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Smoldering lava is exploding into the sky, residents have been evacuated and the local airport has been closed — but one small home on the island of La Palma has been spared, bringing a small amount of relief as a volcanic eruption intensifies off the northwestern coast of Africa.

Social media users are calling the home — which was surrounded by lava — the "miracle house."

What if we told you there was a hamster who has been trading cryptocurrencies since June — and recently was doing better than Warren Buffett and the S&P 500?

Meet Mr. Goxx, a hamster who works out of what is possibly the most high-tech hamster cage in existence.

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

"Six o'clock in the morning. How's your head?"

So begins a poem written this month by the Cuban writer Katherine Bisquet. She continues:

"Is it cold in Berlin?


I go to bed this morning - I'm trying to change my habits - with a complaint,


There's an animal in the front yard that eats the neighbor's pigeons.


The beast eats everything it sees in its path,


How can I tell it not to eat what doesn't belong to it?


Are there cypresses there?


Here the ceibas have lost their leaves

Global Natural Gas Prices Are Soaring

4 hours ago

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The pandemic, migration crisis, and Congressional gridlock continue to create stumbling blocks for the Biden administration.

NPR's Scott Simon asks immigrant rights advocate Vicki Gaubeca of the Southern Border Communities Coalition about the treatment of migrants at the southern border.

The fall of a Syrian opposition town to the government this week after a siege and threats of air strikes serves as a reminder that the civil war continues.

Eligible Americans Can Now Get COVID-19 Booster Shots

5 hours ago

After promising booster shots to all recipients of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, then only some, 20 million Americans are now officially eligible to receive them.

BERLIN — Millions of Germans will head to the polls in a federal election on Sunday that will determine who will succeed Angela Merkel after 16 years as Germany's chancellor.

According to the latest polls, Germany's center-left Social Democratic Party is narrowly ahead of Merkel's center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its Bavarian partner, the Christian Social Union. They're closely followed by the Greens, the far-right Alternative for Germany and the libertarian Free Democratic Party, all holding onto double-digit poll numbers going into Sunday's election.

Selling an idea in Silicon Valley takes not only a grand vision but also swagger and bluster, says Margaret O'Mara, a historian of the tech industry.

"Being able to tell a good story is part of being a successful founder, being able to persuade investors to put money into your company," she said.

GRASSE, France — The town of Grasse sits in the hills above the more famous French Riviera city of Cannes, and it doesn't have the Mediterranean Sea at its doorstep. What it does have is fields of flowers — jasmine, May rose, tuberose, lavender. It is known as the perfume capital of the world.

It wasn't always this way. Back in the18th and 19th centuries, the industry took off in Grasse in part because this was an absolutely putrid-smelling town.

Adam Willmann was born in Goodall-Witcher hospital in Clifton, a small town in central Texas. Now he's its CEO, and he's worried his hospital may have to stop delivering babies.

That's because some of the experienced nurses in the Goodall-Witcher obstetrics department aren't vaccinated for COVID-19 and don't intend to be. But under a new federal mandate, hospitals will soon have to require their staff to be vaccinated.

In America, around 17 million children are battling hunger. An entrepreneur has teamed with rap star Gunna to open a free grocery store inside his old middle school in Georgia to try to begin to change that.

'What Do You Need A Song For?': Esperanza Spalding's Search For The Answer

19 hours ago

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AILSA CHANG, HOST:

There is one question at the heart of Esperanza Spalding's new album - what do you need a song for?

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Zebras On The Lam Are Dazzling Suburban Maryland

20 hours ago

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

While many DC reporters are focused on the White House or Capitol Hill, news of a different stripe has been grabbing attention.

LEILA FADEL, HOST:

Five zebras are on the loose in the D.C. suburbs in Prince George's County, Md.

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LEILA FADEL, HOST:

The mayor of Del Rio, Texas, Bruno Lozano, expressed relief that thousands of migrants who were in his border city are no longer there.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

There is one question at the heart of Esperanza Spalding's new album - what do you need a song for?

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

ESPERANZA SPALDING: It's such a simple question, and I feel like we have the capacity to answer it (laughter).

The days of toilet paper shortages may not be over just yet: Costco has announced new limits on purchases of certain household items as supply chain issues bedevil the company and the delta variant spreads.

The company is putting "limitations on key items" such as toilet paper, bottled water and cleaning supplies so it can meet any uptick in demand due to the COVID-19 surge, Costco Chief Financial Officer Richard Galanti said during the company's latest earnings call on Thursday.

Hurricane Sam is poised to become a major hurricane Saturday — just one day after it reached hurricane status. The storm will rapidly intensify as it passes over warm 84-degree water far out in the Atlantic Ocean, according to the National Hurricane Center. Wind conditions in the area are also favorable for storm growth.

No coastal watches or warnings are currently in effect for Sam, which is more than 1,300 miles east-southeast of the northern Leeward Islands that rim the Caribbean Sea.

Two hosts of the popular ABC daytime talk show The View tested positive for the coronavirus moments before Vice President Harris was set to appear onstage in what the network had touted as her first in-studio talk show interview since taking office.

R. Kelly's Federal Trial Is In The Hands Of The Jury

23 hours ago

Editor's note: This report includes allegations of sexual and physical abuse.

It has been six weeks of hearing from accusers, former employees and expert witnesses. Now the jury decides what's next for R. Kelly.

When we're young, it's easy to imagine ourselves as always being on the right side of history. We like to think that, if we were trapped in cruel or barbaric societies, we would be the brave ones stepping in to stop injustice.

Ray Charles Reflects On His Country Music Roots

Sep 24, 2021

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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Each week, we answer frequently asked questions about life during the coronavirus crisis. If you have a question you'd like us to consider for a future post, email us at goatsandsoda@npr.org with the subject line: "Weekly Coronavirus Questions." See an archive of our FAQs here.

SEOUL — The race to become Japan's next leader looks like a tossup. In the nearly half-century that Tokyo-based journalist Hiroshi Izumi has been covering party politics and elections, "This is the first time that we cannot predict the result until the ballot box will be opened," he says.

President Biden says he will get a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as he can, urging Americans also eligible to do the same.

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