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

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, and editing and producing stories for'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.

The extremist group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria is tightening control of Iraq's Sunni Muslim heartland, attacking the strategic city of Baqouba, less than 40 miles from Baghdad. The U.S. is sending up to 275 military personnel to bolster its embassy in the capital; President Obama is also reportedly weighing airstrikes.

This post was updated at 4:50 p.m. ET

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, fresh from a stunning primary upset at the hands of a Tea Party rival, said today that he would vacate his leadership post by the end of July to make room for a successor.

"Effective July 31, I will be stepping down as majority leader," Cantor told reporters at a news conference. "It is with great humility that I do so."

A bill that would have let millions of people refinance their student loans at a lower interest rate has failed in the Senate, after Republicans objected that it included a tax on the wealthy to pay for it. The measure would have allowed people with older loans to benefit from today's low interest rates.

The bill from Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., didn't get past a procedural vote, falling by a 56-38 vote. Called the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act, it was shot down days after President Obama urged Congress to help ease the burden of student debt.

To the pile of explanations for the shocking primary loss by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor to challenger Dave Brat, add one more: the idea that Democrats and independents tilted the Republicans' open primary at the prompting of former Rep. Ben Jones, a Democrat.

This post was updated at 10:30 p.m. ET

As refugees stream out of Mosul after the Iraqi city was captured by forces of the al-Qaida-linked Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, NPR's Deborah Amos passes along reports that Tikrit, the hometown of the late dictator Saddam Hussein, has also been overrun.

The Associated Press says "soldiers and security forces [in Tikrit have] abandoned their posts and yielded ground once controlled by U.S. forces."

According to AP:

"Dollars don't vote — you do." And with that statement to his supporters, college professor Dave Brat ousted seven-term Rep. Eric Cantor in their primary battle Tuesday night. The loss by the No. 2 House Republican shocked many political analysts and the congressman himself.

"It's disappointing, sure," Cantor told supporters after the results came in. "But I believe in this country. I believe there's opportunity around the next corner for all of us."

After a month of seeking sanctuary in a Tucson church, a Mexican immigrant has been granted a one-year stay of his deportation order. Daniel Neyoy Ruiz, 36, had been ordered to leave the U.S. after a traffic stop revealed he wasn't here legally.

Ruiz has lived in Tucson for 14 years; he has a job and no criminal record, reports Arizona Public Media's Fernanda Echavarri.

The Federal Aviation Administration says it has issued the first permit in its history for an unmanned aircraft to fly over U.S. soil. Oil company BP will use a drone from the company AeroVironment to conduct surveys in Alaska.

The first drone flights under the recently issued waiver have already taken place, the FAA says.

From the agency's news release:

A short-lived attack near Karachi's airport today interrupted prayers for security officers who died in Sunday's violence at the facility. The attackers fled after firing shots near the Airport Security Force training facility, causing flights to be halted temporarily.

"3 to 4 terrorists fired near ASF Camp, ran away," reads a tweet from Army spokesman Major Gen. Asim Bajwa. "No breach of fence, no entry. Chase is on, situation under control."

Five U.S. service members died in southern Afghanistan in a possible case of friendly fire. Afghan media are citing a local official who says the troops' air support mistakenly bombed their position. The attack is still under investigation.

Update at 2:45 p.m. ET: More From Pentagon

"We have reason to suspect that friendly fire was the cause here, specifically from the air," Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said without elaborating.

"This is a tragic incident all around and our thoughts and prayers go out to the families," Kirby said.