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.

Internet freedom is on the decline for the seventh consecutive year as governments around the world take to distorting information on social media in order to influence elections, a new report says.

The nongovernmental organization Freedom House released its annual Freedom on the Net report this week, which found that online "manipulation and disinformation tactics played an important role" in elections in 18 countries, including the U.S.

A new study is bolstering the case for putting more autonomous vehicles on the road sooner rather than later — at the same time that self-driving cars are hitting a milestone in parts of the Phoenix metropolitan area.

Women around the country have been speaking out in what seems like a deluge of sexual harassment and sexual assault allegations against men in positions of power.

The floodgates opened with a New York Times story about sexual harassment accusations against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, who has since been accused of raping multiple women and is now being investigated by multiple police agencies.

The conservative news website The Washington Free Beacon says during the 2016 campaign it first hired the firm that later produced a dossier of unsubstantiated information about Donald Trump's Russia ties.

The political research firm, Fusion GPS, commissioned former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele, who went on to produce what's been called the "Steele dossier."

Researchers in Australia, New Zealand and the U.S. say they've potentially identified the "oldest known tsunami victim in the world."

It's not from a new discovery, but from researching the sediment in the area where an ancient skull was discovered in 1929.

Geologist Paul Hossfeld discovered the "Aitape Skull" in northern Papua New Guinea that year and believed it to be from a species called Homo erectus, an early relative of humans that lived more than 1 million years ago. But it was later "radiocarbon dated" to being only about 6,000 years old.

Former President George H.W. Bush has acknowledged touching multiple women inappropriately in what his spokesman called "patt[ing] women's rears in what he intended to be a good-natured manner."

Two women have reportedly accused the former president of groping them while posing for photographs with Bush in recent years.

Actress Heather Lind wrote a post on Instagram, which has since been deleted, about an incident from early 2014.

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 6 p.m. ET

Republican Rep. Tim Murphy of Pennsylvania will resign from Congress after a report said he asked a woman with whom he had an extramarital affair to get an abortion.

On Wednesday, Murphy had initially said he would simply not seek re-election in 2018. But the next day, House Speaker Paul Ryan announced that Murphy had sent his resignation letter, effective Oct. 21.

O.J. Simpson has been released from prison after serving nine years for armed robbery and other charges.

Simpson was released at 12:08 a.m. local time Sunday from the Lovelock Correctional Center in Nevada.

The overnight release was "in an effort to ensure public safety and reduce the potential for incident," the Nevada Department of Corrections said on its Facebook page.

A few dozen refugees held in offshore detention centers run by Australia have left to be resettled in the U.S.

They are the first of up to 1,250 asylum-seekers the Obama administration agreed to accept in a deal with the Australian government in exchange for Australia accepting refugees from Central America.

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill to move California's primary elections in 2020 to the beginning of March, three months ahead of when they were held in 2016.

It's a move designed to increase the influence of the country's most populous state in deciding presidential candidates. By the June California primary elections in 2016, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were already their parties' presumptive nominees.

China is imposing new limits on trade with North Korea after the isolated country's latest nuclear test.

China's Ministry of Commerce said Saturday it would limit refined petroleum exports starting Oct. 1 and ban the import of North Korean textiles immediately. It would ban exports of liquefied natural gas to the North immediately as well.

China accounts of about 90 percent North Korea's trade, according to The Associated Press. The BBC estimates the textile ban will cost the North more than $700 million per year.

Police in Oklahoma City on Tuesday night fatally shot a deaf man who they say was advancing toward them with a metal pipe as witnesses yelled that the man was deaf and could not hear them.

It's the fifth officer-involved shooting in the city this year, according to the Oklahoma City Police Department.

Officers were responding to a hit-and-run accident around 8:15 p.m., Capt. Bo Mathews, the police department's public information officer, told reporters Wednesday. A witness of the accident told police a vehicle involved went to a nearby address.

Updated at 4 a.m. ET Sunday

Police in the U.K. have now arrested two men in connection with the explosion on a train Friday that left dozens injured.

London's Metropolitan Police announced on Sunday morning that they arrested a 21-year-old man in the west London area of Hounslow late on Saturday night.

Earlier on Saturday police made what they said was a "significant arrest" of an 18-year-old man in relation to the investigation.

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."

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