KIOS-FM

Bo Hamby

Renee Ekwoge can't remember the last conversation she had with her father. They stopped talking regularly months ago, after she moved nearly 1,000 miles away for a new job last summer.

"The last time I saw my dad, he was painting my house," Ekwoge says. "He came and helped paint all weekend. It was nice when we lived closer and had ways to hang out that didn't include nonsense videos."

Those "nonsense videos" are about conspiracy theories. They've become a major focus for her father — on topics like COVID-19 and Sept. 11, 2001. He watches them on YouTube.

John Boehner says he couldn't win an election as a Republican these days.

"I think I'd have a pretty tough time," he says. "I'm a conservative Republican, but I'm not crazy. And, you know, these days crazy gets elected. On the left and the right."

Boehner has a new memoir, On the House, about his time in politics.

Jared Stacy is still processing his decision to leave Spotswood Baptist Church in Fredericksburg, Va., last year. Until November, he was ministering to young parishioners in their 20s and 30s.

But in the four years since he had joined the church as a pastor, Stacy had found himself increasingly up against an invisible, powerful force taking hold of members of his congregation: conspiracy theories, disinformation and lies.

Stacy has seen the real consequences of these lies build up over the years; he says it has tainted the name of his faith.

"I just remember being very scared."

That's how Lydia, a 39-year-old mother of three in Canada, describes feeling when she was pregnant in 2008 with her daughter and had questions about vaccinating. She worried it might cause more harm than good.

"I remember feeling some trepidation and saying to my husband, 'We can't undo this once we do it,' " she says. NPR is not using Lydia's full name because she's worried about backlash from a community she once believed in — people opposed to vaccines.

Santiago Potes is one of the hundreds of thousands of DACA-recipients currently living in the U.S. His parents fled Colombia when he was four years old, traveling with Potes to Miami.

Now, Potes, 23, is a graduate of Columbia University and also the first Latino DACA recipient to be awarded a prestigious Rhodes Scholarship.

"I just couldn't believe it," he tells NPR's Morning Edition. "I just thought that they were going to call me, and say 'Oh, we made a mistake. Sorry about that, we actually didn't choose you.' "

When invitations went out to men's lacrosse teams to compete in the 2022 World Games in Birmingham, Ala., there was a big omission. The No. 3 Iroquois Nationals, a team that represents the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, wasn't on the list.

Organizers said the Nationals could not compete because it is not from a sovereign nation — even though players have their own passports.

"It was a disappointment and sort of boiled my blood," says Lyle Thompson, an Iroquois Nationals player.