Lourdes Garcia-Navarro | New Hampshire Public Radio

Lourdes Garcia-Navarro

Lulu Garcia-Navarro is the host of Weekend Edition Sunday and one of the hosts of NPR's morning news podcast Up First. 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.

Since joining Weekend Edition Sunday, Garcia-Navarro and her team have also received a Gracie for their coverage of the #MeToo movement. She's hard at work making sure Weekend Edition brings in the voices of those who will surprise, delight, and move you, wherever they might be found.

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-Sept. 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.

Koko Kondo was 8 months old and with her mother when the first atomic bomb hit her home city of Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945. Her father, Methodist minister the Rev. Kiyoshi Tanimoto, had left earlier that morning.

"Suddenly, the whole house crashed," Kondo recounts. She was trapped beneath the rubble with her mother.

Humans have never been particularly good at eradicating entire viruses, and COVID-19 might not be any different.

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STACEY VANEK SMITH, HOST:

So many of us do it: You get into bed, turn off the lights, and look at your phone to check Twitter one more time.

You see that coronavirus infections are up. Maybe your kids can't go back to school. The economy is cratering.

Still, you incessantly scroll though bottomless doom-and-gloom news for hours as you sink into a pool of despair.

As the number of new coronavirus cases spikes in several states across the U.S., governors, county officials and business owners have been crafting laws and guidelines that mandate the use of face masks to help prevent the spread of the virus.

But even a simple cloth face covering has become political.

The first sign that something was wrong came with stomach pains. It was April 30, and 9-year-old Kyree McBride wasn't feeling well.

His mother, Tammie Hairston, thought it might have been something that he ate. But soon, young McBride was battling a 102-degree fever.

Worried he may have contracted the coronavirus, Hairston took her son to the hospital. "It was a quick in and out of the emergency room," she said. Doctors told her to take him home and monitor him.

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"I wasn't afraid of fighting," Ilhan Omar writes about her childhood in Somalia in her new memoir. "I felt like I was bigger and stronger than everyone else — even if I knew that wasn't really the case."

In This Is What America Looks Like: My Journey from Refugee to Congresswoman, Omar chronicles her childhood in a middle-class family compound in Mogadishu, followed by civil war, four years in a refugee camp, a journey to the United States and ultimately her election to Congress as a Democrat representing Minnesota's 5th district.

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LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Grocery stores across the country have had to remain open during the coronavirus pandemic. And workers are feeling the burden. Thousands have tested positive for COVID-19. Dozens have died.

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LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Masks, Clorox wipes and working from home are all part of our new reality during the pandemic. And something else - uncommonly vivid dreams have also been infiltrating our nights these days.

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As the coronavirus pandemic intensifies across the country, many churches, synagogues, temples and mosques are temporarily shutting their doors to all public services.

Although there are exemptions for some religious services, congregations are still expected to follow state stay-at-home orders and limitations on gatherings.

There are still many questions about schizophrenia — what it is, what causes it, and how to treat it.

One family has helped researchers take steps forward in attempts to find answers to these questions.

The Galvins seemed like a model for baby-boomer America, 12 children with a military dad and a strict but religious mother growing up in Colorado in the 1960s. But over the years, six of the boys in the family were diagnosed with schizophrenia.

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LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Health officials say 80% of COVID-19 cases will be mild to moderate. But what does that look like?

CHRISTOPHER GONZALES LACORTE: My name is Christopher Gonzales LaCorte. I'm 27 years old. I live in Atlanta, Ga.

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LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Americans are supposed to be staying home, avoiding crowds, standing 6 feet apart in line, all to curb the spread of the coronavirus. But not everyone is social distancing or taking the risks of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, seriously.

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LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

We'll check in now with Francis Suarez. He's mayor of the city of Miami. And he's been posting videos of his experiences with COVID-19.

(SOUNDBITE OF VIDEO)

FRANCIS SUAREZ: So far so good - no major symptoms...

(SOUNDBITE OF VIDEO)

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LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Countries that are capably dealing with the coronavirus made testing central to their plans. America is woefully behind, and there is now a debate unfolding here at the moment to test or not to test.

Even as the number of new coronavirus infections continues to spiral upward in countries around the world, a top global health expert says it's not too late to contain the virus.

"As long as you have these discrete outbreaks ... there is the opportunity to control them — to get on top of these and contain them and prevent a lot of disease and ultimately death," says Dr. Bruce Aylward, a senior adviser to the director-general of the World Health Organization. "That's the big message we saw in China — and one of the big surprises."

Over the last decade, ghosts have become an increasingly present part of live music, with holographic recreations of Tupac, Michael Jackson and opera great Maria Callas all appearing in concert. Whitney Houston's estate is taking the trend to the next level; starting Feb. 25, the late pop superstar will embark on a hologram tour of Europe.

Jessica Simpson is back in the news, this time in her own words.

In her new memoir, Open Book, Simpson writes honestly about her career as a pop singer, her marriage to and divorce from Nick Lachey, her stint on reality TV, and her time with John Mayer. And she reflects on becoming a fashion mogul with a billion-dollar company.

But she also opens up about sexual abuse she experienced in childhood — and addiction.

Interview Highlights

On why she decided to open up now

True story: This past Valentine's Day I was walking out of the office when I overheard a group of younger colleagues saying that they were staying in to watch the sequel to Netflix's To All the Boys I've Loved Before, called P.S. I Still Love You. Then my sister called me to say the very same thing. And I will confess, I watched it too.

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