Leila Fadel

Leila Fadel is a national correspondent for NPR based in Los Angeles, covering issues of culture, diversity, and race.

Most recently, she was NPR's international correspondent based in Cairo and covered the wave of revolts in the Middle East and their aftermaths in Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, and beyond. Her stories brought us to the heart of a state-ordered massacre of pro-Muslim Brotherhood protesters in Cairo in 2013 when police shot into crowds of people to clear them and killed between 1,000 and 2,000 people. She told us the tales of a coup in Egypt and what it is like for a country to go through a military overthrow of an elected government. She covered the fall of Mosul to ISIS in 2014 and documented the harrowing tales of the Yazidi women who were kidnapped and enslaved by the group. Her coverage also included stories of human smugglers in Egypt and the Syrian families desperate and willing to pay to risk their lives and cross a turbulent ocean for Europe.

She was awarded the Lowell Thomas Award from the Overseas Press Club for her coverage of the 2013 coup in Egypt and the toll it took on the country and Egyptian families. In 2017 she earned a Gracie award for the story of a single mother in Tunisia whose two eldest daughters were brainwashed and joined ISIS. The mother was fighting to make sure it didn't happen to her younger girls.

Before joining NPR, she covered the Middle East for The Washington Post as the Cairo Bureau Chief. Prior to her position as Cairo Bureau Chief for the Post, she covered the Iraq war for nearly five years with Knight Ridder, McClatchy Newspapers, and later the Washington Post. Her foreign coverage of the devastating human toll of the Iraq war earned her the George. R. Polk award in 2007. In 2016 she was the Council on Foreign Relations Edward R. Murrow fellow.

Leila Fadel is a Lebanese-American journalist who speaks conversational Arabic and was raised in Saudi Arabia and Lebanon.

On a recent Friday afternoon, the critical care charge nurse at a South Los Angeles hospital tries to send another nurse off to grab lunch. Maria Arechiga is interrupted by the beeping of an alarm, the vitals of a patient declining, organs failing.

She dons a surgical gown and unzips a plastic tarp that hangs from the doorway of a hospital room — a makeshift isolation room on this floor temporarily transformed into a larger intensive care unit to make space for the patients that just keep coming. She slips inside.

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From her couch in Minneapolis, Nuny Nichols watched a mob of largely white extremists stage an insurrection in Washington, D.C., set up a noose on a wooden beam outside the U.S. Capitol and walk a symbol of violence and slavery — the Confederate flag — through the building as they stormed and raided it.

She was angry, but she was not surprised at the way people in the mob laughed as they took things from the building. There were white extremists who felt at ease giving their names to media outlets and taking selfies with a white police officer.

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In Los Angeles County now, someone dies of COVID-19 every 15 minutes. Here's NPR's Leila Fadel.

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The brief hope for more COVID relief appears to have faded.

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A new, highly contagious coronavirus strain has made its way to the United States.

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Relief aid will be on the way to millions of struggling Americans and a looming government shutdown has been avoided. President Trump signed into law last night the massive coronavirus relief and spending package that Congress passed last week.

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It was almost two years ago that Shahid Shafi, a surgeon in Southlake, Texas, was targeted by members of his own political party for his Muslim faith.

A few Republican precinct chairs lobbied to remove him from his post as vice chair of the Tarrant County Republican Party. But they lost in a vote of 139-49.

Few high-profile Republican members of Congress have publicly acknowledged Joe Biden's presidential win.

And many Republican politicians have refused to denounce President Trump's legal challenges and false allegations of widespread voter fraud.

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And back to U.S. politics now. The state of Nevada was called for Joe Biden earlier today, but it was a close race there. NPR's Leila Fadel is in Las Vegas, and she is with us now. Leila, welcome. Thanks for joining us.

LEILA FADEL, BYLINE: Thank you.

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Reymundo Torres is an Arizonan, a devout Roman Catholic, ethnically Mexican and a staunch supporter of the president.

"The thing that initially attracted me and keeps me tied to him is that he has taught Republicans how to not just win, but no longer throw our faces and bodies in front of every punch that the left is willing to throw," Torres said.

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Soon after being discharged from the hospital for treatment for COVID-19, President Trump tweeted the slur "Chinese virus" to refer to the coronavirus, something he's often repeated during the pandemic.

It's the latest example of Trump's alarming language that critics charge is xenophobic, discriminatory and even white supremacist. While Trump denies those labels, he has increasingly returned to the issue of race in the runup to the November election.

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Like the elements that she discovered — polonium and radium — Marie Curie was "unruly," says actor Rosamund Pike. Pike plays the famous scientist in the new biopic Radioactive.

The film, streaming on Amazon Prime, is about the power of science and how it can be harnessed in both positive and destructive ways. Curie's discoveries led to medical breakthroughs, but they were also weaponized — into bombs and poison.

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The corner of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue in south Minneapolis is the place where police brutality ended the life of a black man named George Floyd on May 25, 2020.

It was here that police officers held down the 46-year-old man that people called Perry, until his pulse stopped. It was here where a passerby filmed his killing, shared it online and sparked an uprising that's spread from this one corner to cities across the country, and now the world.

And it's here now where people gather every day to protest, to remember and to find comfort.

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Cesia Baires knocks on the three apartment doors above her restaurant and a neighboring taqueria just before curfew.

A woman opens the door. Her two young children are inside.

"Remember," she says to them in Spanish. "Same thing as yesterday. I'm going to come check on you. If there's anything you guys need, give us a call right away."

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