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James Doubek

James Doubek is an associate producer 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.

Updated at 5:03 p.m. ET

Iran freed an American held prisoner for the past three years, the White House said Saturday, while Iran confirmed the U.S. was freeing an Iranian scientist held in America in return.

The prisoner swap involves Xiyue Wang, a naturalized U.S. citizen and graduate student at Princeton University, who had been in an Iranian prison on espionage charges. Meanwhile, the U.S. released an Iranian scientist named Massoud Soleimani, who had been accused by American officials of violating trade sanctions.

Iran's Lake Urmia was once the second-largest saltwater lake in the world, covering more than 2,000 square miles at its deepest in the 1990s.

A regular drumbeat of mass shootings in the U.S., both inside schools and out, has ramped up pressure on education and law enforcement officials to do all they can to prevent the next attack.

Close to all public schools in the U.S. conducted some kind of lockdown drill in 2015-2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

Updated at 1 p.m. ET

President Trump says that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the founder and leader of the Islamic State, has been killed after a U.S. special operations mission targeted him in northwest Syria. Trump declared that U.S. forces have brought "the world's No. 1 terrorist leader to justice."

Describing a dangerous and daring nighttime raid, the president said after eight helicopters flew across Russian airspace, U.S forces located their target and blew a hole in a wall of Baghdadi's compound, fearing the main entrance was booby-trapped.

Updated at 10:10 a.m. ET

After more than two months of detention, the British-flagged oil tanker held by Iran has left the country's waters and is transmitting its location signal.

"We are preparing to leave," Erik Hanell, the president and CEO of the ship's Swedish owner, Stena Bulk, told NPR earlier Friday.

Stena Bulk later added in a statement that the ship is en route to Dubai, where the crew will disembark and receive medical checks.

Dr. Carrie Jurney is on the board of an online organization that works to prevent suicides. It's called Not One More Vet.

This isn't a mental health support group for veterans — it's for veterinarians.

Updated at 6:32 a.m. ET

A suicide bomber killed at least 63 people and wounded 182 in an explosion at a packed wedding hall Saturday night in Kabul, Afghanistan, according to the country's Interior Ministry.

An Afghan government spokesperson said the bomber detonated inside the hall, where more than 1,000 guests had gathered to celebrate a wedding.

"Everybody was running," a waiter at the hall, Sayed Agha Shah, told Reuters.
"Several of our waiters were killed and wounded."

D.A. Pennebaker, a pioneering filmmaker who chronicled key moments in music as well as politics, has died at age 94. Pennebaker helped create the cinéma vérité, or direct cinema style of documentary.

He died on Aug. 1 of natural causes at his home in Sag Harbor, New York. His son, Frazer Pennebaker, confirmed his death with NPR.

In 2012, Pennebaker received an honorary Oscar, for being a filmmaker "who redefined the language of film and taught a generation of filmmakers to look to reality for inspiration."

Police have identified 24-year-old white male Connor Betts from Bellbrook, Ohio, as the shooter who claimed nine lives and injured 27 others in Dayton, Ohio, early on Sunday morning.

Among the nine dead was the shooter's sister, Megan Betts, 22, said Lt. Col. Matt Carper at a news conference Sunday.

Updated at 8:21 a.m. ET

Multimillionaire financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein was arrested Saturday on at least one charge related to sex trafficking.

Epstein was taken into federal custody when his plane landed after an international flight Saturday, a law enforcement source tells NPR.

Updated at 10:22 a.m. ET

President Trump met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for the third time on Sunday, becoming the first sitting U.S. president to step foot in North Korea before announcing that the two countries would look to revive stalled nuclear talks.

The meeting, held behind closed doors at the Demilitarized Zone that separates the two Koreas, lasted longer than Trump's initial stated plan of simply shaking hands.

Updated at 6:32 a.m. ET Sunday

Officials raised the death toll Saturday to 11 in Friday's crash of a skydiving plane in Hawaii.

The twin engine King Air plane crashed shortly after takeoff Friday around 6:30 p.m. on Oahu's North Shore, killing everyone on board.

Hawaii's Department of Transportation initially said nine people died, but the agency revised that number Saturday and said federal authorities were investigating the cause of the crash.

Dr. Ayaz Virji was a Muslim living in small-town, white America.

He had left a good job in a leadership position at a successful hospital in Harrisburg, Penn., in order to practice medicine in a rural, underserved area.

Virji says he "had the BMWs, the nice house, but it wasn't enough for me, I wanted to do more." Rural America faces a shortage of doctors, with many residents forgoing care and saying locations are too far away. "So I felt like I should do something about that. And it was back to the idea: If not me, then who?" he says.

Nicole Rikard had recently married Sgt. John Rikard of the Asheville Police Department in North Carolina. He had an 8-year-old son, Tucker, from a previous marriage. From the time Nicole and John started dating, they had scarcely been apart.

Soon after they married, however, Nicole had to go to Florida for some work training — she was a crime scene investigator in the same police department. John worked an overnight shift and would call her when he woke up to check in.

Updated at 5:49 a.m. ET

Theresa May will step down as prime minister of the United Kingdom on June 7, she said Friday at No. 10 Downing St.

She came to the job in 2016 after U.K. voters backed plans to exit the European Union in a referendum. For the following three years, she attempted to navigate the difficult and complex process of making that happen.

"I feel as certain today as I did three years ago that in a democracy, if you give people a choice, you have a duty to implement what they decide," she said. "I have done my best to do that."

A construction crane fell from the roof of a Seattle building Saturday afternoon, killing four people and injuring four others.

The crane damaged six cars. Two of the people killed were ironworkers in the crane and two others were in separate vehicles, Seattle's Fire Department said. Three of those killed were men and one was a woman. Their names have not yet been released.

Updated at 5:20 p.m. ET

The FBI says an "armed and dangerous" 18-year-old white woman obsessed with Columbine is dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. Because of warnings about the Florida woman named Sol Pais, more than a dozen school districts in Colorado were closed Wednesday.

The 20th anniversary of the Columbine High School shootings is Saturday.

Updated at noon ET

A military council has taken control of Sudan and arrested its longtime president, Omar al-Bashir, the country's military said Thursday. The move comes after opposition protesters recently gained new momentum in demanding al-Bashir leave office.

Sudan's defense minister, Awad Mohamed Ahmed Ibn Auf, said the "regime" had been removed and its head arrested, as he announced the coup in a televised statement.

Updated at 9:57 p.m. ET

The Justice Department announced Thursday that it is charging Julian Assange, setting the stage for a historic legal showdown with the controversial founder of WikiLeaks.

The unsealing of an indictment dated more than a year ago followed a whirlwind reversal of fortune for Assange, who was ejected from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he confined himself for years, and then hauled into custody by officers of the Metropolitan Police.

Federal prosecutors on Tuesday said they dismantled one of the largest health care fraud schemes ever investigated by the FBI, charging 24 people in a $1.2 billion alleged scam involving telemedicine and durable medical equipment companies.

Muffet McGraw, the two-time championship-winning head coach of women's basketball at the University of Notre Dame, was dancing a jig and celebrating Friday night after leading her team to victory over the University of Connecticut.

The NCAA women's basketball championship game is now set for Sunday — setting up a possible third win for McGraw — with the reigning national champion Notre Dame's Fighting Irish taking on No. 1 seed the Lady Bears of Baylor University.

Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika resigned Tuesday after weeks of mass protests against his 20-year rule.

The move accelerated his promise earlier this week to resign before the end of his term on April 28. It followed a demand on Tuesday from the country's military chief, Lt. Gen. Ahmed Gaid Salah, that Bouteflika be declared unfit for office immediately.

The U.S. Air Force says it needs $4.9 billion in new funding over the next two and a half years to cover the costs of rebuilding two air bases hit by natural disasters.

About one-third of Offutt Air Force Base, in eastern Nebraska, was underwater earlier this month as flooding hit large swaths of the Midwest. And Tyndall Air Force Base in the Florida Panhandle was hit hard by Hurricane Michael in October.

Updated at 9:08 a.m. ET Sunday

The Pentagon on Saturday identified two soldiers who were killed in Afghanistan as 29-year-old Spc. Joseph P. Collette of Lancaster, Ohio and Sgt. 1st Class Will D. Lindsay, 33, of Cortez, Colo.

The two were killed Friday in Kunduz province, Afghanistan, as a result of wounds sustained in combat, the Defense Department said. They were both based out of Fort Carson, Colo.

Nicaragua's government says it will release hundreds of opposition protesters who have been detained in the months since anti-government protests began nearly a year ago.

Mediators made the announcement Wednesday in Managua.

The government of President Daniel Ortega made the promise in order to restart talks with the opposition that had been stalled since security forces made more detentions over the weekend.

San Francisco's Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to approve a $13.1 million settlement for a man framed by police for murder.

Jamal Trulove spent more than six years in prison for a 2007 murder before being acquitted in a 2015 retrial.

"And trust me I'm not done with them by a long shot!!" a profile appearing to be Trulove wrote on Twitter. "After what these cowards of the law did to me, I will lit my freedom ring through every platform I get to show what injustice really looks like. Me!"

Updated at 4:30 a.m. ET Monday

China is grounding all Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft in the country after Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed Sunday morning, killing everyone on board, including eight Chinese nationals, according to reports.

The plane, which crashed shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa, had 149 passengers and eight crew members on board, the airline said. There were no survivors.

Millions of Germans will for the first time join citizens of more than 20 countries in celebrating International Women's Day as a public holiday Friday.

March 8 is now a public holiday in the city-state of Berlin after its parliament approved the change in January. The date is already an official holiday in Russia and Cuba as well as parts of Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia and Africa.

Alex Trebek, who has hosted the Jeopardy! game show since 1984, announced Wednesday that he has been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

"Now normally, the prognosis for this is not very encouraging, but I'm going to fight this, and I'm going to keep working," Trebek said in a video announcing his illness. "And with the love and support of my family and friends, and with the help of your prayers also, I plan to beat the low survival rate statistics for this disease."

Updated at 6:19 a.m. ET Sunday

"We can confirm hard capture is complete."

Those words at 6:02 a.m. ET Sunday confirmed that SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule had successfully attached itself to the International Space Station, about 27 hours after lifting off from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Plans call for it to remain docked with the station for five days. On March 8, it will undock and re-enter the Earth's atmosphere, splashing down in the Atlantic Ocean around 8:45 a.m. ET.

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