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Across the U.S., the weather is simply weird: The highest peaks of Hawaii spent the weekend under a blizzard warning, while record rainfall drenched the Pacific Northwest, unseasonably warm temperatures stretched across the Midwest and South, and a major snow drought in the Rockies means Denver has still not seen its first snowfall of the season.

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.

This week's show was recorded remotely with host Peter Sagal, official judge and scorekeeper Bill Kurtis, Not My Job guest Audra McDonald and panelists Adam Burke, Karen Chee and Maz Jobrani. Click the audio link above to hear the whole show.

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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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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Parts of the Piedmont and eastern North and South Carolina are now in a "severe drought," raising concerns about water levels and the risk of fires like one that has burned more than a thousand acres at Pilot Mountain State Park.

After immigration became a major issue in the 2016 campaign, artist Tanya Aguiñiga started walking among the cars and pedestrians lined up at the U.S.-Mexico border and handing out postcards with the question "What are your thoughts when you cross this border?" in both English and Spanish.

Attached to the cards were two strands of fabric to be tied together. The result was Border Quipu – named after the Inca device for organizing information using knotted threads.

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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For nearly a decade, scientists have been eavesdropping on killer whales in the Arctic.

(SOUNDBITE OF KILLER WHALES CALLING)

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The News Roundup — Domestic

Dec 3, 2021

Following South Africa’s initial reports, the omicron variant was detected in the United States. Officials at the Centers for Disease Control are working to impose strict testing requirements for international travelers. But questions have been raise over such measures’ efficacy when Americans traveling abroad are allowed into the country without hesitation.

The News Roundup — International

Dec 3, 2021

Cases of the omicron variant in South Africa doubled in the span of a day after it was initially discovered in the country. The new variant has nations scrambling to protect their citizens.

DENVER — Experts have found a man charged with killing 10 people at a Colorado supermarket earlier this year is mentally incompetent to stand trial for now, attorneys said during a court hearing Friday.

Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, 22, is accused of opening fire at a busy King Soopers in the college town of Boulder in March — killing a police officer, shoppers and several store employees including an Olympic hopeful distance runner.

(Heads up: This story contains spoilers about the movie House of Gucci.)

In House of Gucci, Lady Gaga's character, Patrizia Reggiani, is famous for two reasons. She was married to Maurizio Gucci, grandson of the company's founder Guccio Gucci — and she was convicted having the fashion heir killed in 1995.

To prepare for the role, Gaga said she spent months studying Reggiani for director Ridley Scott's new film.

Updated December 4, 2021 at 9:19 PM ET

For nearly three decades, juvenile crime and the number of juveniles actually prosecuted has sharply declined. But the deadly school shooting in Michigan brings into sharp focus some deep controversy surrounding juvenile justice: whether young people accused of crimes should be charged as a adults.

The 15-year-old accused of killing four fellow students is being charged as an adult with murder and terrorism.

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