The World

Monday-Friday, 7pm
  • 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.

Lisa Kum has an endless list of tasks every day. The 41-year-old from Cottage Grove, Wisconsin, has a 19-month-old daughter and a high school-aged son. She’s also tending to her health after undergoing elbow surgery earlier this year.

Arab governments are in conflict over an island paradise in the Indian Ocean that few people have ever seen. Socotra, the largest island in the Middle East, is one of the most isolated places on Earth, home to an ancient culture and some of the world's strangest-looking plants.

About 700,000 Rohingya refugees to date have fled a brutal military crackdown in Myanmar.

They're an ethnic minority in the country, and since last year, there have been reports of hundreds of Rohingya villages being burned, and widespread rape and murder.

Twenty Egyptian policemen in plainclothes broke into the home of a young satirist on Sunday morning in the suburbs of Cairo. Authorities whisked away vlogger Shadi Abu Zeid and confiscated his computers, cash and electronics. But he was neither taken to a local police department nor charged in a civilian court. His whereabouts remained unknown for more than a day, until Monday evening, when his sister posted online that he had appeared at a state security prosecutor’s hearing in Cairo. 

The American labor movement is in trouble.

Halfway through the flight, the officers took off Omar Blas Olvera’s handcuffs. He asked why. They had entered Mexican territory, an immigration agent told him. It was July 26, 2017. After they landed in Mexico City, he looked out the window and saw the airport’s signs in Spanish.

In 2010, cartoonist Sarah Glidden spent a month traveling around Turkey, Syria and Iraq. She'd tagged along with some old friends, journalists from The Seattle Globalist who were on a reporting trip to tell stories about refugees. Glidden went along to document what it's like to be inside the journalistic sausage factory. 

"The goal of the trip was really to show journalism: how it's made, how difficult it is to do this work, how it's more than just going in, reporting on a story and getting out of there."

Most people can name just one work by Norway's most famous artist, Edvard Munch. It's "The Scream," of course, which is actually a series — four versions of a single composition. The paintings famously express raw emotion. It's pretty clear that emotion is unfiltered, gut-wrenching fear.

But there's much more to Edvard Munch than that.

As a child, political cartoonist Rayma Suprani used to draw all over the walls of her home in Caracas. "I think that was the way I was expressing myself. I was a shy girl and I didn't talk much so I would just observe and draw and paint the walls."

Eventually her mother cut a deal with her: pick one wall and you can draw on that, but only one.

Francisco Marquez wants the international community to understand something about the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro: "You are dealing with a government that currently engages in having political prisoners and systematic torture within their prison system."

Satire is not always funny ha-ha. It's often funny as in, devastating, dark — a comment or image that makes you wince or even squirm because its message is so on point.

A Trump-filled Christmas in cartoons

May 8, 2018

It's Christmas time, 2016 is coming to an end, and a new year and new US president are nigh.

Here's a roundup of visual comments from cartoonists around the globe on where we find ourselves this holiday season.

Jack Wang remembers an odd new rule written at the bottom of the his high school writing exam in China: no Internet words.

"It's just natural right when we use it," he said. "It's the youth way of expressing ourselves."

What may seem like the petty irritation of an old-fashioned teacher might actually be something bigger. More than 500 million people are online in China. They are microblogging, instant messaging and texting.

And the Chinese language is changing as a result, says David Moser, an American linguist who lives in Beijing.

The mass exodus of the Rohingyas from Myanmar became international news in August of 2017.

But the military’s campaign against the Rohingyas, a Muslim minority in Buddhist-majority Myanmar, actually began years earlier — and since 2012, a small network of citizen activists have been risking their lives to secretly film its impact.

Russian President Vladimir Putin was sworn in to a fourth term in office on Monday, extending his 18-year rule amid promises of continuity in foreign policy and renewed efforts toward building prosperity at home.

In a swearing-in ceremony in the gilded Andreyevsky Hall of the Grand Kremlin Palace, Putin assured Russians that his rule had “revived pride” in the country. "As head of state I will do all I can to multiply the strength and prosperity of Russia,” said the Russian leader.

The tiny kingdom of Bhutan, tucked away in the Himalayas between China and India, is known for its innovative Gross National Happiness Index, a measurement tool used to incentivize policies that increase the well-being of its people. When Bhutan became a constitutional monarchy 10 years ago, the index was written into the new constitution as a guiding principle of governance, one deeply rooted in Buddhism.

Sharon McDonnell is seeing a new public health crisis unfold in West Africa: droves of patients without Ebola who are turned away from medical facilities.

Khalida Popal was at the top of her game in Afghanistan. She became the captain of Afghanistan's women's national team and was competing on the international field.

Search and rescue workers in Syria say civilian lives are at risk after being hit by a freeze in US funding for their organization.

The US is currently reviewing its support for the Syrian Civil Defense, known as the White Helmets, and other Syrian assistance programs worth around $200 million.

A State Department official told PRI that the review came at the request of President Donald Trump. They added that the US has provided more than $33 million in financial support to the group since 2013.

Jorge Ramos has been called "the most influential news anchor in the Americas."

He's the face of Univision's flagship Spanish-language news broadcast. He was front and center during some of the most compelling moments of the last presidential campaign — like a press event in Iowa in 2015 where he sparred with then-candidate Donald Trump over Trump's proposal to use mass deportations to rid the US of criminals.

Boston artist Bren Bataclan often gives away his paintings with a note asking people to "smile at random people more often." He gave us two to give to PRI listeners and readers. Bataclan selected two people who commented on PRI The World’s Facebook page about the random acts of kindness they did for others or someone had done for them.

It's been a rough ride for the State Department since President Donald Trump took office. Under Secretary Rex Tillerson, who was ousted in March, many seasoned diplomats left. Key posts the world over went unfilled and are still unfilled.

Little wonder, then, that the new man at the helm of America's diplomatic corps is trying to rally his charges. Mike Pompeo was sworn in on Wednesday as Trump's new secretary of state and said it's time to reinvigorate US diplomacy.

Millions of immigrants in the US are under some sort of supervision by the Department of Homeland Security.

They regularly report to deportation officers about updates to their immigration court cases, the status of their foreign passports, perhaps a changes of address. Sometimes they have nothing to report. Sometimes they are told to wear ankle monitors so the federal government can track their whereabouts.

The population of High Point, North Carolina, is about 110,000. Each spring and fall, though, it nearly doubles in size as furniture buyers arrive to scout the latest and greatest chairs, tables and light fixtures on display at the world’s largest home furnishings trade show, the High Point Market. 

Buyers began coming to North Carolina more than a century ago because much of the nation’s furniture was made in the area.  

US Justice Department lawyers are pursuing criminal contempt of court charges against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio for his violation of a federal judge’s order in a racial profiling case.

Arpaio is known nationally for pioneering local strategies for taking on illegal immigration. The criminal charge relates directly to his continued efforts to arrest suspected unauthorized immigrants even after a federal judge told him to stop.

Hooker Furniture has been around since 1924, selling wooden furniture for the home — sofas, bed frames, dressers, you name it. Like many American furniture makers, Hooker located its factories in southern Virginia and North Carolina because of nearby supplies of Appalachian hardwood and cheap labor.

For more than a century, the area was the furniture-making center of America. By the late 1990s though, the model was crumbling.

“Increasingly, our customers weren't willing to buy domestically-produced furniture,” said Hooker’s Chairman and CEO Paul Toms.

Somewhere between “bad hombre” and “nasty woman,” Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump made another statement Wednesday night that turned heads.

"So I just left some high representatives of India,” he said. “They're growing at 8 percent. China is growing at 7 percent. And that for them is a catastrophically low number.”

He was nominally making a point about US economic growth, but many debate-watchers were wondering: Who exactly were these Indian representatives?

How does seeking asylum work at the US border?

May 1, 2018

Under US and international law, people have the right to seek asylum in another country. So the 150 or so Central Americans who traveled north through Mexico in a migrant caravan are perfectly within their rights in waiting to do so at the southern US border.   

For the past few days, they’ve been camping on the ground in Tijuana, Mexico, just outside the San Ysidro port of entry.

This British company is turning food waste into beer

May 1, 2018

It’s a Wednesday night in central London and the trendy Temple Brew House pub is packed with people out for after-work beers and burgers.

A crowd in one corner is sipping intently from half-pint tasting glasses, savoring a beer they helped brew about a month earlier using an unusual ingredient: leftover bread.

“We got a lesson in brewing as well as a lesson in using the bread for it,” says Michael Mulcahy, who helped tear up about 200 loaves of bread into chunks to make the amber ale he’s sipping. “Today, we get to taste what came out of it.”

US and British scientific agencies announced their biggest joint Antarctic research effort in more than a generation on Monday.

The focus is Thwaites Glacier, which is roughly the size of Florida and sits on the western edge of Antarctica.

Ice melting on Thwaites accounts for 4 percent of global sea level rise, an amount that’s nearly doubled since the 1990s. Scientists in the new five-year research collaboration hope to determine how much more, and how fast, the glacier will melt as the world continues to warm.

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