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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.

Updated September 11, 2021 at 1:02 PM ET

On a recent day in Irvine, Calif., Ali Malik is looking for his son Layth's shoes to get ready to go to an arcade.

Layth is 5 and his brother, Muhammad Binyamin (they call him Binyamin) is 9.

The Sept. 11 attacks happened well before their lives began. So they don't fully understand how it changed so much for this country, led to two American invasions, occupations and wars. And they also don't know how it changed their dad.

TOKYO — They were called the "COVID Olympics." The "pandemic Olympics." The "anger Olympics." Many Japanese people were upset to host such a huge and risky event in the middle of the pandemic, and many outside observers were surprised it happened at all.

SARAH MCCAMMON, HOST:

A new film tells the story of an American student studying abroad in France. She ends up in prison, accused of murdering her roommate. And her father, played by Matt Damon, goes on a pursuit to prove her innocence. If the story sounds familiar, it's because, as Vanity Fair put it, the director, Tom McCarthy, was, quote, "directly inspired by the Amanda Knox saga," a phrase Knox says inaccurately frames the truth about what happened.

TOKYO — American BMX racer and three-time Olympian Connor Fields is expected to be released from a Tokyo hospital on Thursday and fly home to the United States.

Fields, who won a gold medal at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games, was racing in an Olympic BMX semifinal heat on July 30 when he crashed face first and suffered a brain hemorrhage and broken rib.

TOKYO — We're in the home stretch of the most dramatic Olympics in recent memory, held against great odds amid a global pandemic in a country where many Japanese residents didn't want it to happen at all.

TOKYO — The International Olympic Committee said it's looking into a U.S. athlete's decision to defy a ban on protesting while on the medal podium in Tokyo.

U.S. shot-putter Raven Saunders briefly held her arms above her head in the shape of an X after accepting her silver medal. The ceremony was over; China's anthem to honor gold medalist Gong Lijiao was complete.

When U.S. shot putter Raven Saunders is competing, she calls herself the "Hulk." It's the alter ego that bursts onto the field to fight for championships.

Saunders — with the help of her "Hulk" persona — took silver in the women's shot put final at the Tokyo Summer Olympics. She hurled the heavy ball 19.79 meters, or nearly 65 feet. It's the third medal ever for the U.S. in the women's event and it's Saunders' first.

TOKYO — Today, Reshmi Oogink finally gets to go home.

But it won't be the homecoming in the Netherlands she expected after the Tokyo Olympics.

She was aiming to showcase her skills in Taekwondo. This would have been her second Olympics representing her county.

TOKYO — American BMX racer Connor Fields remains in a Tokyo hospital after a crash on Friday at the Olympics. Today officials from USA Cycling revealed Fields sustained a brain hemorrhage and broke a rib during his semifinals heat.

During the race, Fields slammed headfirst into the ground following a jump that was leading into his first turn. He remained motionless after the crash. Medics rushed him off the course on a stretcher and into an ambulance.

For Mandy Bujold getting to the Tokyo Olympic Games was a fight that had nothing to do with boxing. She was effectively disqualified by the International Olympic Committee for having a baby.

"I have a child. That's a blessing, it's not a hindrance," Bujold said in an interview before her match in Tokyo today.

The Canadian boxer timed the birth around the Olympic cycle. But then the coronavirus pandemic delayed the Games, interrupted training and forced the cancellation of the May boxing qualifier in Buenos Aires for the Americas. She was out.

A Dutch rower has become the first athlete at the Tokyo Olympics to receive a positive coronavirus test after they competed in their event.

Finn Florijn, a 21-year-old vaccinated Dutch rower, tested positive after his Olympic debut in the men's single sculls race. He finished fourth in his heat and was scheduled to row again on Saturday, but now he's out of the competition and isolated for 10 days.

"I wasn't completely satisfied with my race yet. But I was hopeful to improve in the rematch. Now it's over in an instant," the athlete said in a statement.

The youngest Olympian at the Tokyo Games was knocked out of the competition in her first round on Saturday.

The Syrian table tennis player, Hend Zaza, just 12 years old, took it all in stride. She snapped a picture with her Austrian opponent, Liu Jia before leaving.

In her Olympic debut, Zaza played a woman more than three times her age at the women's singles preliminary round. She's beat players more seasoned than herself before. To qualify for the Games she bested a 42-year-old Lebanese player when she was 11.

Updated July 23, 2021 at 4:01 PM ET

TOKYO — In some ways, the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics looks very normal. Delegations of athletes decked out in clothes representing their countries march triumphantly into the stadium, waving flags. A beautifully choreographed spectacle from the host country, Japan, celebrates its art and traditions.

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LEILA FADEL, HOST:

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LEILA FADEL, HOST:

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LEILA FADEL, HOST:

Updated June 17, 2021 at 9:34 AM ET

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has declared that the variant of coronavirus first detected in India is a variant of concern, meaning it poses a significant threat to those who are not vaccinated.

The Delta variant, also known as B.1.617.2, is the most contagious yet. The CDC estimates that it may be responsible for nearly 10% of all new COVID-19 infections in the United States. In some Western U.S. states, the variant may be responsible for nearly 20% of cases.

Last week Derek Chauvin, the ex-Minneapolis police officer accused of killing George Floyd, was convicted on two counts of murder and one count of manslaughter. Chauvin was cuffed and hauled off to prison to await sentencing.

For months, stories swirled around a prominent Muslim civil rights leader, alleging secret marriages, bullying, sexual harassment.

Then, late last year, some of the allegations against 34-year-old Hassan Shibly burst into public view. In a video posted on GoFundMe, Shibly's estranged wife, mother of their three children, looked directly into the camera and begged for help. She said her abusive husband had cut her off financially.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Protest over a police shooting in Brooklyn Center, Minn., has spread far beyond the confines of that Minneapolis suburb.

NOEL KING, HOST:

Jury selection is complete in the high-profile murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. It took about two weeks to pick the jury in a slow and deliberate process to seat an impartial jury in a case that's been publicized around the world.

Opening statements are scheduled to begin on Monday. The court chose fifteen jurors. Twelve will sit on the jury and two will be alternates. The final person chosen on Tuesday, an accountant, will be dismissed next week if the other fourteen show up.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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.

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.

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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