Christopher Intagliata

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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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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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This story is part of an NPR series, We Hold These Truths, on American democracy.

Last summer, DonnaLee Norrington had a dream about owning a home. Not the figurative kind, but a literal dream, as she slept in the rental studio apartment in South Los Angeles that she was sharing with a friend.

At around 2 a.m., Norrington remembers, "God said to me, 'Why don't you get a mortgage that doesn't move?' And in my head I knew that meant a fixed mortgage."

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