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.

"The Defense Department is starting the first agency-wide financial audit in its history," the Pentagon's news service says, announcing that it's undertaking an immense task that has been sought, promised and delayed for years.

Of the tally that is starting this week, chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana W. White said, "It demonstrates our commitment to fiscal responsibility and maximizing the value of every taxpayer dollar that is entrusted to us."

The U.S. economy added 228,000 jobs in November, according to the monthly jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate remained steady at 4.1 percent, unchanged from October.

"Employment growth has averaged 174,000 per month thus far this year, compared with an average monthly gain of 187,000 in 2016," the agency's acting Commissioner William J. Wiatrowski said of the report.

Russia hosted the last Winter Olympics, in 2014. But the country is banned from being represented at the 2018 Games that start in February, after the International Olympic Committee said it found a widespread culture of Russian cheating through performance-enhancing drugs.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is seeking a fourth term in office — which would keep him in the Kremlin through 2024, if he wins another six-year term as expected. Putin faces no serious threats in his re-election bid.

It has created a wave of awareness and brave confrontations over sexual harassment and assault, taking down powerful men in the process. And now the #MeToo movement has been named Time magazine's Person of the Year for 2017.

On its cover, Time called the people behind the movement "The Silence Breakers." Its story features women and men who have spoken out — including activist Tarana Burke, who started the hashtag 10 years ago.

The International Olympic Committee has suspended the Russian Olympic Committee "with immediate effect," essentially banning the country from the upcoming Winter Olympics over Russia's system of state-supported cheating by athletes using performance-enhancing drugs.

Russian athletes can compete in the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, the IOC said Tuesday — but the athletes will have to pass strict scrutiny, and instead of wearing their nation's uniform, they will compete under the title "Olympic Athlete from Russia (OAR)."

Eric Conn, the Kentucky lawyer who defrauded the Social Security system of more than half a billion dollars before fleeing the U.S. in June, has been arrested in Honduras, according to that country's Public Ministry. Wanted by the FBI, he also sent taunting messages while on the lam.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro says his country will create a cryptocurrency system called the "petro," backed by oil reserves and other natural resources, in his latest attempt to cope with an abysmal national economy and multiple rounds of U.S. sanctions.

Unveiling the petro plan on his weekly national TV program Sundays with Maduro, the president said the cryptocurrency (in Spanish, criptomoneda) could help Venezuela evade international sanctions.

Australian Member of Parliament Tim Wilson seems to have become the first lawmaker to propose from the House floor, asking his longtime partner Ryan Bolger (who was seated in the gallery) to marry him as the chamber debated legalizing same-sex marriage.

Spain will play Portugal; France will play Peru; Brazil will play Switzerland. Those are among the results of the draw for the World Cup field, held Friday by soccer's governing body, FIFA. The 2018 World Cup will begin with host Russia playing Saudi Arabia in Moscow on June 14.

The 32-team draw commonly produces a "group of death" — where there are more highly ranked teams than chances to advance to the next stage after group play. But the draw for the 2018 tournament has no obviously imposing group.

Pope Francis met with a group of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh on Friday, offering them blessings and hearing their stories — and specifically mentioning the Muslim minority by name, something he avoided doing during his visit to Myanmar, where Rohingya have faced persecution.

"The presence of God today is also called 'Rohingya,' " the pope said, at the end of an interfaith meeting that was held in the garden of the archbishop's residence in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

The power grid in South Australia now includes a huge Tesla battery tied to a wind farm, allowing the system to supply electricity around the clock. The battery was installed well before Tesla CEO Elon Musk's 100-day guarantee lapsed — and just in time for the start of summer.

"This is history in the making," South Australia Premier Jay Weatherill said of the battery system, which sits next to wind turbines at the Horndale Power Reserve.

Walmart has removed a controversial T-shirt with a simple message — "Rope. Tree. Journalist. SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED" — from its website, after the Radio Television Digital News Association sent the largest retailer in the U.S. a note flagging the shirt's message.

As RTDNA said, the shirt was being sold by Walmart with a company called Teespring acting as a third-party seller. The retailer removed the shirt within one day of being notified.

The U.S.-led military coalition has marked a string of successes in its fight against ISIS, including the liberation of Raqqa, Syria, and Mosul, Iraq. But the force says that its artillery and airstrikes have killed at least 801 civilians in those countries since Operation Inherent Resolve began in 2014.

Matt Lauer says, "There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions," issuing his first public response after NBC fired the longtime host of Today, its flagship morning program.

Lauer spoke after lurid details of alleged sexual misconduct emerged in both Variety and The New York Times, ranging from inappropriate remarks to sexual assault — and a door in Lauer's office that he could lock by pressing a button at his desk.

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