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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.

A massive cloud of dust from the Sahara Desert is arriving along the U.S. Gulf Coast this week after traveling across the Atlantic Ocean. The phenomenon happens every year – but the 2020 version is especially large and imposing, experts said.

The dust cloud is "quite large" this year, said Marshall Shepherd, director of the Atmospheric Sciences Program at the University of Georgia, in an interview on NPR's All Things Considered. "I think that's why it's garnering so much attention."

Updated at 5:16 p.m. ET

Derek Chauvin now faces a charge of second-degree murder in addition to earlier charges, and three other former Minneapolis police officers who were involved in George Floyd's death face charges of aiding and abetting murder, according to new court documents.

President Trump's controversial foray to St. John's Church on Monday is generating widespread criticism, after police and National Guard troops physically cleared out demonstrators, using tear gas, to allow a photo opportunity outside the church. The bishop who oversees St. John's is among the critics.

The NCAA is clearing the way for college football, men's basketball and women's basketball to resume on-campus activities on June 1, even as universities map out how they might return to a new normal during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many schools are also facing a sharp drop in revenue that would be made far worse if the upcoming college football season is canceled.

Updated at 4:59 p.m. ET

The Food and Drug Administration has given emergency use authorization to the antiviral drug remdesivir to treat hospitalized patients with the coronavirus, President Trump on Friday told reporters at the White House.

Gilead CEO Daniel O'Day said remdesivir maker Gilead Sciences is donating 1.5 million vials of the drug and will work with the federal government to distribute it to patients in need.

For the billions of people now living under some form of stay-at-home or lockdown orders, experts from the World Health Organization have new guidance: We should be ready to "change our behaviors for the foreseeable future," they say, as the agency updates its advice on when to lift COVID-19 lockdown orders.

The question of when to ease shutdowns is a hot topic, as economic output is stalled in many countries — including the U.S., now the epicenter of the global pandemic.

More than 10,000 people have now died from COVID-19 in the U.S., as the coronavirus pandemic's horrible toll hit another milestone on Monday.

The U.S. is reporting more COVID-19 cases than any other country in the world, with nearly 350,000 people testing positive for the coronavirus, according to a COVID-19 dashboard created by Johns Hopkins University's Whiting School of Engineering, which reports coronavirus numbers in near real time.

Prince Charles has tested positive for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 and is now in isolation, according to a statement issued by Clarence House, the prince's royal residence in London. The prince and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, 72, are currently living at Balmoral Castle, the royal family's estate in Scotland.

"The statement said the 71-year-old prince of Wales is displaying mild symptoms but 'remains in good health,' " NPR's Frank Langfitt reports from London. He adds that Camilla, 72, has tested negative for the virus.

Updated at 6:13 p.m. ET

The Tokyo Summer Olympics will not begin in late July and instead will be held "by the summer of 2021," Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced Tuesday. The delay comes after an increasing number of athletes and sporting federations called for the games to be delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is the first time an Olympics has been postponed, though the games were canceled three times, because of World War I and World War II.

"I want America to understand this week it's going to get bad," U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said Monday morning, speaking about the COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to stop the coronavirus from infecting more people in the U.S.

Adams also urged people to stay home to prevent the respiratory virus from spreading — and he said too many people in New York and other states are ignoring guidance to observe social distancing and avoid close contacts with others.

Updated at 5:48 p.m. ET

Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Friday afternoon issued an order for all Illinois residents to stay at home, as the deadly coronavirus has spread to a quarter of the state's counties and infected more than 500 people.

The stricter limits go into effect on Saturday.

Updated at 5 p.m. ET

The United States has now begun its first week of widespread school closures and restrictions on restaurants, bars and other businesses, with the COVID-19 pandemic remaking daily life for millions of Americans. And the White House added new recommendations Monday, calling for millions of people to work from home and to home-school their children if that's possible.

Updated at 3:20 p.m. ET

The COVID-19 viral disease that has swept into at least 114 countries and killed more than 4,000 people is now officially a pandemic, the World Health Organization announced Wednesday.

"This is the first pandemic caused by a coronavirus," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a briefing in Geneva.

It's the first time the WHO has called an outbreak a pandemic since the H1N1 "swine flu" in 2009.

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 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.

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),

President Trump is putting new immigration restrictions on Nigeria and five other countries, the Department of Homeland Security announced Friday, in the latest move to reshape U.S. immigration rules.

The new policy restricts immigrant visas for citizens of Nigeria, Sudan, Tanzania, Eritrea, Myanmar, and Kyrgyzstan. It does not ban them from traveling to the U.S. for other reasons.

By putting restrictions on the six countries, the Trump administration nearly doubles the number of nations targeted by some form of travel ban.

Updated at 9:40 p.m. ET

The deadly strain of coronavirus that emerged in Wuhan has now spread to every part of mainland China, from Shanghai to Tibet. The rapid increase caused the World Health Organization to declare a global health emergency and prompted Russia to close its long border with China.

Late Thursday, the U.S. State Department also issued a "do not travel" advisory for China.

Updated at 4:40 p.m. ET

Thousands of gun ownership enthusiasts and armed militia members gathered at the Virginia State Capitol on Monday for a rally aimed at quashing new gun restrictions. The rally ended without any violence, but Richmond remains under a state of emergency and Gov. Ralph Northam's temporary ban on weapons on Capitol grounds will remain in place until Tuesday.

Australia's government is offering new help to people who have lost their homes and others affected by bushfires that have burned millions of acres of land. At least 25 people have died in the fires, which have brought historic levels of destruction.

While conditions improved slightly over the weekend, forecasters warn that dangerously hot and windy conditions will likely return later this week.

In the binary times in which we live, it might not surprise anyone that people can't even agree on when one period of time ends and another begins. The question many are now asking is: When we ring in the new year and welcome 2020, should we also celebrate a new decade?

Confusion over the answer is similar to the uncertainty that hung over watershed events from the millennium to the 2009-2010 changeover.

Updated at 9:32 p.m. ET

The gunman who killed three people at Naval Air Station Pensacola on Friday morning was a Saudi aviation student, officials say. The gunman was killed by a sheriff's deputy after the shooting, which left eight people injured.

Hurricane-force winds, blizzard conditions, heavy snowfall — and a "bomb cyclone" on the West Coast: Those are the dire predictions of weather forecasters, who are warning Thanksgiving travelers to be cautious and prepare for delays as two powerful back-to-back storms hit the western and central U.S. this week.

Former President Jimmy Carter suffered a "minor pelvic fracture" after falling down in his home in Plains, Ga., Monday night, the Carter Center says. It's the second time Carter has been hurt in a fall this month; he got a black eye from a fall days after he turned 95 on Oct. 1.

Carter "has been admitted to Phoebe Sumter Medical Center for observation and treatment of a minor pelvic fracture," the Carter Center said in an announcement Tuesday. The center adds, "He is in good spirits and is looking forward to recovering at home."

Updated at 11:20 p.m. ET

Heavy rains are triggering flash floods in eastern Texas from Tropical Depression Imelda — one of several large storms that forecasters have been watching. In the Atlantic, Bermuda is under a hurricane warning as the core of Hurricane Humberto passes north of the island as a Category 3 storm.

Updated at 5:10 p.m. ET

The Bahamas' government is sharing a wish list of materials to help the country provide food and shelter for residents who are still reeling from Hurricane Dorian. Officials say they need lots of help and supplies — but they also want targeted donations.

"Officials here for instance don't want to be inundated with cans of green beans when what they really need is telephone poles," NPR's Jason Beaubien reports from the capital city, Nassau.

They're facing a relief and reconstruction job that's likely to go on for years.

Acting NOAA Administrator Neil Jacobs said "nobody's job is at risk" after National Weather Service forecasters in Alabama contradicted President Trump's claim last week that the state would be hit hard by Hurricane Dorian.

Jacobs delivered a keynote speech Tuesday at the National Weather Association's annual meeting in Huntsville, Ala. He defended a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration statement issued Friday that was widely seen as backing the president, but he also expressed support for the National Weather Service and its forecasters.

Updated at 1:10 p.m. ET

The Trump administration is outlining two possible ways certain drugs that were intended for foreign markets could be imported to the U.S. — a move that would clear the way to import some prescription drugs from Canada.

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