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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 U.S. Forest Service is closing every national forest in California, citing the extraordinary risk of wildfires and forecasts that show the threat will only remain high or even get worse. The closures start Tuesday night and run through Sept. 17.

More than 6,800 wildfires have already burned 1.7 million acres of national forest land across California, the Forest Service said, posing a dire threat to people, wildlife and property.

Workers in China have earned a victory over employers' onerous work schedules, as the Supreme People's Court says a common schedule that requires people to work 12 hours a day for six days a week is illegal.

In recent years, several worker deaths have been linked to such schedules, which are common in the tech industry and in other sectors, such as logistics.

Updated August 20, 2021 at 2:53 PM ET

The National Hurricane Center has issued a rare hurricane watch for parts of New England, warning that Tropical Storm Henri will likely develop into a hurricane before making landfall on the northeastern U.S. coast this weekend.

"If Henri strikes southeast New England as a hurricane this weekend, it will be the first direct hurricane landfall since Bob in 1991," National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration spokesman Chris Vaccaro told NPR.

Updated August 20, 2021 at 12:09 PM ET

Mike Richards has announced he won't be hosting Jeopardy!, days after reports detailed sexist and other inappropriate comments he made in his former role as a podcast host.

"I will be stepping down as host effective immediately," Richards said in an email to staff that was provided to NPR on Friday.

Rome's Colosseum, the London Eye, the Empire State Building and Tokyo's Skytree tower are among more than 125 landmarks around the world that are being bathed in purple light Thursday night, recognizing the world's 1.2 billion people with disabilities.

The event, a call for inclusion and equal treatment, comes as the Paralympics are set to begin in Tokyo next week.

Aid agencies' effort to bring relief to Haitians hit by a strong earthquake is being complicated not just by the damage it wrought, but by flooding and washed-out roads from Tropical Storm Grace.

"People have been asking for tarps a lot, blankets, construction materials to rebuild their home" after the quake, Christy Delafield, managing director of communications for Mercy Corps, told NPR from Haiti Wednesday.

To get an idea of why scientists would want to study daddy longlegs, try playing a game of "One of these things is not like the others" the next time you see one.

"If you watch a daddy longlegs move, it will effectively walk on just three pairs of its legs," said Guilherme Gainett, a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. The remaining pair of legs, he adds, wave around in the air, probing the arachnid's surroundings.

When the Las Vegas Raiders kick off their NFL season next month, the team wants its home stadium to look as normal as possible, with stands full of fans. There's just one catch: To get in, every spectator will have to show proof they've gotten a COVID-19 vaccine. Anyone who hasn't can still enter — after they get a shot at Allegiant Stadium.

The Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan and removal of the U.S.-backed government was stunning in its speed and tragic in its impact, but it does not surprise experts who have monitored the U.S. reconstruction efforts for the past 20 years. The reasons why are summed up by eight paradoxes that are at the heart of a U.S.

Afghanistan's state of upheaval has forced its Paralympic team to cancel plans to compete in the Tokyo Paralympics, after commercial flights out of the country were halted in the wake of the Taliban seizing control.

"Due to the serious ongoing situation in the country, all airports are closed and there is no way for them to travel to Tokyo," the International Paralympic Committee's press office told NPR. "We hope the team and officials remain safe and well during this difficult time."

All passengers and workers on commercial air flights in Canada will soon have to prove they've been vaccinated against the coronavirus. Canada's government will also require all federal workers to be vaccinated, citing a "dynamic public health situation" due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Young baseball players are competing for a spot in the Little League World Series. But when the popular tournament begins next week, the general public won't be invited due to the spike in COVID-19 cases driven by the delta variant.

Updated August 13, 2021 at 9:36 AM ET

A gunman in southwest England killed five people, including a young girl, before turning his weapon on himself, police say. It's the deadliest mass shooting in Britain in more than 10 years.

The gunman shot and killed a woman at one address in Plymouth early Thursday evening before killing "a very young girl," Devon and Cornwall Police Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer said in a news conference Friday.

Updated August 11, 2021 at 5:39 PM ET

Firefighters battling the Dixie Fire have also been facing a second enemy: a serial arsonist who went on a spree of setting fires in July and August — and who sought to trap fire crews with his fires, according to agents from the U.S. Forest Service. They allege former college professor Gary Maynard is the culprit, citing their tracking of his movements and other evidence.

Dr. Anthony Fauci says COVID-19 vaccines should be mandatory for schoolteachers, citing the need to protect children who are too young to be vaccinated during a pandemic that has grown worse with the spread of the delta variant.

Lionel Messi, one of the greatest soccer players in history, is leaving Spain to join French club Paris Saint-Germain, in a seismic shift in elite soccer. Word emerged just last week that Messi, 34, was parting with his longtime club, FC Barcelona.

The massive Dixie Fire in Northern California has now been burning for nearly a month — it ignited in the Sierra Nevada around four weeks ago on July 13.

Thousands of people are under evacuation orders as the fire has blossomed to consume nearly 500,000 acres. It is currently 21% contained and has destroyed at least 400 structures.

The fire poses a dire threat to small communities, having ravaged the town of Greenville last week. It currently threatens nearly 14,000 more structures.

Canada is celebrating and Sweden is mourning after their women's soccer teams took their gold-medal match past regulation, through extra time and into a wildly nerve-wracking shootout Friday in the Tokyo Olympics.

The shootout had it all: Both teams missed crucial shots, and the goalkeepers made huge saves. And on the final attempt, 20-year-old midfielder Julia Grosso blasted a low shot that Swedish goalie Hedvig Lindahl managed to get a glove on — but could not stop, as the ball settled into the back of the net.

Updated August 6, 2021 at 10:39 AM ET

We're still in the final days of the Tokyo Summer Olympics — but thanks to the one-year delay of these Games, the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics are now less than six months away.

"All venues and facilities for Beijing 2022 are close to complete," organizers said in a recent update.

Updated August 4, 2021 at 3:23 PM ET

Sprinter Kristina Timanovskaya, whose Olympic dream was derailed after authorities cracked down on her criticism of her coaches, has arrived in Poland, according to a top Polish official.

Deputy Foreign Minister Marcin Przydacz tweeted Wednesday about her landing in Warsaw and thanked everyone who helped her leave Tokyo, where she had been competing.

U.S. wrestler Tamyra Mensah-Stock closed out her first Olympics in dominating style Tuesday, winning gold in the women's 68-kilogram freestyle final. She is only the second woman — and the first Black woman — to win an Olympic wrestling gold for the United States.

The top-seeded Mensah-Stock defeated second-seed Blessing Oborududu 4-1 after seizing points with two takedowns in the first period. Neither athlete scored a point in the second period despite Oborududu's increasingly desperate attempts.

Greece will not compete in Olympic synchronized swimming in Tokyo after four of the team's athletes tested positive for the coronavirus. The entire team is now being sent away from the Olympic Village and transferred to a separate hotel, the Hellenic Olympic Committee said.

The bad news came as the athletes' sport, officially called artistic swimming, was just entering its first days of competition.

The duel between Olympic high jumpers Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar and Gianmarco Tamberi of Italy seemed destined to end in tears.

Round after round, the two star athletes simply could not outdo one another — prompting an official to tell them the next step was a "jump-off," to see who could simply outlast the other.

But that's when things took a turn — one that quickly became a symbol of the sportsmanship and friendship the Olympics were designed to create.

Laurel Hubbard has made history by becoming the first openly transgender athlete to compete in an individual event at the Summer Olympics. The New Zealand weightlifter did not make the podium, after failing to advance to the final.

Competing in the 87+kg class on Monday, Hubbard struggled to lift 125 kg (275 pounds), putting her out of the running. Her official result is "did not finish," as she bowed out after failing to record a clean lift in the snatch section of the two-part competition.

Raven Saunders brought her A game to her shot-put qualifying round Friday — and she paired it with a striking new look. Known by her nickname the Hulk, Saunders wore a large face mask to emulate the Joker instead, complete with purple and green hair.

"That's so Raven," USA Track & Field tweeted as it shared an image of the U.S. star.

Germany's Olympic federation is firing Patrick Moster as the sports director of its cycling program, after he was recorded using a racial slur during the men's time trial Wednesday. Moster is being sent home early from the Tokyo Olympics, German officials said.

TV cameras picked up a German cycling official yelling a racial slur during the men's time trial Wednesday at the Tokyo Olympics, prompting an apology from the official and a reaction from at least two of the cyclists involved.

Patrick Moster, sporting director of the German cycling federation, apologized shortly after he was recorded using a racial slur while cheering on German cyclist Nikias Arndt.

Simone Biles' decision to pull out of the women's team final has prompted comments and analysis around the world, including much praise for Biles' choosing to prioritize her mental health.

Updated July 27, 2021 at 12:16 PM ET

Simone Biles' withdrawal from team competition in Tokyo shocked Olympics viewers, but it followed years of stress and pressure on the greatest gymnast of all time.

Biles says mental health concerns prompted her to pull out of the U.S. team's much-anticipated showdown with Russia on Tuesday.

Weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz made history Monday, winning the Philippines' first gold medal at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo. The country had been trying to reach the podium's top spot for nearly 100 years: It sent its first Olympic delegation to Paris for the 1924 Games.

Diaz won gold in the 55-kilogram category of women's weightlifting — and in the process, she also set an Olympic record with her combined weight total of 224 kilograms across two successful lifts.

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