Bill Chappell | KBIA

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 3:50 p.m. ET

The coronavirus outbreak has now infected more than 1,000 people in nearly 40 U.S. states — and the country's top authority on infectious diseases says things will only get worse.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warns that the number of cases of the COVID-19 viral disease will continue to grow because containment measures and contact tracing have failed to prevent community spread of the virus.

Updated at 9:15 p.m. ET

New York is creating a "containment area" around a community in New Rochelle, in an attempt to limit the spread of coronavirus in an area that quickly became the state's largest source of COVID-19 infections, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday.

"It is a dramatic action, but it is the largest cluster in the country," Cuomo said. "And this is literally a matter of life and death."

Updated at 3 p.m. ET

California's Sacramento County is calling off automatic 14-day quarantines that have been implemented for the coronavirus, saying it will focus instead on mitigating the impact of COVID-19.

The change is an acknowledgement that the county cannot effectively manage the quarantines while its health system copes with coronavirus cases. It also reflects problems with the U.S. government's coronavirus testing program — issues that slowed efforts to identify people with the deadly virus and to contain COVID-19.

Israel is taking the extraordinary step of requiring a 14-day quarantine for anyone entering the country, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Monday. Israel has reported nearly 40 cases of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

In a brief video announcing the new policy, Netanyahu said the decision was a difficult one to make. He added that the policy will force people flying into Israel to enter a two-week home quarantine period and that it will be in effect for two weeks.

Updated at 8:10 p.m. ET

After several days of circling off the coast of California, the Grand Princess cruise ship has docked at a port in Oakland.

The ship has 3,533 people on board — including at least 21 who have tested positive for the new coronavirus, out of 46 people who were in the first round of testing.

Updated at 7:35 p.m. ET

Twenty-one people aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship off the coast of California have tested positive for the coronavirus disease COVID-19, Vice President Pence announced Friday.

The Grand Princess had been returning to San Francisco after a cruise to Hawaii and has been kept away from port while a small portion of the roughly 3,500 people on board are tested for the coronavirus.

Updated at 3 p.m. ET

The Grand Princess cruise ship is in limbo off the California coast after a former passenger became the state's first known person to die from COVID-19. Health workers say they will now test some current passengers to determine whether they have the respiratory virus.

"We are going to be flying testing kits to the cruise ship, and we are going to be sending those quickly back to the state," Gov. Gavin Newsom said at a news conference late Wednesday. "We'll be able to test very quickly within just a few hours."

Updated at 8:45 p.m. ET

The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 has risen to 11 people, after officials reported fatalities in California and Washington state on Wednesday. The most recent death is connected to a cruise ship that traveled from the U.S. to Mexico.

Officials in Placer County, Calif., announced that an elderly resident has become the first person to die from the illness in California. The patient, who was not identified, had underlying health conditions, according to the county.

The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is now in at least 75 countries, the World Health Organization said in a Wednesday update on the respiratory disease that has killed more than 3,200 people globally. Italy is being hit particularly hard, with more than 2,000 cases.

Despite the increase in cases, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says, "We can push this virus back."

Updated at 4:32 p.m. ET

The coronavirus death toll in Washington state now stands at nine, with a total of 27 confirmed cases of the virus that causes COVID-19.

The newly revised tally includes two people who died in the Seattle area last week and have since been found to have been infected with the novel coronavirus, the health department in King County, Wash., announced Tuesday.

The city of San Antonio says more than 120 people repatriated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship will be released from quarantine at Lackland Air Force Base on Tuesday, one day after the mayor declared a public health emergency to block the evacuees from leaving the base.

The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 poses a unique challenge to health authorities, the head of the World Health Organization said on Monday as he gave an update on the viral epidemic that has now touched at least 62 countries. But he added that the virus is also showing signs that it can be contained.

Updated at 10:15 p.m. ET

Four more people in the Seattle area have died after contracting COVID-19, health officials say, bringing the total in both Washington state and the U.S. to six. The state now has a total of 18 cases.

Three of the people who died were residents of King County, Wash., which now has 14 confirmed cases of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. The fourth person had been living in Snohomish County, north of Seattle. That county has a total of four cases.

Updated at 1:11 a.m. ET, Feb. 29

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced late Friday that it is "aware of four new presumptive cases of COVID-19."

The new cases were reported in:

  • California (another possible instance of community spread),
  • Oregon (that state's first possible case of community spread),

NATO is condemning "indiscriminate air strikes by the Syrian regime and Russia," Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said, after 33 Turkish soldiers died in an attack near Idlib on Thursday. The bombing caused Turkey to request an urgent NATO security meeting that was held Friday.

The NATO meeting was held in solidarity with Turkey, which says the troops were killed in an area where Russian-backed Syrian forces are fighting anti-regime militants. Russia denies playing a role in the strike, which came after weeks of heightened violence in Idlib province.

Updated at 3:45 p.m. ET

Italy's number of COVID-19 coronavirus cases spiked by more than 50% in just 24 hours and now stands at 650, the Italian Ministry of Health says, adding that 17 people have died from the respiratory virus. More than 400 of the cases are in the hard-hit Lombardy region, where some towns are under a lockdown.

The first suspected U.S. case of a patient getting the new coronavirus through "community spread" — with no history of travel to affected areas or exposure to someone known to have the COVID-19 illness — was left undiagnosed for days because a request for testing wasn't initially granted, according to officials at UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, Calif.

Updated at 2 p.m. ET

"Yesterday, the number of new cases reported outside China exceeded the number of new cases in China for the first time," the head of the World Health Organization said Wednesday in an update on the coronavirus disease COVID-19.

"Outside China, there are now 2,790 cases in 37 countries, and 44 deaths," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a briefing in Geneva.

Updated at 4:42 p.m. ET

Italy reported a total of 229 novel coronavirus cases on Monday, leaping ahead of Japan (156 cases) on the list of worst-hit countries. Six people have died from the respiratory disease COVID-19 in Italy, and 27 more are in intensive care.

Where there was a white ice cap, there are now brown blotches of land; melted snow and ice have created ponds of water. Those are the effects of the recent record high temperatures in Antarctica, according to NASA, which on Friday released stunning before-and-after satellite images of the northern Antarctic Peninsula.

Iran is holding national elections Friday, as voters choose members of parliament from a list of candidates winnowed down to feature hardliners and conservatives. Midterm elections are also being held for the Assembly of Experts, the clerics who have the power to select the country's supreme leader.

Updated at 2 p.m. ET

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in South Korea has doubled in just 24 hours, to 104 from 51, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday. Many of the new cases of coronavirus are linked to a Christian sect in Daegu, a city in southern South Korea.

Korea's CDC says a woman who became the country's 31st confirmed patient on Feb. 18 had attended services held by a religious group called the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, The Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony.

Updated at 4 p.m. ET

Roughly 600 passengers left the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Yokohama, Japan, on Wednesday, as a controversial shipwide coronavirus quarantine finally began to wind down.

All of those passengers had been tested for the COVID-19 disease by the Japanese health ministry, according to cruise operator Princess Cruises. As they left, they were met in the terminal by the cruise line's president, Jan Swartz.

Of all the chicken joints in all the towns in all the world, he walked into theirs. Two married police officers were eating at their favorite fried chicken spot in Louisville, Ky., over the weekend when a masked man walked up to the counter, showed a gun and demanded money.

In a confrontation caught on video, the couple quickly decided to end their date night and take on the robber. They then chased him out of the restaurant.

Updated at 2:24 p.m. ET

Some 346 Americans who were evacuated from Wuhan, China, amid the deadly coronavirus outbreak emerged from their quarantine at two military bases in California on Tuesday, U.S. officials say.

The group includes 180 Americans who have been living under a mandatory quarantine order at Travis Air Force Base, roughly 40 miles southwest of Sacramento, and 166 U.S. citizens who have been living at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar near San Diego.

Updated at 2:20 p.m. ET

Fire officials in Australia are celebrating a landmark moment, saying that for the first time in what has been a horrendous wildfire season, every fire in hard-hit New South Wales is now under control. Bushfires have destroyed more than 2,400 homes and burned 5.4 million hectares of land – or about 13.3 million acres — in the country's most populous state.

Updated at 10:49 p.m. ET

The quarantine of the Diamond Princess cruise ship has spawned several online communities, with passengers forming groups on WhatsApp and Facebook to break through the isolation and share information. While they exchange information, they also focus on keeping each other's spirits up.

"We check on each other to see how we are each doing daily," passenger Aun Na Tan of Australia said in a message to NPR.

Pope Francis has sidestepped a request for married men to be ordained as priests and women to be ordained as deacons, saying the Roman Catholic Church should find other ways to address a dire shortage of clergy in South America's Amazon region. Bishops in that part of the world had asked for fundamental shifts in Roman Catholic policy last autumn.

Updated at 4 p.m. ET

The 195 Americans who were evacuated from Wuhan, China, last month have now been released from the first mandatory quarantine the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has ordered in more than 50 years.

The group, which faced numerous health screenings both in China and during their trip and quarantine, has now been "medically cleared," health officials said Tuesday, making it possible for them to leave the March Air Reserve Base in Southern California.

The Defense Department says 45 more U.S. service members have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries after Iran's attack on the Ain al-Asad airbase in Iraq last month — raising the total number of troops injured in the ballistic missile strike to 109.

Of those who were injured, 76 have returned to duty. A Pentagon statement about the injuries did not include details about the service members, such as their age, rank or military unit.

Monday's update is at least the fifth time the U.S. has revised the number of personnel injured during the Iranian attack.

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