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.

Mexican women lead initiatives to rescue native tongues

19 hours ago

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.

Courtesy of Michelle Gawronsky/Facebook 

Christine met her husband when she was just 17. He became emotionally abusive early on, and it escalated when their first child was just 3 months old. She knew she needed to leave him, but as a stay-at-home parent, she felt trapped — not having an income of her own.

Later, Christine (not her real name), of Winnipeg, Manitoba, got a job. She'd been working for six months when her husband hit her for the second time. Now, she was worried about asking her boss for time off from work, to move herself and her two young children.

Trump's plan restricts travel and business with Cuba

Jun 16, 2017
Alexandre Meneghini/Reuters

President Donald Trump announced on Friday a clampdown on US business with Cuba and tighter rules on travel to the island, in a move to roll back his predecessor Barack Obama's historic outreach to Havana.

Trump headed early Friday to Miami's Little Havana, spiritual home of the Cuban-American exile community, to unveil the policy shift in an address at the Manuel Artime Theater — named after an anti-communist veteran of the ill-fated Bay of Pigs invasion.

Teju-Cole/Martin-Lengemann

Teju Cole's latest book "Blind Spot" is all about connections between people that might be be easily overlooked. 

Via text and short essays, the photographer, novelist and art historian takes the reader to 25 different countries, juxtaposing what he calls "different kinds of strangeness."  We sat down with him to discuss his newest book on exploring the unexpected and the ordinary. 

It was 2 in the morning, on Wednesday, April 19 when a small plane took off from Alexandria, Louisiana. On it, were eight Iraqis. Raied Jabou was one of them.

"I was shackled, I was handcuffed all the way until I landed in Baghdad," he says over a WhatsApp conversation from Iraq. "When the plane started landing, then they removed the shackles from my feet and handcuffs around my waist and from my hands."

Stefan Wermuth/Reuters

Protesters calling for action Friday over the fire at London's Grenfell Tower stormed Kensington and Chelsea town hall, the center of local government in the area. 

Demonstrators from the Grenfell Tower area had gathered to protest the council's failure to act on warnings over fire safety in the building. They also demanded more information over the full extent of the death toll, which has risen to at least 30.

Around a hundred people entered the town hall, and were held back by police and council officials.

Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters

Father’s Day is coming up this Sunday, and the men behind a new global campaign have a message for dads everywhere: Do more care work. It makes men happier.

Sounds like a message more commonly made by a women's organization. But the male feminists behind the new MENCAREcampaign are arguing that gender equality is better not just for women, but for men too.   

Plans to rehabilitate a pre-war Jewish cemetery in the Czech town of Prostejov have run into fierce local opposition. The foundation behind the plan says it has been torpedoed by deliberate misinformation and anti-Semitism.

Tomas Jelinek stands over a broken headstone and scrapes at patches of cement obscuring the name. Sweating heavily in spite of the chilly afternoon, he brushes away the last patches and squints at the inscription.

"Herlitzka," he decides. "Bernhard Herlitzka. Died… April 1879. I can't make out the date."

Fibonacci Blue

One of the largest religious groups in America just formally denounced racism and white supremacy, and it mentioned the so-called "alt-right" by name.

It took a couple of attempts, but members of the Southern Baptist Convention voted almost unanimously to condemn “white nationalism” in a resolution adopted late Wednesday.

“We know from our Southern Baptist history the effects of the horrific sins of racism and hatred,” the church resolution reads.

The special counsel overseeing the investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 election is interviewing three senior intelligence officials to determine whether President Donald Trump obstructed justice.

Stefan Wermuth / Reuters

Investigators are trying to get to the bottom of the fire that consumed a 24-story tower block in West London. British Prime Minister Theresa May is promising a full public inquiry into the tragedy.

Marko Djurica/Reuters

Hazm Aboush welcomes visitors with a string of apologies.

He's sorry for the bareness of his home. He's sorry that he's not in better spirits, and that he cannot offer more food. He asks for forgiveness and talks about how things used to be.

“You cannot understand, they took everything,” he says, sitting in the sparse front room of his home in Qaraqosh, northern Iraq. “They took the tiles, the air conditioners. Someone even took the front door.”

Faisal Al Nasser/Reuters

When Manal al-Sharif posted a video of herself driving in Saudi Arabia in 2011, she angered many in the deeply conservative kingdom. 

"The worst backlash was from the religious establishment," she says. "They took the Friday sermons, and they called me things like a prostitute for just driving a car." 

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