Bill Chappell

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" — 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.

Better communication with the families of kidnapped Americans — and a pledge that those relatives won't face criminal charges if they pay ransoms — are at the heart of an update to the U.S. federal hostage policy, released Wednesday.

It could have been a routine out in foul territory. Instead, a pop-up at a Chicago Cubs game was caught by a dad who was also holding a baby — and the crowd went wild. It didn't hurt that the fan momentarily robbed the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers of an out.

The play was eventually ruled to be fan interference, as Cubs fan Keith Hartley was found to have reached over into the field to nab the ball before it could land in the glove of the Dodgers' first baseman, Adrian Gonzalez.

Updated at 12:45 p.m. ET

The death of Baltimore man Freddie Gray was the result of a "high-energy injury" to his spine and was ruled a homicide due to "acts of omission" by police, according to The Baltimore Sun. The newspaper cites a copy of the unreleased autopsy report from the state medical examiner's office.

China's customs agents have seized thousands of tons of frozen chicken wings, beef and pork that were smuggled by gangs. Weighing more than 100,000 tons, the meat has an estimated value of more than $480 million — but it also poses serious health risks, officials said.

The U.S. ambassador to France has been summoned to the French Foreign Ministry to answer new claims that the NSA monitored the communications of three sitting French presidents and their top staff.

Those said to be targeted include President Francois Hollande, who is holding an emergency meeting today with top French lawmakers.

From Paris, NPR's Eleanor Beardsley reports:

In what Major League Baseball says is a first, French baseball player Melissa Mayeux has had her name added to the list of international prospects who could be signed by clubs on July 2.

At age 16, Mayeux plays shortstop for two of France's national teams: the U-18 junior squad and the senior softball team. She's known as a smooth fielder who can also handle a bat.

The Solar Impulse, an aircraft that generates power solely from the sun's energy, is set to embark on the longest leg of its planned round-the-world journey: a trip of some 115 hours between Nagoya, Japan, and Hawaii. But weather concerns have forced another delay.

The Solar Impulse 2 had initially been slated to take off from Japan around 1:30 p.m. ET.

New images of Ceres are the clearest ever taken, but NASA's scientists still haven't figured out the enigmatic dwarf planet. The agency's latest photos of Ceres show multiple bright spots — and a "pyramid-shaped peak towering over a relatively flat landscape."

That's according to an update posted by the space agency, saying that Ceres and its bright spots "continue to mystify."

Update: 11:30 p.m. ET

In a statement Tuesday night, the talent agency that represented Horner mourned "the tragic passing of our dear colleague."

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.

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