Leila Fadel

For years, poet Reginald Dwayne Betts hid the fact that he had served time in prison.

Betts, a lawyer who was sworn into the Connecticut bar two years ago, is finishing up his PhD at Yale University, where he also earned his law degree.

But in his latest collection of poems, titled Felon, this once secret part of his identity is a central feature. In raw, emotional language, Betts uses his experiences in the criminal justice system — he served time from ages 16 to 24 — to challenge our understanding of incarceration and freedom.

Halloween is around the corner and guess what that means? Someone will metaphorically step in it with an insensitive or straight up racist costume.

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On Monday in the nation's capital, there is no Columbus Day. The D.C. Council voted to replace it with Indigenous Peoples' Day in a temporary move that it hopes to make permanent. Several other places across the United States have also made the switch in a growing movement to end the celebration of the Italian explorer in favor of honoring Indigenous communities and their resiliency in the face of violence by European explorers like Christopher Columbus.

It's a hectic morning at the home of Kathleen O'Donnell and her wife, Casey. Kathleen is getting their 4-year-old foster daughter ready for the park. She got placed with them overnight. Casey is wrangling the four dogs. They've already got their 11-year-old son off to school.

They live on a tree-lined street in Billings, Mont. It's a place they've called home since 2014.

"All of my family lives in Billings, so with a kid we wanted to be near them," Kathleen said.

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MGM Resorts has agreed to pay up to $800 million to victims of the Las Vegas mass shooting. But for many, the money means little. Here's NPR's Leila Fadel.

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It's Monday night and performer Mark Shunock is where he comes alive — on stage.

"Hello, Mondays Dark!" he calls out to the audience of about 400 people. They cheer. "We have an amazing line up of talent that have given their time to be here tonight."

For nine months, Rosa Gutierrez Lopez has been living at Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church in Bethesda, Md. She can't leave the property. If she does, she risks being deported to El Salvador.

With an olive-green body encasing three jaws, each lined with more than 50 teeth, it looks like a cigarette-sized relative of the skin-crawling creature from the Alien films. Actually, it's far less sinister: a new species of a bloodsucking leech.

Anna Phillips, the curator of parasitic worms at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., led the team that recently discovered Macrobdella mimicus in almost their own backyard.

At 79, Harry Reid may be retired, living in a gated community in Henderson in his home state of Nevada, but his national political shadow looms large.

In My Papi Has A Motorcyle, a little girl named Daisy Ramona waits for her dad to come home from work so they can ride around their city, Corona, Calif., on the back of his motorcycle. They pass a tortilla shop, a raspado shop, her grandparent's house, and her dad's construction site.

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It is hard to hear about violence against children and even harder to talk of it. You hear that in the voice of Scot Smithee, police chief of Gilroy, Calif., where the victims in a mass shooting were as young as 6.

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Muslims make up about 9% of state prisoners, though they are only about 1% of the U.S. population, a new report from the civil rights organization Muslim Advocates finds. The report, released Thursday, is the most comprehensive count of Muslims in state prisons so far.

The report also sheds light on the obstacles some incarcerated Muslims face in prison while practicing their faith.

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In Detroit, 6-year-old Albukhari Mohsin pushes a toy car across the floor of his uncle's living room. His sister Sara, 12, sits on the couch with their two brothers. Ahmed is eight and Muslim is just three.

"It's tiring," Sara said. As the oldest child, she's become the de-facto mother to her little brothers, especially the toddler. "I shower him, I dress him, I play with him."

The protests surrounding New York City's Stonewall Inn, 50 years ago this month, were a seminal moment.

Following the uprising, spurred by police raiding the bar, activist groups began organizing to demand rights.

But the success of that movement in the years that followed saw a powerful backlash from the modern religious right. The two movements became opponents in a culture war that continues today.

At a rally on Capitol Hill organized by black female leaders in support of Ilhan Omar, the embattled Democratic congresswoman addressed the crowd.

"They cannot stand that a refugee, a black woman, an immigrant, a Muslim shows up in Congress thinking she's equal to them," she said, referencing President Trump, members of the Republican Party and even members of her own party.

Peter Nunn is 32 and he's happy. He lives just outside Atlanta with his husband Monte, his dog Amelie, and their cat Hollow.

The dining room is decorated with a photo gallery wall of family — his husband dancing with his mother at their wedding and pictures of the couple. But it took a long time and work to get to a place where Nunn said he accepted and loved himself.

As a gay man, Nunn said, his father tried to change him.

Over the weekend, Muslim mental health professionals quickly pulled together a webinar to share advice on how to deal with trauma after the New Zealand terrorist attacks on Friday. A white supremacist killed at least 50 people as they prayed in two mosques.

Psychiatrists and spiritual leaders doled out advice on self-care and how to help young Muslims work through this moment.

A video of a stranger with a bouquet of roses walking into a New York mosque was shared thousands of times online. "An expression of sympathy for the loss of life in New Zealand," the man said, as he handed over the bouquet.

The message was clear: Muslims, you are not alone.

That message echoed in vigils and interfaith gatherings across the country over a weekend marred by a tragedy across the world that felt so close to home — an attack on two mosques in New Zealand where at least 50 people were killed as they prayed.

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It's a time of deepening political divisions in the United States, with people on opposite ends of the political spectrum not only disagreeing but many really disliking the other side. That dislike has been growing for decades.

In a small county in rural northern Nevada, Melanie Keener was once the second-most powerful person in law enforcement. She was Storey County's chief deputy, overseeing detentions, investigations and the patrol division.

That ended in 2016 when she reported her boss, Sheriff Gerald Antinoro, for sexual harassment.

"Coming forward has broke me," Keener said.

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