James Doubek

Doubek started at NPR as a part-time production assistant in 2015 before joining full time as an associate producer in 2017. He previously was an intern at NPR's Washington Desk in the summer of 2015.

Updated at 4:07 a.m. ET Saturday

At least 384 people were killed and at least 540 injured Friday after powerful earthquakes struck along the western coast of the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, triggering a tsunami that caused "extensive" damage.

"When the [tsunami] threat arose yesterday, people were still doing their activities on the beach and did not immediately run and they became victims," Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman for BNPB, Indonesia's disaster response agency, told reporters in Jakarta, Reuters reported.

Updated at 8:36 a.m. ET

Former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan died Saturday, the foundation bearing his name confirmed. He was 80.

"Kofi Annan was a global statesman and a deeply committed internationalist who fought throughout his life for a fairer and more peaceful world. During his distinguished career and leadership of the United Nations, he was an ardent champion of peace, sustainable development, human rights and the rule of law," the Kofi Annan Foundation and Annan family said in a statement.

Updated at 10:04 a.m. ET

More than 300 news publications across the country are joining together to defend the role of a free press and denounce President Trump's ongoing attacks on the news media in coordinated editorials publishing Thursday, according to a tally by The Boston Globe.

First Boys Are Rescued From Cave In Thailand

Jul 8, 2018

Updated at 11:14 a.m. ET Sunday

Four members of the trapped soccer team have been rescued from the flooded cave in Thailand where they had been trapped for more than two weeks, according to Thai Navy SEALS.

It's part of an effort to evacuate the 12 boys from the team along with their coach, in a rescue that has captured the world's attention, with reporters flocking to the scene and foreign divers arriving to assist.

Activists in two separate protests against the Trump administration's immigration policies were arrested at the Statue of Liberty on Wednesday — one group unfurling a banner calling for the abolition of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, while in another act of defiance, a woman climbed the statue's base to protest immigrant family separations.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says it has acquired new space in federal prisons to house immigrant detainees — more than 1,600 beds.

Because of a "current surge in illegal border crossings" and the Trump administration's "zero-tolerance policy," ICE entered into agreements with the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), the agency said Thursday.

Updated at 2:27 p.m. ET Sunday

North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un said the country will close down its main nuclear testing site sometime in May, South Korea says.

South Korean presidential press secretary Yoon Young-chan said Sunday that Kim agreed to the plan during a meeting between the leader and South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Friday.

Editor's note: Following sharp criticism of how this MIT study was conducted, its authors say they will redo their analysis. Uber chief economist Jonathan Hall gives his assessment of the "inconsistent logic" leading to an undercount of hourly earnings and "a major error" in the conclusions in this post.

Updated at 1:45 p.m. ET

At least two people were killed and at least 100 people were injured early Sunday morning when an Amtrak train derailed after colliding with a freight train in South Carolina.

The derailment happened in Cayce, outside of South Carolina's capital of Columbia.

Amtrak said a train going between New York and Miami "came in contact" with a CSX freight train at about 2:35 Sunday morning.

Updated at 5:30 a.m ET Sunday

Editor's note: This post contains graphic descriptions that some may find disturbing.

A suicide car bombing in Afghanistan on Saturday has now killed at least 103 and wounded at least another 235 people near a police checkpoint in the country's capital of Kabul, Afghanistan's Interior Ministry said Sunday.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which comes one week after another Taliban-claimed attack on a luxury hotel in Kabul left at least 22 people dead.

The Department of Homeland Security says it will once again accept renewal requests from recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in response to a court order.

"Until further notice, and unless otherwise provided in this guidance, the DACA policy will be operated on the terms in place before it was rescinded on Sept. 5, 2017," U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, a part of DHS, wrote on its website Saturday.

Federal immigration enforcement agents raided 7-Eleven stores across the country early Wednesday, in search of employees who are in the U.S. illegally and managers who knowingly employ them.

Agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement conducted sweeps of 98 stores in 17 states and Washington, D.C., arresting 21 people on suspicion of being in the country illegally.

Updated at 7:51 a.m. ET Monday

Thousands of Iranians have taken to the streets in recent days, with many protesters calling for the removal of Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

The government warned on Sunday that protesters would suffer severe consequences if demonstrations continued and 10 protesters were reported killed, according to the Associated Press and Reuters.

A secret Pentagon program existed for at least three years and spent more than $20 million in research on UFOs, according to multiple media reports published Saturday.

The program reportedly examined cases including incidents of military pilots claiming to have seen flying objects that appeared to "defy the laws of physics."

Updated at 8:10 p.m. ET

NBC News says it has fired longtime Today host Matt Lauer following a complaint about "inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace."

Today co-host Savannah Guthrie read a statement on-air from NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack on Wednesday morning:

Every time there is a mass shooting in the United States, there is a flurry of concentration on those who died, the alleged or confessed perpetrator, and the sobered, devastated town that will be forever changed.

Then at some point, the press caravan moves on — from Sutherland Springs, from Orlando, from Las Vegas. And within weeks, or sometimes just days, another mass shooting is being reported.

The public attention moves on, but those affected families don't.

Updated at 12:26 p.m. ET

Hurricane Nate is a hurricane no more.

It is now a tropical depression, dousing the Deep South, Tennessee Valley and central Appalachian Mountains with heavy rains, expected to continue through Monday.

Nate first struck near the mouth of the Mississippi River on the southeastern Louisiana coast as a Category 1 storm Saturday night and again near Biloxi, Miss., early Sunday morning.

Updated at 12:45 p.m. ET

President Trump affirmed Thursday morning that a deal was in the works with Democrats that would protect some 800,000 DREAMers who could face deportation when DACA expires next year in exchange for "massive border controls."

It wasn't clear, however, whether a border wall would be part of an emerging pact, as Trump had seemed to suggest at one point.

Early Thursday, he told reporters: "The wall will come later, we're right now renovating large sections of wall, massive sections, making it brand new."

Updated at 5 a.m. ET Monday

Irma has weakened since beginning its push up central Florida, but is still a Category 1 hurricane with winds near 75 mph and higher gusts, according to the National Hurricane Center. Its center is about 60 miles north of Tampa and continues to move along the northwest coast of the Florida peninsula. The NHC says Irma is expected to weaken to a tropical storm this morning and tropical depression by Tuesday afternoon.

Dick Gregory, the comedian and civil rights crusader, died Saturday. He was 84.

His family announced the news on his public Facebook page.

The United Nations Security Council voted unanimously Saturday to impose new sanctions on North Korea over the country's long-range missile tests last month.

The measure cuts about $1 billion worth of North Korean exports, or about a third of the country's export revenue each year.

"This resolution is the single largest economic sanctions package ever leveled against the North Korean regime," said Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. "This is the most stringent set of sanctions on any country in a generation.

Updated at 1:00 p.m. ET Monday

At least 10 people have died after being crammed into the back of a tractor-trailer and traveling under scorching conditions, officials say, in an update on a case of apparent human smuggling.

Updated 2 p.m.

A day late, the Justice Department complied this morning with a federal court order and released part of a security clearance form dealing with Attorney General Jeff Sessions' contacts with foreign governments.

On June 12, a judge had ordered the agency to provide the information within 30 days, a deadline that passed on Wednesday.

In a filing Thursday morning with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the Justice Department released that part of Sessions' form which poses the question:

Protesters who gathered on Saturday to denounce Islamic law were met across the country with equally sized or larger counter-protests.

Organizers called the "March Against Sharia" rallies to protest what they say is the threat to U.S. society posed by the set of traditional Muslim practices, which they say includes oppression of women, honor killings, homophobic violence, female genital mutilation and other abuses.

But reports and pictures show large counter-protests around the country, with activists accusing the "anti-sharia" marchers of racism and Islamophobia.

The ransomware attack unleashed on Friday has affected more than 100,000 organizations in 150 countries, according to Europe's law enforcement agency Europol on Sunday.

The malware, which locks files and asks for payment to unlock them, hit businesses and institutions across the world, including shipper FedEx, train systems in Germany, a Spanish telecommunications company, universities in Asia, Russia's interior ministry and forced hospitals in Britain to turn away patients.

Updated at 4:50 p.m. ET

North Carolina has repealed portions of the state's controversial "bathroom bill," including the requirement that trans people use the bathroom that matches their birth certificate, member station WUNC reports.

Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper said he has signed the repeal measure, which he said is "not perfect" but is "an important step forward."

Longtime conspiracy theorist and propagator Alex Jones has apologized to the Washington, D.C. pizzeria Comet Ping Pong and its owner James Alefantis for his show's role in promoting the false "pizzagate" conspiracy theory involving a child sex-abuse ring.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is asking for design proposals and prototypes of President Trump's proposed wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Vice President Pence used a private AOL account to conduct official business in his former position as the governor of Indiana, according to public records. And at one point, the account was hacked and used to send fraudulent emails seeking money from his contacts.