Leila Fadel

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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.

NPR national correspondent Leila Fadel explains what gave the democratic president-elect an edge in the state.

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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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Composer Ted Hearne is known for tackling big social themes through his music. His modern classical works have put a spotlight on issues of race and justice, inequality, natural disasters and other social issues.

His latest work, a collaboration with the poet and musician Saul Williams, is called Place. It's 19 songs or movements combining jazz, indie rock, modern classical, electronica and spoken word — and it's described as a "rumination on gentrification."

In Minneapolis, Majdi Wadi was a celebrated businessman. Three generations of his Palestinian American family run the Holy Land brand, a multi-million-dollar enterprise with restaurants, a grocery store, a bakery and a hummus factory. It's become well known locally and nationally after the Wadi family was featured on local television programs and on the Food Channel's Diners, Drive-ins and Dives for bringing a "little piece of the Middle East to the Midwest."

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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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