James Doubek | KERA News

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.

Government agencies that deal with cybersecurity, like the National Security Agency, have two competing interests. On the one hand, they want to protect America's online infrastructure and economy from cyberattacks. On the other hand, government agencies want to harness tools to attack opponents in cyberspace.

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."

Updated at 5 a.m. ET Monday

Irma has weakened since beginning its push up central Florida, but is still a Category 1 hurricane with winds near 75 mph and higher gusts, according to the National Hurricane Center. Its center is about 60 miles north of Tampa and continues to move along the northwest coast of the Florida peninsula. The NHC says Irma is expected to weaken to a tropical storm this morning and tropical depression by Tuesday afternoon.

Malala Yousafzai, known as just Malala, has joined other human rights activists and officials in publicly criticizing Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar's effective leader, for the treatment of the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar.

More than 73,000 Rohingya have crossed into Bangladesh from Myanmar in the latest wave of violence by the Myanmar military, spurred by an attack from a group of Rohingya militants on a military post on Aug. 25.

The brutal treatment of Myanmar's Rohingya is longstanding — they've been called the most persecuted minority group on the planet.

At least 12 people were killed and more were still trapped after a century-old building collapsed in India's financial center of Mumbai on Thursday morning.

Mumbai has suffered recent torrential rain and flooding, along with other parts of India and in Bangladesh and Nepal.

Tens of thousands of German residents in Frankfurt are being told to evacuate by Sunday morning for authorities to defuse a World War II-era bomb.

A Frankfurt police spokesperson said as many as 70,000 people could be affected, according to The Local Germany, which would make it Germany's largest evacuation since World War II.

Updated at 12:15 a.m. ET

The National Hurricane Center says Harvey is now a tropical depression. As of 8 p.m. ET, the storm was located southwest of Alexandria, La., with sustained winds of 35 mph.

As Tropical Storm Harvey, it had made landfall in Louisiana, at 4 a.m. Central time, just west of Cameron, according to the Center.

The confirmed death toll from Harvey is at least 25, across five Texas counties — although that figure is likely to rise and does not include people who are missing or believed dead.

Boxing great Floyd Mayweather defeated mixed martial arts champion Conor McGregor Saturday in a 10th-round technical knockout in Las Vegas.

The highly anticipated and much-publicized fight ended with Mayweather's 50th win — he has never lost. And, he said, it was his last.

"Tonight was my last fight. Tonight I chose the right dance partner to dance with," Mayweather said in the ring, Reuters reported. "Conor, you are a hell of a champion."

Updated at 1:30 a.m. ET Monday

At least two people have been killed as the Houston area continues to be inundated by torrential rain and catastrophic flooding from Tropical Storm Harvey, which officials called an "unprecedented" weather event that has left thousands of homes flooded, stranding some people and overwhelming rescue workers.

At least 16 U.S. government employees in Cuba have been treated after experiencing symptoms including hearing loss.

Employees at the U.S. Embassy in Cuba started experiencing odd medical symptoms starting in late 2016, which Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has characterized as "health attacks."

Dick Gregory, the comedian and civil rights crusader, died Saturday. He was 84.

His family announced the news on his public Facebook page.

Members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff — high-ranking military officials who advise the president — appeared to distance themselves from President Trump by publicly condemning racism in the aftermath of Trump's comments about the attack in Charlottesville.

Trump has blamed "both sides" for the violence.

Spanish authorities say they've rescued 593 migrants at sea in just one day.

The Spanish Maritime Safety & Rescue Agency, also called Salvamento Marítimo, said it recovered the people on 15 boats Wednesday in the Strait of Gibraltar and the Alboran Sea, the western part of the Mediterranean Sea.

The United Nations Security Council voted unanimously Saturday to impose new sanctions on North Korea over the country's long-range missile tests last month.

The measure cuts about $1 billion worth of North Korean exports, or about a third of the country's export revenue each year.

"This resolution is the single largest economic sanctions package ever leveled against the North Korean regime," said Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. "This is the most stringent set of sanctions on any country in a generation.

An improvised explosive device exploded early Saturday in a Minnesota mosque and community center.

No one was injured, but the explosion damaged an imam's office at the Dar Al Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, located near Minneapolis.

The FBI Minneapolis Field Office is now leading an investigation in cooperation with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Bloomington police and other agencies.

An earthquake of preliminary magnitude 4.2 hit central Oklahoma on Wednesday night, the U.S. Geological Survey said, the sixth earthquake to affect the area in just over 24 hours.

Four hours later, a less intense earthquake of a preliminary magnitude 3.5 struck the area in the early hours of Thursday.

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