Bill Chappell | New Hampshire Public Radio

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.

The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season is off to a record start – and it will only get worse as the season's traditional peak begins next week and will run through October. The latest estimates call for nearly twice the normal number of named storms this year.

Even before Aug. 1, nine named storms had already formed – "the most ever recorded since the satellite era began in 1966," according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Updated at 6:10 a.m. ET Wednesday

A huge explosion rocked Beirut on Tuesday, killing at least 100 people and shattering windows and damaging buildings across a wide swath of the city, according to officials. The blast sent a huge mushroom cloud into the sky, seemingly emanating from a spot close to where a large fire had been burning.

Updated at 12:15 a.m. ET Wednesday

Isaias, now a post-tropical cyclone, is still bringing strong winds, heavy rainfall and the threat of tornadoes as it moves into southeastern Canada after passing through southern and central New England.

As of 11 p.m. ET, the National Hurricane Center said the storm was about 45 miles south-southeast of Montreal, and clocking maximum sustained winds of 45 mph.

Updated at 2 p.m. ET

A federal judge has unsealed hundreds of pages of deposition transcripts and other documents related to a now-settled defamation suit brought against Ghislaine Maxwell, who is accused of helping the late Jeffrey Epstein run a sex trafficking operation that catered to rich and powerful men.

The 47 documents include a deposition given by Epstein accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre, the draft of a memoir she was writing about her experiences inside the sex-trafficking ring, and previously unseen email exchanges between Maxwell and Epstein.

Updated at 6:23 p.m. ET

Former President Barack Obama called on Americans to honor the late civil rights leader Rep. John Lewis by working to expand voting rights — and if Congress has to abolish the filibuster to strengthen the Voting Rights Act, then so be it, Obama said.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

A massive cloud of dust from the Sahara Desert is arriving along the U.S. Gulf Coast this week after traveling across the Atlantic Ocean. The phenomenon happens every year – but the 2020 version is especially large and imposing, experts said.

The dust cloud is "quite large" this year, said Marshall Shepherd, director of the Atmospheric Sciences Program at the University of Georgia, in an interview on NPR's All Things Considered. "I think that's why it's garnering so much attention."

The Eiffel Tower reopened to visitors Thursday morning after having been shut down for more than three months because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was the Paris landmark's longest closure since World War II.

The reopening is a dramatic sign of people reclaiming public spaces in France following more than 100 days of restrictions. But the tower's highest point is still not open – and for now, visitors will need to take the stairs.

Bayer will pay more than $10 billion to end tens of thousands of lawsuits filed over its Roundup weedkiller, the company announced Wednesday. The settlement also resolves many other cases over the herbicide dicamba as well as water contaminated with toxic chemicals called PCBs.

Many plaintiffs say Roundup's active ingredient — glyphosate — caused them to develop cancer. Roundup was developed by Monsanto, which Bayer bought in 2018 for $63 billion.

Update at 6:02 p.m. ET

"Today, Texas will report an all-time high in the number of cases of people testing positive" for the coronavirus, Gov. Greg Abbott said Tuesday, adding that for the first time, his state would surpass 5,000 new cases in a single day.

Hours later, the Texas Department of State Health Services reported 5,489 new cases.

A record high in South Carolina. A two-month high in Florida. Record hospitalizations in Texas. Several states that were among the first to reopen their economies are now reporting spikes in new coronavirus cases, driving an alarming trend that has propelled the U.S. to 2 million cases.

The U.S. has reached another dire landmark in its fight against COVID-19, surpassing 2 million confirmed cases on Wednesday. New coronavirus infections are rising in at least 20 states, even as restrictions on daily life continue to ease across the country.

As of Thursday morning, more than 112,000 people have died from COVID-19 in the U.S. — the most fatalities reported by any nation, according to a tracker from Johns Hopkins University. And most experts believe those numbers underestimate the true toll.

Pages