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.

Updated at 11:45 a.m. ET

Gunmen attacked an upscale hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan Saturday night, killing at least 18 people, trapping hundreds of guests and setting off a firefight with Afghan security forces that lasted more than 13 hours.

Officials don't know how many staff and guests were inside the Intercontinental Hotel when the attack began around 9 p.m. Saturday local time, but Afghanistan's interior ministry says at least 150 people were rescued, including 41 foreigners, according to The Associated Press.

Czech President Milos Zeman has won the first round of voting in the Czech Republic's presidential election Saturday, but will have to face second-place finisher Jiri Drahos in a runoff election later this month after failing to win a majority of votes.

Zeman, 73, who has been president of the central European country since 2013, emerged with 38.6 percent of the vote. He has stoked controversy in parts of Europe with support for Russia's Vladimir Putin and anti-immigrant rhetoric. Zeman was also an early supporter of Donald Trump in the U.S. presidential election.

The Department of Homeland Security says it will once again accept renewal requests from recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in response to a court order.

"Until further notice, and unless otherwise provided in this guidance, the DACA policy will be operated on the terms in place before it was rescinded on Sept. 5, 2017," U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, a part of DHS, wrote on its website Saturday.

The new U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands has said anti-Muslim comments he made in 2015 were "just wrong," two days after a news conference when he wouldn't say the comments were factually inaccurate.

Pete Hoekstra, a former Republican congressman from Michigan who was appointed to the ambassador position by President Trump, talked in 2015 about the "Islamic movement" being responsible for "no-go zones" and the burning of cars and politicians in the Netherlands:

A State Department spokesman on Thursday said anti-Muslim comments made by President Trump's new ambassador to the Netherlands "were not the position of the State Department" — but he also declined to say the comments had been factually inaccurate.

The partial disavowal came a day after Ambassador Pete Hoekstra's first news conference in the Netherlands, in which he was pressed by Dutch reporters to retract the false claims he made in 2015 — when he said the "Islamic movement" was responsible for "no-go zones" and politicians "being burned" in the Netherlands.

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