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.

Days after President Trump's longtime lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty in a case relating to his coordination of hush money payments to two women who allege affairs with Trump, news emerged that a man who helped organize those payments has been granted immunity by prosecutors investigating campaign finance violations.

Updated at 11:30 p.m. ET

Hurricane Lane weakened Friday evening as it headed toward Hawaii.

The National Weather Service said "Lane weakens to a tropical storm south of Oahu but rain bands will still bring more flooding and damaging winds to parts of the main Hawaiian Islands."

Though the hurricane had been downgraded to a tropical storm, maximum sustained winds of 70 mph brought warnings of potential damage as it moved west toward the island of Oahu.

Updated at 2:51 a.m. ET

Speaking to the country for the first time since being elected by party members as Australia's 30th prime minister Friday, Scott Morrison said his priority in the coming days will be to address a drought that has struck the state of New South Wales.

Morrison said he would review drought response plans with officials. New South Wales is Australia's most populous state and the drought is the most severe in recent memory.

French authorities said a knife attacker killed two people and seriously wounded one more in the Paris suburb of Trappes Thursday morning before being killed by police.

Police "neutralized" the attacker who is now dead, the Yvelines region's Twitter account said Thursday, adding that the police operation had ended.

The two people killed were the man's mother and sister. The third victim was a female passerby who was seriously wounded, The Associated Press reports.

Updated at 7:15 p.m. ET

Hurricane Lane has been downgraded to a Category 3 storm as it slowly makes its way toward the island chain.

As of 2 p.m. local time, Lane was centered about 260 miles south of Honolulu, Melissa Dye, a meteorologist with the Central Pacific Hurricane Center, told NPR.

Even so, its outer bands continue to cause significant damage on the island of Hawaii, forcing residents to stay put.

Mudslides, landslides and flash flooding are causing road closures throughout the Big Island, Dye said.

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