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 5:16 p.m. ET

President Trump says an emergency use authorization for Pfizer's promising new COVID-19 vaccine will come "extremely soon," delivering his first public remarks since Joe Biden was declared the winner of the presidential election last Saturday.

"Right away, millions of doses will soon be going out the door" after final approval arrives, Trump said, giving an update on his administration's efforts to accelerate coronavirus vaccine development and distribution.

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito says the COVID-19 pandemic has brought "previously unimaginable restrictions on individual liberty," warning of an important shift in the views of essential rights on several fronts, from religious freedom to free speech.

Alito's remarks came Thursday in a keynote speech at the Federalist Society's annual National Lawyers Convention, which is being held virtually this week. The event's theme is to examine how the coronavirus is affecting the rule of law.

The Trump administration's stonewalling of President-elect Joe Biden's transition team poses a serious risk to the U.S. – particularly during a deadly crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic, according to John Podesta, who co-chaired former President Barack Obama's transition team from 2007-8.

"It's dangerous to delay this," Podesta told NPR's Noel King. He cited the incoming administration's need to assess the ongoing response to COVID-19 in the U.S. – the worst-hit country in the world, with nearly 10.5 million cases and an alarming surge in cases and deaths.

President Trump made his first official public appearance since Election Day on Wednesday, observing Veterans Day in a traditional wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery.

Trump, who is defying declarations that he lost his reelection bid, did not speak at the event.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is insisting that the U.S. election has not been decided. He also predicted that President Trump will prevail, backing Trump's reluctance to begin the transition to President-elect Joe Biden's administration.

"There will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration," Pompeo said during a briefing Tuesday. "All right? We're ready."

Dr. Anthony Fauci was recognized as a hero on Tuesday by the New York City borough of Brooklyn, where he was born and raised. As he accepted the honor, Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert, shared his optimism that a COVID-19 vaccine is close.

"The vaccine is on its way, folks, so hang in there, hang tough. We're going to get over this together," Fauci said via video link, speaking to a crowd gathered outside Brooklyn Borough Hall.

"Amen!" a woman in the crowd replied.

Richard Pilger resigned as head of the Justice Department's election crimes branch Monday night, protesting Attorney General William Barr's memo authorizing federal prosecutors to pursue allegations of voting irregularities.

Barr's policy is seen as a step toward validating President Trump's baseless attacks on the integrity of an election in which he has been declared the loser.

Updated at 3:00 p.m. ET

Public protests took place in several U.S. cities, including New York, Washington, D.C., and Minneapolis, as demonstrators call for every vote to be counted in the presidential race. President Trump has falsely declared he has already won the election. Several clashes with police brought arrests.

Some of the protests had been planned ahead of Election Day. They were apparently intensified by Trump's attempts to pronounce himself the winner of a presidential race that's still playing out.

Updated at 8:15 p.m. ET

The United States woke up the morning after Election Day not knowing who will be president for the next four years. It's not unprecedented, and with a slew of mail-in ballots to process, several key states are working to finish counting.

Turkish rescue crews found a bright spot of joy amid devastation on Tuesday, pulling a little girl out of a collapsed apartment building four days after a strong earthquake ravaged the large city of Izmir.

The girl's name is Ayda Gezgin – but Turkish officials are calling her "our miracle" after she emerged relatively unscathed despite spending 91 hours pinned between a heavy dishwasher and debris.

Updated at 3:25 p.m. ET

At least 14 people died Friday in Turkey and Greece after a powerful earthquake struck off the shore of a Greek island in the eastern Aegean Sea. Emergency crews are working to find victims and survivors of the earthquake, which registered a magnitude 7.0, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. More than 100 aftershocks have been felt, Turkish officials said.

The U.S. recorded 88,521 new coronavirus cases Thursday, more than any other day in the COVID-19 pandemic, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Nearly a thousand people died from the disease in the U.S. on Thursday, pushing the total to 228,696 lives lost.

In the past week, the U.S. has blown past record levels of infection that were seen in the summer, when new cases topped 77,000 in July. Since last Thursday, the U.S. has posted more than 80,000 cases on several days.

Rescue and emergency teams are sorting through the damage wrought by Hurricane Zeta, which made landfall in Louisiana as a very strong Category 2 storm Wednesday afternoon. Zeta brought powerful winds to much of the southeast, where more than 2 million power customers are now without electricity.

The hurricane struck Louisiana's coast with winds of 110 mph, arriving Wednesday afternoon near Cocodrie, in Terrebonne Parish. Its eye then pushed inland over New Orleans and neighboring areas before rushing on to Mississippi and nearby states.

Updated at 12:25 p.m. ET

A man used a knife to attack people at the Notre Dame Basilica in Nice, France, Thursday, killing three people, authorities say. Several more were injured. Police have arrested a suspect, according to Mayor Christian Estrosi.

Two people were killed inside the church, and another died outside it, according to local media reports.

"Very clearly, it was France that was attacked," French President Emmanuel Macron said outside the church in Nice, after hurrying to the site of the attack.

Updated at 5:45 a.m. ET Wednesday

Zeta is now a Category 1 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 85 mph and is expected to strengthen on its way across the Gulf of Mexico, the National Hurricane Center said. Parts of Louisiana and Mississippi are now under hurricane warnings, including metro New Orleans.

The first Borat movie sparked anger in Kazakhstan for its portrayal of Kazakhstanis as coarse and backward. But the sequel, which was just released, is getting a warmer reception: Kazakhstan's tourism board is using Borat's famous catchphrase "Very nice!" as its new slogan.

The phrase is the centerpiece of a new ad campaign, punctuating videos that highlight Kazakhstan's natural beauty, architecture and culture. The goal is to give people a look at a nation that the tourism agency says is Asia's best-kept secret.

It started as a ripple: anger over higher subway prices. But a growing wave of protests followed, and now people in Chile have voted overwhelmingly to throw out their country's Pinochet-era constitution and create a new document under which to live. Nearly 80% of the voters chose to form a new constitution.

The result threw Chile into a huge celebration. One year after Santiago's streets were jammed by protesters, they were filled Sunday with revelers, ecstatic over the results of a national plebiscite. There were music and fireworks. Signs declared "Renace Chile" — Chile Reborn.

NASA has confirmed the presence of water on the moon's sunlit surface, a breakthrough that suggests the chemical compound that is vital to life on Earth could be distributed across more parts of the lunar surface than the ice that has previously been found in dark and cold areas.

Police arrested 11 people Sunday in New York City after fights erupted in Times Square as a large Jews for Trump convoy rolled through. Skirmishes broke out after some counterdemonstrators yanked flags off vehicles – and some drivers and passengers got out of their cars.

The clashes were caught on video and posted to social media, showing frequent outbursts of violence as people shouted threats at each other. At least one car had red paint thrown on it.

Israel and Sudan have agreed to normalize their relations and open economic and trade ties, the countries and the U.S. announced Friday. The U.S. said earlier this week that it would remove Sudan from the state sponsors of terrorism list as part of the agreement.

"This is an incredible deal for Israel and Sudan," President Trump said in the Oval Office, according to a White House pool report. "For decades, Sudan has been at a state of war with Israel. They have been in a state of war and boycotted Israeli goods. There was no relationship whatsoever."

The U.S. recorded 71,671 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, the most in one day since the outbreak hit alarming heights in July, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. One day earlier, around 63,000 new cases had been reported.

The U.S. also recorded 856 deaths from COVID-19 on Thursday, raising the death toll to more than 223,000 people lost to the pandemic.

Updated at 4:27 p.m. ET

Ghislaine Maxwell's answers to questions about the sex-trafficking operation she allegedly ran with the late Jeffrey Epstein were made public Thursday as a federal court released Maxwell's 2016 deposition. The transcript is more than 400 pages long, but it has been redacted to protect the privacy of some people it mentions.

Hatice Cengiz is suing Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in a U.S. court over the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, saying the prince and more than 20 other people should be held responsible for a plot to murder the U.S.-based journalist and democracy advocate.

"This brutal and brazen crime was the culmination of weeks of planning and conspiratorial actions taken collectively by Defendants and their co- conspirators," the lawsuit states.

Rush Limbaugh is giving an update on his stage 4 case of lung cancer, saying that despite some success in treating the disease, recent scans showed the cancer has progressed. "It's not dramatic, but it is the wrong direction," Limbaugh told listeners to his conservative radio show.

Updated at 12:45 p.m. ET

A federal court has cleared the path to unseal the transcript of Ghislaine Maxwell's deposition from 2016, a lengthy document that may shed light on the sex-trafficking operation she allegedly ran with the late Jeffrey Epstein that catered to rich and powerful men.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit affirmed a federal judge's ruling from July, saying the lower court was correct to reject "meritless arguments" from Maxwell, who is accused of procuring young girls for Epstein.

A federal judge has vacated the Trump administration's rule that would have forced hundreds of thousands of Americans off food stamps. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's rule change was capricious and arbitrary, Chief U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell said.

The USDA rule "radically and abruptly alters decades of regulatory practice," Howell said in her ruling, adding that it would have "exponentially" increased food insecurity for tens of thousands of Americans and imposed significant costs on states.

The U.S. Supreme Court said it will hear cases that involve the U.S. "Remain in Mexico" policy and the border wall, two of President Trump's most controversial attempts to limit migration across the southern border with Mexico.

The court did not say when it will hear the cases, but arguments are likely to be heard well after the Nov. 3 election. The outcome of next month's presidential election could render both cases moot if Trump loses his reelection bid.

The world hit a new benchmark in the COVID-19 pandemic on Monday, surpassing 40 million coronavirus infections, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. With the flu season looming, the rate of new cases in the U.S. and other countries is rising at rates not seen in months.

An eighth man is now charged with supporting an act of terrorism in the alleged plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer from her vacation home. Attorney General Dana Nessel's office says Brian Higgins, 51, was arrested in Wisconsin Thursday. He allegedly brought night-vision goggles to aid surveillance of Whitmer's home.

The European Union is hitting six high-placed Russian officials with sanctions over the suspected assassination attempt of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, citing the use of forbidden chemical weapons. Lab tests found Navalny was poisoned by a variant of Novichok, a rare Soviet-era nerve agent.

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