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Jerusalem has not been this tense in years. All throughout the month of Ramadan, there's been street violence between Israelis and Palestinians. Police have thrown stun grenades at Palestinian crowds as they were breaking their Ramadan fast.

I first heard of National Public Radio when it broadcast the Senate hearings into the Watergate scandal live, in the summer of 1973.

SEOUL — The cold light of winter shines down on a hillside temple in Seoul. It gleams on the billowing red, yellow and blue robes of shaman Jeong Soon-deok, as she twirls in circles. It glints off the ceremonial knives, bells and fans she waves through the air.

The man standing before her in simple white robes is her newest initiate. Jeong's aim is to throw open the doors of the spirit world so the gods of sun, moon and mountains and the spirits of ancestors and children may enter him.

He's 103. He got his COVID vaccine. And he wants you to get one, too.

That's the message that Aziz Abdul Alim, who is from the remote valley of Upper Chitral of northern Pakistan, wants to tell the world. He received the second dose of the Sinopharm vaccine on April 24. And he's happy to report he's had no side effects so far.

"If a 100-above-year-old man like me can feel perfectly fine, everyone should have the courage to take it," he says. "There is no reason one should not take the vaccine."

About 25 years ago, after a particularly bad cold, I suddenly lost my sense of smell — I could no longer sense the difference between sweaty tennis shoes and a fragrant rose. Since then, my olfactory discernment comes and goes, and most of the time it's just gone. I always figured there wasn't much I could do about that, and it hasn't been terrible. My taste buds still work, and I adore fine chocolate.

A huge increase in thefts of catalytic converters has hit the nation, for at least the second time this century. Thieves are sliding under cars and trucks and brazenly sawing off converters by the thousands. The attraction is the valuable metals inside the converter, an anti-pollution device.

One of many cities reporting an upswing in the crime is Milwaukee, where Ben Wilson recently stepped outside his house and made a troubling discovery about a family car.

Carl Hancock Rux is a poet who knows something about baptism by water and trial by fire. He's someone who keeps on keeping on. You can hear it in "The Baptism," a poem he wrote in tribute to two great civil rights activists, John Lewis and C.T. Vivian. In this year of reckoning about race in America, Carl's poem acknowledges and accepts the bottomless depth of our legacy of keeping on:

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Pfizer and its vaccine partner BioNTech have started an application to request the Food and Drug Administration's approval for its COVID-19 vaccine.

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The U.S. Capitol Police have close to 2,000 uniformed officers, more than the Atlanta Police Department.

The agency's annual budget is around half a billion dollars, which is larger than the budget for the entire Detroit Police Department.

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." See an archive of our FAQs here.

I'm vaccinated? Do I need to tell everyone who asks my status?

Back in the fall, Tom Wenseleers made a bold claim on Twitter. He tweeted that the new coronavirus variant emerging in the U.K. was more transmissible — or could spread more quickly — than over versions of the virus.

"I posted a graph [on Twitter] showing the U.K. variant had a transmission advantage over the other types of the virus," says Wenseleers, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Leuven in Belgium.

Eighty-year-old Nardo Samson, a retired policeman, lay dying in the back of a makeshift ambulance. It was nearly Easter. A surge in coronavirus cases triggered yet another lockdown in the capital Manila, where a confusing patchwork of quarantines to contain the virus persists.

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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This is FRESH AIR. I'm TV critic David Bianculli, sitting in for Terry Gross.

Updated May 7, 2021 at 3:44 PM ET

Dr. Nancy Messonnier, the top respiratory disease official at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who was among the first to warn the American public about how much the pandemic would change everyday life, is stepping down from the agency.

Updated May 7, 2021 at 12:29 PM ET

The Justice Department has filed federal criminal charges against Derek Chauvin, accusing the former police officer of using excessive force and violating the civil rights of George Floyd. Floyd died after Chauvin pressed on his neck for more than nine minutes on the pavement outside a convenience store last year in Minneapolis.

Facebook has almost 2 billion daily users, annual revenue that rivals some countries' gross domestic product, and even its own version of a Supreme Court: the Oversight Board, which the company created to review its toughest decisions on what people can post on its platforms.

This week, the board faced its biggest test to date when it ruled on whether Facebook should let former President Donald Trump back on its social network.

For the past 30 years, Joe Lamson has been crunching the numbers trying to figure out how Montana could regain the congressional seat it lost after the 1990 census. He says it's something he never thought would happen in his lifetime.

"The growth rates in the other parts of the country were just ... we just could never keep up," says Lamson, a Democrat who was a political staffer and campaign manager and now serves as one of the five members of the state's independent districting commission.

As the one-year anniversary of the death of George Floyd approaches, one thing is certain: the protests and court proceedings after his murder in Minneapolis might never have happened without a bystander's video. Videos of many incidents across this country, are transforming law enforcement — from police training to prosecutions. It's a change that's been three decades in the making.

A police raid aimed at alleged drug traffickers that left at least 25 people dead in a shootout in a Rio de Janeiro slum has drawn criticism from the United Nations human rights office, which is calling for an independent investigation, citing a history of "disproportionate and unnecessary" use of force by police in Brazil.

When I was six years old, I knew that radio was a medium with a purpose. Twice a day, my teacher in a rural school turned on the radio and we listened to the Wisconsin School of the Air and I learned art, music, science and nature studies listening to the radio. This was but one example of the Wisconsin Idea that "the boundaries of the campus are the boundaries of the state."

Updated May 7, 2021 at 1:18 PM ET

Hiring unexpectedly slowed last month as businesses struggled to keep pace with booming demand from newly vaccinated customers.

U.S. employers added just 266,000 jobs in April, according to a monthly snapshot from the Labor Department. It was the weakest month of job growth since January.

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Updated May 7, 2021 at 5:30 PM ET

Texas legislators approved new, more restrictive state election rules after a session that lasted from Thursday night into the early hours of Friday. The GOP-backed state Senate bill passed the House at 3 a.m. (4 a.m. ET) after hours of debate over amendments proposed by Democrats.

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All right. With me now is a Democratic state senator. Shevrin Jones is on the line from West Park, Fla. He represents areas of Miami-Dade and Broward counties. Good morning to you, sir.

SHEVRIN JONES: Good morning.

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