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.

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.

Britain is on track to become the first country in the world to legalize a controversial procedure that uses DNA from three people to produce an embryo, as a way to cut out inherited DNA that can cause serious health problems in children.

A bill that would prohibit using federal money to pay for "any abortion" or for "health benefits coverage that includes coverage of abortion" has been approved by the House.

The bill passed by a vote of 242-179. Titled the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2015, it was introduced by Rep. Christopher Smith, R-N.J., and others, including Speaker John Boehner.

Its stipulations include:

A job that's been open in President Obama's administration since July of 2013 was finally filled Monday, as the Senate voted to confirm Vivek Murthy as America's new surgeon general.

The tally was 51-43, ending a confirmation process that began after Obama nominated Murthy to the post in November of 2013 — yes, that's one year ago.

Following the lead of other Republican governors, Tennessee's Gov. Bill Haslam is moving to expand Medicaid in his state, using federal funds from the Affordable Care Act. Haslam announced the plan Monday morning; it'll be debated by the legislature next month.

From Nashville, Bobby Allyn of member station WPLN reports:

Medical teams plan to start three clinical trials in the fight against the Ebola virus next month, administering the drugs at treatment centers run by Doctors Without Borders in West Africa. Two of the therapies involve antiviral drugs.

There are currently 13,042 confirmed or suspected cases of the deadly Ebola virus in six countries, according to the World Health Organization. But the group says its latest figures also hold some good news, as the number of Ebola cases in hard-hit Liberia appear to be on the decline.

WHO released its data for the period up to Nov. 2 Wednesday, saying that Ebola has now been blamed for 4,818 reported deaths.

Australia's immigration agency has ceased processing new visa applications from Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, over concerns about the possible spread of the deadly Ebola virus. The country has also shut down an aid program in West Africa, Australia's immigration chief says. The move is drawing criticism.

In the latest tweak to America's plan to prevent the spread of the deadly Ebola disease, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention leader Dr. Tom Frieden announced changes to the U.S. response to Ebola and the guidance federal agencies are giving to state and local governments.

Gov. Chris Christie says that a new rule requiring a 21-day quarantine for people who've been in contact with Ebola patients is necessary to protect the public in New Jersey and other states — and that the CDC "eventually will come around to our point of view on this."

Dr. Anthony Fauci, leader of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, disagrees, saying the quarantine could hamper efforts to combat the deadly outbreak in West Africa.

Kaci Hickox, a nurse whose return to the U.S. after treating Ebola patients in Sierra Leone was sidetracked when she was placed in a mandatory 21-day quarantine Friday, is criticizing the way New Jersey officials have handled her case.

Hickox says she doesn't have a fever; a preliminary blood test came back negative for Ebola. She reportedly hired a civil rights attorney Sunday to work for her release.

A woman who was put in isolation at Newark Liberty International Airport remains under quarantine, despite a preliminary test that found she did not have the deadly Ebola virus.

The health care worker was isolated Friday as she returned from treating Ebola patients in West Africa. She had no symptoms of the disease, but after she developed a fever, she was taken to a nearby hospital.

Newly instituted screening procedures at New York's JFK International Airport identified 91 arriving passengers as having a higher risk of being infected with Ebola based on their recent travel, CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden said Monday. None of the airline passengers had a fever, Frieden said, noting that of five people who were sent for further evaluation, none were determined to have Ebola.

The FDA has approved a once-a-day pill that combines two drugs to treat hepatitis C, the deadly virus that attacks the liver and is believed to infect 3.2 million Americans.

The new product brings several advances, but it also has a steep price tag, reported at $1,125 per tablet. NPR's Michaeleen Doucleff reports:

"The treatment, made by Gilead Sciences, bypasses the need for any injections or older drugs that have serious side effects.

Of the 114 people whom officials first thought could possibly have been exposed to the Liberian man diagnosed with Ebola in Texas, health experts are "fairly certain" that only nine had enough direct contact that they could potentially have been infected.

In what's being hailed as a huge step in fertility and reproduction science, doctors in Sweden say a woman has given birth to a baby boy less than two years after she received a uterus transplant. The new mother, 36, had been born without a uterus, so another woman, 61, donated her womb several years after she had gone through menopause.

President Obama announced details of his plan Tuesday to help contain the Ebola outbreak that has caused more than 2,400 deaths in West Africa. The strategy reportedly includes sending up to 3,000 military personnel to the region.

Obama spoke at the Atlanta headquarters of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday afternoon.

Update at 4:18 p.m. ET: 'It Doesn't Have To Be This Way'

The president describes "a major increase in our response." Some details:

An experimental Ebola vaccine is now being tested in people, according to scientists who say the drug has shown promising results when it was tested on monkeys. The small clinical trial is using healthy human volunteers in the U.S.

The Ebola vaccine is the subject of a study published Sunday in the journal Nature Medicine. Researchers say the vaccine treatment includes a booster shot to help the immune system fight off the virus for months after it's first administered.

The two U.S. patients who were treated for Ebola have been discharged from Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, where they had been in an isolation ward since returning from Liberia early this month. They are the first patients treated for Ebola on American soil.

Dr. Kent Brantly and missionary Nancy Writebol have been released after "a rigorous course of treatment and thorough testing," Emory's Dr. Bruce Ribner said. He added that he's confident that their release from care "poses no public health threat."

Some Brita water bottles made for children pose a possible danger due to lids that can break apart into pieces with sharp edges, says Brita, which has announced a safety recall. The bottles have white lids with fold-up straws and filters that sit inside the bottle.

"Brita has received 35 reports of lids breaking or cracking," the Consumer Product Safety Commission reports. "No injuries have been reported."

Ebola continues to spread in West Africa. The latest figures from the World Health Organization cite 1,848 cases of the disease across the region, and 1,013 deaths. Ebola's victims also include a missionary priest who died in Spain after being evacuated from Liberia last week.

The missionary, Miguel Pajares, 75, died at Madrid's Carlos III Hospital, where he was reportedly being treated with an experimental U.S.-made serum called ZMapp.

President Obama signed legislation Thursday that tries to mend the broken Veterans Affairs system, providing money to improve facilities and hire more medical staff, along with allowing more veterans to use private facilities. The bill is aimed at cutting veterans' long wait times for health care.

The president signed the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014 one week after it gained congressional approval; the signing ceremony was held at Fort Belvoir, an Army base in Virginia.

The National Guard is making water deliveries in Toledo, Ohio, where officials say the tap water isn't safe to drink even if it's been boiled. Gov. John Kasich has declared an emergency in the area, as officials await tests on levels of toxins that can cause flu-like symptoms and liver damage.

The first of two American aid workers infected with the deadly Ebola virus in Liberia reportedly arrived in Atlanta today to begin treatment. Dr. Kent Brantly has been living in quarantine conditions since realizing he had been infected with the disease last month.

An isolation unit at Emory University's hospital in Atlanta will be used in the coming days to house and treat a patient infected with Ebola, the virus that has killed more than 700 people in a recent outbreak in West Africa.

Announcing the pending transfer of the patient Thursday, Emory, which like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is based in Atlanta, issued a statement saying it will use "a specially built isolation unit set up in collaboration with the CDC to treat patients who are exposed to certain serious infectious diseases."

Fears of possible listeria contamination have led to a national recall of whole peaches, nectarines and other fruits packed by a California company. No illnesses have been reported, but the Wawona Packing Co. has told retailers such as Wal-Mart, Costco and Trader Joe's to pull its products.

The Johns Hopkins Health System will pay $190 million to former patients of a gynecologist who used a small camera to secretly film examinations, in one of the largest sexual misconduct settlements involving a physician.

The Baltimore-based hospital is settling a class-action lawsuit that includes more than 7,000 women and at least 62 minors; more women will likely register with the suit.

From member station WYPR, Christopher Connelly reports:

The Supreme Court has ruled that family owned and other closely held companies can opt out of the Affordable Care Act's provisions for no-cost prescription contraception in most health insurance if they have religious objections.

The owners of the Hobby Lobby chain of arts and crafts stores and those of another closely held company, Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp., had objected on the grounds of religious freedom.

The ruling affirms a Hobby Lobby victory in a lower court and gives new standing to similar claims by other companies.

A White House official says the CIA will no longer use vaccine programs as cover for spy operations, answering health experts' complaints that it had hurt international efforts to fight disease.

The CIA famously used a vaccination program as a ploy to gain information about the possible whereabouts of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. That effort didn't succeed, and the doctor involved was sentenced to a prison term. But the revelation had immediate effects — particularly in the fight against polio.

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