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 venerable Sizzler USA family steakhouse chain has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, citing a business environment roiled by COVID-19 restrictions – and saying that not enough has been done to help restaurants survive.

"Our current financial state is a direct consequence of the pandemic's economic impact," Sizzler President Chris Perkins said, "due to long-term indoor dining closures and landlords' refusal to provide necessary rent abatements."

"There is insufficient evidence to prove negligent or reckless homicide" in the death of Carlos Ingram-Lopez in April, prosecutors in Pima County, Ariz., say, opting against criminal charges despite finding that Tucson police officers who placed him in custody failed to follow protocol and created an "unjustifiable risk."

Ingram-Lopez, 27, died after being handcuffed and held face-down in a garage for some 12 minutes. For much of that time, police kept two plastic emergency blankets and a "spit sock hood" over his head.

The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 surpassed 200,000 on Tuesday — reaching what was once the upper limit of some estimates for the pandemic's impact on Americans. Some experts now warn that the toll could nearly double again by the end of 2020.

"I hoped we would be in a better place by now," said Caitlin Rivers, an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. "It's an enormous and tragic loss of life."

The NFL has fined several head coaches $100,000 for not wearing face masks on the sidelines — a safety precaution that is required at games during the COVID-19 pandemic. The coaches' teams were also punished, with $250,000 fines.

The coaches include Pete Carroll of Seattle, Kyle Shanahan of San Francisco and Vic Fangio of Denver, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. A league source confirmed details about the fines to NPR on Tuesday morning.

Tropical Storm Beta's heavy rainfall and slow movement is raising the risk of flooding "from the middle Texas coast to southeast Louisiana," the National Weather Service said. Beta is heading for a part of Louisiana where electricity service for thousands of people hasn't recovered from being knocked out by Hurricane Laura last month. Some isolated areas could see 15 inches of rain.

The U.K.'s COVID-19 numbers are rising fast and could reach new 50,000 cases per day by mid-October, the country's top science adviser announced Monday. Sir Patrick Vallance said his warning is based on current trends that show "the epidemic is doubling roughly every seven days."

"There's no doubt we're in a situation where the numbers are increasing," Vallance said during an online briefing hosted by 10 Downing Street. The challenge now, he added, is to prolong the time it takes for infection rates to double.

Updated at 2:41 p.m. ET

The Trump administration is banning Americans from downloading popular video-sharing app TikTok and limiting the use of WeChat because of national security concerns, the Commerce Department announced on Friday.

As of midnight on Sunday, TikTok will also not be able to receive system updates, which could affect its functionality, including slowing down the app, but the app's current version will still work for American users. Over time, however, TikTok may stop working altogether.

The remnants of Hurricane Sally are dropping torrential rain on southeastern states — and its center was still in Alabama early Thursday, more than 24 hours after making landfall as a Category 2 hurricane. The storm has brought rainfall that is being measured in feet, not inches, in many places.

Sally is now a tropical depression, but it's bringing new flood threats to Georgia and South Carolina Thursday, the National Hurricane Center says.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says he and other staff will take an unpaid furlough week, part of an effort to respond to billions of dollars in lost revenue and to show solidarity during the COVID-19 pandemic and related economic shutdowns.

Updated at 11:17 p.m. ET

Hurricane Sally brought 100-mph winds and the threat of historic flooding to southeastern Alabama and the western Florida Panhandle on Wednesday after making landfall as a Category 2 storm. Some isolated areas in its path could see nearly 3 feet of rain.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and representatives of Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates officially opened normal relations Tuesday, signing diplomatic agreements during a White House ceremony that was hosted by President Trump.

Updated at 6:15 a.m. ET Wednesday

Hurricane Sally's eye made landfall Wednesday morning, bringing a perilous threat of floods to areas along the northern Gulf Coast, according to forecasters. The hurricane is crawling along at just 2 mph, giving its heavy rains even more potential impact. A tornado watch has also been issued.

"Because of that slow movement, we're going to see torrential rainfall, a dangerous amount of rainfall," National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham said in an online briefing Tuesday morning.

YouTube

Portland, Ore., Mayor Ted Wheeler is telling the city's police to "end the use of CS gas for crowd control" in a policy change that he says is effective immediately.

Updated at 10:37 p.m. ET

At least 14 people have died in wildfires that are raging in Oregon, California and Washington state, adding to the horrible toll from record-setting fires in 2020.

Intense winds caused havoc on Utah's highways Tuesday, flipping dozens of semi trucks onto their sides and forcing officials to restrict travel on interstates. Hurricane-force wind gusts were common, forcing the Capitol building to be closed to employees.

Gov. Gary Herbert declared a state of emergency on Wednesday due to the severe wind event.

Updated at 10:27 p.m. ET

Intense wildfires are ravaging large swaths of the West Coast, prompting thousands of people to flee parts of Oregon and forcing power outages in California, where fires have already burned a record of more than 2.3 million acres this year. Fires are burning from Washington state to Southern California.

Updated at 5:58 p.m. ET

La'Ron Singletary is resigning as police chief in Rochester, N.Y., as protests continue over the March death of a Black man, Daniel Prude, by asphyxiation after being restrained by police. Much of the encounter was caught on video.

Other senior police leaders are joining Singletary in leaving the department, Rochester Mayor Lovely A. Warren said.

Nine drug companies pledged Tuesday that they will not submit vaccine candidates for FDA review until their safety and efficacy is shown in large clinical trials. The move is intended to bolster public confidence amid the rush to make a COVID-19 vaccine widely available, and counter fears of political pressure to have a vaccine before the November presidential election.

Updated at 2:25 p.m. ET

Rescue workers in Beirut are delicately exploring the rubble of a collapsed building where a specialist team says it detected signs of life — one month after Lebanon's capital was devastated by a massive explosion at its port.

The effort began after a sniffer dog named Flash signaled to his Chilean search and rescue team that someone might be alive under the concrete and debris in the neighborhood of Mar Mikhael.

"There's no doubt whatsoever" that an operation to poison Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was approved at the highest levels of Russia's government and intelligence services, according to Steven Hall, the former CIA chief of Russia operations.

"There really is no other way to explain this," Hall said in an interview with NPR's Mary Louise Kelly. "And this is something that the Russian intelligence services have been doing literally for decades, if not longer."

Pages