Lourdes Garcia-Navarro

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When Shaandiin Parrish was crowned Miss Navajo Nation in 2019, she didn't expect to win. She also didn't expect to be carrying the honor two years later and through the pandemic.

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If you haven't already watched "Squid Game," you have probably heard about it. Netflix's new survival drama is set in South Korea, and its premise is not a happy one.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

The assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse created a power struggle in a country already beset by political instability and other crises.

Following the assassination last week, the interim prime minister, Claude Joseph, declared himself in charge and said the country would be under a temporary "state of siege."

The U.S. and United Nations have recognized Joseph's legitimacy to lead the government.

Three members of the German women's team at the European Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Switzerland recently gained attention for their outfits.

Unlike their peers, their legs were covered.

They wore full-body unitards; most women typically wear leotards that show the entire leg. Male gymnasts, however, usually wear either slightly loose shorts or full-length leg coverings.

Unitards are technically permitted but usually are worn for religious reasons.

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As more schools open for in-person learning and some organized sports resume, many children — like adults — are returning to the world after having packed on extra body weight.

While data is sparse on whether there's been a rise in children's weight over the pandemic, some health professionals have seen worrisome signs.

Suzannah Stivison, a pediatric nurse practitioner in Kensington, Md., told NPR that some of her patients put on what she calls "the other COVID-19" — as in, 19 pounds.

Inside the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package President Biden signed on Thursday is a huge, much-needed boost for the child care industry.

Almost $25 billion is going toward child care providers and centers, and an additional $15 billion will go toward helping families get access to child care.

Ten years ago this week, Syrian government forces opened fire on protesters, setting off a bloody civil war. Since March 2011, the civil war has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and displaced more than 10 million people.

In the early days of the uprising, Bassam Khabieh, then an amateur photographer, picked up his camera — his phone at the time — and began documenting what would be years of urban warfare from his hometown of Douma, a rebel holdout.

Vaccination programs work best when as many people as possible get vaccinated, but Latinos in the United States are getting inoculated at lower rates.

In Florida, for example, Latinos are 27% of the population but they've made up only about 17% of COVID-19 vaccinations so far, according to an analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Several cities across the country that count obesity as an underlying condition have opened COVID-19 vaccine appointments to people with a body mass index of 30 or higher — the medical benchmark for obesity.

While BMI isn't a foolproof standard by which to assess potential health risk factors, obesity medicine physician Dr. Fatima Stanford told NPR, "overall, it's a good measure" in this case.

At a high school in Washington, D.C., this past week, Bridget Cronin looked on as public school workers shuffled through the two dozen vaccination stations that lined the building's atrium.

Volunteers alternated waving green placards to usher in the next patient. Red placards were on hand to signal the need for more vaccine doses.

The mass vaccination event to immunize teachers and other public school workers in the district, held at Dunbar High School, was the culmination of weeks of planning.

Just before voting Saturday to acquit former President Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial, the Senate seemed to reverse course, with a decision not to call witnesses.

Del. Stacey Plaskett, a Democrat from the U.S. Virgin Islands who was one of the House impeachment managers, is defending the agreement between House managers and Trump's attorneys not to call witnesses after all.

This past summer, public health officials sounded warnings about the dangers of an impending flu epidemic on top of the coronavirus pandemic.

Yet this year's flu season has been exceptionally mild.

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LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

As a former international correspondent who covered a dozen wars and revolutions, I know the signs of civil strife. And now, I see the battle lines being drawn up in my own family's text-messaging groups, in heated email exchanges and, more chilling, in the refusal to discuss politics at all just to preserve a common bond.

A snafu with Operation Warp Speed leaves at least 14 states short of the vaccine doses they were promised. NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro talks with WPLN's Blake Farmer about what that means in Tennessee.

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NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro speaks with Thomas Rid of Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies about Russia's alleged hack on the U.S. government and tech companies.

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A global catastrophe has wiped out most of humanity. An astronomer living in an outpost inside the Arctic Circle is in a race against time to help the crew of a spacecraft returning from one of Jupiter's moons.

That's the premise of The Midnight Sky, the new science fiction movie starring George Clooney. It's based on the 2016 book Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton. Though the story is set in 2049, the themes are very 2020.

NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro plays the puzzle with Phoebe Simmons of Boise, Idaho, and puzzlemaster Will Shortz.

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Staff at Cedars-Sinai in LA got a surprise from a former COVID-19 patient last week: 800 homemade tamales. Margarita Montanez spent five days making them as a "thank you" for her care last spring.

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LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

On Monday, Jupiter and Saturn will look as if they are merging in the night sky. This hasn't happened in nearly 400 years.

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The number of coronavirus cases in California has topped 1.2 million, leaving the state's hospitals near a breaking point. There are projections that the state could run out of intensive care beds before Christmas. And Gov. Gavin Newsom says he's considering another statewide stay-at-home order to stop the surge.

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Months into the coronavirus pandemic, the initial novelty of whipping up more homemade meals is fading.

Earlier this year, people busied themselves with batches of sourdough and banana bread. Americans bought groceries like never before, and embraced the chance to dabble in elaborate cooking projects.

United States politicians are no strangers to using unkind language against their opponents. It's a trend that dates back to at least 1800 when, during the presidential campaign, Thomas Jefferson hired James Callender to slime John Adams. But Alexander Theodoridis, who teaches political science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, says that today's partisanship can lend itself to particularly dehumanizing language not only between political opponents, but also between regular Americans who belong to opposite political parties.

National Book Award winner Phil Klay's new novel Missionaries takes readers around the world, from the chaos in Iraq and Afghanistan to turmoil in rural Colombia.

"The more that I thought about the way that we wage war in the 21st century, the more it seemed to me insufficient to just talk about one theater of conflict," Klay explains. "I wanted to talk about the ways these wars bleed into each other."

In Baltimore, summer Sundays are the time to ride — on warm evenings, dirt bikes and four wheelers roar through the city's streets with young riders popping wheelies and pulling gravity defying tricks.

Filmmaker Angel Manuel Soto says Baltimore's bike culture is unlike any other: "It's one of the most exhilarating and emotional spectacles of talent that I have ever seen, streetwise ..." he says. "They were literally like dancing on top of their bikes while popping a wheelie. I've never seen anything like that."

Linda Ronstadt — the chart-topping, Grammy- and Emmy-winning Rock & Roll Hall of Famer — is due to be honored again this week. This time, she'll receive a Hispanic Heritage Award, in recognition both of her pop music and her smash-hit mariachi albums. Ahead of the virtual ceremony, which will be broadcast by PBS on Oct. 6, she joined NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro to talk about the role of her Mexican-American identity in her career and what music she's been listening to lately.

This year, many people have been turning to music for catharsis, but Mama Haze, aka songwriter Meaghan Maples, has been tapping into music's healing powers for a long time. Before pursuing music full-time, the Oakland, Calif.-based artist was a doula and caregiver, often prescribing music as an antidote to patients' pain.

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