Doualy Xaykaothao

Doualy Xaykaothao covers breaking news from Asia for NPR News. She's based in Bangkok, Thailand, and her reports can be heard across all NPR News programs.

Xaykaothao joined NPR in 1999 as a production assistant for Morning Edition and has since worked as an NPR producer, editor, director and reporter for NPR's award-winning programs. As a producer for NPR's Newscast Unit, she was a member of the team receiving the 2001 Peabody Award for its coverage of the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, Xaykaothao began reporting about anti-war protests from Seoul, South Korea. A year later, Xaykaothao was in the Phang Nga region of Thailand reporting on the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami. In 2006, Xaykaothao served as a fellow for the International Reporting Project at Johns Hopkins University-SAIS with a focus on women inside Nepal's 10 year civil war. Xaykaothao was also an Annenberg Fellow for NPR member station KPCC in Los Angeles in 2007, and was part of the reporting team to receive a LA Press Club Award for breaking coverage of the California wildfires. By 2009, Xaykaothao was in Indonesia reporting on the earthquake that devastated Padang. In 2010, she reported about North Korea's deadly attack on a South Korean warship. When Japan was struck by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake, Xaykaothao was the first NPR reporter to reach Fukushima to report on the triple disasters in 2011.

Xaykaothao is Lao-Hmong American. She was born in Vientiane, Laos, but raised in France and the United States. She attended college in upstate New York, where she specialized in television, radio, political science, and ethnic studies. Her radio career began at Harlem community radio station WHCR 90.3 FM, where she volunteered as news-reader. Later, at Pacifica Radio's WBAI 99.5 FM, she worked for the station's resident film critic, the late Paul Wunder. At Pacifica, she also coordinated and produced Asia Pacific Forum, a program on politics, culture and arts inside Asian American communities, as well as missed stories from Asia.

For those who are curious, Doualy Xaykaothao is pronounced "dwah-hlee sigh-kow-tao."

Doualy Xaykaothao / KERA News

The deadline to get insured this year under the Affordable Care Act is the last day of March. The main challenge for advocates is getting young people and minorities to buy in. But an effort is underway to encourage them. 

Alexander Demyanenko / Shutterstock

A federal judge ruled Wednesday that Texas’ gay marriage ban is unconstitutional, but he's leaving the ban in place for now.

U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia in San Antonio issued a preliminary injunction on the ban after two gay couples challenged a state constitutional amendment and a decade-old law.

He said the couples, one of which is from North Texas, will likely win their case and the ban should be lifted. But he said he would give the state time to appeal to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. The state will appeal the ruling, said Greg Abbott, the Texas attorney general.

Doualy Xaykaothao / KERA News

For the first time in more than 40 years, an incumbent isn't running for district attorney in Tarrant County. Joe Shannon Jr., the 13th criminal district attorney, announced his retirement not long after a sexual harassment case against him was settled, ultimately costing taxpayers about $500,000.

Three Republican candidates are vying to replace Shannon.

Before we talk names, and qualifications, consider these numbers: The job pays about $200,000. The elected official will manage a budget of more than $35 million. And the office handles roughly 45,000 criminal cases a year.

Doualy Xaykaothao / KERA News

A veteran Dallas firefighter who was killed on an icy highway overpass last week was buried on Monday. The funeral for William Scott Tanksley attracted hundreds of people from Terrell to Dallas. 

Moms like Reagan Melton brought their children out to salute the men and women riding on motorcycles and firetrucks, escorting the body of the father of three to his final resting place.

Ellen Appel / Fort Worth Opera

The Fort Worth Opera has pulled the plug on the sci-fi opera A Wrinkle in Time, the $1.2 million world premiere by American composer Libby Larsen that was to have anchored the company's 2015 festival.

General director Darren K. Woods says the festival will shrink from four productions to three next year because the company's fundraising has not kept up with rising costs.

Doualy Xaykaothao / KERA

Fort Worth wants to reduce medical bills and invest in healthier living, so the city is going blue in a five-year project, called the Blue Zones Project. But it doesn’t have anything to do with water or the ocean. 

Doualy Xaykaothao / KERA News

Researchers from Southern Methodist University say folks shouldn't rush to conclusions about what's been causing the swarm of more than 30 earthquakes northwest of Fort Worth since November.

Scientists have installed a temporary seismic network in and around the earthquake swarm to help gain a better understanding of the quakes.

Doualy Xaykaothao / KERA News

The Texas Rangers’ Ballpark has a new name: Globe Life Park in Arlington.

Globe Life is an insurance company with North Texas ties. It's a 10-year deal, but financial terms haven't been announced.

The Rangers sold the naming rights to the ballpark once before to Ameriquest Mortgage Co. and renamed what was then The Ballpark in Arlington to Ameriquest Field in 2004. Ameriquest relinquished those rights when it closed. In 2007, the park was renamed Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

Doualy Xaykaothao / KERA News

Greg Abbott, the Republican attorney general and candidate for governor, stopped in Dallas Tuesday to unveil a $300 million border security plan that would also target domestic violence and sex crimes.

Speaking to a Dallas nonprofit that helps victims of child sex trafficking, Abbott argued that the federal government has failed to secure the Texas border.

“Powerful and ruthless international cartels and violent transnational gangs are operating within our state,” Abbott said. “Even within our prison system. And narco-related cross-border crime is on the rise.” 

Doualy Xaykaothao / KERA

To mark Black History month, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center has opened a new museum inside its main building in southern Dallas.

Children in the community center’s Head Start program kicked off the event with a song from the civil rights movement:

“Come on over to the front of the bus ... I’ll be riding up there!”

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