Bill Chappell

Bill Chappell is a writer and editor on the Newsdesk in the heart of NPR's newsroom in Washington, DC.

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.

Eldorado Resorts is buying Caesars Entertainment for $17.3 billion, in a cash-and-stock deal that the companies say will create the largest gambling company in the U.S.

To acquire the venerable Caesars name and properties, Eldorado will part with $7.2 billion in cash and around 77 million stock shares. It will also take on Caesars' outstanding debt. Its shareholders will wind up with 51% of the combined company.

A judge in Illinois is calling for a special prosecutor to look into how Cook County prosecutors handled the Jussie Smollett case — which began with the Empire actor reporting a hate crime, then saw him arrested for allegedly faking the incident and finally having all charges against him dropped.

In his order, Cook County Circuit Judge Michael Toomin said "unprecedented irregularities" of the case require an independent counsel to investigate "to restore the public's confidence in the integrity of our criminal justice system."

Updated at 8:30 p.m. ET

President Trump says he called off a Thursday strike on Iran ordered as retaliation for Iran's having shot down a U.S. drone. Trump said he canceled the attack shortly before it was to begin, after he was told 150 people would very likely be killed.

"We were cocked & loaded to retaliate last night on 3 different sights when I asked, how many will die," Trump said in a series of tweets Friday.

Updated at 1:45 p.m. ET

Google is committing $1 billion to try to provide more affordable housing in the San Francisco Bay Area, where big tech firms have been blamed for putting home prices out of reach for anyone without a rich stock-option plan. Google says the money should result in 20,000 new homes added to the local market, over 10 years.

Facebook is branching into cryptocurrency, unveiling a new blockchain-based currency called Libra that could challenge bitcoin. Libra will be controlled by a nonprofit group in which Facebook will share responsibilities with companies ranging from Mastercard and PayPal to Uber and eBay.

The currency, which is still in the testing phase, is expected to launch in 2020. Facebook says Libra will have very low fees and that people using its apps will make a number of payments simply by sending a text message.

French anti-corruption police have arrested former UEFA President Michel Platini in a case related to "Qatargate" — the ongoing investigations into how Qatar was awarded the 2022 World Cup. Platini is also a former vice president of FIFA, soccer's international governing body.

Updated at 1:28 p.m. ET

Sotheby's has accepted a merger offer from entrepreneur Patrick Drahi, who will purchase the auction house for $3.7 billion. The deal puts Sotheby's, which was founded in 1744, on a path to becoming a private company again.

Newly released from prison, Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong immediately called for Chief Executive Carrie Lam to resign from office. His remarks came as thousands of Hong Kong residents demanded that the government permanently shelve a controversial extradition bill.

Wong, 22, had been serving a two-month prison term for contempt of court, related to the 2014 Umbrella Movement street demonstrations. But he was released after serving one month.

Updated at 5:30 p.m. ET

The Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo "does not meet the criteria for a Public Health Emergency of International Concern," the World Health Organization said Friday. The agency said that while the outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo constitutes a health emergency for that country and the region, the risk of it spreading beyond that region is low.

California prison inmates who possess small amounts of marijuana are not guilty of a felony crime, according to an appeals court, which reasoned that because it's legal to have small amounts of pot in the state, the same is true inside its prisons. But the justices also said it's still illegal to smoke or ingest cannabis in prison.

The ruling from a panel of the 3rd District Court of Appeals in Sacramento overturns the convictions of five inmates who had been found guilty of possessing marijuana — convictions that added more prison time to their sentences.

Chris Froome, the four-time Tour de France winner, was in intensive care on Thursday a day after suffering multiple fractures in a high-speed crash in France. Froome's racing team says he won't be able to compete in this year's Tour de France, which begins in July.

The 34-year-old British cyclist underwent surgery Wednesday and the procedure was a success, Team INEOS announced.

Updated at 4:55 p.m. ET

Thirty-six Memphis Police Department officers and sheriff's deputies were injured during a large protest Wednesday night, the police department said Thursday. The violence erupted after officers of the U.S. Marshals Service shot and killed Brandon Webber, 20.

Updated at 1:15 p.m. ET

Craig Stephen Hicks has pleaded guilty to killing three Muslim college students in Chapel Hill, N.C., in 2015, a shocking crime that was variously described as a hate crime, a dispute over parking or some combination of the two.

Durham County District Attorney Satana Deberry read out three counts of first-degree murder against Hicks, 50, in court on Wednesday. Hicks responded "guilty" to each crime, as member station WUNC's Jason deBruyn reports.

Updated at 9:45 a.m. ET

A 5-year-old boy who was diagnosed with Ebola died Wednesday in Uganda, health officials say, and the boy's younger brother and grandmother are also sick. They are the first confirmed cases of Ebola to spread beyond the large outbreak in the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Russian investigative journalist Ivan Golunov is now free, after Russia's Internal Affairs Ministry said it would drop drug charges against him. Golunov's release was announced by his employer, Meduza.

Golunov, 36, had been held under house arrest since Saturday, and he had been ordered to serve an additional two months. He was detained Thursday and charged with attempting to sell drugs — triggering a public outcry and accusations that police had fabricated the case against him.

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