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.

Cable network HBO has received 99 nominations for the 2014 Emmy Awards, running its streak as the network with the most Emmy nods to 14 years. HBO's Game of Thrones got 19 nominations, one ahead of the FX miniseries Fargo.

NPR's Neda Ulaby reports for our Newscast unit:

"HBO also got nominated for its movie The Normal Heart, for its drama True Detective and, in a surprise, for its comedy Silicon Valley.

Update at 6:31 p.m. ET

The U.S. is prepared to facilitate a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, the White House said Thursday, as Israel continued its campaign of airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, and rockets fired by Hamas and other groups kept raining down on Israel.

The Israeli airstrikes have hit more than 700 targets in Gaza, killed at least 89 people and wounded more than 600. Hamas' rocket attacks have reached farther into Israel than ever before, sending people into shelters, but so far not causing any deaths.

A dispute between Iraq's Shiite-led central government and the semi-autonomous Kurdish region is boiling over, as Kurdish ministers withdrew from all Cabinet meetings. In response, Baghdad is reportedly halting some cargo flights between Kurdish cities.

The spat is playing out amid the threat posed by the self-proclaimed "Islamic State," an extremist group that has taken over cities and territories in parts of Iraq and Syria.

Chinese hackers successfully accessed U.S. government computer networks in March apparently hoping to find information about "tens of thousands of employees who have applied for top-secret security clearances," The New York Times reports.

The newspaper says the attack centered on the Office of Personnel Management was reportedly detected and blocked — but not before the hackers had gotten into some of the agency's databases.

The family of slain Palestinian teenager Mohammed Abu Khdeir received condolences from an unlikely source Tuesday: Israelis who had asked to come and mourn with them.

The scene was predictably awkward, even painfully so. But as NPR's Ari Shapiro reported for today's Morning Edition, the visit also brought a moment of grace for many of those involved.

The flailing about, the protests, the sheer agony — what if everyone behaved like international soccer stars who can evidently be slammed to the ground by a fingertip?

Edward Snowden remains a fugitive from U.S. authorities over leaking secret documents about its surveillance programs. Now he's asking Russia to extend the one-year term of asylum the country granted the former NSA contract worker last summer.

Snowden's asylum, which was granted last August, is set to expire at the end of this month. His lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, says they've filed papers for an extension.

It might be the oldest tree in Britain. A yew tree that sprawls over a churchyard in Wales is more than 5,000 years old, according to experts. While it's not exceptionally tall, the tree has a wide canopy. And it dates back to the era of Egypt's pharaohs.

From NPR's London bureau, Rich Preston reports:

"The 60-foot-wide yew tree sits in the grounds of St Cynog's churchyard near Swansea in Wales. Recent DNA and ring-count testing shows the tree to be more than 5,000 years old — making it older than the Great Pyramid of Giza.

Chris Froome, who raced to the top of the podium in Paris last July, is out of this year's Tour de France after falling in treacherous conditions on today's stage of the bicycle race.

Today's stage had been predicted to be harrowing, owing to the course's inclusion of cobblestones. But Froome went down twice before the race even reached that point, leaving his riding kit torn on both thighs and one shoulder, where a bloody wound could be seen.

"The worst game I saw in my life" is how one Brazilian fan describes it. Another says it's simply a tragedy. Some angry fans burned Brazil's flag in the street.

Update at 2:42 p.m. ET

Israeli leaders are signaling that a ground invasion might be imminent as the offensive on Gaza intensifies, killing at least 53 people and wounding 465 others.

The toll comes from the Palestinian Authority's Health Ministry.

Reporter Daniel Estrin tells NPR's Newscast unit that Israel's military struck at least 200 Hamas targets on the second day of its offensive on the Gaza Strip. The operation is in response to rocket attacks from Gaza toward Israeli cities.

Police in Rhode Island have a secret weapon to fight child pornography: a 2-year-old Labrador named Thoreau, who's been trained to sniff out computer hard drives. The dog is credited with finding a thumb drive that was hidden deep inside a metal cabinet last month.

Did fake accusations that Sen. Robert Menendez had visited underage prostitutes come from Cuba's intelligence agency? That's the question the senator wants the Justice Department to look into.

A tree branch got in the way of the fun for more than 20 riders who were on the Ninja roller coaster at Six Flags Magic Mountain north of Los Angeles Monday, stranding them above the ground for hours before rescue crews freed them.

People who enter the U.S. and nearby countries illegally from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras should not be forced to return home and should be treated as refugees, a U.N. agency says. The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees says people from those countries are subject to persecution.

From Geneva, Lisa Schlein reports for our Newscast unit:

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