Miles Parks

Miles Parks is a reporter on NPR's Washington Desk. He covers election interference and voting infrastructure and reports on breaking news.

Parks joined NPR as the 2014-15 Stone & Holt Weeks Fellow. Since then, he's investigated FEMA's efforts to get money back from Superstorm Sandy victims, profiled budding rock stars and produced for all three of NPR's weekday news magazines.

A graduate of the University of Tampa, Parks also previously covered crime and local government for The Washington Post and The Ledger in Lakeland, Fla.

In his spare time, Parks likes playing, reading and thinking about basketball. He wrote The Washington Post's obituary of legendary women's basketball coach Pat Summitt.

Two explosions killed more than 40 people in the Syrian capital of Damascus on Saturday in an attack that seemed to target Shiites visiting holy sites from Iraq.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, but there are a number of militant groups in Syria who target Shiites, including the Islamic State and the Syrian affiliate of al-Qaida.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari asked the country's parliament to extend his leave from office for medical reasons on Sunday, despite the country's top officials continuing to maintain he is in good health.

His administration released a statement saying he had written to the country's National Assembly, which includes a senate and house of representatives, similar to the United States.

A federal appeals court denied President Trump's attempt to restore his travel ban on refugees and visa holders from seven majority-Muslim countries Sunday morning, sending people scrambling to board planes while it is legal once again for them to enter the country.

#NPRreads is a weekly feature on Twitter and The Two-Way. The premise is simple: Correspondents, editors and producers from our newsroom share the pieces that have kept them reading, using the #NPRreads hashtag. Each weekend, we highlight some of the best stories.

Brian Fallon starts to answer the question.

"It's funny, because..."

He trails off, and then tries again.

"And it... uh..."

He laughs.

It's been a remarkable 12 months for James Alex, a year full of contradictions and firsts. The lead singer and songwriter for the band Beach Slang, Alex and his wife Rachel had their first child, Oliver, to start 2015. Then in October, the band released its debut album, The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us, which has meant nonstop touring.

You can take your drinks outside on Bourbon Street, but you can no longer bring your smokes indoors.

Effective Wednesday, New Orleans has banned smoking in bars, restaurants and casinos.

The New York Times published an intriguing look at the city's nightlife spots as the ban went into effect.

Here's an excerpt:

The Committee to Protect Journalists released its annual report on the 10 Most Censored Countries today, with Eritrea, North Korea, and Saudi Arabia leading the list.

A farm in Iowa is going to destroy more than five million of its chickens in an attempt to curb the spread of the highly infectious avian flu.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed the H5N2 avian influenza outbreak Monday, adding that the agency says that there is little chance that humans could become infected. According to the department's press release:

The prime minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, said Monday that his country is nearing a major trade agreement with the United States, according to an interview with The Wall Street Journal.

Abe told the Journal that he hopes to come to an understanding with President Barack Obama when he visits Washington at the end of the month as part of a 12-country summit.

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