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.

Forecasters in southern Florida had warned a sharp cold snap could bring a high chance of falling iguanas – and that's just what happened: The National Weather Service's office in Miami says immobilized iguanas began falling from the trees after temperatures plunged into the 30s and 40s early Wednesday.

Updated at 4:45 p.m. ET

President Trump says he plans to widen a controversial travel ban that prohibits nearly all people from seven countries from traveling or immigrating to the U.S., calling it "a very powerful ban" that's necessary to ensure national security.

"We're adding a couple of countries" to the ban, Trump told reporters at a news conference at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. "We have to be safe. Our country has to be safe. You see what's going on in the world. Our country has to be safe," he said.

Australia's southeast was already dealing with the terrible effects of historic bushfires and huge smoke clouds. Then Canberra, Melbourne and other places were hit by golf-ball-sized hail that destroyed car windshields, killed birds and shredded the leaves off trees.

The Bureau of Meteorology in New South Wales, the country's most populous state, warned residents of "damaging winds, large, possibly giant hailstones and heavy rainfall" as it issued severe thunderstorm warnings in the east and northeast.

Updated at 4:40 p.m. ET

Thousands of gun ownership enthusiasts and armed militia members gathered at the Virginia State Capitol on Monday for a rally aimed at quashing new gun restrictions. The rally ended without any violence, but Richmond remains under a state of emergency and Gov. Ralph Northam's temporary ban on weapons on Capitol grounds will remain in place until Tuesday.

Police have arrested three men in northern Georgia who are suspected of belonging to a violent white supremacist group called The Base, saying that they were plotting to commit murder and that they belonged to a criminal street gang.

They're the second trio of suspected Base members to be arrested this week; the FBI announced Thursday that it arrested three other men in Maryland.

The Pentagon says 11 U.S. service members were injured in Iran's ballistic missile attack on U.S. assets in Iraq last week. The Americans are being treated for concussion symptoms from the blast and are expected to return to duty after a health screening, a Defense Department spokesperson says.

Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, led Friday prayers in Tehran for the first time in eight years and delivered a sermon in which he excoriated U.S. leaders as "clowns" and accused European countries of negotiating in bad faith over the foundering nuclear deal.

Khamenei also indicated that Iran might retaliate further for the U.S. drone strike that killed top Iranian commander Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, saying a missile attack on U.S. assets in Iraq had been a blow to America's dignity and its status as a superpower.

Updated at 4:50 p.m. ET

The FBI has arrested three alleged members of The Base — which authorities describe as a "racially motivated violent extremist group" — on charges that range from illegal transport of a machine gun to harboring aliens, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Maryland.

Updated at 3:45 p.m. ET

Ukraine's national police are investigating whether U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch was under surveillance in Kyiv last spring — something implied in a series of WhatsApp messages between a little-known Republican political candidate and an associate of Rudy Giuliani, President Trump's personal lawyer.

Virginia became the pivotal 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment after its Senate and House of Delegates voted Wednesday to approve the change to the U.S. Constitution.

The ERA's provisions include a guarantee that "equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex."

"The Virginia Senate voted 28-12 and the House of Delegates 59-41 to approve the ERA," NPR's Sarah McCammon reports.

Updated at 10:18 p.m. ET

A lawyer for former U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch is calling for an investigation after materials released Tuesday night as part of the impeachment inquiry suggested she was under surveillance by individuals linked to President Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani.

Updated at 3:50 p.m. ET

Iranian authorities have arrested an undisclosed number of people over the accidental shootdown of a Ukrainian airliner. The move comes as Iranians continue to protest against the government over the tragedy. Hours after the arrests, a new video emerged that purportedly shows two missiles hitting the passenger jet.

Russian hackers recently targeted the Ukrainian gas company that was at the center of President Trump's impeachment — and they succeeded in gaining access to its email accounts, according to California cybersecurity firm Area 1 Security.

The hackers are said to have infiltrated Burisma Holdings months after Trump urged Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son Hunter, who had served on Burisma's board.

Drivers who went to DMV offices Monday morning were likely hoping for a quick end to what can be a painfully slow process — but in offices around the U.S., that process ground to a halt for roughly four hours, due to a widespread network problem.

"The network that connects motor vehicle agencies across the United States to each other and to various verification services" began experiencing an outage at 10 a.m. ET, says Claire Jeffrey, communications manager for the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators.

A man accused of being a hired assassin has pleaded guilty to killing a journalist who investigated corruption in Slovakia — a shocking murder that led to the government's collapse in early 2018, along with the exit of several police and justice officials.

Northern Ireland will return to the power-sharing agreement that collapsed three years ago, as its two major parties – the nationalist Sinn Fein and the pro-U.K. Democratic Unionist Party – agreed Friday to a draft deal that would give Northern Ireland a new regional government. The deal was brokered by the governments of Ireland and the U.K.

Australia is struggling to cope with deadly infernos and faces losing nearly a billion animals in the terrible bushfires — but in the midst of those tragedies, authorities are also battling hoaxes and misinformation, including false reports of widespread arson. Many of the claims seek to suggest that arson, not climate change, was a key driver of the historic fires.

Facebook says it will continue to allow political ads that target the social media platform's users, sticking to its position despite concerns about the potential impact on the upcoming presidential election. Federal Election Commissioner Ellen Weintraub sharply criticized the policy, saying Facebook's "weak plan suggests the company has no idea how seriously it is hurting democracy."

Kentucky's Judicial Conduct Commission has suspended Kenton County Judge Dawn Gentry from her official duties as it investigates numerous accusations of professional and sexual misconduct. Among other things, Gentry is alleged to have had sex with her lover and another woman while at work.

Updated at 3:10 p.m. ET

Details are still emerging about Iran's ballistic missile attack on Iraqi bases housing American military forces, which set off rampant speculation about a potential U.S. response. But President Trump suggested Wednesday that any U.S. action would be economic, not military.

"Iran appears to be standing down, which is a good thing for all parties concerned — and a very good thing for the world," Trump said.

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