James Doubek | WYPR

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.

For most public officials, battling the coronavirus and keeping their constituents safe is an incredible professional challenge.

For Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, it's also personal: His mother died of COVID-19 complications last month at age 61.

His mother, Gaby O'Donnell, was a medical assistant for more than 25 years in Southern California. She immigrated from her native Peru with 5-year-old Garcia and other family members in 1982.

Democratic Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp are facing off in a legal battle over mask mandates.

Federal agents from the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Marshals Service and elsewhere have been in the streets of Portland, Ore., for at least a few weeks, where they've been clashing with protesters demonstrating over racial injustice and police brutality.

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and local officials have downplayed any coordination between those federal forces and the Portland Police Bureau.

The Toronto Blue Jays baseball team won't be playing in Toronto this regular season after the Canadian government rejected a plan for the team to host home games there.

Due to the risk of spreading the coronavirus, the government said, it would not be safe for the team and opposing Major League Baseball teams to travel back and forth between the U.S. and Canada.

Updated at 2:09 p.m. ET

All three white men charged in the death of Black jogger Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia pleaded not guilty on Friday.

Gregory McMichael, 64, his son Travis McMichael, 34, and William "Roddie" Bryan Jr., 50, pleaded not guilty to the counts against them, which include felony murder.

Chatham County Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley denied bond for Bryan, saying he was concerned about Bryan being a potential flight risk.

As school districts consider how to approach learning this fall with no sign of the coronavirus slowing, the virus has already had devastating consequences in one rural Arizona school district.

Jena Martinez-Inzunza was one of three elementary school teachers at the Hayden Winkelman Unified School District who all tested positive for COVID-19 after teaching virtual summer school lessons together from the same classroom.

Martinez's colleague and friend, Kimberley Chavez Lopez Byrd, who taught in the district for nearly four decades, died.

Florida is breaking records in its explosion of coronavirus cases. On Sunday, the state reported 15,299 new resident cases from the day before, a jump larger than any seen before in a single U.S. state.

Merriam-Webster raised the hackles of stodgy grammarians last week when it affirmed the lexical veracity of "irregardless."

The word's definition, when reading it, would seem to be: without without regard.

"Irregardless is included in our dictionary because it has been in widespread and near-constant use since 1795," the dictionary's staff wrote in a "Words of the Week" roundup on Friday. "We do not make the English language, we merely record it."

Mississippi is seeing a sharp uptick in new coronavirus cases. The state is reporting double the number of new cases that it was seeing just two weeks ago. The average number of new cases each day this week is just over 600. And on June 25, the state reported more than 1,000 cases in a single day for the first time.

A challenge has been growing more popular in the past few months for the truly masochistic bicyclists out there: Everesting.

It's riding an elevation of the height of Mount Everest on a bicycle. Pick one hill, and go up and down, over and over again, until you've climbed 29,029 vertical feet.

"It's pretty brutal," says pro cyclist Lachlan Morton.

Morton just broke the record for the amount of time it takes to complete the feat — he finished in seven hours, 29 minutes and 57 seconds. He did it on Saturday on a hill in Rist Canyon, near Fort Collins, Colo.

One common recommendation for reducing police brutality against people of color is to have police departments mirror a given area's racial makeup.

President Obama's Task Force on 21st Century Policing recommended that law enforcement "reflect the demographics of the community"; the Justice Department and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said diversity on police forces can help build trust with communities.

Bubba Wallace has yet to win a race in NASCAR's premier Cup series, but he's been thrust into the spotlight as the lone African American driver in a sport steeped in white Southern heritage.

Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser gained attention last week after she had a section of 16th Street near the White House painted with the words "Black Lives Matter" in bright yellow and renamed a section of the street Black Lives Matter Plaza on Friday.

The best thing about being 17, according to Shawn Richardson, is freedom.

"I'm able to go out more with my friends," he says. "I can do things solo."

Shawn is a rising high school senior in Minneapolis. School is fine, but what he really loves is track. His friend timed him running the 100-meter dash in 10.71 seconds.

The track season was canceled because of COVID-19. But if he can run that time officially, he will have the school record. Distance running isn't his thing. Shawn is a sprinter.

"It's like gathering energy and then just letting it go," he says.

Looting, fires, vandalism and the National Guard on the streets — for many, the unrest of 2020 evokes memories of the destructive riots of 1992 in Los Angeles.

Both times the protests began in anger over police violence against black men — in 1992, when four police officers were acquitted of the brutal beating of Rodney King; now, when George Floyd died in Minnesota after a policeman knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

The number of new coronavirus cases has been going up in Alabama even as the state's governor relaxes restrictions.

Last week's number of new cases was up from the week before. Of the more than 15,000 confirmed cases across the state, about one-third have been confirmed within the last 14 days.

"I wasn't afraid of fighting," Ilhan Omar writes about her childhood in Somalia in her new memoir. "I felt like I was bigger and stronger than everyone else — even if I knew that wasn't really the case."

In This Is What America Looks Like: My Journey from Refugee to Congresswoman, Omar chronicles her childhood in a middle-class family compound in Mogadishu, followed by civil war, four years in a refugee camp, a journey to the United States and ultimately her election to Congress as a Democrat representing Minnesota's 5th district.

Much is still unknown about the coronavirus, including a full picture of perhaps its most important impact: who it has killed.

Of the 4,624 people who have already died of the coronavirus in Pennsylvania, at least two-thirds of them were associated with nursing homes or other long-term care facilities.

Last week Pennsylvania's health department said it's "executing a robust universal testing strategy" for the more than 80,000 residents and 10,000 staffers at 1,900-plus facilities.

Ford is getting back to work. On Monday, the company brought 71,000 workers back at its North American operations: roughly 59,300 in the U.S., 5,300 in Canada and 6,775 in Mexico.

In the U.S., Ford plants are reopening in several states, but the biggest reopening is in four regions: southeast Michigan, the Louisville, Ky., area, the Kansas City, Mo., area and the Chicago area.

Kevin Harvick took his second career win at Darlington Raceway on Sunday, in the first NASCAR race to take place since early March — and now, without fans.

After pulling himself out of the car, Harvick admitted to thinking racing wouldn't be too different without cheering crowds in the stands.

But "it's dead silent out here," he said. "We miss the fans."

Sales are booming at many bike shops around the country, as people stuck at home try something new for exercise and essential workers adapt to scaled-down public transit.

It's an especially opportune time for those who might otherwise be nervous about sharing the streets with cars — mayors across the country have closed streets to encourage cyclists and joggers to exercise.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Saturday that horse racing at tracks across the state and auto racing at Watkins Glen International will be allowed to resume June 1, but without spectators.

The governor said his office was "looking for economic activities that you can start without crowds and without gatherings."

"We can do that in this state with horse racing tracks," Cuomo said. "That is also true with Watkins Glen. That can operate. And there's a big viewership for Watkins Glen."

Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp's reopening of many businesses on April 24 came earlier than many public health experts had recommended and were against White House guidelines.

States around the country are gradually reopening their economies, even as most of them fail to meet voluntary guidelines set by the White House for doing it safely.

At least 31 states are partially reopening as of Monday.

Sen. Bill Cassidy, a Republican of Louisiana and also a medical doctor, is thinking a lot about what it will take for schools to reopen.

Cassidy sits on the Senate's Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, which will hear from public health officials this week about how to safely reopen U.S. businesses and schools.

Primary schools in France are reopening next week.

There will, of course, be social distancing measures in place. Class sizes will be limited to 15 and no games at recess. It's a gradual three-week process beginning with preschoolers.

The government says the reopening is voluntary and students won't be forced to return.

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night — nor coronavirus — stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.

The mail is still coming. And one 11-year-old girl in Sioux Falls, S.D., wanted to show her appreciation.

How else, but by writing a letter.

Several states and local governments are allowing businesses to reopen with certain restrictions and conditions regarding social distancing and cleaning measures.

But what happens when an employee gets COVID-19 on the job and says the employer should have done more to stop it?

Alabamians are now being encouraged — but no longer ordered — to stay at home, according to new guidelines Gov. Kay Ivey issued last week.

Ivey's new "safer at home" order opens retail stores to 50% occupancy and beaches to groups under 10 people with social distancing. Elective surgeries and dental procedures are allowed under certain conditions. But restaurants are still limited to take-out and movie theaters are still closed.

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