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.

Slovenian powerhouse Tadej Pogačar officially claimed his second Tour de France victory on Sunday after dominating the field for most of the race's three weeks.

Pogačar, 22, pulled ahead in the general classification standings on a rainy stage eight and never gave up the leading rider's yellow jersey, winning three of the race's 21 stages.

Last year, Pogačar came to an unexpected victory after his rival Primož Roglič faltered in the penultimate stage time trial. At the time he was the youngest winner of the Tour in 116 years.

Pro cyclist Lachlan Morton wasn't officially in this year's Tour de France, but he rode the route anyway, by himself — and beat everyone to the finish in Paris by five days.

After starting shortly behind the official group on June 26, he crossed the unofficial finish line at 5:30 a.m. Tuesday: 3,424 miles in 18 days, including ascents up some of France's famously brutal mountains.

Morton rode around 200 miles each day, usually spending about 12 hours in the saddle before finding a place to camp for the night (or simply riding through the night).

The largest organization of insect experts in the world is dropping its common names for two insects — the gypsy moth and gypsy ant — because it says the names are inappropriate and offensive.

The Entomological Society of America said it would take input on new names for the moth Lymantria dispar and the ant Aphaenogaster araneoides.

Many scientific groups follow its lead in referring to insect species.

Johnson County, Iowa, has a new name.

It will still be Johnson County. But henceforth, the county is taking its name from a different Johnson: Lulu Merle Johnson, a professor and historian who was the first Black woman to earn a Ph.D. in Iowa.

It was originally named for Richard Mentor Johnson, who served as vice president under President Martin Van Buren.

Two brothers living in San Francisco led a group that set a record this month for the longest highline walked in California.

The nylon line — about an inch or 2 wide and a few millimeters thick stretched across 2,800 feet in Yosemite National Park, from Taft Point across gullies to an old tree on another outcropping nicknamed "Your Mom."

Stepping out onto the line presented stunning views — and a drop of some 1,600 feet.

Researchers in Australia have confirmed the discovery of Australia's largest dinosaur species ever found.

Australotitan cooperensis was about 80 to 100 feet long and 16 to 21 feet tall at its hip. It weighed somewhere between 25 and 81 tons. For comparison, the Tyrannosaurus rex was about 40 feet long and 12 feet tall.

A horse named Essential Quality won the Belmont Stakes on Saturday, a first Triple Crown win for trainer Brad Cox.

The gray colt was a favorite to win among gamblers ahead of the race.

Essential Quality passed early leader Hot Rod Charlie around the final turn to win by 1 1/4 lengths, according to The Associated Press, picking up winnings of $1 million.

A sinking cargo ship off the coast of Sri Lanka is causing an environmental disaster for the country that looks set to have long-term effects.

The X-Press Pearl caught fire on May 20 and burned for two weeks, but the fire appears to have mostly burned out. The crew was evacuated. The ship is now partially sitting on the seabed with its front settling down slowly.

A man has been arrested after an unprovoked attack on a woman of Asian descent on Monday in New York City's Chinatown.

The incident was highlighted on Twitter by New York State Assembly Member Yuh-Line Niou, who represents some Lower Manhattan neighborhoods, including Chinatown. The disturbing footage is included in the tweet.

The coronavirus pandemic has been especially tough on women, who are still bearing the brunt of the demands of child care and housework.

About 400,000 more women than men have left the workforce since the start of the pandemic. The percentage of women in the paid labor force has not recovered from the steep drop in the spring of 2020.

The Army is now allowing female soldiers to wear their hair in ponytails in all uniforms, in a change announced earlier this month.

It expands on hair guidelines announced in January. For years, many women in the Army were required to keep their hair in a tight bun.

The newest changes mean women can keep their hair either a bun, single ponytail, two braids or a single braid; locks, braids, twists or cornrows can come together in one or two braids or a ponytail; and braids or a ponytail can go as far down as the bottom of the shoulder blades.

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.

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.

New research on ants has shown a first in insects: the ability to shrink and then regrow their brains in a big way.

It relates to how these particular ants, called Harpegnathos saltator, or the Indian jumping ant, reproduce.

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