Ari Shapiro

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Beneath the pine and birch forest of northern Germany lies Unicorn Cave, named for the bones found by medieval treasure hunters.

More than 100 years ago, a poem by Katharine Lee Bates was put to music by Samuel Ward, and the resulting song has become one of the United States' most recognizable patriotic hymns, "America the Beautiful."

It's been a hot week full of court documents and news drops. And now, we're ready for a calmer and cooler break with time to breathe. And fortunately, we've got recommendations for podcasts, binge-able television and good reading for your holiday weekend.

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For millions of people, this phrase...

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

QUINTA BRUNSON: (As character) He got money.

(LAUGHTER)

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A sinking cargo ship off the coast of Sri Lanka is causing an environmental disaster for the country that looks set to have long-term effects.

The X-Press Pearl caught fire on May 20 and burned for two weeks, but the fire appears to have mostly burned out. The crew was evacuated. The ship is now partially sitting on the seabed with its front settling down slowly.

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If you haven't already heard...

(SOUNDBITE OF CICADAS SINGING)

SHAPIRO: ...Brood X cicadas are still singing across parts of the U.S. including here in Washington, D.C.

(SOUNDBITE OF CICADAS SINGING)

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On the campaign trail last summer, candidate Joe Biden promised to make his running mate, Kamala Harris, the last voice in the room before he made important decisions. And in March of this year, he joked about what he meant by that.

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An elephant's trunk is amazingly versatile, used for all types of things.

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You might not know it, but this...

(SOUNDBITE OF HAZARD LIGHTS BLINKING)

CHANG: ...Is the sound of a hotly debated issue in Florida.

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Beer.

(SOUNDBITE OF BEER POURING)

SHAPIRO: That sound can mean summer, picnics, barbecues, concerts, and now researchers have found that the sound a beer makes as you open it and pour it can influence our perception of its quality.

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Simone Biles, already the most decorated gymnast in history, has surpassed expectations again. On Saturday, she performed a move considered so dangerous that no other woman has ever attempted it in competition.

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A fragile cease-fire is still in place in the Middle East. After 11 days of explosive conflict between Israel and Hamas, President Joe Biden yesterday made his first major remarks about the fighting.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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After a long, dark year, social muscles have atrophied. In-person gatherings now call for weighty questions about COVID-19 safety. And many people, who during the pandemic found relief in empty calendars, don't want to go back to the world as they knew it.

On the last episode of Play It Forward, our series in which artists tell us about their own music and the musicians who inspire them, All Things Considered spoke with Angel Bat Dawid, the improvisational musician from Chicago. She told us about her connection to the pioneer of funk: George Clinton.

The first time sociologist Mary de Young heard about QAnon, she thought: "Here we go again."

De Young spent her career studying moral panics — specifically, what became known as the "Satanic Panic" of the 1980s, when false accusations of the abuse of children in satanic rituals spread across the United States.

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Brood X cicadas are slowly making their way above ground in many parts of the country.

(SOUNDBITE OF CICADAS BUZZING)

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Look. I wouldn't know what to do if a duck started nesting in a planter on my ninth floor balcony, but Steve Stuttard, an avid bird lover and retired Royal Navy specialist, was just the man for the job.

President Biden is pledging to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50-52% from 2005 levels by 2030.

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