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"Florida in the summer is a slow hot drowning." That's one way Lauren Groff describes the state in her new collection of short stories. In another part of the book, she calls Florida "a damp, dense tangle. An Eden of dangerous things." Why Florida? "I've lived here for 12 years and it's still so alien and fecund and steamy and strange to me," she says. "Reptilian, dangerous, teeming — I mean, there are so many things that you could call Florida."


Interview Highlights

On the dangers of Florida

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Today NPR spoke directly with Apple CEO Tim Cook about the revelations that hardware makers had access to personal data in the Facebook app. NPR's Laura Sydell was there and joins us now. Hi, Laura.

LAURA SYDELL, BYLINE: Hello.

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The man who built Starbucks into a worldwide empire is finally parting ways with his company. Howard Schultz is retiring, stepping down as the executive chairman of Starbucks. This means a new wave of speculation has started that he may be looking to get into politics.

There's a new novel out Monday — a political thriller told from the perspective of a U.S. president who's been called to testify as his opponents lay the groundwork to impeach him. The narrator, President Jonathan Duncan, describes the scene toward the beginning of the book:

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When Clarence Fountain was only 8 years old, his family left him at an Alabama boarding school for the blind. He eventually went on to help create The Blind Boys of Alabama.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "TOO CLOSE TO HEAVEN")

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(SOUNDBITE OF BOMBINO SONG, "OULHIN")

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Early on Saturday morning, business at Laura Om's salon on Calle Loiza in San Juan, Puerto Rico is booming. Hurricane Maria, in a roundabout way, has something to do with that.

Om specializes in styling curly, natural hair — something that Puerto Rican women often go to great lengths to straighten with strong chemicals and hair dryers.

Eight months after the hurricane, it appears that Hurricane Maria — and the subsequent power and water outages — created a new market for Om's skills.

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Finally today, we've heard a lot about the ways that people all across the region have taken the lessons of last year's storms and are trying to move forward. Now we're going to introduce you to someone who's trying to lift up her community through music.

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Puerto Rico's Devastation Permeates Plena

Jun 2, 2018

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Finally today, we've been talking about the toll of last year's hurricanes on Puerto Rico, and it's everywhere, even in the music on the streets.

(SOUNDBITE OF VIENTO DE AGUA'S PERFORMANCE OF "PARA UN PLENERO")

Barbershop: Puerto Rico Journalists

Jun 2, 2018

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And now it's time for The Barbershop. That's where we talk to interesting people about what's in the news and what's on their minds. And we're spending the week in Puerto Rico.

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High school seniors who survived the deadly shooting in Santa Fe, Texas, just two weeks ago, graduated Friday.

On Sunday, the 2018 class at a Parkland, Fla. high school, where a gunman killed 17 people, will also receive their diplomas.

It was in the days after that Valentine's Day shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that survivors-turned-advocates became a national force in calling for tighter gun regulation in the U.S.

And for students, it's also been a lesson in patience.

Black Thought has been a guiding force for The Roots since he co-founded the group with Questlove back in high school. The Philadelphia innovators have found success through many different avenues, and for almost a decade now have served as the house band for Jimmy Fallon's incarnations of Late Night and The Tonight Show.

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Protesters gathered in more than two dozen cities across the country on Friday to condemn the Trump administration's practice of separating immigrant parents and children at the Southern border.

At least 600 children were taken from their parents last month as part of the administration's crackdown on illegal immigration.

"The stories are horrific," said Jessica Morales Rocketto, with the National Domestic Workers Alliance, who helped organize the protest in Washington, D.C.

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The U.S. is not only in a trade fight with the European Union but also with allies closer to home. Mexico and Canada are both disappointed by the new aluminum and steel tariffs. The Canadians have promised to retaliate.

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Andres Gonzalez has spent the past five years photographing tangible pieces of grief.

ANDRES GONZALEZ: Crosses, Jewish stars, angels - a lot of angels.

When you watch The Graduate, do you identify with the parents? Do you grow impatient scrolling to your birth year in online drop-down menus? Is a night of continuous, unmedicated sleep one of life's greatest pleasures? If so, Pamela Druckerman says, you might be in your 40s.

Druckerman thought that being in her 40s would be a "delicious secret." But, it turns out, others noticed, too. Salespeople steered her toward anti-aging creams. Her daughter observed: "Mommy, you're not old, but you're definitely not young anymore."

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The images from the eruption of Kilauea are breathtaking. Lava is gushing from cracks in the earth, spraying — at times — more than 200 feet in the air. Eruptions from the Halema'uma'u crater continue to punch plumes of gas and ash into the Hawaiian sky.

For those living in the southeast corner of the Big Island, the eruption is devastating. Thousands have been evacuated, as rivers of lava slowly burn their way down the flanks of the long-active volcano, consuming homes and blocking roads.

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