The World

Monday through Friday from 7pm to 8pm
  • Hosted by Marco Werman

The World is a one-hour, weekday radio news magazine offering a mix of news, features, interviews, and music from around the globe, hosted by Marco Werman.

Brendan McDermid/Reuters

The gruesome killing of a 17-year-old girl in Virginia this week has become fuel for political narratives on either side of the US spectrum.

Nabra Hassanen was with friends outside her mosque, the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) Center, when a driver rode over the curb and scattered the crowd of teens. He then took Hassanen in his car and beat her to death with a bat.

A top US ally runs secret torture prisons in Yemen

Jun 23, 2017

The list of abuses being faced by people in secret prisons across Yemen is long — electric shocks, beatings with metal objects, forced nudity, sexual harassment, threats, sleep deprivation and sensory deprivation.

Kyodo via Reuters

The latest edition of Politico Magazine asks the question: "Who Killed Otto Warmbier?" Warmbier was the American student who died shortly after being released from imprisonment by North Korea, where he'd fallen into a coma after serving 17 months of a 15 year prison sentence on allegations he tried to steal a propaganda poster during a December 2015 trip to the authoritarian nation.

There’s a running joke in the cybersecurity industry that squirrels pose a greater threat to the power grid than hackers. 

But that’s changing. 

Russia has been able to shut off parts of the power grid to cause massive blackouts in Ukraine on two separate occasions. 

And the technology they’ve developed is highly sophisticated and adaptable, which means that any country could be the next target of Russian hackers.

It’s a typical country wedding in Mexico, this one taking place in the town of Poza Redonda, in the state of San Luis Potosí. The bride and groom exchange vows and then things get rowdy with a traditional dance, clapping and flashing lights.

There are some 320 million people in the US. Forty-three million of them were born abroad. More than 20 million immigrants are US citizens. About 11 million people are undocumented and more than 5.1 million children have one or more undocumented parents. Roughly 860,000 people have applied for temporary legal status because they were brought to the US as children without proper documentation. More than 500,000 people are waiting for their cases to be heard in immigration courts. Some 270,000 people in the US came as refugees.

Brazil's federal police, who have a role analogous to the FBI, reported to the Supreme Court this week they found evidence that President Michel Temer participated in corruption and recommended he be investigated.

If such an investigation is opened, Temer would have to step down.

The battle is still raging in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.

ISIS militants are cornered in the Old City. Iraqi and coalition forces are advancing slowly, capturing as little as one city block per day — if that. And ISIS fighters continue to strike back. On Wednesday, they seemed to detonate explosives at Mosul's 12th-century mosque. That iconic structure — with its famous leaning minaret — is now in ruins.

Nabih Bulos, a special correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, left Mosul on Tuesday. He says ISIS is using everything it has to hold on.

Edgar Su/Reuters

After weeks of closed-door meetings, Senate Republicans on Thursday unveiled a draft of their plan to overhaul the US health system.

Jason Margolis

Last December, then-President-elect Donald Trump came to the Carrier factory in Indianapolis to deliver the big news: 1,100 jobs weren’t going to Mexico. Trump had used the bully pulpit and $7 million in state tax breaks to help accomplish this.

Haifa Jabara moved her family to Tulsa, Oklahoma, to escape a civil war. She thought she’d find peace in the United States. But last summer, her son was shot and killed

Prosecutors are calling the killing a hate crime. But the Jabara family isn’t sure the designation will make much of a difference.

“We escaped a country of violence,” says Haifa’s adult daughter, Victoria Jabara, who goes by Vicky. “And then, 30 years later, it ended in violence.”

Cuba's Daymé Arocena found her religion through music

Jun 22, 2017

Daymé Arocena strolls onstage barefoot, beaming as her band primes an audience in Boston for 90 minutes of Cuban jazz.

Her head is wrapped in a white turban and she wears a white dress — the color of Santería, the Afro-Cuban religion born out of European Catholicism and West African Yoruba rituals brought to Cuba by slaves.

Arocena says all of Cuban music is shaped by the rhythms of Santería.

Mexican women lead initiatives to rescue native tongues

Jun 21, 2017

When Gabriela Badillo traveled to Mérida, Yucatán, more than a decade ago, she encountered children who were timid about speaking the Mayan language. As she later came to understand, fear and discrimination were factors that affected the home teaching and use of the region’s native tongue.

“Children were a bit embarrassed to speak Mayan. ... Some mothers opted to not teach them the native tongue to avoid discrimination,” Badillo recalled.

When Waldo Martínez left Sensuntepeque in the early '90s, escaping El Salvador's civil war, he never thought he'd be back 25 years later with an American wife and four Las Vegas-born kids.

Sensuntepeque is a picturesque town about two hours from San Salvador. Cobbled streets weave around the mountain; old stone buildings dot the bustling town center. Yet, despite the quaint charm, Sensuntepeque is also fraught with gang rivalries and tensions. 

Growing up in the Rio Grande Valley of south Texas, 24-year-old Julio Cesar Ramos didn’t know he was undocumented. He was in 10th grade when he had to fill out an application to go on a field trip that required him to include his social security number.

“I went back and asked my mom what’s my social security number and that kind of began the whole discussion of, ‘We don’t have one,’” says Ramos.

That experience motivated him to work even harder in school. But it was another life experience, that helped shape his future.

Courtesy of Julio Ramos

Roughly 11,300 people applied to Loyola’s Stritch School of Medicine in Chicago this year. They interviewed about 600 people. About 160 were accepted — the odds of getting in were less than 2 percent.

And 10 of the students they accepted are undocumented, brought to the US as children. They have DACA status, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which gives them a temporary work permit and a chance to become physicians.

One of them is Julio Ramos.

Princeton economist Atif Mian only tweets a few times a month, and most if it is the kind of dry policy stuff you'd expect from a man whose area of specialization is finance and debt, mixed with the occasional foray into politics.

It's smart, but not necessarily viral material.

He hit Twitter gold this week, though, when he made a simple observation about the recent Nobel Laureates that resonated far and wide: Six people living in the US have won the prize in the sciences this year, and all six are immigrants.

Ka Paw Say/Free Burma Rangers

David Eubank is at home in war — so is his family.

Eubank spent 10 years in the Army Special Forces. These days he's an aid worker with a relief group he founded called the Free Burma Rangers.

With his three young kids in tow, he has assisted countless civilians in conflict zones from Myanmar to Afghanistan.

Most recently, Eubank's work has taken him to the besieged city of Mosul, Iraq. That's where Iraqi forces are battling to push ISIS out of the western part of the city. It's a house-by-house fight.

Meet the Coast Guard protecting America's East Coast

Jun 21, 2017

Recent attacks abroad — in London, Manchester and Tehran— as well as attacks at home, make us think of the ways in which we're all vulnerable.

Today, we suffer under the constant threat of terrorism. At this point, we're used to heightened security at the airport or at tourist destinations. But what about the threats that come on ships, over our waterways and through our ports? 

The US and North America have two large oceans. And obviously, that's a significant layer of defense from anyone who wants to get here, but it's not an impossible barrier. 

Antarctica is getting greener

Jun 20, 2017

Antarctica is changing.

The typical image is that of a pristine, white wilderness of ice and snow. “The white of the snow, the brown of the rocks, and the blue of the sky is a perfect day on the Antarctic Peninsula,” says researcher Dominic Hodgson of the British Antarctic Survey.     

But Hodgson says there is increasingly a new color: green.

The US shares the blame for a massacre in Mexico

Jun 20, 2017

The "war on drugs" has been part of American policy for so long that it's sometimes difficult to remember that the DEA wages that war every day, on both sides of the border with Mexico.

But it's incredibly difficult to counter the power cartels can hold over the Mexican government, and when things wrong, there are deadly reprecussions. 

Carlos Barria/Reuters 

In normal times, the Islamic holy month of Ramadan is a time for fasting, prayer and contemplation. But after this week’s murder of a 17-year-old high school girl in Sterling, Virginia, it’s also a time for mourning. 

Her name was Nabra Hassanen. 

Four months after the desecration of Jewish graves in St. Louis, the historic Chesed Shel Emeth cemetery looks better than ever. But the Jewish community is still grappling with what the incident means.

In February, almost two hundred headstones were found cracked or toppled. Karen Aroesty, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League, remembers rushing to the the cemetery as soon as she heard the news. “I didn’t expect to be as sad as I was,” she said.

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Franc Contreras

Their faces appear etched on Mexican pesos and mannequins in their likeness stand behind polished glass in Mexico City’s world famous Museum of Anthropology. But despite the frequent use of their images as cultural symbols, the voices of Mexico’s millions of indigenous people are largely absent from their nation’s mainstream political life.

Mexico’s government appears to have been using advanced spyware created for criminal investigations to target some of the country’s most prominent journalists, lawyers and anti-corruption activists.

The software — called Pegasus — was reportedly created by Israeli cyberarms manufacturer NSO Group and sold to Mexican federal agencies under the condition that it be used to track terrorists and investigate criminals.

A call is made by the referee on the field or court. Then, there’s a pause as officials review the video. A final call is made one way or the other. 

Pakistanis go wild after cricket triumph over India

Jun 19, 2017

Pakistanis went wild Sunday after a surprise sporting triumph over its archrival, India.

“Cricket is the blood and heart of our nation,” says journalist Bina Shah, in the Pakistani city of Karachi. “We are so excited when we win and so devastated when we lose.”

The Pakistani national team stunned the cricket world by beating India in the final of an international tournament called the Champions Trophy, in London.

Neil Hall/Reuters

British Prime Minister Theresa May vowed Monday to fight extremism in all its forms after a white driver plowed his van into a crowd of Muslims near a mosque.

It was the fourth terror strike in a tumultuous four months in Britain.

Ten people were injured in the attack, which took place just after midnight on Monday after prayers in Finsbury Park, north London.

One elderly man, who had collapsed just before the incident, was pronounced dead at the scene, but it is not yet known whether his death was directly linked to the attack.

The rescued Jewish tombstones of Thessaloniki

Jun 19, 2017

Iosif Vaena, a Greek pharmacist who regularly works 13-hour days, has a sideline. When he gets a break, he heads to the back and opens up a door to reveal an ancient Jewish tombstone by the bathroom sink.  

The stone is about a foot tall and a foot wide, with faint Hebrew scripture on it.

When Vaena found it loose among some steps, he picked it up and brought it to the pharmacy to safely stow until he gets the chance to deliver it to a Jewish cemetery.

“I think it's a bit more dignified than having people step on it,” he says. 

Richard Hall/PRI

Wadha Khalaf sits cross-legged on the rough ground, throwing dough between her hands like she’s done it a million times before.

The 45-year-old mother of 13 is a new arrival among the thousands of displaced Yazidis living on top of Mount Sinjar, in northern Iraq — a sacred place for people of her faith.

But it is not the first time she has sought safety here.

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