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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:

Meric Long had been playing guitar for three years when he realized the instrument could be more than his hobby — it could be his way of communicating, too, of feeling he had something important to say.

At a high-school friend's house party, Long, then an anxious California teenager, smoked too much weed and meandered on an acoustic guitar for several uninterrupted hours. He assumed he was improvising for no one. But people listened, captivated by the sudden volubility of a 16-year-old who considered himself awkward and uneasy.

Officials in Oregon are asking for public assistance to locate the person or persons responsible for poisoning eight wolves in the eastern part of the state earlier this year.

The Oregon State Police has been investigating the killing of all five members of the Catherine Pack in Union County, plus three other wolves from other packs, the agency said in a news release Thursday.

CARSON CITY, Nev. — When it was time for Winona James to return to school, her family hid her in brush near their home in the Carson Valley to prevent officials from the Stewart Indian School from finding her.

James, a member of the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California, was among the more than 20,000 students who were sent to the boarding school as part of a federal program designed to forcibly assimilate Native Americans into dominant Euro-American culture. She attended for one year, but her family feared for her life.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

I've had açaí berries, being one of those Americans who longs to be healthier, especially if I can do it by plopping a few berries into a smoothie.

Açaí, which to me taste a little like dull blueberries, reportedly brim with antioxidants, vitamins and fiber. They are said to promote energy, healthy digestion, and even a dewier complexion.

But how do açaí berries get from the tops of trees in Brazil's Amazon into the açaí bowls that sell in San Francisco, Austin and West Des Moines?

Many are picked by children.

When Karina Ahuanari's mother Teresa died of COVID on April 24, 2020, at a hospital in Peru's port city of Iquitos, their family had no idea what happened to her body.

At the time, the country was in lockdown and people couldn't leave their homes. Despite the COVID restrictions, Ahuanari's brother and sister-in-law went to the hospital to try to find the matriarch of their family.

Pastor Matthew Southall Brown Sr., a retired Baptist preacher and decorated war veteran, is being celebrated and remembered this weekend in Savannah, Ga. Brown died late last month of natural causes. He was 99.

Brown was a member of the 60th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division, Company E, a segregated support unit. He was among the first African Americans to desegregate the military and fight during World War II. He earned the Good Conduct Medal, WWII Victory Medal, as well as an American Theater Ribbon, among other commendations.

BUDAPEST, Hungary — When President Biden greets scores of nations at his virtual "Summit for Democracy" this coming week, one member of the Western alliance won't be there.

Hungary, on the Eastern edge of the European Union, was not invited.

Here we go again.

Just when you thought it was safe to go back to almost normal times, a new, highly mutated variant of the coronavirus has reared its ugly head in the U.S.

Updated December 4, 2021 at 5:17 PM ET

After an hours-long manhunt led to their arrest overnight in Detroit, the parents of the 15-year-old boy accused of fatally shooting four students at a high school in Michigan have pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter charges connected to the deaths.

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CARSON CITY, Nev. — Nevada's Supreme Court ruled gun manufacturers cannot be held responsible for the deaths in the 2017 mass shooting on the Las Vegas Strip because a state law shields them from liability unless the weapon malfunctions.

The parents of a woman who was among the 60 people killed in the shooting at packed music festival filed a wrongful death suit against Colt Manufacturing Co. and several other gun manufacturers in July 2019.

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