James Doubek | New Hampshire Public Radio

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.

In France, beekeepers are waking up to find their hives stolen. There's been an increase in thefts across the country, with beekeepers blaming a possible international network of beekeeper thieves.

Last year, 400 hives were stolen. But already in 2021, that number is more than 600, says Frank Alétru, president of the French national beekeeping union.

"It's a very big problem for us in France," Alétru tells Scott Simon on Weekend Edition. He says the thefts are happening in several countries in Western Europe.

The opioid crisis in the U.S. has never gone away.

Almost every year, more people die of opioid overdoses than in the year before. More than a half-million people have died from prescription painkillers, heroin and illicit fentanyl since 1999. Provisional data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 66,000 people died of an opioid overdose in the U.S. in the 12 months to September 2020, a huge jump from the previous 12 months.

Results from local and regional elections in the U.K. gave Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservative Party a boost Saturday, while pro-independence parties won a majority in Scotland's parliament.

Voters went to the polls on Thursday to decide the makeup of the Scottish and Welsh parliaments, as well as the mayors of England's largest cities, including London and Manchester. Voters also chose local councils, police commissioners and other local authorities, prompting some in England to dub it "Super Thursday."

Scientists and public health experts agree that masks are effective at lowering the spread of the coronavirus indoors, where the vast majority of transmission is likely to occur.

But what about outside?

About two dozen states have statewide mask mandates that generally require people to wear masks outside when they're not able to stay at least 6 feet apart. Many cities have their own rules.

It's a rare feat in baseball or softball to pitch a "perfect game." That happens when no opponent reaches base — not by a hit, or a fielding error, or a walk.

But pitcher Hope Trautwein of the University of North Texas made history on Sunday by pitching a game more than perfect. Through all seven innings, she struck out every single one of the 21 batters she faced from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

"I guess it's never been done before so it doesn't have a name," she told NPR's Morning Edition.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The new intern for Utah Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson has a lot on her plate.

She's been working on solving problems related to COVID-19 vaccine distribution. And "that'll probably be what I write my internship report about," she tells All Things Considered.

If that sounds like a high stakes job for an intern, it is.

But the intern is no ordinary student: Her name is Deidre Henderson.

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.

Christopher Krebs, the former top cybersecurity official in the U.S., says Russia is to blame for a massive breach that's affected the State Department, the Pentagon, the Treasury Department, the Department of Homeland Security and other departments and agencies.

"I understand it is, in fact, the Russians," Krebs told Steve Inskeep on Morning Edition.

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.

Emergency room physician Cleavon Gilman compares working in a hospital amid the pandemic to war.

"You can actually die at your job now, and that's never really been an issue before," he says.

He has the experience to make the comparison: Gilman served as a combat medic in the Iraq War.

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.

Black people are disproportionately getting sick and dying of the coronavirus, but surveys suggest they're more hesitant to get a vaccine than other racial and ethnic groups in the U.S.

As coronavirus cases increase across the U.S., children have been increasingly testing positive as well.

Elizabeth Hawse, a pediatrician in Lexington, Ky., says she has seen a jump from earlier this year, when she was getting "sporadic calls."

"But over the past few weeks, we are seeing more and more kids calling the office that they've been exposed or family members exposed and more and more positive cases," Hawse tells Steve Inskeep on Morning Edition.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country's foremost infectious disease expert, tells NPR that it's "OK to celebrate" the good news about Moderna's coronavirus vaccine, but warned it's not the time to back off on basic health measures.

The biotechnology Moderna Inc. said Monday that its experimental vaccine was 94.5% effective in preventing the disease, according to data from its clinical trial.

Iowa is one of several states, mostly in the Midwest, where coronavirus cases in nursing homes are rising faster than in nursing homes nationally.

While national cases in nursing home residents and staff rose by 8% between September and October, the numbers in Iowa more than doubled in that time, according to the AARP.

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.

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