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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 world's oldest known wild bird, a Laysan albatross named Wisdom, has hatched yet another chick at Midway Atoll in the Hawaiian archipelago. Biologists first identified and banded Wisdom in 1956; she is at least 70 years old.

Wisdom's latest chick successfully hatched in February, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's office in the Pacific Islands.

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The Biden administration will suspend steep tariffs on Irish and Scotch whiskies, English cheeses and other products, after reaching an agreement with the U.K. Former President Trump had imposed the tariffs in late 2019 as part of a long-running dispute over the aviation industry.

Updated at 3 p.m. ET

Rep. Ronny Jackson made sexual and denigrating statements about a female subordinate, smelled of alcohol while on duty and humiliated his staff during his long stint as a White House physician, according to a scathing new report from the Defense Department's inspector general.

Germany's domestic intelligence agency has put the country's largest opposition party under surveillance as a potential threat to the country's constitution, according to public broadcaster ARD and other media outlets. The move affects dozens of lawmakers who are in the right-wing Alternative for Germany, or AfD, party.

Updated at 5:54 p.m. ET

At least 13 people died in a vehicle crash in Imperial County, Calif., on Tuesday, when a crowded Ford Expedition SUV collided with a gravel truck. Local hospital officials initially said 15 people died from the crash, but the California Highway Patrol later lowered the figure.

Updated at 2:35 p.m. ET

Vernon Jordan, the civil rights lawyer who built a career as a power broker in politics and business, has died at age 85.

Jordan "passed away peacefully last evening surrounded by loved ones," his daughter, Vickee Jordan, said in a statement sent to NPR. "We appreciate all of the outpouring of love and affection."

Dr. Seuss Enterprises will cease publishing six of the author's books — including And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street and If I Ran the Zoo — saying they "portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong." The books have been criticized for how they depict Asian and Black people.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is suing Griddy, saying the electricity provider passed along massive increases during winter storms, leaving some customers to face up to $5,000 in power bills. Paxton's lawsuit says Griddy deceived customers when it promised low "wholesale" energy prices.

The state says it received more than 400 complaints about Griddy in less than two weeks.

Tiger Woods is under medical care for a terrible car accident – but golf audiences saw his image at tournaments around the U.S. on Sunday, as many of the game's top golfers wore Woods' signature red shirt and black pants in his honor.

"It is hard to explain how touching today was when I turned on the tv and saw all the red shirts," Woods said via Twitter. "To every golfer and every fan, you are truly helping me get through this tough time."

Updated at 3 p.m. ET

President Biden arrived in Texas on Friday to inspect the damage from a sequence of strong winter storms and intense cold. The system thrust much of Texas into record low temperatures, knocking out power and bursting pipes. Dozens of people died, including several who were reportedly killed by hypothermia in their homes.

Shamima Begum, who left London in 2015 to join ISIS, cannot return to Britain while she fights to restore her citizenship, the U.K. Supreme Court ruled on Friday. Begum was 15 when she ran away to Syria with two friends; she's now being held in a detention camp in northern Syria.

The U.S. is still ramping up its vaccination program, hoping to finally clamp down on the COVID-19 pandemic. But even as vaccine doses are being rolled out, their makers are exploring several strategies to bolster them, hoping to protect people against worrying new variants that have sprung up in recent months, from South Africa to the U.K.

The cost of repairing damages from the attack on the U.S. Capitol and related security expenses have already topped $30 million and will keep rising, Architect of the Capitol J. Brett Blanton told lawmakers on Wednesday.

The events of Jan. 6, he said, were "difficult for the American people and extremely hard for all of us on campus to witness."

Blanton said that congressional appropriations committees have already approved a transfer request of $30 million to pay for expenses and extend a temporary perimeter fencing contract through March 31.

The first wave of coronavirus vaccines from the COVAX initiative are now reaching their destinations. Ghana became the first country to receive the vaccine on Wednesday, marking an important step for the international effort to help low- and middle-income countries cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the first round of allocations continues to roll out, more countries will receive their own doses in coming days, according to the World Health Organization, a leader of the initiative. In all, the COVAX alliance hopes to deliver nearly 2 billion doses of the vaccines this year.

Al Jazeera, the Qatar-funded media company, wants to build a new audience among American conservatives, as it prepares to launch a news platform called Rightly. The digital venture pairs the Arab company with political commentators such as Stephen Kent, who will host an interview-based show on the platform.

"Onward and upward," tweeted Yaser Bishr, digital executive director for Al Jazeera Media Network, as he shared a story about the launch.

Some 8,707,769 people remain under boil water notices in Texas, as utilities struggle to get water pressure back up to safe levels in the wake of catastrophic winter storms and record cold temperatures.

A Houston-area family whose son died during an extended power outage is suing its electricity provider and the agency that oversees most of Texas' energy grid. The family of Cristian Pavon says he died at age 11 because of negligence.

The family lives in Conroe, a city about 45 miles north of central Houston. Like millions of other people in Texas, the family members were forced to live without power as a wave of record-setting cold temperatures created chaos and life-threatening conditions across the state.

Updated at 8:50 a.m. ET

Italian Ambassador Luca Attanasio was killed in a violent attack on an aid convoy in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Monday. Two other people also died, including an Italian national police officer and a driver, Italy's foreign ministry said as it announced Attanasio's death.

The attackers struck near Goma, as Attanasio rode in a U.N. World Food Program convoy near the DRC's eastern borders with Rwanda and Uganda. The ambassador was part of a delegation visiting a feeding program at a school.

A wrongful death lawsuit filed by the parents of Harry Dunn, who police say died after being hit by a vehicle driven by the wife of a U.S. diplomat, will proceed in Virginia, a federal judge ruled Tuesday. The driver, Anne Sacoolas, had asked the judge to dismiss the U.S. case to compel Dunn's family to pursue the lawsuit in U.K. courts.

Sacoolas has admitted to driving on the wrong side of the road when her SUV struck Dunn, who was 19. But she has also claimed diplomatic immunity in Dunn's death.

With Texans facing their second day of rotating intentional power outages, Gov. Greg Abbott declared reform of the group that manages the state's power grid to be an emergency item for the legislature to take on during its current session. An investigation is needed to prevent more such outages, Abbott said.

"The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) has been anything but reliable over the past 48 hours," Abbott said. "Far too many Texans are without power and heat for their homes as our state faces freezing temperatures and severe winter weather. This is unacceptable."

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is now blocked from Instagram after he repeatedly undercut trust in vaccines. Kennedy has also spread conspiracy theories about Bill Gates, accusing him of profiteering off vaccines and attempting to take control of the world's food supply.

"We removed this account for repeatedly sharing debunked claims about the coronavirus or vaccines," a spokesperson for Facebook, which owns Instagram, told NPR on Thursday.

Lucasfilm has fired Gina Carano from her job on The Mandalorian, after the action star posted on social media that today's political climate in the U.S. is similar to Nazi Germany's treatment of Jews. The comments were "abhorrent," the company said.

"Gina Carano is not currently employed by Lucasfilm and there are no plans for her to be in the future," a Lucasfilm spokesperson said in a widely distributed statement. "Nevertheless, her social media posts denigrating people based on their cultural and religious identities are abhorrent and unacceptable."

Updated at 2:15 p.m. ET

The NBA says every team — including the Dallas Mavericks — must play the national anthem in their arenas, after news emerged that team owner Mark Cuban had ordered the Mavericks to discontinue the long-held practice.

"With NBA teams now in the process of welcoming fans back into their arenas, all teams will play the national anthem in keeping with longstanding league policy," said NBA Chief Communications Officer Mike Bass in a statement on Wednesday.

Updated at 10:20 a.m. ET

Chicago students will start returning to school for in-person classes this week, after the city and the teachers' union reached an agreement on how to reopen schools safely. The deal provides for teachers and staff to receive vaccines, prioritized according to their return to school buildings.

The agreement calls for Chicago Public Schools to provide "at least 1,500 first vaccine doses per week" to employees, with second doses guaranteed.

Updated at 10:16 p.m. ET

Authorities in Wright County, Minn., say that a local man is suspected in Tuesday's shooting at a health clinic that wounded five people, one of whom later died at a hospital.

It started with a cursor moving on its own, sliding across a computer screen at the water treatment plant in Oldsmar, Fla. Someone had taken remote control of a plant operator's machine – and in just a few minutes, they increased the level of sodium hydroxide in the city's drinking water by a factor of 100. After spiking the caustic substance to unsafe levels, the hacker immediately left the system.

Elon Musk is donating $100 million to fund a competition to find new ways to remove carbon from the air or water, in a bid to help fight climate change. The race for the prize – the largest in the XPrize's history – will start on Earth Day and will run for four years, through 2025.

The U.S. will reengage "immediately and robustly" with the U.N. Human Rights Council, the State Department says, citing an order from President Biden. The move reverses the position of the Trump administration, which withdrew from the council in 2018.

The change is part of Biden's plan to reshape U.S. foreign policy to center "on democracy, human rights, and equality," Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement early Monday.

Updated at 12:58 p.m. ET

The Biden administration is finalizing contracts with six companies to increase the supply of at-home coronavirus tests – a plan that would bring more than 60 million tests to the U.S. market by the end of this summer, officials from the White House COVID-19 Response Team said on Friday.

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