Doualy Xaykaothao | KERA News

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

Cindy Sweet Moskowitz, board chair of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas. visited Israel earlier this month, and left just a few hours before Israeli troops moved into Gaza. Today, she sat down with KERA to talk about what she saw.

Courtesy of Marian Muhanna

Richardson native Mariam Muhanna fell in love with a man from Gaza City. Last month, she traveled there to marry him. A week after their wedding, bombs destroyed parts of the city, killing four of her relatives. 

Doualy Xaykaothao / KERA News

At Lake Cliff Park in southwest Dallas, across from the home of John Wiley Price, a man pulled up in his white SUV, got out of his vehicle, and raised his fists in the air, yelling “victory.”  

Doualy Xaykaothao / KERA News

In Austin, Governor Rick Perry announced his plan to send a thousand members of the Texas National Guard to the border.   

“I will not stand idly by while our citizens are under assault, and little children from Central America are detained in squalor.”

Perry said the troops would help take the pressure off the Border Patrol.

“These additional resources will help combat the brutal Mexican drug cartels that are preying upon our communities and also will help to tear others, before they have a chance to harm our citizens and become criminal aliens within our borders.”

Joyce Marshall / Fort Worth Star-Telegram

A citizen-led petition to ban fracking inside Denton city limits heads to voters in November after city leaders voted down the anti-fracking ban early this morning.

Doualy Xaykaothao / KERA News

A congressional hearing on the rising numbers of unaccompanied children crossing into the U.S. from Central America was held in the border town of McAllen Thursday -- and it featured Gov. Rick Perry. 

Doualy Xaykaothao / KERA News

Dallas County plans to soon welcome 2,000 of the 52,000 children who’ve entered the country illegally in recent months. They’re coming from Central America and crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. Many are trying to escape violence and drug cartels.


Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins is headed to the Rio Grande Valley Wednesday to visit a detention center where hundreds of children from Central America have been living. On Tuesday, Jenkins met with charity groups and emergency managers to talk about how to bring 2,000 or more of the immigrant kids to North Texas later this month. KERA's Doualy Xaykaothao is in McAllen, and she found out how residents see the situation. 

Doualy Xaykaothao / KERA News

Vandals spray-painted the numerals 666 in red, in at least six locations in Dallas, including two gathering places for gay and lesbians. The graffiti is now being investigated as hate crimes. 

Doualy Xaykaothao / KERA News

Summer has just started, but some kids are already thinking about the first day of school this fall. 

At a shopping mall south of Fort Worth, Tarrant County leaders helped to kick-off a registration drive to get poor families from 20 school districts free backpacks loaded with school supplies.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

And then there were two.

Dallas and Cleveland have been named the two remaining finalists to host the 2016 Republican National Convention.

Courtesy of Ann Zadeh

For nearly 25 years, Ann Zadeh watched new developments in Fort Worth. As a former city planner, she even watched City Council meetings for fun. But after this past weekend’s run-off election in the District 9 race, she’ll represent the area as the newest City Council member.

Doualy Xaykaothao / KERA News

When a series of earthquakes started last fall, the mayor of Azle, a small town west of Fort Worth, thought it was a novelty. But Alan Brundrett felt more earthquakes, stronger ones -- dozens of them within a few months. He believes injection wells operated nearby by oil and gas companies have something to do with the quakes.

Doualy Xaykaothao / KERA News

Bonita and Patrick Jones found their dream retirement home in Azle. It’s not far from where dozens of minor earthquakes started shaking the ground six months ago. Now the Joneses are worried about the value of their property and the environment. 

Texas Alliance of Energy Producers

Alex Mills is a company man. He heads the largest state oil and gas association in the United States. He’s based in Wichita Falls, 90 minutes northwest of the Azle-Reno area, where a series of earthquakes hit six months ago. This story is part of our series on “What’s Behind the North Texas Quakes?”

Doualy Xaykaothao / KERA News

Heather DeShon is a geophysicist at SMU. She’s studied earthquake sequences in Indonesia, Nicaragua, but also in North Texas -- in Cleburne. Now she leads a team collecting data in towns northwest of Fort Worth. 

Doualy Xaykaothao / KERA News

Barbara Brown is known to some of her neighbors as “The Digger.” She earned that nickname after collecting thousands of documents about oil and gas drilling, shortly after she says a swarm of minor earthquakes damaged her dream home, and those of her neighbors in Reno and Azle. 

Doualy Xaykaothao / KERA News

Fort Worth on Friday dedicated a new 22-foot-tall monument at the banks of the Trinity River. It’s a bronze statue of U.S. Army Brevet Major Ripley Allen Arnold, the man who founded the city 165 years ago.

Doualy Xaykaothao / KERA News

Tea Party organizer Konni Burton of Colleyville didn't wait for her opponent Mark Shelton to concede Tuesday’s Senate District 10 runoff race. Hours before the election was called for Burton, she gave her victory speech to some 150 supporters at the Fort Worth Stockyards. 

Doualy Xaykaothao / KERA News

World War II veterans from around the country gathered in Gainesville for a Memorial Day ceremony. Some of the aging soldiers trained at Camp Howze there seven decades ago. The men from the 103rd Infantry Division helped to liberate the Dachau Concentration Camp. 

When Kansas native Torrence Riggs was only 24, his Army division, the 103rd infantry, entered southwest Germany.

"I seen a lot of soldier boys with grim faces, I'll tell you that," he says. "I had one, too."

It was 1945, and the people in Germany's Dachau concentration camp had either been worked or starved to death.

Leena Robinson /

Fort Worth has hired David Cooke, a former county manager in North Carolina, as its new city manager. Cooke, who was a finalist for the Dallas city manager job earlier this year, will start June 30. Cooke, 54, will earn $315,000 annually.

Caydee Daniel / KERA News

The general election is still six months away, but the candidates for Texas governor are already tussling about debates. Republican Greg Abbott got it started Monday by saying he would accept two debates – one in McAllen and one in Dallas. On Tuesday, Democrat Wendy Davis, speaking in North Texas, said she wants six debates, including one in the Rio Grande Valley.

Matt Cobb

Supporters of Fort Worth veterinarian Lou Tierce have launched a social media campaign to defend him. His Camp Bowie Animal Clinic has been shut down and his license suspended while the state investigates allegations of animal abuse. 

Doualy Xaykaothao / KERA NEWS

The death toll in Turkey’s deadliest coal mine accident is nearing 300 people. A North Texan who's a native of Manisa, south of the Turkish mine, talked to KERA about the accident and efforts in Dallas-Fort Worth to raise money for victims' families this weekend.

Doualy Xaykaothao / KERA News

At college campuses across the country, it’s film festival season. But not every program features grandmothers, meth addicts and multiple wives. That’s what makes The University of Texas Arlington’s film festival stand out.

The last screenings are tonight at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth from 7pm to 10pm.

Senior Fatima Jawad grew up with a friend whose father believed in polygamy. This friend’s mom did not, so Jawad made a short film about it, titled “Inside Polygamy.”

“In Islam, if you marry more than one wife, you have to treat them equally,” Jawad said. “If you buy one wife a house, you have to buy another wife a house…she wasn’t treated equally, or justly. She was dependent on him. That is not how polygamy should work.”

Doualy Xaykaothao / KERA News

Texas plans to execute its next death row inmate on May 13 despite a controversial botched execution in Oklahoma using a three-drug cocktail. SMU criminal law professor Meghan Ryan sat down with KERA to discuss why Texas uses a single lethal dose of pentobarbital, but reportedly stocks midazolam, one of the drugs used in Oklahoma. 

Doualy Xaykaothao / KERA News

A customer is accusing a popular Fort Worth veterinarian of stealing animals and conducting blood transfusions on her dog, which was supposed to have been euthanized.

On Tuesday, officers stood guard outside the Camp Bowie Animal Clinic as investigators seized two dogs. 

“It’s part of the investigation,” said Sgt. Raymond Bush, a Fort Worth Police spokesman. “So, at this point, these animals are evidence.”

Doualy Xaykaothao / KERA News

Iraq is holding its first presidential election since U.S. troops pulled out in 2011. And one of the polling places is a Dallas hotel.

North Texas is home to about 5,000 Iraqis, some of whom are new arrivals like Masdi Altimimi. He’s from Wasit, Kut in Eastern Iraq.  

“Peace, peace middle east,” Altimimi said. “I need happiness in my country, like you guys, freedom.”

Doualy Xaykaothao / KERA News

Virgin America says it will take over two gates at Love Field, although the city of Dallas has yet to approve this.

In a statement, the city said: "There has been no decision regarding any carriers operating at these gates." 

American Airlines, as part of its December merger with US Airways, was required by the U.S. Department of Justice to give up its gates at Love Field. Southwest and Delta Airlines bid for the gates, but it's not clear who's won.