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Not long ago, both the Economist and the New Yorker magazines featured unflattering cover portraits of President Trump holding a golf club. Both seemed to suggest the president had found himself in a rough patch.

Inside a tiny, hard-to-find storefront in Brooklyn lies the darkly whimsical world of a most unusual "candy alchemist."

He calls himself "Eugene J.," and this real-life Willy Wonka is whipping up his own new confections across town from where Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory will open on Broadway later this month.

Not much is known about this quiet man in black, who prefers to keep the focus on the candy. Behind a purple satin curtain, he toils away on his latest invention.

This story is part of Kitchen Table Conversations, a series from NPR's National Desk that examines how Americans from all walks of life are moving forward from the presidential election. This is the third post-election visit with Jamie Ruppert, 33, of White Haven, Pa.

Jamie Ruppert, 33, switched parties and voted for Donald Trump in November, and for months has been his enthusiastic supporter.

With student debt at a staggering $1.3 trillion, many families are facing a huge financial dilemma: their final springtime decisions about college enrollment and acceptance. The NPR Ed team teamed up with Weekend Edition to answer some listener questions about debt and degrees.

Waiting on the numbers

Marcy, from Union City, N.J. has twin girls going off to college in September.

The 700 cows on Brett Reinford's dairy farm are making more than just milk.

Each day, the girls are producing 7,000 gallons of manure. And that smells exactly like you'd imagine. "We had gotten complaints from neighbors in the past that had said, 'Hey, it stinks too much. Can you do something about it?' " Reinford says.

So he looked around for a solution and landed on a device called a digester. A digester tamps down the smell a bit, but, more importantly, it takes all that cow poop and converts it to electricity.

With any new president, there's a learning curve. But for President Trump, it's been steeper than others.

"Mount Everest" is how Barbara Perry, director of presidential studies at the Miller Center at the University of Virginia, described it ahead of Trump's 100th day in office, which is coming up Saturday, April 29. "It's as steep as they come and ice-covered, and he didn't bring very many knowledgeable Sherpas with him."

Can all hope be lost?

I used to think not.

I used to think that no matter how tough life gets for people, they always have hope to cling to – to get them through it.

Then I met some Rohingya refugees on a trip to Bangladesh last month. Reporter Michael Sullivan and I were there to report on the latest wave of the Muslim minority group to flee over the border from Buddhist-majority Myanmar.

Nasir Abdullahi is sitting in a mall in downtown Abuja, sipping fresh juice and eating plantain chips. Small, distinguished with an embroidered cap, Nasir looks like your typical Northern Nigerian businessman, but he's also a farmer.

A few years ago he got a call from an employee on his millet farm in Jigawa, Nigeria.

"He was even crying when he called me," Abdullahi says. "I said, 'Talk!' He said, 'There is something serious, there is something serious!' I said, 'Did anybody die? What is it?' He said, 'No, it's cattle herdsmen.'"

His Teacher Told Him He Wouldn't Go To College, Then He Did

3 hours ago

One day Ronnie Sidney, from Tappahannock, Va., was goofing off with his classmates in math when one of them threw a football at the board — and it landed a little too close to the teacher. Sidney says the ninth-grade teacher, visibly frustrated, turned around and said, " 'None of you are going to college.' "

After years working as a nurse in critical care units, Anne Webster found herself lying in the hospital struggling to get well. She had been given the wrong dose of a chemotherapy medication to treat Crohn's disease. The mistake had caused her bone marrow to shut down, and she'd developed pneumonia.

As she lay in the hospital, she thought, "If I live, I'm gonna write about this."

After three weeks, she recovered. And the experience led Webster to write Chemo Brain, a poem about how the drug scrambled her thinking.

My grandfather worked in coal and copper mines for 26 years doing back-breaking, dirty work that allowed him to support a family of nine children, purchase several acres of land, and become a community leader. (For several years leading up to World War II, he was the head of the Republican Committee in Rock Springs, Wyoming.)

When Jewish couple Mikey Franklin and Sonya Shpilyuk hung a "Black Lives Matter" banner from the window of their condominium, they hoped to voice their solidarity with the social justice movement. Instead, the backlash to their small act of resistance was swift. Two days later, their car was egged and toilet paper was strewn across a tree in front of their property.

Erin Moran, best known for playing Joanie Cunningham on the 1970s sitcom, Happy Days, is dead at age 56.

The Harrison County Sheriff's Department says Moran was found unresponsive after Indiana authorities received a 911 call Saturday afternoon. In a short press release, the Department did not give a presumed cause of death, but said an autopsy is pending.

Born in Burbank, Calif., Moran shot to fame in 1974 after she was cast as the younger sister to Ron Howard's character, Richie Cunningham, in Happy Days.

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President Trump awarded the Purple Heart to Sgt. 1st Class Alvaro Barrientos at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center outside Washington, D.C., on Saturday.

Barrientos was wounded in Afghanistan on March 17 and had to have his right leg amputated below the knee, according to The Associated Press. He was accompanied at the ceremony by his wife, Tammi. First Lady Melania Trump was also in attendance.

Taliban gunmen and suicide bombers killed more than 100 Afghan Army soldiers Friday at a base in northern Afghanistan, according to the Afghan Ministry of Defense. It is one of the deadliest attacks on an Afghan military base since the war began.

Another nightmare encounter between a passenger and an airline is going viral and sparking an outcry against an industry accused of routinely mistreating its customers.

An American Airlines employee allegedly took a stroller from a woman boarding Flight 591 from San Francisco to Dallas Friday, and knocked her with it while she held a baby in her arms.

Indiana University will no longer allow prospective student athletes with a history of sexual or domestic violence to compete.

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:

'I Basically Ran On Adrenaline': A Staffer Remembers Obama's White House: Alyssa Mastromonaco worked in the West Wing for six exhilarating and exhausting years. She describes that era in her new memoir, Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?

Updated at 1:25 p.m. ET

Enthusiasts say their March for Science on Saturday in communities around the world is intended to "support science for the public good."

The main event is happening in Washington, D.C., but satellite marches are planned in all 50 states, and at least 610 marches have been registered on the March for Science website across the world on all continents except Antarctica.

Most days they're mild-mannered window washers, but earlier this week they donned the colorful tights and masks and became Power Rangers, rappelling down the side of Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and thrilling the young patients.

Employees of Jenkintown Building Services started at the eighth floor and stopped along the way to interact with kids through the glass.

Recovering alcoholics tend to avoid the bar. But when the bar is your office, that's not so easy. New Orleans bluesman Anders Osborne figured out how to get back to work despite the temptations, and now he's trying to help others.

Drugs and alcohol nearly destroyed Osborne's career, and his family. The guitarist and singer-songwriter was showing up for tour dates unable to perform. At his worst, he was spending nights on a park bench.

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And it's time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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