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.

Pictogram people become unlikely MVPs

One of the most striking sequences in the Tokyo Olympics' opening ceremony revolved around pictograms. Tokyo organizers have been touting their "kinetic pictograms," which show figures bursting into motion across dozens of disciplines. For Friday's ceremony, they brought all 50 of those pictograms to life.

Fireworks soared above Tokyo's new Olympic Stadium Friday as the delayed Summer Games finally held its opening ceremony — an event that culminates in lighting the Olympic cauldron.

Athletes marched in front of thousands of empty seats as only a sparse crowd was admitted due to COVID-19 restrictions. Those attending included first lady Jill Biden, who chatted with French President Emmanuel Macron.

Czech Olympic officials are looking into a cluster of coronavirus cases that are linked to a charter flight that brought a contingent of athletes and staff to Japan. The country's team has six coronavirus cases in total.

A doctor who was on the flight was reportedly among the first to test positive. As of late Thursday, four athletes had also tested positive for the coronavirus.

Australian Olympics chief John Coates is being criticized after lecturing Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and ordering her to attend the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics. Palaszczuk had previously said she wouldn't be attending Friday's ceremony.

"I was reading some questions about you going to the opening ceremony," Coates told Palaszczuk. "You are going to the opening ceremony," he then said, crossing his arms as he spoke.

Two days before the Olympics' opening ceremony, Tokyo is reporting new COVID-19 cases at levels not seen since January — when Japan was enduring a record spike in coronavirus infections.

The 1,832 new cases represent a sharp rise from last Wednesday, when the Tokyo Metropolitan Government reported 1,149 cases.

British women's soccer players took a knee on the first day of competition at the Tokyo Olympics on Wednesday, in a protest against discrimination and racism that was quickly reciprocated by their opponents from Chile.

It was the first time Olympians in Japan utilized newly relaxed rules on athletes expressing their views.

The CEO of the Tokyo Olympics' organizing committee is not dismissing the idea that the Games could still be canceled if COVID-19 cases continue to rise, sending a jolt through the massive event that is set to begin in a matter of days. Toshiro Muto says officials will make decisions about the viability of the Games based on what happens.

Muto said he can't speculate about whether the rate of new coronavirus cases will rise or fall. But in his response to a question about whether the Olympics, already delayed by a year, could still be canceled, he did not rule it out.

Becca Meyers, a swimmer seen as a favorite to bring gold home from Tokyo, has canceled plans to compete in the Paralympics after being told she can't bring a personal care assistant to Japan. Meyers is deaf and blind. U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC) officials say they don't have space for her to bring an aide because of coronavirus restrictions on athletic delegations.

The Hubble Space Telescope is returning to operation more than a month after its original payload computer shut down. NASA said it has successfully switched over to its backup computer — and while the process of bringing the system back online is slow, the agency has started to bring science instruments out of "safe mode."

Now, that's a long — and expensive — trip.

A 132-night "world cruise" sold out in under three hours, despite pandemic worries that have hobbled the cruise industry and steep prices that start at $73,499 per guest — and range up to $199,999 per person for a master suite.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises released the fares for sale at 8:30 a.m. ET Thursday. By 11 a.m., all the spots had been snapped up by people eager to spend more than four months on a cruise ship. The strong interest may be a positive sign for the cruise industry as it tries to rebound from the pandemic.

A Utah hate crime case is drawing national attention after local authorities charged a young woman with a hate crime over allegedly defacing a "Back the Blue" sign in front of a sheriff's deputy.

Utah is one of at least five states — along with Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi and New Hampshire — that list law enforcement officers, along with race and gender, in their hate crime laws' protected categories, according to the Brennan Center for Justice.

A Utah gun company has halted sales of a Lego-themed pistol kit, after facing fierce backlash from the public and a request from the Danish toymaker to remove the product. With the colorful "Block 19" pistol kit, owners would have been able to use Lego blocks to create their own sights and designs on top of a Glock 19 pistol's slide.

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