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James Doubek

James Doubek is an associate editor and reporter for NPR. He frequently covers breaking news for NPR.org and NPR's hourly newscast. In 2018, he reported feature stories for NPR's business desk on topics including electric scooters, cryptocurrency, and small business owners who lost out when Amazon made a deal with Apple.

In the fall of that year, Doubek was selected for NPR's internal enrichment rotation to work as an audio producer for Weekend Edition. He spent two months pitching, producing, and editing interviews and pieces for broadcast.

As an associate producer for NPR's digital content team, Doubek edits online stories and manages NPR's website and social media presence.

He got his start at NPR as an intern at the Washington Desk, where he made frequent trips to the Supreme Court and reported on political campaigns.

The U.S. and Iran are holding indirect talks this week in Vienna over a return to the 2015 nuclear deal.

Diplomats from the two countries won't meet face to face — representatives from Europe, Russia and China will serve as a go-between. Both the U.S. and Iran insist the other needs to make a concession first — Iran says the U.S. should lift sanctions, while the U.S. says Iran should scale back its nuclear program.

At its heart, Hunter Biden's new memoir, Beautiful Things, is a story of addiction.

Biden, the 51-year-old son of the president, writes that he first bought crack cocaine at age 18. He first fell in love with alcohol in high school and started drinking heavily after work in his 20s. "I always could drink five times more than anyone else," he writes.

He has been in and out of rehab numerous times over the last two decades and has had long periods of sobriety between relapses.

It's been just over a year since Michigan's restaurants were forced to close indoor dining for the first time.

In that time many chefs pivoted from their restaurants to working with nonprofit groups on a new task: feeding their increasingly hungry communities.

Updated March 22, 2021 at 11:48 AM ET

Georgia Republican lawmakers have backed off of a proposal that would have curtailed early voting on Sundays in the state.

Sunday voting is especially important for congregants in Black churches, which regularly hold "souls to the polls" events after Sunday services.

Tucked into President Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief law are provisions meant to help Black farmers, who have faced generations of systemic discrimination.

As part of the American Rescue Plan, $4 billion is going toward debt relief for "socially disadvantaged" farmers to pay off debts that have prevented their farms from growing, the Department of Agriculture said. Another $1.01 billion is being used to create a racial equity commission.

By being able to wait for better food, cuttlefish — the squishy sea creatures similar to octopuses and squids — showed self-control that's linked to the higher intelligence of primates.

It was part of an experiment by Alex Schnell from the University of Cambridge and colleagues.

"What surprised me the most was that the level of self-control shown by our cuttlefish was quite advanced," she tells Lulu Garcia-Navarro on Weekend Edition.

The pandemic has changed how people talk and write. In English, dictionaries have noted a few dozen new entries and revisions: social distancing, frontliner, super-spreader, "Zoom" as a verb.

Hunger has been weaponized in the war in Yemen, says a former U.N. official who is currently in the country.

"We are seeing a relentless countdown to a possible famine that the world hasn't seen since Ethiopia in the 1980s," says Jan Egeland, who is now secretary-general of the Norwegian Refugee Council.

Researchers say two-way communication is possible with people who are asleep and dreaming.

Specifically, with people who are lucid dreaming — that is, dreaming while being aware you're dreaming.

In separate experiments, scientists in the U.S., France, Germany and the Netherlands asked people simple questions while they slept. Sleepers would respond by moving their eyes or twitching their faces in a certain way to indicate their answers.

Central to the new documentary Black Art: In the Absence of Light is a pivotal art exhibition that debuted in 1976.

"Two Centuries of Black American Art" was the first major show by a Black curator to look at the history of art produced by African Americans. Covering the period between 1750 and 1950, it featured 200 works and 63 artists, with painting, sculpture, drawing, graphics, crafts and decorative arts.

In the midst of a pandemic that is taxing medical workers like never before, a doctor in a Los Angeles hospital turned a camera toward his colleagues.

Dr. Scott Kobner is the chief emergency room resident at the Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center. He's also an amateur photographer. His black-and-white photos show the suffering, anxiety and chaos unfolding in overrun COVID-19 units.

It was a couple months into the pandemic that Kobner started taking pictures of scenes from his own hospital.

Brig. Gen. Mark Quander is taking a new leadership role at the prestigious military school of West Point at a time that the spotlight has returned to the problem of extremism in the military.

Quander was appointed last month to be the next commandant of cadets, equivalent to a dean of students. Many graduates of West Point go on to leadership roles in the military.

President Biden said last week that the Saudi-led war in Yemen "has to end," as he pledged to end "all American support for offensive operations."

The complex war started in 2014, when Houthi militants supported by Iran overthrew the unpopular Saudi-backed government in Sanaa, Yemen's capital. A coalition of Gulf states — led by Saudi Arabia and with support from the U.S., France and the U.K. — responded with airstrikes starting in 2015.

African countries are far behind when it comes to COVID-19 vaccinations, largely because rich countries in North America and Europe have already bought much of the existing and future supply.

Updated Monday at 1:18 a.m. ET

Myanmar's military says it is taking control of the country in a coup against the civilian government led by Aung San Suu Kyi, who was detained along with other National League for Democracy leaders on Monday.

The army said that power would be transferred to Commander in Chief Min Aung Hlaing, in a statement broadcast on military-owned television that also declared a one-year state of emergency, Reuters reported.

Aid groups who help resettle refugees in the U.S. are hopeful about what President Biden's actions will mean for people fleeing persecution.

Parler calls itself a "conservative microblogging alternative" to Twitter and "the world's premier free speech platform."

But it's been offline for five days, and possibly forever, after Amazon kicked Parler off of its Web hosting service.

Vice President Pence plans to attend President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration, a source familiar with the decision tells NPR.

The decision comes a day after President Trump announced on Twitter that he would not attend the inauguration.

Trump has spent weeks falsely claiming the election was rigged, culminating in a violent mob of his supporters overtaking the Capitol Wednesday and leading to the deaths of five people.

Biden said on Friday that he was glad Trump decided not to attend and that Pence is "welcome to come. I'd be honored to have him there."

By the age of 25, Thomas Bloom Raskin had already accomplished a great deal: He was a graduate of Amherst College who went on to intern at the Cato Institute and J Street, among other prominent organizations; a passionate vegan who wrote philosophical defenses of animal rights and converted those around him to giving up meat; a political writer who had essays published in The Nation and elsewhere; and a law student and teaching assistant at Harvard Law School who donated from his teaching salary to charities in his students' names.

Leave it to a beaver to find new ways to build dams.

That much was revealed by Nancy Coyne, who's rehabilitating a beaver in her home in New York's Hudson Valley. Coyne's videos of Beave the beaver on TikTok have quickly racked up millions of views.

Beave has taken to building dams out of whatever's available around the house.

As the U.S. marks 300,000 dead, it's impossible to capture the grief families around the country are experiencing.

Each person who dies of COVID-19 has a story. But many of those left behind no longer have access to the traditional ways of remembering the dead. Funerals are often happening over Zoom or as stripped-down, socially distant affairs.

Hugs aren't safe anymore.

The Food and Drug Administration looks set to allow emergency authorization of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine shortly. With that, vaccinations will likely begin soon for health care workers and people in nursing homes.

A federal judge in New York City says Chad Wolf was not legally serving as the acting secretary of homeland security when he issued a memo in July that stopped new applicants to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Therefore, Judge Nicholas Garaufis of the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of New York ruled Saturday, Wolf's memo is invalid.

After a purge at the Pentagon, former national security officials are worried about the fallout if President Trump were to launch an unprovoked military action against Iran or make big changes in Afghanistan in his waning days in office.

That's in addition to the ways that President Trump's refusal to concede and to give President-elect Biden access to intelligence materials are already damaging national security.

Despite Joe Biden's victory, congressional Democrats are upset.

Bolstered by President Trump's unpopularity and the pandemic, polls had showed Democrats possibly taking control of the Senate, expanding their majority in the House of Representatives and Biden winning convincingly in several swing states.

But Democrats didn't gain a majority in the Senate. They lost a handful of seats in the House. And though Biden won the popular vote, it was a close contest in several battleground states.

It took Wisconsin more than seven months to reach 100,000 coronavirus cases. On Monday, just five weeks later, it reached 200,000.

Indian Americans — a small but possibly pivotal voting bloc — are overwhelmingly voting for Joe Biden this election, according to a new survey.

Both Joe Biden and President Trump's campaigns have been courting Indian American voters this year. Indian Americans are about 1% of the U.S. population and make up .82% of all eligible voters in the U.S. — but are large enough in numbers to make a decisive difference in certain swing states.

Coronavirus cases appear headed for a new surge in the U.S., which could eclipse the explosion of cases in July.

Much of the new surge is driven by cases in the Midwest and Great Plains states.

Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, says "it was all sadly somewhat predictable."

Senate Republicans plan to move forward with Judge Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court nomination with hearings before the Judiciary Committee starting Oct. 12.

Barrett's likely confirmation will lock in arguably the most conservative Supreme Court since the 1930s, with the potential to weaken patient protections of the Affordable Care Act and abortion rights in Roe v. Wade, among other decisions.

Novavax, a vaccine maker in Maryland, is becoming the 10th coronavirus vaccine candidate to enter the final phase of testing, called phase 3.

The trial is taking place in the U.K., where researchers plan to enroll up to 10,000 adults of various ages in the next four to six weeks. Half the participants will get a placebo and half will get the company's vaccine.

At least a quarter of participants will be over the age of 65, the company says, and it will also "prioritize groups that are most affected by COVID-19, including racial and ethnic minorities."

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