Ari Shapiro

The push for renewable energy in the U.S. often focuses on well-established sources of electricity: solar, wind and hydropower. Off the coast of California, a team of researchers is working on what they hope will become an energy source of the future — macroalgae, otherwise known as kelp.

Author Karl Ove Knausgaard — known for his six-volume autobiographical series, My Struggle — has embarked on a brand new multi-part project. Autumn, the first in a four-part quartet, is a collection of texts, each focused on a single subject.

In these short studies, Knausgaard considers a wide variety of tangible and intangible topics — apples, wasps, silence, jellyfish, fingers, forgiveness, dawn.

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Someone we have heard on this program over the last year died suddenly on Friday. Billy Manes was a leader in Orlando's gay community. He edited the city's LGBT newspaper, Watermark. Our cohost, Ari Shapiro, has this remembrance.

Lawrence Osborne has lived in half a dozen countries all over the world. He's set his previous books in Morocco, Cambodia and France.

His latest novel, Beautiful Animals, is a sun-drenched summer novel with a shadow of death hanging over it. It follows a young, wealthy woman named Naomi, vacationing on the idyllic Greek island of Hydra.

"I haven't written about Europe for a very long time. ..." Osborne says. "It's a sort of a homecoming for me, in a way. These landscapes I know from my childhood. ... Memories came up from deeper places, which I hadn't expected."

In American cities, the murder rate has kept rising over the last couple of years. One of the most violent cities in the U.S. is Baltimore.

That's where 22-year-old photographer Amy Berbert lives. She's been documenting every murder that took place in Baltimore in 2016. The city has more than twice as many homicides per capita as Chicago.

When senators come back to Washington on Monday, a handful of Republicans will help decide the fate of legislation that could reshape health care in America.

One of them is Nevada Republican Dean Heller.

Sen. Heller is one of a small bunch of Republicans who have said they will not support the latest draft proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. Republican leadership can only lose the support of two of its own senators and still pass such a bill.

If you crack open a beer this Fourth of July, history might not be the first thing on your mind. But for Theresa McCulla, the first brewing historian at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, the story of beer is the story of America.

"If you want to talk about the history of immigration in America, or urbanization or the expansion of transportation networks, really any subject that you want to explore, you can talk about it through beer," McCulla says.

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