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.

A court on China's mainland sentenced 10 Hong Kong pro-democracy activists to up to three years in prison Wednesday. In the closely watched case, the activists tried this summer to flee to Taiwan via speedboat — but they were intercepted at sea and detained in China.

The main charge against the group was that it sought to cross an international border illegally. But rather than return the activists to Hong Kong — where the police have deemed them fugitives — Chinese authorities opted to detain and prosecute them on the mainland.

Workers dismantled a statue of Abraham Lincoln in Boston Tuesday, after the city agreed with protesters who say the memorial is demeaning and lacks proper context. The statue depicts Lincoln holding his hand over a kneeling Black man — a figure modeled on Archer Alexander, the last man captured under the Fugitive Slave Act.

A Boeing 737 Max carried paying passengers on a U.S. flight Tuesday for the first time since March 2019 as American Airlines put the aircraft back in service. The planes had been grounded worldwide after two deadly crashes highlighted safety problems.

American Flight 718 took off from Miami around 10:40 a.m., heading to New York's LaGuardia Airport, according to the aviation tracking site Flightradar24.com. The plane landed ahead of schedule, shortly after 1 p.m.

French designer Pierre Cardin, who extended his brand far beyond the fashion world, has died at age 98. The son of Italian immigrants worked with luminaries such as filmmaker Jean Cocteau and designer Christian Dior before launching his own fashion house, drawing on his love for futuristic design.

Cardin's family announced his death to Agence France-Presse on Tuesday. The French Académie des Beaux-Arts also issued several statements mourning his passing.

Dr. James Phillips, the Walter Reed physician who criticized President Trump's decision to greet supporters outside the facility where he was being treated for COVID-19, has worked his last shift at the hospital. "I stand by my words, and I regret nothing," Phillips wrote on Twitter.

Updated 3:15 p.m. ET

Saudi Arabia's terrorism court has sentenced Loujain al-Hathloul, the activist who led the push to allow Saudi women to drive, to nearly six years in prison. Hathloul's case has drawn widespread scrutiny since her arrest in the spring of 2018.

Mourning and celebrating; coping and distancing: 2020 has been a year of collective emotional dissonance. Even as the worst public health crisis in memory changed our lives, it also made us cherish bright moments where we found them.

We watched a high-stakes election play out — and sometimes we just wanted a distraction from it all.

Here are the NPR stories that hit home in 2020. They examine the complicated reality of life during a pandemic. They highlight moments of grace, surprise and persistence — and sometimes, stark disagreement.

Pfizer is pushing back on the Trump administration's suggestion that the company is having trouble producing its COVID-19 vaccine, saying it's ready to ship millions more doses – once the government asks for them. As the company spoke out, several states said their vaccine allocations for next week have been sharply reduced.

Here's what the key players are saying about a complicated situation:

What Pfizer says

A massive computer breach allowed hackers to spend months exploring numerous U.S. government networks and private companies' systems around the world. Industry experts say a country mounted the complex hack — and government officials say Russia is responsible.

The hackers attached their malware to a software update from SolarWinds, a company based in Austin, Texas. Many federal agencies and thousands of companies worldwide use SolarWinds' Orion software to monitor their computer networks.

Updated at 3:30 p.m. ET

Russian President Vladimir Putin has congratulated Joe Biden on his win in the 2020 U.S. presidential election, becoming one of the last world leaders to do so. Hours afterward, other leaders who had held off in recognizing Biden's victory — Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador — also congratulated Biden.

At least 55 immunization sites across the U.S. received doses of Pfizer and BioNTech's long-awaited vaccine Monday morning, says Army Gen. Gustave Perna, chief operating officer of Operation Warp Speed. The effort to get the vaccine into medical professionals' hands, he said, has gone "incredibly well."

Perna credited a number of people for the success, from volunteers who helped to test the vaccine to those who worked over the weekend to prepare, ship and deliver the doses, which must be stored at very cold temperatures to remain viable.

Updated at 1 p.m. ET

The first people in the U.S. are receiving vaccination shots against COVID-19 on Monday, as U.S. health workers started administering the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech.

The first widely publicized vaccination took place in New York City, shortly after 9 a.m. ET. The event was live-streamed and promoted by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who said, "The vaccine only works if the American people take it."

Updated at 7:26 pm. ET

Hours after a Wisconsin lower court rejected another of President Trump's attempts to overturn his loss to President-elect Joe Biden on Friday, the state Supreme Court agreed to hear arguments in the case over the weekend.

Argentina's Chamber of Deputies approved a bill making abortion legal early on Friday, in a much-debated vote that many in the predominantly Roman Catholic country are describing as historic. The bill now heads to the Senate.

"Today we write a new chapter in history," Argentina's Women, Genders and Diversity Minister Elizabeth Gómez Alcorta tweeted after the approval of the Voluntary Interruption of Pregnancy Bill.

Boeing's 737 Max jet is flying commercial routes once again, as Brazil's Gol Airlines brought the jetliner back into service Wednesday. The worldwide fleet of 737 Max planes has been grounded since March 2019, after two deadly crashes raised concerns over the aircraft's safety and airworthiness.

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