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 1:40 p.m. ET

Virginia will remove a statue honoring Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in the city of Richmond "as soon as possible," Gov. Ralph Northam announced Thursday.

"Today, we're here to be honest about our past and talk about our future," Northam said, adding: "We have to confront where we've been in order to shape where we're going."

The statue will be placed into storage, where it will remain until government leaders and the community can discuss its future, according to the governor.

Hong Kong's legislature has passed a bill making it a crime to poke fun at China's national anthem — a move that puts new limits on anniversary events marking the Tiananmen Square massacre. Under the ban, it is illegal to alter the lyrics of the anthem, or to sing it "in a distorted or disrespectful way."

Updated at 5:16 p.m. ET

Derek Chauvin now faces a charge of second-degree murder in addition to earlier charges, and three other former Minneapolis police officers who were involved in George Floyd's death face charges of aiding and abetting murder, according to new court documents.

Workers removed a statue of Philadelphia's controversial former Mayor Frank Rizzo from its place of honor across from City Hall early Wednesday morning, finishing a job that protesters attempted to accomplish during recent demonstrations against police brutality.

In the 1970s, Rizzo famously told Philadelphia voters to "vote white." But on Wednesday, the City of Brotherly Love took down a memorial to a man who exploited its divisions.

Catholics cannot tolerate racism and also "claim to defend the sacredness of every human life," Pope Francis says, commenting on the upheaval that has followed the death of George Floyd in police custody.

The pope is urging the U.S. to reach a national reconciliation, after days of protests and violence.

"My friends, we cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism and exclusion in any form and yet claim to defend the sacredness of every human life," the pope said on Wednesday.

When Washington, D.C., resident Rahul Dubey realized dozens of protesters were facing pepper spray and arrest for violating curfew Monday night, he did what he says anyone else would do: He invited about 70 people into his home, to spend the night.

The protesters had been herded into Swann Street near Dupont Circle as police forces around the city used helicopters and flash-bang munitions in a crackdown on anyone violating the 7 p.m. curfew.

President Trump drew fresh criticism from religious leaders on Tuesday when he and first lady Melania Trump visited a shrine to St. John Paul II in Washington, D.C.

The trip to the Saint John Paul II National Shrine drew a sharp response from Washington Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory, who said, "I find it baffling and reprehensible that any Catholic facility would allow itself to be so egregiously misused and manipulated in a fashion that violates our religious principles."

Indonesia, home to more Muslims than any country in the world, is canceling this year's hajj pilgrimage to holy sites in Saudi Arabia, saying the health and safety of travelers would be at risk during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Our religion teaches us that saving lives is an obligation. That is the consideration in this policy," Minister of Religious Affairs Fachrul Razi said Tuesday during a news conference in Jakarta.

President Trump's controversial foray to St. John's Church on Monday is generating widespread criticism, after police and National Guard troops physically cleared out demonstrators, using tear gas, to allow a photo opportunity outside the church. The bishop who oversees St. John's is among the critics.

Mass protests that have erupted over police brutality toward black people in America are raising concerns about the risk of spreading the coronavirus. But some health experts, even as they urge caution, said they support the demonstrations — because racism also poses a dire health threat.

Updated at 6 p.m. ET

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has removed guidance on its website that houses of worship should limit choir activities — advice that was based on evidence that group singing can spread the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

The warning was part of new guidance for leaders of faith-based organizations that the CDC had posted last Friday. It stated that they should:

New Zealand is now down to only one active COVID-19 case, reaching a new level of success in its fight against the coronavirus. The last time a new case was reported in the country was more than a week ago; no one is currently hospitalized with the disease caused by the coronavirus.

"For the seventh day in a row, there are no new cases of COVID-19 to report in New Zealand," the Ministry of Health said on Friday.

New York businesses can refuse entrance to anyone who doesn't wear a face mask, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday under his executive order that gives store owners the authority to decide whether patrons must wear a mask or other face coverings to enter.

Face masks are "amazingly" effective in slowing the spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, the governor said.

"People have a right to jeopardize their own health (I don't recommend it)," Cuomo said via Twitter. "People don't have a right to jeopardize other people's health."

If a visitor to Cyprus tests positive for the coronavirus this summer, the government will cover many of their expenses — including food, drink and lodging — according to a new plan that maps out how the island nation can revive its crucial tourism industry.

The French government is revoking a decree that had allowed hospitals to prescribe hydroxychloroquine in some COVID-19 cases, saying there is no proof that it helps patients — and citing data that shows it could cause heart problems and other health risks.

"This molecule must not be prescribed for patients affected by COVID-19," the Ministry of Solidarity and Health said as it announced the change.

Casinos in Las Vegas and other Nevada cities can reopen next Thursday for the first time since the coronavirus forced the gaming industry to shut down more than two months ago, Gov. Steve Sisolak says. The state plans to revive its gaming industry nearly a week after it starts Phase 2 of its reopening this Friday.

A licensed pharmacist in New York bought up thousands of rare N95 masks and sold them at much higher prices during the COVID-19 pandemic, federal authorities said Tuesday, announcing the arrest of Richard Schirripa, aka "the Mask Man," on charges that include violating the Defense Production Act. Schirripa is accused of charging up to $25 per mask – often selling them out of his car.

People visiting Six Flags theme parks and water parks this summer will be required to wear face masks at all times, the company said, as it prepares to reopen its first park to visitors since the coronavirus forced mass closures. Six Flags said it also will use thermal imaging to screen temperatures of guests and employees before they can enter.

Stock traders wore masks at the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday as the trading floor reopened for the first time since March. The exchange has been restricted to electronic trading for two months out of concern over the spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is clarifying its guidance to prevent the coronavirus from spreading, hoping to clear up confusion over whether a person can contract the disease by touching surfaces that have the virus on them. The agency said "usability improvements," including a headline change on its webpage about preventing viral infection, seemed to trigger news stories saying its guidelines have changed.

"Our transmission language has not changed," CDC spokesman Benjamin Haynes told NPR.

Alabama is allowing movie theaters, bowling alleys and summer camps to reopen Friday afternoon as Gov. Kay Ivey expands her "Safer at Home" order.

U.S. government buildings, military posts and embassies will fly the flag at half-staff through Memorial Day weekend in memory of the nearly 100,000 people who have died of COVID-19, President Trump announced Thursday night. The decision comes after Democratic leaders in Congress sent a letter to the president requesting the gesture.

President Trump's administration will give official notice of the U.S.'s intent to exit the Open Skies treaty, officials announced Thursday. The 34-nation agreement allows the U.S., Russia and other countries to fly their aircraft over each other's territory – increasing transparency and reducing the chances for perilous miscalculations.

"Russia didn't adhere to the treaty, so until they adhere, we will pull out," Trump said, adding that there is "a very good chance" to reach a new deal. "We're going to pull out, and they're going to come back and want to make a deal."

The NCAA is clearing the way for college football, men's basketball and women's basketball to resume on-campus activities on June 1, even as universities map out how they might return to a new normal during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many schools are also facing a sharp drop in revenue that would be made far worse if the upcoming college football season is canceled.

Updated at 12:10 p.m. ET

The U.S. could have prevented roughly 36,000 deaths from COVID-19 if broad social distancing measures had been put in place just one week earlier in March, according to an analysis from Columbia University.

Underlining the importance of aggressively responding to the coronavirus, the study found the U.S. could have avoided at least 700,000 fewer infections if actions that began on March 15 had actually started on March 8.

The U.S. economy, frozen by COVID-19 shutdowns, is in the process of thawing out. All 50 states have at least partially eased tight restrictions on businesses, with a mix of policies letting restaurants or stores welcome customers.

Capt. Tom Moore, the British World War II veteran who raised more than $39 million to support health workers by walking 100 laps for charity in his garden, is being awarded a knighthood in recognition of how he has inspired people in the U.K. and around the world.

Moore launched the campaign in the weeks leading up to his 100th birthday in late April. Wearing a coat and tie and his military medals, he pushed his walker around the garden, hoping to draw donations.

The Maryland Department of Health reported 1,784 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, setting a new high mark four days after the state began reopening its economy. Maryland is now reporting 41,546 cases, including nearly 2,000 people who have died from the disease.

Along with the new positive tests, 5,368 people tested negative for the coronavirus in the 24 hours leading up to 10 a.m. ET — meaning roughly 25% of the 7,152 tests in that period resulted in positive diagnoses.

Updated at 3:45 p.m. ET

President Trump is giving the World Health Organization 30 days to commit to substantial changes in how it operates — or he will make his hold on U.S. funding permanent. The threat came in a letter that sharply criticizes the WHO response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its relationship with China.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar says the World Health Organization failed in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic – and that it "cost many lives," delivering a sharp criticism of the WHO at the organization's annual meeting Monday.

"We must be frank about one of the primary reasons this outbreak spun out of control: There was a failure by this organization to obtain the information that the world needed. And that failure cost many lives," Azar said at the World Health Assembly, reiterating President Trump's complaints about the WHO.

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