Bill Chappell

Bill Chappell is a writer and producer who currently works on The Two Way, NPR's flagship news portal. In the past, he has edited and coordinated digital features for Morning Edition and Fresh Air, in addition to editing the rundown of All Things Considered. He frequently contributes to other NPR blogs, such as All Tech Considered and The Salt.

Chappell's work at NPR has ranged from being the site's first full-time homepage editor to being the lead writer and editor on the London 2012 Olympics blog, The Torch. His assignments have included being the lead web producer for NPR's trip to Asia's Grand Trunk Road, as well as establishing the Peabody Award-winning StoryCorps on NPR.org.

In 2009, Chappell was a key editorial member of the small team that redesigned NPR's web site. One year later, the site won its first Peabody Award, along with the National Press Foundation's Excellence in Online Journalism award.

At NPR, Chappell has trained both digital and radio staff to use digital tools to tell compelling stories, in addition to "evangelizing" — promoting more collaboration between legacy and digital departments.

Prior to joining NPR in late 2003, Chappell worked on the Assignment Desk at CNN International, handling coverage in areas from the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America, and coordinating CNN's pool coverage out of Qatar during the Iraq war.

Chappell's work for CNN also included producing Web stories and editing digital video for SI.com, and editing and producing stories for CNN.com's features division.

Before joining CNN, Chappell wrote about movies, restaurants and music for alternative weeklies, in addition to his first job: editing the police blotter.

A holder of bachelor's degrees in English and History from the University of Georgia, he attended graduate school for English Literature at the University of South Carolina.

It wasn't old age, or disease: A "bluish foreign body" that was found in an English woman's eye turned out to be a mass of contact lenses, surprising medical staff who were preparing the woman, 65, for routine cataract surgery. They report pulling 27 lenses from the woman's eye.

"She was quite shocked," specialist trainee ophthalmologist Rupal Morjaria tells Britain's Optometry Today.

The drug is so strong and deadly, it's been researched as a chemical weapon of warfare; police officers are warned to handle it with extreme care. The opioid carfentanil is 10,000 times more potent than morphine — but until now, it hasn't been a controlled substance in China, where producers have been exporting it abroad.

He's credited with saving thousands of people from choking to death, thanks to the method he popularized in 1974. Now comes word that Dr. Henry Heimlich has died at age 96.

Heimlich died early Saturday at Christ Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio, according to Bryan Reynolds, spokesman for Episcopal Retirement Services, which operates the retirement home where the physician lived for years.

According to Reynolds, Heimlich was experiencing complications from a massive heart attack he suffered in his home Monday.

The Justice Department calls it the largest criminal health care fraud case ever brought against individual suspects: Three people are accused of orchestrating a massive fraud involving a number of Miami-based health care providers.

The three facing charges are all from Florida's Miami-Dade County; they include Philip Esformes, 47, owner of more than 30 Miami-area nursing and assisted living facilities; hospital administrator Odette Barcha, 49; and physician assistant Arnaldo Carmouze, 56, the Justice Department says.

A discussion on Capitol Hill about concussion research brought a startling moment Monday, as an NFL executive acknowledged for the first time that football has been linked to a degenerative brain disease.

Jeff Miller, the NFL's executive vice president for health and safety, admitted the connection when he was asked about research by Boston University neuropathologist Dr. Ann McKee, who has reported finding signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy in the brains of 90 out of 94 former pro football players — and 45 out of 55 former college players.

There are currently more than 200 suspected cases of Zika virus in American Samoa, local officials say, announcing that the U.S. territory has at least four confirmed cases — including one patient who is pregnant.

The territory's acting governor, Lt. Gov. Lemanu Peleti Mauga, "declared a Zika epidemic for American Samoa" after consulting with health officials at the end of last week, Samoa News reports.

A first-of-its-kind Kansas law that bans a common method of performing second-trimester abortions has been blocked, as judges on the state's Court of Appeals conclude that the procedure is protected by rights of due process and equal protection.

The law was blocked after the court's full roster of judges split evenly, 7-7 — an outcome that by law affirms a lower court's injunction. The case is expected to be reviewed by the Kansas Supreme Court.

One day after he was arrested on fraud charges, controversial drug executive Martin Shkreli has resigned his post as the leader of Turing Pharmaceuticals. Shkreli is currently free on bail.

Turing announced the change Friday, naming Ron Tilles, its current board chairman, as the interim chief executive officer.

"We wish to thank Martin for helping us build Turing Pharmaceuticals into the dynamic research focused company it is today, and wish him the best in his future endeavors," Tilles said in a statement about the move.

Martin Shkreli, the drug executive who was widely criticized for sharply raising the price of a drug used by HIV patients, was arrested Thursday by federal agents on charges that he misused funds at the company he founded.

Nearly 1.2 million public housing units would need to become "entirely smoke-free" under a new rule put forth Thursday by Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro.

The proposed rule would give more than 3,100 public housing agencies 18 months to ban cigarettes, cigars and pipes in all living units, indoor common areas and within 25 feet of buildings. The ban would also apply to administrative offices.

More than 100 women across the U.S. have filed a lawsuit against a drug company, saying that an error in the packaging of birth control pills resulted in unplanned pregnancies. Some of the plaintiffs are asking drugmaker Qualitest to pay for the cost of raising their children.

A teenage girl is believed to have contracted bubonic plague from a flea on a hunting trip, according to Oregon health officials. The Crook County girl got sick five days after the trip started on Oct. 16; she's been hospitalized in Bend, Ore., since Oct. 24.

Updated at 10:10 a.m. ET

Their work details how cells repair damaged DNA and preserve genes. And now three scientists — Tomas Lindahl, Paul Modrich and Aziz Sancar — have won the 2015 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Their work promises years of better treatment and better drugs.

The three researchers carried out their work separately, unearthing different mechanisms cells use to fix problems in a range of cells.

The medicines they helped develop are credited with improving the lives of millions. And now three researchers working in the U.S., Japan and China have won the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Among the winners: William C. Campbell of Drew University in Madison, N.J., for his work on the roundworm parasite.

The airspace around Disneyland is restricted. That's the lesson learned by a company that was set to spray for mosquitoes in Orange County, Calif., Wednesday night — but had to call off the mission because it didn't have a waiver to fly near the theme park.

"A complication arose in the operation regarding permissions to fly over restricted airspace around Disneyland," the Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District says. "The contractor was unable to secure the permission in time to conduct a full operation."

In an event that has led to health warnings and turned a river orange, the Environmental Protection Agency says one of its safety teams accidentally released contaminated water from a mine into the Animas River in southwest Colorado.

The spill, which sent heavy metals, arsenic and other contaminants into a waterway that flows into the San Juan National Forest, occurred Wednesday. The EPA initially said 1 million gallons of wastewater had been released, but that figure has risen sharply.

From member station KUNC, Stephanie Paige Ogburn reports for our Newscast unit:

In a first, the Food and Drug Administration has given approval to a drug that is produced on a 3-D printer. The pill, produced by Aprecia Pharmaceuticals, treats seizures. It's expected to hit the market in the first quarter of 2016.

NPR's Rob Stein reports for our Newscast unit:

"The drug is called Spritam and is designed to treat seizures in people suffering from epilepsy. It's a new version of a seizure medication that's been on the market for years.

In a development that could change the way the deadly Ebola disease is fought, researchers have announced promising results of a new vaccine's trial in Guinea, one of several countries affected by a historic outbreak in West Africa.

"The estimated vaccine efficacy was 100 percent," a team of researchers say.

The Supreme Court has placed a stay on a lower court's ruling that upheld new abortion standards in Texas, to give opponents of a controversial 2013 law time to take their case to the nation's highest court.

The stay is temporary: If the Supreme Court refuses to hear the case, the stay will be lifted and the law will take effect. If the justices agree to hear the case, the stay would remain in effect until a ruling is issued.

Federal agents have arrested 243 people — including 46 doctors, nurses and other medical professionals — who are accused of running up more than $700 million in false Medicare billings. Charges range from fraud and money-laundering to aggravated identity theft and kickbacks.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch calls it "the largest criminal health care fraud takedown in the history of the Department of Justice."

A North Carolina law that would require women who want an abortion to have an ultrasound scan prior to the procedure suffered a final defeat Monday, when the Supreme Court refused to review the case. A federal judge declared the law illegal in early 2014.

The controversial law had been placed under an injunction soon after it took effect back in 2011. It was struck down on the grounds that it reflected ideological, rather than medical, priorities and violated doctors' right of free speech.

Updated at 11:45 a.m. ET

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit has blocked an Arkansas law that bans abortion after 12 weeks of pregnancy. The case was filed by two doctors on their own and their patients' behalf.

The court's ruling notes:

"By banning abortions after 12 weeks' gestation, the Act prohibits women from making the ultimate decision to terminate a pregnancy at a point before viability. Because the State made no attempt to refute the plaintiffs' assertions of fact, the district court's summary judgment order must be affirmed."

The new American Fitness Index is out, with some good news and bad news. Five metro areas fell five or more slots; nine others rose by five or more places. The rankings tally several criteria, from rates of smoking, diabetes and obesity to access to parks.

Texas ice cream maker Blue Bell Creameries has widely expanded a voluntary recall over Listeria concerns, seeking the return of all of its products currently on the market. Blue Bell products are sold in 23 states.

A nationwide recall has been announced for some 30,000 cases of hummus made by the Sabra company, due to possible contamination. The FDA says the recall is voluntary and no illnesses have been reported.

The recall covers several products with a "best by" date of May 11 or May 15 (see details below). The products are predominantly the "Classic" variety of the hummus, in a range of sizes.

The FDA says anyone who has bought the packages should either dispose of them or take them back to retailers for a refund.

The status of a patient with Ebola who was recently admitted to a specialized federal facility in Bethesda, Md., has changed from serious to critical condition. The American health care worker, whose identity hasn't been publicly released, was taken to the Clinical Center at the National Institutes of Health last week.

The patient being cared for in Bethesda contracted Ebola while volunteering in Sierra Leone, where the aid worker had been with the group Partners in Health. The person was flown back to the U.S. Thursday, aboard a private jet.

An American health care worker who contracted Ebola while volunteering in Sierra Leone is now receiving care at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center in Maryland. The patient's condition is still being evaluated, the NIH says.

The patient is the second to be treated for Ebola at the Bethesda facility, which previously cared for — and eventually released — Nina Pham, a nurse who contracted Ebola in Dallas. The hospital has also monitored two patients who were seen as being at high risk of having the deadly disease. They were later released.

In a unanimous ruling, Canada's supreme court struck down the country's law that bans doctor-assisted suicide Friday. The court said the law denies people the right "to make decisions concerning their bodily integrity and medical care" and leaves them "to endure intolerable suffering."

The ruling includes several provisions:

  • Patients must be competent adults who clearly consent to terminating their life.
  • They must be suffering from "a grievous and irremediable medical condition ... that causes enduring suffering that is intolerable."

Health officials in Illinois are trying to find the source of a measles infection, after five babies were diagnosed with the contagious respiratory disease in a Chicago suburb. Saying that more cases are likely, a health official warns, "The cat is out of the bag."

Because the Illinois patients are all under a year old, they can't be vaccinated. The new cluster of cases joins more than 100 other reports of measles in 14 states this year; most of them have been traced to an outbreak at Disneyland in California in December.

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