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.


Estimating crowd size is always tricky, so we let photographs taken at both Barack Obama's and Donald Trump's inauguration ceremonies do the comparison.

Trump's inauguration was expected to draw about 800,000. The crowds stand in stark contrast to Barack Obama's 2009 inauguration, which was estimated to draw about 1.8 million, making it the most well-attended inauguration in history. 

We love music at The World — and this week's music was no exception. From Sudanese retro-pop, to a Nigerian musican who never talked to us, give a listen to some of what we loved this week.

Sudanese-born singer Alsarah

The music Alsarah and The Nubatones make combines some of the retro-pop from Sudan's Nubia region and Arabic influences from her time spent in Morocco — two different parts of Africa that Alsarah and The Nubatones have woven skillfully together.

Youssef Boudlal/Reuters

In the day-after evaluations of the whys and whats of Donald Trump’s stunning presidential election victory in the US, one topic that's barely warranted a mention is climate change.

But Trump’s election could have far-reaching effects on the world's efforts to address the climate crisis.

On the day that Donald Trump accepted the GOP nomination for president in July, listeners of PRI’s The World heard this from one of the many Republicans who stayed away from his party's convention in Cleveland: "I think what we're seeing in Cleveland is the death gasp of the Grumpy Old Party."

Gage Skidmore/Flickr Creative Commons

Not to put too fine a point on it, but if you’re a believer in real science, and accept the overwhelming evidence that pollution from our power plants and vehicles and other sources is leading to a cascade of global problems, the world seems a little closer today to a real climate change danger zone.

President-elect Donald Trump has yet to name his picks for the top environment and energy posts in his new administration, but all signs are that he'll tap people dedicated to rolling back many of President Barack Obama's initiatives, especially on the climate crisis.

That’s no surprise. Trump ran as a fierce critic of environmental regulation and the new global climate agreement. The Obama administration helped broker the plan, which went into effect earlier this month.

If you’re among the tens of millions of Americans deeply concerned about climate change — and there’s ever more reason to be, with this week’s news that 2016 is likely to set yet another global temperature record — you may have been wringing your hands since the election of Donald Trump last week to the White House.

On Capitol Hill, government officials are clearing out their desks. New ones are moving in. And President Donald Trump has been handed the keys to the country's nuclear arsenal.

But despite all the change anticipated in Washington under the Trump administration, we should probably expect continuity when it comes to nuclear arms, says Ambassador Adam Scheinman, who has served as the State Department's special representative to the president for nuclear nonproliferation since 2014. 

Travel writer Jessica Nabongo has been following American politics far from her hometown of Detroit for the last several years.

Nabongo has visited 66 countries, along the way posting photos, reviews and tips on her blog, “The Catch Me If You Can.” She was in Kenya when, toward the end of 2015, she realized that Donald Trump really had a chance at becoming president.

“I’m still in a state of shock and disbelief,” she said.

All this kid wanted for Christmas was to be at Trump's inauguration

7 hours ago

People trickled onto the National Mall before sunset Thursday, many wearing red hats, stopping for photos at a fenced area with a clear view of the Capitol Building to the east and the Washington Monument to the west.

A young, bearded man holding a sign that said "Not my president" stepped up on a barrier wall.

The loose crowd burst into boos and cheers, almost by command. Some of them started bickering. Insulting each other.

And an eager boy in a black suit — and a red hat — called on his mom to look at the commotion.

Brian Snyder/Reuters

Priya Jayaraman's parents warned her not to talk politics outside their home. They told her, "Mind your own business, don't look at other people while they are talking."

Jayaraman, a dentist in San Francisco, says that being a woman in India back then, they just wanted to keep her safe.

She moved from India to the US in 2004, but those rules have stuck with her.

It's one reason she won't be participating in the Women's March, a sizable demonstration against President-elect Donald Trump that will follow his inauguration. That doesn't mean she's pro-Trump, though.

Anindito Mukherjee, Reuters 

Following Donald Trump’s election to the White House, world leaders rushed to rally around the Paris climate change agreement, indicating they would stick to their pledges to cut carbon even if the US withdrew from the international framework.

China quickly began to position itself as the new world leader in global climate policy.  


In Donald Trump's vision of America, some parts of the country's future look a lot like its past. Exhibit A: his promise to revive the flagging coal industry.

Mexico just extradited drug lord ‘El Chapo’ to the US

22 hours ago
Henry Romero/Reuters

Mexico has extradited drug kingpin Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán to the United States — handing US authorities a massive drug case on the eve of Donald Trump’s inauguration.

Guzmán is the head of the Sinaloa cartel, which is accused of generating much of the deadly violence in Mexico and providing tons of drugs to the United States.

The Mexican government "delivered Mr. Guzmán Loera to the authorities of the United States" after Mexican courts rejected his latest appeal to avoid extradition, the country's foreign ministry said in a statement.

Courtesy of Easton Branam

As President Barack Obama leaves the White House, let’s look back on a major policy change he made: the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell."

Introduced in 1993 by President Bill Clinton, the policy banned gay, lesbian and bisexual soldiers from serving openly in the military.

Obama ended "don't ask, don't tell" in 2011.

But for former Army Capt. Easton Branam, who served in Iraq between 2005 and 2007, the Clinton-era policy was all she knew.

Baz Ratner/Reuters

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Israel’s stunning victory in the Six-Day War. 

The series of battles in the summer of 1967 ended in humiliating defeat for Egyptian, Jordanian and Syrian forces, and with Israel seizing control of the eastern sector of Jerusalem, including the Old City and its holy sites, along with the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Ng Han Guan/AP Photo 

A drug designed to tranquilize elephants — 100 times more potent than fentanyl — is getting into the United States via an easy route — through the mail.  

National security analyst Juliette Kayyem says this vulnerability needs to be addressed: "Homeland security has to be about risk reduction and about the vulnerabilities in our system, and while over the past 15 years we've tightened up airline security, cargo security, maritime security, we've done almost nothing with mail," she says.  

Among the 273 people who were pardoned or had their sentences commuted this week by outgoing President Barack Obama was 74-year-old Puerto Rican nationalist Oscar López Rivera.

"Oscar," as he’s known to supporters, was linked to a Puerto Rican nationalist group, the Armed Forces of National Liberation, which carried out bombings and other crimes in New York, Washington and Los Angeles in the 1970s and 80s — all in an effort to gain independence for Puerto Rico.

When his father was 11, he was “the Macaulay Culkin of the ‘60s in South Korea,” Justin Chon proudly told Conan O’Brian during his late show appearance in 2013.

Gleb Garanich / Reuters

In 1998, Slovenian toy company Mehano designed a line of children’s electronic typewriter toys with the ability to write secret messages.

Eventually, the company licensed the typewriter to another company that had something altogether different in mind for the toys. Slathered in pink, it was soon headed to market to appeal "to girls." Can you guess what brand was behind the refresh?

(Credit: Sophie Chou / PRI)

Obama commuted an additional 209 sentences Tuesday just three days before the end of his presidency — and more are still expected. Doing so brought his total commutations to 1,385, the most of any president in history, edging out Woodrow Wilson's 1,366. 

But the big headline — record-breaking clemency — misses the nuance. Obama's record on clemency is different than his immediate predecessors, and it's also very much the same. 


Asma Jama's face still bears the scars from the attack that took place in October 2015.

Bridgette Burkholder

Humans have been eating meat since, well, before we were human.

But there are so many of us now eating so much meat that raising all those animals is having a big impact on the global environment, including the climate.

That has people around the world scrambling for meat substitutes, but something better than those dry and pasty veggie burgers.

Patrick Brown, founder and CEO of Impossible Foods, thinks he's hit the jackpot. His company invented a veggie burger that claims to taste, feel and even bleed like the real thing.

From Mauritania: A song for breast cancer awareness

Jan 18, 2017

Women's health is an important issue for singer Noura Mint Seymali. Breast cancer awareness, specifically.

Noura Mint Seymali is from Mauritania, in West Africa. And she wants to make sure women, especially women in Africa, get their annual screenings.

I had the opportunity to meet Seymali last fall before a show. She told me "I've wanted to write about this subject for a long time." She wanted to raise awareness, in part, because her mother died of breast cancer.

Courtesy of Human Rights Watch

Souleymane Guengueng tells me his story in the Bronx, where he lives on the 16th floor of a 21-story housing project with his wife and three kids. He’s stylish, wearing a green collared shirt and his signature fedora.

“I am a survivor of torture,” he says, sitting on his couch. “I have fought for human rights for many years.”

If it sometimes seems like the idea of antibiotic resistance, though unsettling, is more theoretical than real, please read on.

Public health officials from Nevada are reporting on a case of a woman who died in Reno in September from an incurable infection. Testing showed the superbug that had spread throughout her system could fend off 26 different antibiotics.

In December 2015, a family arrived at Memphis' Greyhound bus terminal, a modern, spacious new building near the airport. The parents, Mexican immigrants, were about to say goodbye to their three Mexican American sons.

The parents planned to board a bus that would carry them from Tennessee to Dallas, where they would take a plane to Mexico, a country they hadn't seen for almost 13 years.

Titis Setianingtyas

The sun is just starting to dip toward the horizon in Indonesian Borneo, and Dharsono Hartono is standing on a fire tower, looking out over a peat forest falling into shadow.

Hartono knows that all over Indonesia, this carbon-rich type of forest is being burned or cleared for palm oil or paper pulp plantations.

But when he looks down from the fire tower with his businessman’s eye, Hartono is more interested in the soil than anything he could plant in it.

Courtesy of Susannah Heschel

Susannah Heschel was just a child in the spring of 1965, when her father left for Selma, Alabama, to march with those demanding that everyone be allowed to vote regardless of their skin color.

“He kissed me goodbye,” says Heschel. “And I remember thinking ‘I don’t know if I’ll ever see him again.'”

Just a few weeks earlier, many demonstrators had been brutally attacked by police officers on a day known as Bloody Sunday.

Heschel’s father returned safely. But the experience left an impression. 

Jean-Paul Pelissier/Reuters

Asghar Farhadi, the renowned Iranian filmmaker, didn't take home a Golden Globe this year, but he has been putting Iranian cinema in the global spotlight for years.

Back in 2012, his movie "A Separation" won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. Since then, he's taken home many other international awards. His most recent film, "The Salesman," was nominated for a Golden Globe. It's a tense story, based in modern-day Tehran.