuesday.

Minnesota lawmakers have voted to ban police use of chokeholds, part of a law enforcement accountability measure sparked by the Memorial Day killing of George Floyd, who died after a Minneapolis police offer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

The bill's most high-profile sections would place new limits on police use of force and prohibit "warrior-style training" — which encourages officers to act aggressively in a way that "deemphasizes the value of human life or constitutional rights," the legislation states.

California will release up to 8,000 prisoners this summer in an effort to create more space and prevent the spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 in prisons.

News of the plan comes after more than a third of the inmates and staff at the San Quentin State Prison in the San Francisco Bay Area tested positive for the coronavirus.

More than 20 states have now issued orders requiring people to wear face masks in public as the rate of new coronavirus cases surges to record heights in parts of the United States.

The U.S. has recorded more than 1 million coronavirus infections over the past month alone, pushing the number of confirmed cases past the 3 million mark this week.

Updated at 4 p.m. ET

Los Angeles police say they have arrested five people in connection with the killing earlier this year of Bashar Jackson — the rapper more famously known as Pop Smoke.

Three men and two juvenile males were arrested, the Los Angeles Police Department announced Thursday. They are in the custody of the Robbery-Homicide Division, a department spokesperson told NPR.

Updated at 3:30 p.m. ET

The COVID-19 pandemic is testing the world – and humanity is failing because of a lack of leadership and unity, the head of the World Health Organization declared in a passionate speech Thursday.

Updated July 10 at 7:45 a.m. ET

Ohio state Rep. Nino Vitale is urging his constituents not to get tested for the coronavirus, flouting advice from health officials — and from another Republican lawmaker, Gov. Mike DeWine.

"This is what happens when people go crazy and get tested," Vitale wrote on Facebook this week. "STOP GETTING TESTED!"

The U.S. has reported more than 3 million coronavirus cases as of Wednesday morning, with all but a handful of states struggling to control outbreaks of COVID-19. One million of those cases have been confirmed over the past month — part of a wave of infection that began after many states started to reopen their economies in May.

The U.S. killing of Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani in January "was unlawful and arbitrary under international law," a U.N. human rights investigator says, calling the drone strike in Baghdad a violation of Iraq's sovereignty.

The investigator also says the U.S. has not produced any proof to back its claim that the attack was justified by the need to stop an imminent attack.

Updated at 2:35 p.m. ET

The FBI has arrested British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell on multiple charges related to the serial sexual abuse of girls and young women by the late financier Jeffrey Epstein.

"Maxwell was among Epstein's closest associates and helped him exploit girls who were as young as 14 years old," Audrey Strauss, acting U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, said at a news conference Thursday.

Gov. Gavin Newsom is ordering 19 counties to shift many business operations outdoors or close them immediately, citing a sharp spike in new coronavirus cases. The state recorded nearly 6,000 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, the governor said.

Updated at 12:55 p.m. ET

Seattle police started to dismantle the Capitol Hill Organized Protest zone early Wednesday morning after Mayor Jenny Durkan issued an emergency order declaring the blocks-long area an "unlawful assembly" that requires immediate action.

A construction crew removed the massive Christopher Columbus statue from its place of honor outside Columbus, Ohio's City Hall on Wednesday morning, in one of the most dramatic cases yet of a city reshaping how its monuments reflect its sense of history and community identity.

Jacksonville, Fla., is now requiring people to wear face masks while indoors and in public spaces where they can't stay 6 feet away from other people, hoping to slow a spike in coronavirus cases.

"Every person over the age of six (6) who is in a public space shall wear a face mask or covering when not able to engage in social distancing," the mandate states.

Updated Friday at 10:08 p.m. ET

Four Aurora, Colorado police officers have lost their jobs in the continued fallout over the arrest and death of Elijah McClain.

McClain was stopped by police as he walked home from a convenience store last summer. In the ensuing confrontation he was placed in a chokehold by police and later sedated. His death has been compared to that of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May and has prompted outrage and protest.

U.S. travelers won't be among those allowed to visit the European Union when the bloc begins opening its external borders on July 1. EU ambassadors endorsed a list of 15 travel partners on Tuesday, including South Korea, Japan and, with a caveat, China. Those countries were hit early by the pandemic but have been able to bring the coronavirus under control.

Planned Parenthood has named interim President and CEO Alexis McGill Johnson as its new permanent leader in a bid to bring stability to the health care provider that has come under repeated attacks by conservative groups.

McGill Johnson will continue to lead both Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the organization's advocacy arm, the Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

Spectators are welcome to attend the Indianapolis 500 in August, track officials said Friday, but the enormous venue will be limited to 50% of its normal capacity because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway usually accommodates hundreds of thousands of people for the landmark race.

"We're committed to running the Indy 500 on Sunday, Aug. 23, and will welcome fans to the world's greatest racing venue," said President J. Douglas Boles, president of Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Updated at 3 p.m. ET

Swedish state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell says the World Health Organization made "a total mistake" when it included Sweden in a list of countries seeing a resurgence of the coronavirus. The WHO misinterpreted the Swedish data, Tegnell said.

"It is a total mistake," Tegnell said, according to Swedish public broadcaster Sveriges Radio.

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