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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:

Updated April 18, 2021 at 8:08 PM ET

Members of Indianapolis' Sikh community are mourning four of its members who were killed in Thursday night's shooting attack at a FedEx warehouse that left eight victims dead.

Global COVID-19 Deaths Top 3 Million

Apr 17, 2021

Global deaths from COVID-19 has surpassed 3 million, according to the latest data from John Hopkins University.

Leading in those deaths are the United States, with more than 566,000, and Brazil, with more than 368,000. They are followed by Mexico, India and the United Kingdom.

The global death toll reached 1 million in September 2020 and 2 million in January.

Updated April 17, 2021 at 11:54 AM ET

Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh and husband of Queen Elizabeth II was memorialized Saturday in a funeral service, decades in the making, before being laid to rest in Windsor Castle.

Because of the pandemic, many of the usual ceremonies were dropped. After a national moment of silence, Philip's body was carried to the gates of Windsor Castle in a personalized hearse, a Land Rover that he helped modify.

It's no secret why poor countries don't have as many vaccines as rich countries.

"There's really just a scarcity of doses," says Kate Elder, senior vaccine policy adviser at Doctors Without Borders' Access Campaign. The question is, how do you fix it?

Post Vaccine Happy Dance: Not Just Showing Off

Apr 17, 2021

YouTube

He got his two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. And each time, he danced on a frozen lake to celebrate.

As we approach President Biden's 100th day in office at the end of this month, some observers are flattering him with comparisons to two legendary Democratic presidents of the 20th century — Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson.

Those names reportedly came up when historian Jon Meacham convened a group of his colleagues at the White House in early March for a private session with Biden. And since then, the aptness of comparing this new president to such transformative figures of the past has become a matter of some debate in Washington and beyond.

Fetal tissue is uniquely valuable to medical researchers - useful for developing treatments and better understanding diseases like HIV, Parkinson's, and COVID-19.

But many anti-abortion rights groups oppose it on moral or religious grounds.

Now, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra says he's reversing several restrictions on fetal tissue research put in place during the Trump administration.

All federal prison inmates will have the opportunity to receive a vaccine by mid-May, according to the director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Michael Carvajal.

Vaccines have already been made available to all federal prison staff, he said, speaking before the Senate Judiciary Committee in a hearing Thursday.

More than 40,000 people incarcerated in federal prisons have received both doses of the vaccine, the bureau says, which is about a third of the people in BOP custody. Nearly 18,000 federal prison staff have been fully vaccinated.

Liberty University is suing former president Jerry Falwell Jr. for millions of dollars, accusing him of withholding damaging personal information from school officials while negotiating a lucrative employment agreement for himself, among other allegations.

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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."

I've been hearing about breakthrough infections in people who have been vaccinated. Should I be worried? What can I do to protect myself?

The short answer:

Attendees of the infamous Fyre Festival didn't exactly get what they paid for in 2017, when they arrived in the Bahamas for a luxury music festival only to find themselves stranded without basic provisions, let alone first-class accommodations.

Some four years later, hundreds of ticket holders are poised to receive more than $7,000 each after settling a class-action lawsuit with event organizers.

Sohla El-Waylly (Ancient Recipes with Sohla) and Stella Parks (Bravetart) play an Ask Me Another challenge specifically tailored to their interests. Tarot, Marvel characters and horrors films, oh my!

Heard on Yo-Yo Ma: Civic Duty

Russia retaliated Friday over a new round of U.S. sanctions imposed a day ago by the Biden administration over the SolarWinds cyberattack and the Kremlin's election meddling.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said 10 U.S. diplomats will be expelled from Russia, mirroring the 10 Russian diplomats ordered to leave the U.S. on Thursday. Moscow will also add eight U.S. officials to its sanctions list and will restrict the activities of U.S. nongovernmental organizations, or NGOs, operating in Russia.

Updated April 16, 2021 at 3:27 PM ET

A generation of Cuban revolutionaries who seized power more than six decades ago, directly challenging the U.S. and later pushing Washington and Moscow to the brink of nuclear war, is set to exit the stage.

A law professor and former federal prosecutor argues that police in Brooklyn Center, Minn., didn't need to pursue Daunte Wright, who was killed by an officer who said she mistakenly shot him instead of using her Taser.

"They have his license plate. They know where he lives," says Georgetown law professor Paul Butler, author of the book Chokehold: Policing Black Men.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies, in for Terry Gross. Our guest today is author Louise Erdrich. In a career going back to the 1970s, she's published 17 novels and more than 30 books in all, including children's literature, poetry and nonfiction. She won the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction twice.

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Calling the U.S. military prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, a "symbol of lawlessness and human rights abuses," two dozen U.S. senators are urging President Biden to shut it down quickly and find new homes for the 40 men remaining there. Many of the detainees have been confined at Guantánamo for nearly two decades without being tried or charged, and some have been cleared for release but are still being held.

Updated April 16, 2021 at 1:50 PM ET

A heavy metal musician and founding member of the Oath Keepers extremist group pleaded guilty Friday to charges connected to the storming of the U.S. Capitol and agreed to cooperate with investigators — a first in the massive probe into the deadly Jan. 6 assault.

Timothy Simons (Veep, The Pole) and Theodore Bressman (The Pole) are quizzed on their library knowledge. Can they Dewey Decimate this quiz?

Heard on Yo-Yo Ma: Civic Duty

Timothy Simons (Veep, The Pole) and Theodore Bressman (The Pole) listen to hair metal songs rewritten to be about fictional characters who don't have a lot of hair.

Heard on Yo-Yo Ma: Civic Duty

World-renowned musician Yo-Yo Ma began his musical journey at just 2-and-a-half years old when his parents placed a violin in his hands, "I was very bad and I gave it up. And my parents thought, "well the boy is just not musically talented." He rebounded quickly when at the age of 4, Ma was introduced to the cello.

Musical curiosity runs deep in the Ma family. Recently, Ma's grandson took an interest in his cello. "He figured out how to open the case, take the cello out and everything," Ma said. "He wants to take over. I don't need the competition. Just stay away, I need my job!"

Updated April 16, 2021 at 8:45 PM ET

The White House has walked back its announcement that it will keep this year's historically low refugee ceiling of 15,000 set by the Trump administration, saying its earlier statement Friday, which was panned by fellow Democrats, was meant only to ease restrictions from countries from which refugees are currently banned.

The White House said President Biden would raise the cap by May 15.

Simon & Schuster has scrapped its plans to distribute a book written by one of the Louisville police officers who shot Breonna Taylor, after news of its publication ignited widespread criticism.

The Biden administration will send $1.7 billion to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local and state governments and other research efforts, starting early next month to find and track coronavirus variants lurking in the United States. Already, the more contagious U.K. variant, B.1.1.7, is now the dominant strain in this country, fueling surges in Michigan and the Northeast.

Government officials are trying to figure out how to make better use of drugs that can keep people with COVID-19 out of the hospital. That's an urgent but daunting challenge in Michigan, where hospitals are struggling to keep up with a surge in new cases.

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