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Bill Chappell

Bill Chappell is a writer and editor on the Newsdesk, in the heart of NPR's newsroom in Washington, D.C.

Chappell's work at NPR has ranged from being the site's first full-time homepage editor to being the lead writer and editor for online coverage of several Olympic Games, from London 2012 to Pyeongchang 2018. 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 the past, Chappell 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.

In 2009, Chappell was a key editorial member of the small team that redesigned NPR's web site. One year later, NPR.org 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, Chappell was part of 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 on major events.

Chappell's work for CNN included editing digital video and producing web stories for SI.com. He also edited and produced 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, Chappell attended graduate school for English Literature at the University of South Carolina.

Two women who were detained and asked to show identification after speaking Spanish in a convenience store in Montana are suing U.S. Customs and Border Protection, saying the CBP agent violated their constitutional rights when he detained them and asked to see their identification.

"Do not travel to Haiti due to crime and civil unrest," the U.S. State Department says, urging Americans to avoid the country that is wracked with violent protests against President Jovenel Moise. The State Department is pulling all nonemergency U.S. personnel and their family members from the country.

Germany's Lufthansa Group Airlines is suing a passenger who found a cheap way to travel between several cities in Europe and the U.S., saying the customer broke its rules when he skipped part of his return flight on a round-trip ticket from Oslo to Seattle. Now it wants him to pay more than $2,000 to make up the difference.

The man used a method to book his multistop trip that's known as "hidden city" ticketing — where travelers find layover cities on an airliner's route that are cheaper than a direct flight from one city to another.

The U.S. government's public debt is now more than $22 trillion — the highest it has ever been. The Treasury Department data comes as tax revenue has fallen and federal spending continues to rise. The new debt level reflects a rise of more than $2 trillion from the day President Trump took office in 2017.

Despite being in the second-longest economic expansion since the post–World War II boom, the U.S. is projected to rack up annual deficits and incur national debt at rates not seen since the 1940s, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Mars One, whose promise of one-way trips to Mars lured more than 202,000 people to apply to become an astronaut, has gone bankrupt. The company had hoped to shape a reality TV series around creating a colony on Mars.

Mars One had initially planned to land people on Mars in 2023, setting the monumental task of solving a litany of technical and practical challenges and raising an estimated $6 billion to pay for a mission to another planet.

Updated at 4:43 p.m. ET

A man in a red Make America Great Again cap violently shoved a BBC cameraman and shouted profanities during President Trump's rally in El Paso, Texas, on Monday night, in a startling moment that briefly interrupted the president's speech.

Bootleg liquor is being blamed for more than 100 deaths in northern India, after alcohol poisoning sickened people in two states. It's the worst outbreak of deadly booze to hit India in years.

Dozens of deaths have been reported in both Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh — two neighboring states that are east of New Delhi.

Lindsey Vonn is retiring as the winningest female ski racer in the world and one of the most decorated alpine skiers in U.S. history, ending a career in which she refused to let terrible injuries slow her down. In her final race Sunday, Vonn sped down the mountain to loud cheers, taking bronze in the downhill at the world championships in Are, Sweden.

Sunday's medal makes Vonn the first female skier to win medals at six different world championships, and it also marks the fifth time she has won a medal in the downhill at a world championship.

Updated at 11:05 p.m. ET

Princess Ubolratana Mahidol, the older sister of Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn, is hoping to be a candidate for prime minister — a move that would mark a startling break with Thai royalty's long-observed practice of staying out of politics. But her effort now seems doomed, after the king spoke out against his sister's bid for office.

Germany's antitrust agency is hitting Facebook with "far-reaching restrictions" on the social media network's practice of merging its users' data that was gleaned from WhatsApp, Instagram and millions of third-party websites and apps. The decision can be appealed; if it stands, it would force Facebook to add more ways for its users to protect their privacy.

BB&T and SunTrust have agreed to merge into a new and as-yet-unnamed bank, in an all-stock deal valued at approximately $66 billion. The new bank, which would have its headquarters in Charlotte, N.C., will be the sixth-largest in the U.S. based on assets and deposits.

Both of the banks are calling it a "merger of equals." But the deal is weighted toward BB&T, whose shareholders will own around 57 percent of the new bank compared with SunTrust shareholders' 43 percent.

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has ordered the majority of National Guard troops deployed at her state's Southern border to withdraw, condemning what she called a "charade of border fear-mongering" by President Trump, who has warned of an immigration emergency in the region.

"I reject the federal contention that there exists an overwhelming national security crisis at the Southern border," Lujan Grisham said, adding that the area has "some of the safest communities in the country."

Updated at 10 a.m. ET

Taliban fighters stormed an army post in northern Kunduz province early Tuesday, setting off a clash that killed more than two dozen people — most of them soldiers, Afghan officials said.

Updated at 9:45 a.m. ET

At least five people were killed Sunday when a plane apparently broke apart in the air and plummeted into a neighborhood in Yorba Linda, Calif. The pilot died, along with four people in a house hit by wreckage. Officials aren't sure what caused the crash.

Two of the victims owned the two-story stucco house that was hit and was engulfed in a raging fire, said Lt. Cory Martino of the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

The polar vortex that has gripped the Plains and Midwest will finally lift back into Canada, the National Weather Service says, promising a warmup that will bring a whiplash shift in temperatures. By Saturday, the agency says, the central Plains area will see temperatures in the low 60s — nearly 20-25 degrees above normal.

Homeland Security agents created a fake university in Michigan to attract foreign nationals who wanted to use student status to extend U.S. visa privileges, according to a federal indictment unsealed Wednesday. The University of Farmington didn't have any professors or hold any classes — but that didn't matter to "students" who used the sham school to stay in the U.S. illegally, the government says.

Accused serial killer Bruce McArthur has pleaded guilty to eight charges of first-degree murder in Toronto, making a surprise confession one year before his trial was set to begin. Police say McArthur, 67, used his work as a gardener to dispose of his victims.

Updated Feb. 4 at 10 a.m. ET

Extreme cold is forcing the U.S. Postal Service to shut down mail delivery in parts of 10 states in the Great Plains and Midwest, reflecting the perilous threat of a polar vortex that's bringing record-low temperatures and biting winds to a broad swath of the U.S.

"Some places could see wind chill readings as low as 60 below zero," the postal service said in announcing the rare decision to keep its mail carriers from making their rounds on Wednesday.

Record-shattering cold, heavy snow and howling winds are descending on a broad swath of the U.S., the National Weather Service says. It's the result of one of the coldest arctic air masses to hit the country in recent memory, the agency says, forecasting bitter conditions in areas from the Upper Midwest to many Eastern states.

Warning of a "very dangerous and life-threatening arctic blast," the weather service predicts that the next several days could see "widespread record lows and low maximum temperatures from the Upper Midwest to the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley."

Russia's Ministry of Justice is proposing a change to make some corrupt acts exempt from punishment, if the corruption is found to be unavoidable. The proposed rule says officials and public figures could be exempt if "objective circumstances" made it impossible for them to comply with corruption laws.

Corruption that is "due to force majeure is not an offense," the proposal states. But it does not go into detail about the circumstances under which conflicts of interest, bribery, fraud and other offenses might be decriminalized.

Updated at 12 p.m. ET, Jan. 30

Scores of people turned up for Joseph Walker's funeral Monday in Texas — not because they knew him, but because they knew the Vietnam-era veteran was at risk of being buried without anyone in attendance.

Walker served in the U.S. Air Force, and he died of natural causes in November at the age of 72. When the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery announced funeral plans for him last week, the facility said it didn't expect anyone other than staff members to be present.

Search crews are looking for up to 300 missing people in southeastern Brazil, after a dam at an iron ore mining complex collapsed Friday, releasing a deluge of muddy mine waste that swallowed part of a town. Since then, the death toll has risen to 60, according to Brazilian media outlets citing the area fire brigade, and the safety practices of the mine's owner have come under scrutiny.

Should the U.S. require its citizens to perform public service? Should its young women register for the draft?

A federal panel says it is working on answers to those questions — and is considering how the nation could implement a universal service program and whether it should be mandatory or optional.

Updated at 9:42 a.m. ET

Chinese-Australian writer and former diplomat Yang Hengjun has been detained by Chinese authorities, according to the Australian Embassy in Beijing. Friends of Yang say he was taken into custody immediately after flying from New York to China on Saturday, and since then, the democracy advocate's normally active Twitter feed has fallen silent.

Updated Jan. 23 at 11 a.m. ET

The Supreme Court has reinstated President Trump's order placing restrictions on transgender persons enlisting and serving in the military by granting a stay of two lower court injunctions that had blocked the president's policy. The justices voted 5-4, reflecting the high court's conservative majority.

Updated at 11:15 a.m. ET

A Canadian diplomat says the U.S. Justice Department has told Canada that it will formally seek to extradite Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, who was arrested in Vancouver last month at U.S. officials' request.

The news prompted China to warn it will retaliate if Canada tries to send Meng to the U.S. — a sign that a diplomatic crisis over her status could worsen.

A viral video of a Native American man surrounded by teenagers at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., created a furor and spurred an apology from the students' Kentucky high school. But since then, other videos and narratives have emerged that give more context to Friday's confrontation.

It happened on the same steps where civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. called for racial harmony in the U.S. with his famous "I Have a Dream" speech in 1963.

Atlanta's Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park has reopened for the first time since the partial government shutdown began on Dec. 22, thanks to a grant from Delta Air Lines. The deal allows the park to avoid the awkward possibility that it would be closed on the federal holiday honoring King.

"Without the assistance provided by The Delta Air Lines Foundation, it would have remained closed during the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend," a National Park Service spokesman told NPR.

Updated at 11:30 p.m. ET

The Pentagon says U.S. military personnel in Syria are moving ahead with President Trump's order to pull out of the war-torn country.

The U.S. force in Syria has "begun the process of our deliberate withdrawal from Syria," said Col. Sean Ryan, spokesman for the for Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve. More than 2,000 U.S. troops are currently deployed in Syria.

Updated at 10:30 a.m. ET

Poland's Internal Security Agency has arrested and charged an executive of Chinese tech giant Huawei on suspicion of spying for China. A government spokesman identified the suspect as Weijing W.; media reports in Poland and China say he also is known as Stanislaw Wang, Huawei's sales director in Poland.

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