Lourdes Garcia-Navarro

Lulu Garcia-Navarro is the host of Weekend Edition Sunday. She is infamous in the IT department of NPR for losing laptops to bullets, hurricanes, and bomb blasts.

Before joining the Sunday morning team, she served as an NPR correspondent based in Brazil, Israel, Mexico, and Iraq. She was one of the first reporters to enter Libya after the 2011 Arab Spring uprising began and spent months painting a deep and vivid portrait of a country at war. Often at great personal risk, Garcia-Navarro captured history in the making with stunning insight, courage, and humanity.

For her work covering the Arab Spring, Garcia-Navarro was awarded a 2011 George Foster Peabody Award, a Lowell Thomas Award from the Overseas Press Club, an Edward R. Murrow Award from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and the Alliance for Women and the Media's Gracie Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement. She contributed to NPR News reporting on Iraq, which was recognized with a 2005 Peabody Award and a 2007 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton. She has also won awards for her work on migration in Mexico and the Amazon in Brazil.

Garcia-Navarro got her start in journalism as a freelancer with the BBC World Service and Voice of America. She later became a producer for Associated Press Television News before transitioning to AP Radio. While there, Garcia-Navarro covered post-September 11 events in Afghanistan and developments in Jerusalem. She was posted for the AP to Iraq before the U.S.-led invasion, where she stayed covering the conflict.

Garcia-Navarro holds a Bachelor of Science degree in International Relations from Georgetown University and an Master of Arts degree in journalism from City University in London.

At the Vdara Hotel and Spa in Las Vegas, robots are at the front line of room service. "Jett" and "Fetch" are delivery robots, designed to look like dogs, each about three feet high.

They can bring items from the hotel's cafe right to your room. Among their many capabilities, they can travel alone across the lobby, remotely call for an elevator, and even alert guests when they arrive at their hotel room through an automated phone message.

For all the talk of how Democrats running for re-election in states President Trump won are a protective shield for Senate Republicans, Nevada's Dean Heller has the opposite problem.

He is the only Republican senator up for re-election in a state that Democrat Hillary Clinton won in 2016. The candidate challenging him for the seat is Democratic Rep. Jacky Rosen. "Right now, the Republicans have all three branches of government," Rosen said. "So what we can do is try to hold their feet to the fire every way we can, because we don't have the votes to win."

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And to Lulu in Nevada now because it is election year, and politics isn't contained to Capitol Hill. Right, Lulu?

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Sarah Smarsh grew up in rural Kansas — the fifth generation to farm the same land, riding tractors where her ancestors rode wagons. There was never enough money and prospects were few. She was part of the what has become popularized as the white working class. But back then, she didn't know it.

Like their counterparts across the country, Wisconsin Democrats eager to win back the House and make gains in the Senate have been watching primary election voter turnout with bated breath. This week, they found reason to be hopeful: turnout in the state's primary on Tuesday soared to its highest level since 2002, with a surge in Democratic votes.

Janet Clark hopes to keep her dairy farm in the family. She inherited Vision Aire Farms from her parents, and now runs it with her younger brother.

The farm is idyllic, tucked away amid rolling green hills of corn and sunflower fields. One side of the farm holds a line of calves. They are individually fed by Clark's children and their cousins, playfully holding milk bottles for them to drink.

This converted schoolhouse still chirps with the sound of children. A volunteer teacher points at her eye and elicits the English word: "¿Cómo se dice 'ojo'?" she asks the group of 6- to 10-year-olds.

They hesitate and look at one another until one of them gets it, and they join in a collective scream: "Eye!"

It feels like a bit of normalcy for this group of Central American children who fled their home countries and are temporarily living in a family shelter in Mexico City.

Mexican actor Diego Luna first shot to fame in the United States after 2001's Y Tu Mamá También. Since then, he's starred in a handful of blockbusters — including, recently, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story — and he's about to play the leader of a drug cartel in the upcoming season of Netflix's Narcos.

Luna could have happily continued to live a successful life in Hollywood, but he missed Mexico. At a café near his kids' school in Mexico City, he explains why.

On March 16, 2017, Albino Quiroz Sandoval popped out of the house around 5 p.m. for a little trip to the shop. The 71-year-old lives in Tepoztlán, a small colonial town with little crime, a weekend getaway from hectic Mexico City. Quiroz had been a public school teacher for 48 years. Everyone knows him.

By 8 p.m., he wasn't home. His family grew worried. His son Juan Carlos Quiroz, who was a 90-minute drive away in Mexico City, got a frantic call from his sister.

"We didn't know what to do," Juan Carlos recalls. "My sister and I thought it could be a kidnapping."

Eight years ago, we introduced two unlikely friends: an Israeli and a Palestinian -- who once believed peace could override enemy lines. Dana Levy and Mohammed Saqar met in the late 1990s, as teenagers at a Seeds of Peace summer camp in the U.S.

Both had lost family in the region's conflicts, but they became friends and kept in touch by phone.

We caught up with both of them. But not together. We should tell you, this is a missed connection we could not reconnect.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Milk is not the unassuming refrigerator staple you may have thought it was. In fact, debates about milk touch on a host of topics — cultural, genetic, medicinal, and economic — that have been going on for centuries and continue today.

NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro sat down with author Mark Kurlansky to discuss his new book, Milk!: A 10,000-Year Food Fracas, and unpack some of the controversies surrounding what he calls "the most over-argued food in history."

Last week, a van plowed into a busy Toronto sidewalk, killing 10 people in what appeared to be a deliberate act.

The suspect in the attack, Alek Minassian, was quickly linked to an online community of trolls and violent misogynists who call themselves "incels" — a term that stands for "involuntarily celibate."

How do we find a real connection in a digital world?

In Mary H.K. Choi's debut novel, Emergency Contact, Penny and Sam strike up a text-based romance, and soon become take-your-phone-to-the-bathroom inseparable. But for different reasons, they have trouble making it real.

Zoologist Lucy Cooke says humans have got it all wrong about sloths. "People think that because the animal is slow that it's somehow useless and redundant," she says. But in fact, "they are incredibly successful creatures."

Cooke is the founder of the Sloth Appreciation Society and the author of a new book called The Truth About Animals: Stoned Sloths, Lovelorn Hippos, and Other Tales from the Wild Side of Wildlife. The book aims to set the record straight on some long-held misconceptions about the animal world.

Juliana Hatfield was a darling of the '90s indie music scene. She played with Blake Babies and The Lemonheads and had a hit with the edgy pop song, "My Sister." Hatfield released a string of alternative albums since those days, full of distorted guitars and strong vocals.

When The Exorcist, based on the novel by William Blatty, came to theaters in 1973, it captured the public imagination. Or more accurately, the public's nightmares.

Exorcisms aren't just the stuff of horror movies — hundreds of thousands of Italian Catholics reportedly request them each year. But when William Friedkin directed the movie, he'd never actually seen an exorcism. It would be four more decades before he actually witnessed one.

The arrests of two black men waiting for a friend at a Philadelphia Starbucks continues to fuel conversations about implicit racial bias in public spaces. Many of those conversations begin with "I'm not surprised."

"When I have to move through predominately white spaces I'm always on alert and my anxiety is always high because I don't know what's going to happen at that moment," says Elon James White.

Bailey Davis was a Saintsation — a cheerleader for the New Orleans Saints. That is, until she posted a photo of herself in a one-piece lace bodysuit on her private Instagram account.

The romance genre is a juggernaut that continues unabated.

It's a billion-dollar industry that outperforms all other book genres, and it's remarkably innovative, with a strong tradition of independent and self-publishing.

Less than two years after Donald Trump won a western Pennsylvania congressional district by double digits, a special election race between a young Democrat and a deeply conservative Republican is now closer than either side had expected. The congressional race is being run in Pennsylvania's 18th district, but the March 13 election is expected to offer clues about how voters will turn out in the November midterms.

Since this frightened mom crossed the border with her son in early 2017, fleeing gang violence in El Salvador, she has felt bewildered by the vast complicated immigration system in the United States.

NPR is not using her name for her protection.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

And now for an update - two years ago when I was NPR's Brazil correspondent, I danced in Rio de Janeiro's famous Sambadrome with the Vila Isabel Samba School. Here's me at the end of that experience.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

In the summer of 1967, Linda Walker was at Girl Scout camp in North Carolina when a lightning bolt struck her.

She says she was in a tent with three other girls when they all ran out after the crackle and boom. Walker was on the floor, unresponsive.

"But as Girl Scouts you always keep up with your buddy — you never lose track of your buddy," Walker says. "And my buddy walked out, ran out of the tent without me, but realized I wasn't with her and came back. Had she not done that, I wouldn't be here today ... because she saved my life."

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