Recent content from Maya Rao
Customs and Border Protection app for asylum seekers jammed by heavy use
Russian hoping to reach Minnesota has tried to schedule an appointment for nearly two weeks.
War in Sudan hits hard for immigrants who now live in Minnesota
A group gathered Saturday in Minneapolis, sharing stories of family and loved ones scrambling for safety in Sudan.
Four things Minnesota Somalis want to see from the Legislature this year
Somali community leaders marked first Somali Day at the Minnesota State Capitol on Tuesday
Minneapolis geologists' plans to explore for gold in Black Hills raising environmental concerns
The company has emphasized it is only exploring for gold and that its proposals do not involve mining. Environmentalists aren't buying it.
Muslims express confidence, concerns in the wake of Minneapolis mosque arsons
Worshipers at both mosques reflected a mix of fear and resolve.
Rescue of migrants shows rise in Minnesota, N.D. border crossings
U.S. Customs and Border Protection reports significant spike this year, compared with two previous years.
Antiwar Russians fleeing home finding their way to Minnesota
Many of the asylum seekers from Russia are coming into the United States through Mexico.
Racial justice advocates offer mixed reviews of Minneapolis policing agreement
They were still absorbing the ramifications of the 144-page document and asking: Did it go far enough?
Jobs mean community to Ukrainian refugees in Minnesota
A Home Depot warehouse provides a lifeline to Minnesota group who fled war and are now starting work.
A new generation of Indigenous leaders takes inspiration from those at Wounded Knee
Facing a series of challenges, "the guidance that those Wounded Knee veterans gave to us was to never give up, to always do the right thing and stand up for the people even if it's hard," one said.
March marks 50 years since Wounded Knee occupation
Hundreds walked to Wounded Knee from four directions to recall the work of their ancestors who brought attention to treaty violations and demands for Indigenous rights.
Wounded Knee remembered: 1973 occupation led to resurgence of Native voice
50th anniversary of 71-day standoff to be commemorated at Pine Ridge Indian Reservation on Feb. 24-27
Roseville couple's relatives rescued from the rubble of Turkey earthquake
Turkish American Association of Minnesota is holding a fundraiser and collecting donations of goods on Friday in Chanhassen.
Normal refugee channels slowed dramatically, frustrating local immigrants with family in peril
While Ukrainian and Afghan immigrants are expedited in temporary programs, many others around the world wait.
Two arrested in India in deaths of family found frozen at Canada border a year ago
The two men are accused of culpable homicide not amounting to murder, attempt at culpable homicide, human trafficking and criminal conspiracy, an Indian official told the Canadian Press.
On MLK day, Twin Cities speakers urge 'keep moving forward' in justice fight, reparations push
Valerie Jarrett, CEO of the Obama Foundation, gave the keynote address at the Minneapolis Convention Center on Monday morning.
George Floyd family fund accepting grant applications to help businesses
The grants are meant to help restore the struggling 38th and Chicago neighborhood in south Minneapolis.
Highly skilled back home, refugees in Minnesota try to find fulfilling work
Local groups aim to help recent immigrants from Ukraine and Afghanistan find skilled jobs as the state grapples with a worker shortage.
Somali president draws crowds for Minneapolis speech
Hassan Sheikh Mohamud was expected to address the fight against terrorist group al-Shabaab and a food crisis in Somalia.
Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud to visit Minneapolis on Thursday
He is expected to address the fight against terrorist group al-Shabab and a food crisis in Somalia.
Only 18 freshmen benefit in first year of U's Native American Promise Tuition Program
Some tribal leaders say the program is a promising first step, but they hope it will eventually include far more Native students.
Helped by others decades ago, Minnesotan now rescues Ukrainian refugees
Aswar Rahman, 28, started a nonprofit to bring Ukrainian refugees to the state and connect them with locals who sponsor them.
After fighting federal charges, man faces FBI allegations he took $5.9 million in meal fraud case
Haji Salad spent four years in jail on discredited FBI sex trafficking charges before he was federally indicted again this year in a massive meal fraud case.
Mpls. areas hit by crime want say with candidates, not slogans
Some leaders in the areas hit hardest by violence say they wish candidates would spend more time engaging them and residents instead of using public safety as a flashpoint in campaign ads.
Ukrainian mom keeps daughter safe in Minneapolis as husband fights Russians at home
Nataliia Kuchma, a doctor in her home country, landed in Minnesota with just two suitcases for her and her 5-year-old girl.
In Morris, regent's comments on diversity at the University of Minnesota sting students, faculty
MORRIS, Minn. – The students came to Room 5 of the humanities building Thursday to discuss literature in their senior seminar. But first, they reflected…
'You don't really win': Don Samuels reflects on suing Minneapolis for more police
With the lawsuit finished, Samuels vowed to continue speaking on public safety.
One Minnesota interpreter's tumultuous year: Facing a tsunami of need after Afghan evacuation
Roman Khan settled in Minnesota years ago after serving the U.S. military as an interpreter. Now he helps evacuees start over here, while trying to get his family out of Afghanistan.
Efforts underway in Minnesota to raise money to help Pakistani flood victims
Local organizers are encouraging donations to Helping Hand for Relief and Development, Islamic Relief USA and the Pakistan-based Edhi Foundation.
Still awaiting citizenship, Minnesota's frustrated 'Dreamers' push forward
Ten years after the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program began, residents are mentally exhausted by uncertainty.
Minnesota barbers, hairstylists get training to support clients' mental health needs
The Confess Project held a training session on Monday in Minneapolis, in hopes of expanding outreach to the Black community.
Charges dropped, lives ruined, but St. Paul officer still on force
False sex trafficking charges ravaged the lives of two dozen people. But the St. Paul officer they sued for violating their constitutional rights is still on the force. An officer's participation in a federal task force has "become blanket immunity for anything they do," said the attorney of one.
Nominee's past may be template for how he handles public safety job
The Minneapolis City Council could vote as soon as Aug. 4 on the nomination of Cedric Alexander as city's community safety commissioner.
At march for man fatally shot by Mpls. police, emotions run over
Resident of neighboring apartment says she, children were put in danger by actions of Andrew Tekle Sundberg, who police later fatally shot.
Young people called to action at national Native youth conference
More than 1,600 attended the event in Minneapolis.
Super Eid celebration draws a crowd at U.S. Bank Stadium
Forty-five thousand fill the stadium to celebrate the Muslim holiday.
Passenger's lawsuit against officers dismissed in Winston Smith shooting death
The dismissal highlights the challenges of winning cases against members of joint local-federal task forces.
Winston Smith, outraged at police killings of Black men, saw his own death coming
The budding comedian was outraged by the deaths of Black men at the hands of police. He wondered out loud if he would someday shoot it out rather than surrender.
Two years later: 'I'm going to still be out here to honor George'
George Floyd's brother and his aunt came to the corner of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue on Wednesday night, exactly two years after his killing, and quietly made official the name the intersection has carried almost ever since.
Second man in meal fraud probe charged for alleged false statement on passport application
Federal prosecutors have charged Abdiaziz Farah, one of the targets of an FBI investigation alleging the misspending of millions of dollars in federal meal funds,…
'We can get some justice': Vows to find killer of 6-year-old Aniya Allen one year later
The loss of Aniya last May shocked Minneapolis – the last in a trio of shootings of children by stray gunfire over several weeks.
Georgia Fort expands independent newsroom to change Minnesota's racial narrative
The veteran broadcast journalist also eyes mentorships and a possible pipeline for journalists of color early in their careers.
Black citizens recount fear, distrust as complaints against Mpls. police go nowhere
Few cases filed with Office of Police Conduct Review lead to discipline.
In communities of color, scathing MPD report is not a surprise
Finally, some say, there is recognition of what they have recognized for decades.
The Taliban stole her dream of an education. In Minnesota, she's getting it back
Her birthday wish this year in America was the same as last year in Afghanistan: to finish school and go to college.
Minnesota man pleads guilty to killing Red Lake tribal officer
Red Lake officer Ryan Bialke was shot and killed in the line of duty last summer.
Dead family at northern border shows Border Patrol's tall task
Illegal immigration is a constant issue in the United States, focused on the southern border. In the north, far fewer agents patrol a vast and often treacherous landscape.
Meals program in Willmar offers a window into investigation
The owner of a local restaurant contradicts FBI allegations and says disadvantaged families were served by the thousands.
Meal distributors in probe have history of legal troubles
Three prime contractors are at the heart of criminal conspiracy, according to the FBI.
Twin Cities speakers honor MLK's legacy with call to action
As people across the Minnesota honored King's legacy Monday, local leaders encouraged citizens to continue his push for civil rights nearly 54 years after he was assassinated in Memphis.
Hundreds gather to honor American Indian leader Clyde Bellecourt
As American Indian leader Clyde Bellecourt was dying, Lydia Caros sent him a card expressing how lucky he was to look back on a life…
Afghan interpreter questions cost of war as he works at MOA
Grateful to be in the U.S., Khyber Sakhi is still angered at the Americans' exit from Afghanistan and saddened by the fate of his country.
Afghan interpreter's journey to state: 'I had no other options'
Khyber Sakhi is among nearly 21,000 Afghans whose support for the U.S. mission allowed them to come here on a Special Immigrant Visa, often sharing the trauma of returning veterans but lacking the same support.
Bloomington immigrant family welcomes friends who fled Afghanistan
The Mulakhails, who have lived in the U.S. for three years, host their friends in their small apartment until the new arrivals get on their feet.
For Afghan immigrant in Minnesota, friendship forms with English tutor
Afghan family, volunteer tutor forge friendship through English lessons.
At George Floyd Square, hopes for major change in Minneapolis policing fade with the darkness
Polling numbers heading into Election Day showed a city divided about the future of public safety.
Passenger recounts chaos before Winston Smith was fatally shot
The woman who was with Winston Smith Jr. on the day he was shot and killed by members of a federal law enforcement task force detailed his final chaotic moments in the front seat of a vehicle, according to an interview she gave to investigators.
Winston Smith's family calls for independent investigation
Family members of the man killed by a U.S. Marshals Service task force atop an Uptown Minneapolis parking ramp said the state's investigation was flawed.
Honduran sisters in Rochester allege mistreatment at southern border
Now in Minnesota with mom, they detail being held in cage and kicked.
Mpls. coalition aims to advance healing for Native families with ties to U.S. boarding schools
Recent findings of hundreds of unmarked graves near Canadian boarding schools for Natives has spurred hope of a similar reckoning in the U.S.
Poll: Many Minnesotans approve of Afghan pullout, not Biden job
Nearly half of voters polled said U.S. military invasion wasn't worth it.
Bloomington family helps newer Afghan arrivals as they build life in U.S.
The Mulakhails believe it's their duty to help those now fleeing the Taliban.
In Minnesota, Afghan woman struggles to help stranded relatives
From Blaine, she imagined how hard it would be for them to start over, having been upper class in Kabul.
L.A., Atlanta wrestle with calls for permanent police reform
More than a year after George Floyd's killing, Los Angeles' commitment to lasting change is being tested.
Winston Smith raised phone, not gun, says woman in car with him
Their claim contradicts that of authorities, who say he was shot after showing a weapon.
Death of Winston Smith puts spotlight on low-profile agency
Amid a national push for police accountability, critics now are questioning the often-secret actions of the U.S. Marshals Service, including why and how it oversaw the operation that resulted in Smith's death in Minneapolis.
'It could have been me,' witnesses to Sunday crash at protest site say
Sunday's episode shocked protesters and gave them a renewed determination to keep pressing for racial justice in policing.
George Floyd's friends seek to build a living legacy in his hometown
In Houston's Third Ward, his presence is everywhere.
Attorneys for woman in Winston Smith's car: She didn't see a gun
Activists demanded that law enforcement be more transparent and be held to account. The BCA reiterated its claim that Smith fired a gun before being killed.
Protesters take fight for police accountability to Uptown
Scrutiny over Winston Smith's killing comes as Uptown reels from a rash of business closures, lootings and crime — and the scars of a mass shooting last summer that killed one and injured 11.
Protesters gather for third night at site of Uptown police shooting
On Saturday night, a crowd converged on W. Lake Street outside the parking garage where Winston Smith was killed and blocked off the street.
3 fatally shot overnight in Mpls.; officer wounds suspect
The deaths of a man and a woman in separate incidents brought the number of homicides in the city to 37 for the year.
BCA: Man shot, killed by police had fired from inside vehicle
Authorities said there is no video of the shooting of the man identified as Winston Boogie Smith, 32, in the Uptown area of Minneapolis. Grief mixed with anger for his family.
Death is painfully familiar in Floyd's old neighborhood
The epidemic of deaths in Houston's Third Ward is even more painful after the killing of George Floyd, who was a mentor and friend to many.
In George Floyd's hometown, anniversary marked with prayers and resolve
The Houston neighborhood where Floyd spent much of his life marked the day with a deeply personal sense of hope and loss.