The World

Monday - Friday 3 p.m.
  • Hosted by Marco Werman
  • Local Host Mark Wozniak

Each weekday, host Marco Werman and his team of producers bring you the world's most interesting stories in an hour of radio that reminds us just how small our planet really is. The World is heard on over 300 stations across North America.

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The town of Santa María del Mar, Mexico, hasn’t had electricity for more than three years. At night a generator hums in the town plaza, powering a few pale streetlights. 

Santa María, population 800, rests at the end of a skinny peninsula sandwiched between the Pacific Ocean and a shallow lagoon that locals call the Dead Sea. Most days tempestuous winds drawn off the hot plains of Mexico’s Oaxaca state billow across the peninsula out toward the cool Pacific. 

“Everybody needs hope. Everybody needs a purpose.”

Digital rights and civil society groups in Myanmar say they welcome a pledge by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to better address hate speech and other content inciting violence, but said the platform could do more to stop the spread of content that violates the platform’s Community Standards.

It was October 2013. ISIS had splintered off from al-Qaeda earlier that year. 

The militant group grows stronger and attracts recruits from all over the world, many from Western Europe. 

Ayan and her younger sister Leila are Somali-Norwegian teenagers living in an affluent neighborhood outside of Oslo. They leave their adopted homeland to travel to Syria and marry ISIS fighters. 

On Feb. 27, 2017, a man sits, sipping tea at the dining room table in his Pennsylvania home when federal immigration officers arrive at his door. Once inside, they demand his  ID, which shows he is not a US citizen. Then, they arrest him and his co-worker, who arrives for their morning carpool. Neither man has a criminal record.

Four months later, his lawyer argued in immigration court that none of the evidence the officers gathered should have be used.

Finding forms of devotion in Tuyo's Conselho do Bom Senso

Apr 12, 2018

Spring in New England is a reminder to provide your own consistency and structure. 

The weather hints at a new season by brushing chills over tepid weather. It’s almost impossible to keep up with a ritual let alone choose what coat to wear outside at this time. It helps to have a song or two to guide us through the lack of clarity.

The spring of 2016 was a rough time for now 33-year-old Cherise Greer.

She'd just lost her job at Pizza Hut in Marlow, Oklahoma, where she was a regional manager. She couldn't pay her rent and was evicted from her home. She and her daughter, Angelique, then 6, were couch surfing. Oftentimes, Angelique would stay with Greer's grandmother in Duncan, a small town in Stephens County, about 10 minutes away.   

In the first of a set of hearings on Capitol Hill this week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg faced a slew of questions about his company’s mishandling of user data, and its plans to prevent privacy breaches in the future.

There are more women in prison than ever before

Apr 2, 2018

The substances are different: in Thailand, it’s meth. In Ohio, opioids. In Mexico, women help their husbands, boyfriends and fathers run their drug businesses peddling pills, crack, heroin.

But all over the world, countries are imprisoning women at higher rates than ever before. The reason? Mostly, it’s drugs.

On the night of March 20, 1945, a 20-year-old Mexican American soldier named Tony Acevedo lay in the cold barracks of a Nazi concentration camp. 

He pulled out a diary he kept hidden even from his comrades and began to write. 

Alert Bay isn’t exactly a premier destination on British Columbia’s rugged Pacific Coast. On this winter day, there are more crows than people on the town’s wooden sidewalks, and most of the few small businesses near the waterfront are closed for the season. The biggest building is an abandoned salmon cannery, a reminder of what used to be here.

It’s a past that Bill Cranmer remembers well.

Women in the global aid sector are saying #AidToo

Mar 22, 2018

There’s been a flurry of stories lately about sexual misconduct in the international aid community. Oxfam workers paying for sex in Haiti. UN peacekeepers assaulting the people they’re supposed to be helping in Congo. Syrian women trading sex for food and aid.

As far as vacation souvenirs go, we bring back trinkets and T-shirts, but we rarely bring back sound. What sounds remind us of our travels?

At times what we hear when we travel can be as much a passive ambient noise as it can invade an entire memory. The sounds of travel are heavily accompanied by their contexts. Seasickness highlights each gulp of a drifting boat and anxiety picks at the hums and hisses of plane engines. In this A-side B-side, the sounds of travel come through on two tracks.

Putin wins, surprising no one, but voter turnout rose

Mar 20, 2018

The result came, of course, as no surprise.

Russian President Vladimir Putin overwhelmed his opponents in his country’s elections, taking in just more than three-quarters of the vote to extend his power through 2024.  His closest challenger, Communist millionaire Pavel Grudinin, came in a distant second with 11 percent of cast ballots.  A ultra-nationalist came in third. Pro-Western candidates barely cleared the 1 percent mark. 

Tamara Kruglova, a pensioner who voted in central Moscow, argued support for the Russian leader was simply the natural order of things.

A guide to Russian ‘demotivator’ memes

Mar 12, 2018

Long before Russia ever launched social media campaigns in the US, Kremlin-backed trolling was alive and well at home. In this online underworld of paid seeders, twitterati and trolls, “demotivators” — Russian internet picture memes — play a special bottom-feeder role.

My dad, Danilo, got a contract at White Memorial Hospital in Los Angeles, California just after my brother Chris was born. My two younger brothers and I didn't see him again for almost 10 years.

During the school year, we lived in a small, two-bedroom apartment in Quezon City in Metro Manila, sharing the space with my uncle, an accountant for an American company, and two aunts, a librarian and a nursing student.

In the summer, they shipped my brothers and I to my grandparents’ home in the rural province of Isabela.

For the past three weeks, Maram, a young Syrian mother, has been living in an underground shelter with her 3-year-old son, Ahmad, and his 8-month-old brother, Omar.

Like other underground shelters around their neighborhood in Eastern Ghouta, a suburb of the Syrian capital Damascus, this one is filled to capacity. They eat and sleep and wait out the days alongside 150 people as bombs fall overhead, reducing everything to rubble. They hardly see daylight and can’t get enough food. When they get a chance to peek outside, they can hardly recognize their own homes and streets.

In February 1968, the Beatles embarked on their famous discovery of India to study transcendental meditation with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Now 50 years later India is rediscovering the Beatles — or at least the tourism potential of the world’s most famous rock band seeking salvation in the country.

Cheng doesn’t take his eyes off the floor as he enters Annalisa Bressan’s house. His cheeks are pink from crying and despite Bressan’s insistence, the boy doesn’t say a word about what happened. His sister, Cheng Jun, does the explaining. Turns out, the kids’ father didn’t like Cheng’s grade in Italian class and took away his cellphone.

“But you had a beautiful grade! I will talk to your father and explain. Don’t worry,” Bressan says, laughing.

Suddenly at peace, the boy sits down at Bressan’s kitchen table, ready to do some homework.

Daffodils in the park, covered in snow. A snowball fight on the roof of BBC headquarters. Such were the scenes this week in London — echoed across much of Europe — as a blast of cold and snow dubbed “the beast from the east” dragged the continent back into deep winter just as spring was beginning to emerge.

In 2008, Harley-Davidson started selling the Screamin' Eagle line of motorcycle tuners. The small, neon-orange box, when put on a regular motorcycle, allowed owners to “tune” the efficiency of their bikes, making them louder, faster and more powerful.

Her picture was one of the most iconic images of the Vietnam War: a girl running naked down a road, screaming in pain after a napalm attack.

Her name is Kim Phuc, but to many people, she's known as the Napalm Girl. She was only 9 years old when that photograph was taken by The Associated Press photographer Nick Ut, for which he won a Pulitzer Prize. That photo exposed the horrors of the Vietnam War to the world. It also left Phuc bitter and full of hatred. Later, she picked up the Bible and converted to Christianity.

Make your way through the maze of seeking asylum in the US

Feb 21, 2018

Explore the interactive


From PRI's The World ©2017 PRI

Cherokee playwright Mary Kathryn Nagle is fighting for the rights of Native Americans both onstage and off. 

What can AI learn from non-Western philosophies?

Feb 16, 2018

As autonomous and intelligent systems become more and more ubiquitous and sophisticated, developers and users face an important question: How do we ensure that when these technologies are in a position to make a decision, they make the right decision — the ethically right decision?

It's a complicated question. And there’s not one single right answer. 

But there is one thing that people who work in the budding field of AI ethics seem to agree on.

Editor's note: This piece's author, Amy Costello, is reporting on aid workers' experiences with sexual harassment and abuse. She would like to hear from you. Call us at 857-285-4157 and leave a confidential message. 

The new Marvel superhero movie "Black Panther" premiered in Kisumu, Kenya, Tuesday night. Kisumu is the hometown of actress Lupita Nyong’o, one of the film’s stars.

Tamerra Griffin, a Buzzfeed reporter based in Nairobi, was at the event and wrote about it.

When Emmanuel Macron was elected president of France last May, it was a victory over the extreme right and the candidacy of Marine Le Pen.

At 39, he became the youngest president in French history, and he had recently created his own political party, Republic on the Move. He was seen as a supporter of diversity, bringing more women into high-level positions. And when his party went on to win a majority in parliament, it brought power to political newbies.

Half of Team USA's figure skaters are Asian American, a record for the event. They include Karen Chen, Nathan Chen, Madison Chock, Mirai Nagasu, Alex Shibutani, Maia Shibutani and Vincent Zhou.

Contrast that to 1992 at the winter games in Albertville, France, when Kristi Yamaguchi became the first Asian American to win the gold in the figure skating event. You could say it was Yamaguchi's win that paved the way for today's increasing number of Asian Americans on ice.   

For immigrant Republicans, Trump’s turn to limit legal immigration creates divisions

Feb 2, 2018

There were no surprises in President Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech around immigration. His administration already released its framework for immigration reform and Trump emphasized those same points Tuesday night.

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