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.

Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

This week, The Economist published an in-depth interview with Donald Trump about his economic policy. The piece, which described Trump's economic strategy as "unimaginative and incoherent," picked up a lot of attention. The president's speech was riddled with falsehoods and confusion, drawing critics and social media commentators out of the woodwork.

Eric Thayer/Reuters

This week and next, international climate experts are meeting in Bonn, Germany, as part of the United Nations process to hash out the rules and regulations that will govern the Paris climate change agreement.

On Saturday, the smaller-than-usual US delegation must explain and defend the progress made toward meeting its stated goal of reducing carbon emissions between 26 and 28 percent by 2025.

Philippe Wojazer/Reuters

There is a good chance that the natural vanilla you use in the kitchen or the one in your ice cream came from Madagascar. The island nation off the southeast coast of Africa produces 80 percent of the world's vanilla.

But back in March, a Category 4 cyclone hit the two main vanilla-producing regions.

"You see trees that are completely bending in the wind," says Joshua Poole, who has lived and worked in Madagascar on and off for the past 15 years. "Roofs of houses, if they're not protected, are flying around and [there is] really intense rain for several days."

Welcome aboard London's dirty money bus tour!

May 12, 2017

When you start a bus tour, it's traditional for the guide to boast a little about the city you're about to see.

Anti-corruption campaigner Roman Borisovich does not run a traditional tour of London. 

"Ladies and gentlemen, I welcome you onboard the Kleptocracy Tour," he announces through the PA system, as soon as we are seated. "As a result of these tours, we have firmly labeled London as the most corrupt place in the world. By square foot, London has attracted a highest-ever concentration of dirty money."

Steve Smith 

Standing up to his own government is nothing new for Moon Kyu-hyun. The 70-year-old Jesuit priest from South Korea made international news back in 1989, when he crossed the border into North Korea illegally.

The Catholic priest’s unsanctioned trip was a political act of defiance against South Korea’s strict National Security Law, which prohibited people in the South from almost any contact with North Korea.

The Rev. Moon was promptly arrested when he returned to the South. And he ended up spending three and a half years in prison. 

As a man, Donald Trump won’t need a male guardian to accompany him around Saudi Arabia on his first international trip, to Riyadh, next week — although he'll of course have US Secret Service agents everywhere he goes.

Dreaming of a DIY mission to Mars

May 12, 2017

Until pretty recently, a trip to the planet Mars seemed less like the future than a relic of the past. Cue a sizzle reel of the space race: Leonid Brezhnev, the former Soviet leader, in his overcoat, scientists in white lab coats and rockets blasting off on a black-and-white TV. Then came Elon Musk with SpaceX, Jeff Bezos with Blue Origin and Matt Damon with "The Martian," spawning a level of interest in space exploration not seen since the end of the Apollo era.

Robert Galbraith/Reuters

Context matters.

And the context of Trump’s executive orders on immigration are a long history of excluding immigrants on the basis of national origin, political and religious beliefs and in the name of national security.

Courtesy <a href="">ArmComedy</a>

Narek Margaryan and Sergey Sargsyan want their fellow Armenians to know that it's OK to make a joke. It's not personal.

The two academics-turned-comedians are the creators, writers and co-anchors of ArmComedy, Armenia's first satirical news program — and yes, it's compared to The Daily Show, like, all the time. Sargsyan says the format took a while to find an audience in Armenia.

Europeans are less likely to share fake news. Here's why.

May 11, 2017
Regis Duvignau/Reuters

If you picked up a newspaper in the UK on Monday, you might have encountered an unusual advertisement offering tips on how to spot “false news.”

Water colors and loose sheets of paper are spread across a large table at the White River Junction Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Conversations buzz as women veterans share their stories, some for the first time, with cartoonists from the Center for Cartoon Studies — a White River Junction-based school for aspiring cartoonists and illustrators.

Together they will create a cartoon strip about women's experiences in the military.

Sarah Nolin was in the Navy.

Deepa Fernandes/PRI

Kevin Alvarez Mejía spent his tween years trying to avoid running into gang members up in the remote El Salvadoran mountain village where he was born and raised. Gang members lurked around, and if they saw him out on the street, they would sidle up and ask him if he was one of them. So, Kevin said, he stuck to two outings: to school and to church.

But one day they got him.

“It was on the road right below my house where the gang members caught me and beat me up,” Kevin said. “They told me I had a few days to leave the colonia where I lived or they would kill me.”

Erin Siegal McIntyre/PRI

On Sunday evening, over six dozen Nicaraguan, Salvadoran, Guatemalan and Honduran migrants arrived at Tijuana’s northernmost edge to request asylum, en masse, at California’s San Ysidro Port of Entry.

The youngest was just 3 months old.

Organized by a team of American and Mexican activists from the group Pueblo Sin Fronteras, the Viacrucis de Refugiados, or Caravan of Refugees, left the southern Mexican border city of Tapachula on April 9.

The return of Senegal's Orchestra Baobab

May 8, 2017

I've always wanted to tell the story of the lead guitarist in the legendary Senegalese ensemble, Orchestra Baobab.

His name is Barthelemy Attisso and he's an amazing musical talent. Attisso also happens to be a lawyer in his native Togo, though. So he would commute from there to Senegal to rehearse and tour with the band.

A few years ago, he recommitted himself to the law, which meant that when Baobab was ready to record its latest album, they needed a replacement for Attisso.

How Russia’s hacking and influence ops help Putin

May 8, 2017

In case you missed it, the presidential election in France was rocked at the last minute by a massive hacking attack on Emmanuel Macron's campaign.

No surprise, perhaps, given what happened in the US before the election last year.

Also no surprise: There's evidence that points to Russian hackers as the potential culprits.

Dominique Borker

We feature a unique selection of music on The World. Here are a couple of the artists we featured this week: 

A Vietnamese collaboration

Jazz guitarist Nguyen Le teams up with fiddle player Ngo Hong Quang on their new album, "Ha Noi Duo." As Marco Werman put it, there's beauty in the music's simplicity. 

Exclusive performance by Idan Raichel

There’s a letter on Yulina Bilombele’s dining room table that she cannot read.

“Defendant failed to pay the rent and has further failed to vacate and surrender the premises.”

Bilombele is a refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo. She’s 80 years old. She does not speak English. She is too frail to work and she does not have the money to pay rent.

So, she turns to the man many Congolese refugees in Seattle call: Floribert Mubalama.

Story Act: Learn more about Global Nation Reporting Fund

Lisbon’s serious fado fans go underground

May 8, 2017
Bruno Fonseca

If you go to Lisbon, you go listen to Portuguese fado, the city’s music about "fate." Follow the signs in the old neighborhoods, and you can’t miss the restaurants advertising live music with dinner. Yet just because UNESCO lists fado as part of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity doesn’t mean every one of these spots is the real thing.

US governors discuss the opioid crisis

May 6, 2017

Opioid overdoses claim the lives of 91 Americans every day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In a Forum event at Harvard University on Friday, four former governors offered candid insights into how government policy can help, exploring what works and what doesn’t. They spoke about experiences within their own states, as well the broader national epidemic.

Jonathan Ernst/Reuters&nbsp;

A couple hours after celebrating the passage of the Republican health care bill through the House of Representatives, President Donald Trump met with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, in New York.

The two leaders answered questions from reporters, and at one point, Trump turned to Turnbull and complimented him on Australia’s health care system.

Thousands of workers, government officials and aviation enthusiasts gathered to cheer as China's C919 passenger plane touched down at Shanghai's international airport Friday after its maiden trip to the sky.

State media broadcast the test flight all across the country, and Chinese officials heralded it as the start of a new era.

Chairman Mao Zedong tried and failed to build a commercially viable passenger plane in the 1970s, but the dream persisted. The government created the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) in 2008 with this specific goal in mind.

Pascal Rossignol/Reuters

Days after the first round of the French presidential election in April, an anonymous user on the messaging board 4chan waged war — “total meme war,” that is — against centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron.

“We must bombard French social media with pro [Marine] Le Pen propaganda, to remind the French who is on their side,” the user wrote. 

Mohammad Sabaaneh, (c) 2017, used by permission of Just World Publishing LLC.&nbsp;

For Palestinian cartoonist Mohammad Sabaaneh, words matter.

"Most people say the 'Palestinian and Israeli conflict,'" he says. "It's not accurate. It's not a conflict. It's an occupation." 

Sabaaneh's new book is "White and Black: Political Cartoons from Palestine." The title is partly a reference to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands. 

"What's happening there is an occupation," Sabaaneh says. "When you deal with an occupation you should end the occupation. It is black and white. There is no middle area between black and white."

Anti-government protests are on the rise in Russia. The unrest appears to be prompted, in part, by opposition leader Alexey Navalny's internet-driven campaign against Kremlin corruption as well as his lofty bid for the Russian presidency in 2018.

There's a new branch in the huge Antarctic ice crack

May 5, 2017
Alex Newman/PRI

A new branch was spotted this week in a massive crack on an Antarctic ice shelf, reopening the question of when a Delaware-sized piece of ice will break off and float away to sea.

The roughly 110-mile rift in the Antarctic Peninsula’s Larsen C ice shelf has been relatively quiet for the past few months, leading scientists to believe it may not calve off for several months.

Why French pollsters do it better

May 5, 2017
Pascal Rossignol/Reuters

It’s been a tough year for political pollsters. They missed on the Brexit vote, and then on Donald Trump. But in France, polling houses were on the mark for the first round of the presidential election, held on April 23. And it’s not like their job was easy: voters chose from a dizzying 11 candidates, and an estimated 15 percent of them said they didn’t finally decide who to vote for until election day.

How Trump's latest budget impacts women and girls, from classrooms to cops

May 5, 2017
Carlos Barria/Reuters

When news surfaced earlier this week indicating that the Trump administration plans to completely eliminate the small $8 million budget for the Office for Global Women’s Issues — while doubling the military's budget — reaction was immediate.

Exploring America's towns named Lebanon, one at a time

May 5, 2017
Fadi BouKaram

Fadi BouKaram is a man on a mission.

The 38-year-old Lebanese photographer and blogger set out in an RV last year on an unusual road trip — or maybe you'd call it a quest. He wanted to experience and photograph America’s heartland while meeting Americans of all kinds.

But more specifically, he wanted to visit all of the US cities and towns named Lebanon.

Courtesy of Sona Hosseini

This is a story about what happens when you finally get to touch the light you’ve longed for your whole life.

Sona Hosseini passes through the doors of Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles. She exits the stairwell, and stands beside a dome that holds one of the observatory’s telescopes.

“It feels like home,” she says. And not just here — she’s at home anywhere associated with outer space.

“It’s been a long friendship between me and astronomy,” Hosseini admits.

Arthur Nazaryan/PRI

It was just two years ago that Liban Adam found himself in the shrublands in northern Somalia, crouched over a giant bowl of camel’s milk. The camel herder who gave it to him watched from behind, amused, as the 24-year-old timidly tasted the sour drink for the first time.