Bill Chappell

Bill Chappell is a blogger and producer who works with NPR's Morning Edition and Digital Media group. In addition to coordinating Web features, he frequently contributes to NPR's blogs, from The Two Way and All Tech Considered to The Salt.

Chappell's work at NPR has ranged from being the site's first full-time homepage editor to leading 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 trains both digital and radio staff to use digital tools to tell compelling stories, in addition to "evangelizing" — promoting more collaboration between departments. Other shows he has worked with include All Things Considered, Fresh Air, and Talk of the Nation.

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.

Chappell's work for CNN also included producing Web stories and editing digital video for SI.com, as well as editing and producing stories for CNN.com's features division. He also worked at the network's video and research library.

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

From 2002-2003, Chappell served as editor-in-chief of The Trans-Atlantic Journal, a business and lifestyle monthly geared for expatriate Europeans working and living in the United States.

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.

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The Two-Way
10:32 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Supreme Court Strikes Down Abortion Clinic 'Buffer Zone' Law

Eleanor McCullen and her attorney, Philip Moran, stand outside the Supreme Court in January after arguments in the case of McCullen v. Coakley.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 1:49 pm

The Supreme Court has struck down a Massachusetts law mandating a 35-foot buffer zone around clinics that provide abortion services.

Backers of the legislation have said the law treats groups equally, requiring both supporters and opponents of abortion rights to maintain their distance from the clinics. But in a unanimous ruling Thursday, the justices found that the buffer zone infringes on the First Amendment rights of protesters.

From the law experts at SCOTUSblog:

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The Two-Way
9:16 am
Thu June 26, 2014

FIFA Bites Back: Uruguay's Luis Suarez Suspended 9 Games

Uruguay's Luis Suarez holds his teeth after biting Italy's Giorgio Chiellini's shoulder during Tuesday's World Cup match between Italy and Uruguay in Brazil. FIFA has banned Suarez for nine games and four months over the incident.
Ricardo Mazalan AP

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 1:39 pm

Two days after the sporting world reacted in shock to what appeared to be a case of one elite soccer player biting another, FIFA, the sport's governing body, announced that it's suspending Uruguayan star Luis Suarez for nine matches and fining him 100,000 Swiss francs (about $112,000).

The suspension comes two days before Uruguay faces Colombia in the round of 16 on Saturday. It begins immediately, FIFA says. Suarez is also banned from any soccer activity for four months.

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The Two-Way
9:11 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Will Ferrell, Teddy Goalsevelt Pump Up U.S. Fans

Comedian Will Ferrell was unveiled as the surprise "secret weapon" of U.S. Soccer, on the eve of a pivotal World Cup match against Germany. Ferrell promised to "bite every German player, if I have to."
YouTube

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 1:44 pm

"I'm not going to lie to you — I'm not in the best shape," Will Ferrell told American soccer fans in Brazil last night, after being announced as a mock World Cup replacement by U.S. Soccer.

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The Two-Way
7:17 am
Thu June 26, 2014

'We Welcome' Syrian Airstrikes On ISIS, Iraqi Leader Maliki Says

Iraqis who have fled as the Sunni extremist group ISIS has spread in northern Iraq enter a camp for displaced people between the Iraqi city of Mosul and the Kurdish city of Irbil on Thursday. Iraq's leader says he welcomes Syria's attacks on ISIS.
Hussein Malla AP

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 6:07 pm

With both Iraq and Syria facing threats from the extremist group ISIS, a recent attack by Syrian warplanes along the countries' border was a welcome development, says Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. He says that he didn't ask for the airstrikes — but he doesn't have a problem with them, either.

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The Two-Way
6:23 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Reports Of New Fighting Rattle Ukraine's Truce As Kerry Urges Russia To Help

A man who lives in Ukraine's Donetsk region shows part of a shell that exploded in the yard of his house Wednesday, after a reported mortar attack by Ukrainian government forces Tuesday. The area is under a tense cease-fire that will expire Friday.
Dmitry Lovetsky AP

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 4:50 pm

An exchange of mortar fire has been reported in eastern Ukraine, where government troops and pro-Russian separatist forces had been observing an uneasy cease-fire in the past week. The news comes as Secretary of State John Kerry says Russia could face sanctions if it doesn't help end the violence.

Russian state news media are reporting explosions near the airport in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk, where the armed groups reportedly absorbed and returned mortar fire. Similar clashes were reported earlier this week.

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The Two-Way
1:51 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

U.S. Vs. Germany In The World Cup: What To Look For

U.S. midfielder Jermaine Jones warms up during a training session at Recife's Pernambuco Arena Wednesday, one day before the Americans face Germany in a decisive Group G soccer match. The game begins at noon, ET.
Patrik Stollarz AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 7:28 am

Anticipation is building for the U.S. Men's National Team's showdown with Germany on Thursday. The Americans need a win or a tie to decide their own fate; a loss would mean they need help to advance to the round of 16.

The game will start at noon ET — when the other Group G match, between Portugal and Ghana, also starts. You can follow the game or just comment on the action here at The Two-Way. For now, we've rounded up analysis and predictions.

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The Two-Way
12:25 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

U.S. Moves Toward Easing A Ban On Exporting Its Oil

Originally published on Wed June 25, 2014 3:15 pm

A U.S. ban on exporting crude oil that has stood for nearly 40 years could be eased a bit this summer, as the Obama administration is seen clearing a path for American companies to export the first shipments of unrefined oil in decades.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

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The Two-Way
9:42 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Aereo's TV Streaming Service Is Illegal, Supreme Court Says

Aereo.com, a Web service that provides television shows online, is shown on an iPhone on April 22. The company lost a Supreme Court case Wednesday, as the justices ruled it violates copyright law.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 25, 2014 11:18 am

Aereo, the company that lets subscribers watch TV stations' video that it routes onto the Internet, violates U.S. copyright law, the Supreme Court has ruled. The court's 6-3 decision reverses a lower court ruling on what has been a hotly contested issue.

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The Two-Way
8:39 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Suarez Bite Controversy Pays Off For Gamblers

Giorgio Chiellini of Italy pulls down his shirt to show a wound after clashing with Luis Suarez of Uruguay (not pictured). Looking on is Gaston Ramirez of Uruguay. The incident, in which Suarez apparently bit Chiellini, resulted in more than 100 people winning a bet.
Julian Finney Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 25, 2014 9:59 am

The odd and violent incident at a World Cup game Tuesday, in which Uruguay's Luis Suarez apparently bit Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini, is under investigation by FIFA, soccer's governing body. But the oddsmakers at a European betting service have seen enough: They're paying gamblers who bet that Suarez would use his teeth in anger in Brazil.

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The Two-Way
7:25 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Militants Kill Senior Iraqi Army Leader; Maliki Resists Changes

Iraqi members of the Emergency Response Brigade patrol streets in the western city of Ramadi in Anbar province, where government forces are fighting extremist militants, including a force from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
- AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 25, 2014 2:09 pm

U.S. military advisers have arrived in Iraq to help coordinate the Shiite-led government's push against the advance of extremist Sunni militants. The ISIS force has also reportedly been attacked by Syrian warplanes flying in Iraq.

From Baghdad, NPR's Alice Fordham reports for our Newscast unit:

"Security sources say Sunni fighters led by the extremists known as ISIS have moved into the key western city of Ramadi. They are fighting against the Iraqi army, who have support from some tribal fighters, and have reportedly killed at least one senior commander.

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The Two-Way
6:44 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Actor Eli Wallach, Who Brought Hint Of Humanity To Villainous Roles, Dies

Actor Eli Wallach, seen here in "For Whom the Bell Tolls" on the CBS show Playhouse 90 in 1959, has died at the age of 98.
CBS/Landov

Originally published on Wed June 25, 2014 6:26 pm

This post was updated at 5:35 p.m. ET.

Eli Wallach, whose acting work ranged from Westerns to the Godfather series and beyond, has died. For decades, Wallach won fans by bringing humanity and humor to roles that pitted him as a villain against titans such as Clint Eastwood and Steve McQueen.

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The Two-Way
12:24 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

FBI Says It Freed 168 U.S. Children In Sex-Trafficking Raids

The authorities rounded up 281 pimps and freed 168 juveniles last week, targeting child sex-trafficking operations in more than 100 U.S. cities. Police arrested 21 pimps in Phoenix, the most of any FBI division. Other hotspots in the coordinated raids were centered in Denver, Cleveland, and Los Angeles.

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The Two-Way
10:30 am
Tue June 24, 2014

World Cup Ratings Spike: How Popular Is Soccer In The U.S.?

Fans gather in Chicago's Grant Park to watch the U.S. play Portugal Sunday — a game that set a new ratings record for soccer on ESPN.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 24, 2014 12:42 pm

Sunday's thrilling and frustrating World Cup match between the U.S. and Portugal drew an average of 24.7 million viewers, according to the Nielsen ratings company, a result that puts the game above the recent NBA finals.

The game's total U.S. viewership of 24.7 million includes ratings from both ESPN (18.2 million viewers) and the Spanish-language Univision (6.5 million); it doesn't include the 1.37 million people ESPN says streamed the game online.

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The Two-Way
9:30 am
Tue June 24, 2014

LeBron James Will Reportedly Become Free Agent, Ending Miami Contract

Miami Heat superstar LeBron James, seen here at a news conference last week, will reportedly file papers to become a free agent, opting to end his contract with Miami.
Alan Diaz AP

Originally published on Tue June 24, 2014 10:34 am

NBA star LeBron James is shaking things up at the Miami Heat, reportedly opting to end his contract early to become a free agent. The move comes one week after James and the Heat were trounced by the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Finals.

"LeBron James' agent Rich Paul has told Heat LeBron will exercise early termination option," ESPN's Chris Broussard tweeted today.

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The Two-Way
7:55 am
Tue June 24, 2014

U.K. Phone-Hacking Trial: Brooks Cleared, Coulson Found Guilty

Rebekah Brooks, former News International chief executive, leaves the Central Criminal Court in London on Tuesday, after being acquitted. Former News of the World editor Andy Coulson was convicted of phone hacking Tuesday.
Lefteris Pitarakis AP

Originally published on Tue June 24, 2014 10:21 am

Former News International leader Rebekah Brooks has been cleared of all misconduct in a headline-grabbing trial revolving around tycoon Rupert Murdoch's British media empire. Andy Coulson, the former editor of News of the World, was found guilty of conspiracy to hack personal voicemails.

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The Two-Way
6:10 am
Tue June 24, 2014

Kerry Visits Kurds To Urge A United Iraq

Secretary of State John Kerry (second from left) arrives at Irbil International Airport with U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Robert Stephen Beecroft (fourth from left) on Tuesday. The president of Iraq's ethnic Kurdish region declared Tuesday that "we are facing a new reality and a new Iraq."
Brendan Smialowski AP

Originally published on Tue June 24, 2014 11:15 am

Secretary of State John Kerry talked to Kurdish leaders in Irbil today, urging them to keep the autonomous region as part of Iraq. Kerry's visit came as the Sunni extremist group ISIS says it has cemented control of Iraq's largest oil refinery, and as sectarian divisions are threatening to pull Iraq apart.

Kerry is now on his way to Brussels, after assuring Kurdish leaders in northern Iraq that there would be "sustained and intense" support to Iraq to help it counter rapid advances by Sunni militants in recent weeks.

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The Two-Way
11:01 am
Mon June 23, 2014

Christian Woman Escapes Death In Sudan Over Conversion

Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag, a Christian Sudanese woman sentenced to death, sits in her cell with her baby girl a day after she gave birth at a women's prison in Khartoum's twin city of Omdurman last month. A court ordered Ishag freed Monday.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 12:14 pm

A Sudanese woman who gave birth in prison after being sentenced to hang for converting to Christianity has been freed. The case of Meriam Ibrahim attracted wide concern, and criticism from Secretary of State John Kerry.

Ibrahim, 27, says she was raised an Orthodox Christian, her mother's religion, after being born to a Muslim father. In May, she was eight months pregnant when she was tried for charges that included apostasy — abandoning Islam — and marrying a Christian, Daniel Wani.

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The Two-Way
10:06 am
Mon June 23, 2014

Spineless, And Now Homeless: National Zoo Closes Animal Exhibit

A curious cuttlefish stares back at the camera from inside The Smithsonian's National Zoo Invertebrate Exhibit. The exhibit, home to dozens of small aquatic and terrestrial species without backbones, closed on Sunday.
Meghan Murphy Smithsonian's National Zoo

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 11:17 am

Invertebrates make up about 99 percent of all species. But they're no longer being featured at the National Zoo due to budget problems. The Invertebrate Exhibit was shut down Sunday, less than a week after the closure was publicly announced.

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The Two-Way
7:16 am
Mon June 23, 2014

Egyptian Court Sentences Journalists To Lengthy Prison Terms

Australian journalist Peter Greste (left) of Al-Jazeera news channel and his colleagues, Egyptian-Canadian Mohamed Fadel Fahmy (center) and Egyptian Baher Mohamed, listen to the verdict inside the defendants' cage during their trial for allegedly supporting the Muslim Brotherhood.
Khaled Desouki AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 24, 2014 3:18 pm

Three journalists who work for the Al-Jazeera news network have been sentenced to prison terms — two lasting seven years and a third lasting 10 — by an Egyptian court. The three were accused of aiding terrorists, a term that in this case applies to the banned Muslim Brotherhood.

From Egypt's Ahram Online:

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The Two-Way
6:10 am
Mon June 23, 2014

Kerry Meets With Iraqi Prime Minister In Baghdad Amid ISIS Crisis

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki (right) sits with Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday. Kerry was in Baghdad to push for Iraqi unity and stability, as Sunni militants swept through western towns abandoned by security forces.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 10:48 am

As Sunni militants make gains against Iraq's Shiite-led central government, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry paid a previously unannounced visit to Baghdad to meet with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on Monday.

Maliki has been criticized for not being more inclusive of Sunnis and Kurds in his government — a change the Obama administration is calling for as part of any plans for military support.

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The Two-Way
1:29 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

U.S. To Open Immigrant Family Detention Centers In Response To Influx

Young migrants seen apprehended by the Border Patrol near the Rio Grande in Hidalgo, TX, earlier this year. The next stop for many is either a detention center or deportation.
Kainaz Amaria/NPR

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 3:40 pm

Citing a rise in the number of children and families attempting to immigrate into the Southwestern U.S. illegally, the Obama administration says it will use new detention facilities to house the families.

The administration says it will boost enforcement efforts and speed up removal proceedings. And it will try to dispel a notion among some migrants that current U.S. policies allow them to enter the country illegally.

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The Two-Way
1:16 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

There's No Run Like A Prison Run

Runners chat at a recent track event at the Oregon State Penitentiary in Salem. The prison's program allows inmates (in blue shirts) to run alongside regular citizens (in orange).
Sam Gehrke OPB

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 1:37 pm

Themed outdoor running events have grown in popularity, with participants flocking to races that promise unusual settings and obstacles (including zombies). But for decades now, an Oregon track has hosted a rare event: races run by inmates of a maximum-security prison alongside regular citizens.

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The Two-Way
9:59 am
Fri June 20, 2014

U.N.: Number Of Displaced People Hits Mark Not Seen Since World War II

Afghan children gather at a special medical camp set up by UNHCR to mark World Refugee Day in Islamabad on Friday. The U.N. agency says there were 51.2 million displaced people at the end of 2013, 6 million more than the previous year.
Farooq Naeem AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 11:41 am

At least 51.2 million people are now living under forced displacement, a U.N. agency says, announcing its tally of people who are seeking refuge or asylum, or who are internally displaced. It's the first time the number has topped 50 million since World War II.

The figures mean that worldwide, the number of displaced people is roughly equivalent to the entire population of nations such as Spain and South Korea. If all of them were put into one country, it would be the 26th largest in the world, the U.N. says.

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The Two-Way
7:57 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Leading Shiite Cleric Says Iraq Needs A New Government

Iraqi Shiites perform the Friday prayer in the shrine city of Karbala in central Iraq. Iraq's top Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, called for the country's next government to be "effective" and avoid past mistakes, in an implicit criticism of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
Mohammed Sawaf AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 12:19 pm

As Iraq struggles to cope with rapid advances by the Sunni militant group ISIS, the religious leader of the nation's Shiites says it's time for an "effective" government to take over.

Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani's comments Friday add to criticisms of embattled Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

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The Two-Way
6:20 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Married Same-Sex Couples To Receive More Federal Benefits

The Obama administration is set to announce expanded federal benefits for same-sex spouses, no matter what state they live in. On Thursday, demonstrators supporting same-sex marriage marched in front of the Supreme Court.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 4:31 pm

This post was updated at 5:20 p.m. ET.

The Family Medical Leave Act's benefits will be extend to married same-sex couples in all of the U.S., under a White House announced today. The change comes as the Obama administration alters federal policies to fit the Supreme Court's repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act last June.

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The Two-Way
1:38 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Harley-Davidson's New Bike Hums, Instead Of Roaring

Harley-Davidson's new electric motorcycle can hit 60 mph from a standing start in 4 seconds. The company plans to unveil the LiveWire model Monday in New York.
M.L. Johnson AP

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 11:21 am

Don't expect to hear the roar of a gas engine when you see the new motorcycle from Harley-Davidson. That's because it's powered by batteries. The Wisconsin-based company unveiled its new LiveWire bike today, saying it's "time to shape the next generation" of riders.

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The Two-Way
12:26 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Obama: U.S. Forces Won't Return To Combat In Iraq Crisis

President Obama speaks about Iraq in the Brady Briefing room of the White House Thursday. Obama said the U.S. will send up to 300 military advisers to Iraq — but that U.S. forces won't engage in combat with Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 1:56 pm

President Obama says the U.S. will send up to 300 military advisers to Iraq to help it cope with the Sunni extremist group ISIS, which has won several key battles in recent days.

Obama said Americans won't be taking up combat roles in the conflict — and he said the U.S. won't take actions "that support one sect inside of Iraq at the expense of another."

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The Two-Way
10:27 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Supreme Court Sides With Whistleblower In Retaliation Case

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 12:21 pm

In a case over retaliation against a public employee who was fired after testifying about corruption, the Supreme Court says the man gave testimony as a concerned citizen and should not have been punished. The decision was unanimous, overturning lower courts.

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The Two-Way
8:42 am
Thu June 19, 2014

House Republicans To Vote On Cantor's Replacement Today

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 11:43 am

Republicans will vote by secret ballot today in the House of Representatives, as they choose a new majority leader and majority whip to lead them. Rep. Eric Cantor is stepping down from his No. 2 spot, after losing a primary contest earlier this month.

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The Two-Way
7:39 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Only 7 Percent Of Americans Are Big Fans Of Congress

Only 7 percent of Americans polled by Gallup said they have "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in Congress as an American institution.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 12:30 pm

The amount of confidence Americans have in Congress has hit a new low. Only 7 percent of the people polled by Gallup said they have "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in the legislature as an American institution.

The rock-bottom level of confidence in Congress "is not only the lowest on record," the polling company says, "but also the lowest Gallup has recorded for any institution in the 41-year trend. This is also the first time Gallup has ever measured confidence in a major U.S. institution in the single digits."

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