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 Spanish government is threatening to revoke the autonomy of the region of Catalonia, in the northeast of the country. The Catalans, for their part, are threatening to declare independence unilaterally.

But what are the roots of the tensions between the national government in Madrid and the Catalan leaders in Barcelona?

One month ago, on the afternoon of Sept. 19, a massive quake struck Mexico City and surrounding areas. That day, The World's Monica Campbell was in the Boston newsroom, far from her home and family in Mexico City. She watched footage of buildings collapse and waited as death tolls rose.

"I couldn't believe it," she says. "The quake struck 32 years to the day since the massive 1985 quake."

The first wave of university students displaced by Hurricane Maria has arrived to study in the mainland US, taking advantage of tuition discounts offered to Puerto Rican students whose home institutions remain shuttered.

“Coming here was a big relief,” says Rosamari Palerm, 23. She was the first student from Puerto Rico to arrive at St. Thomas University, a private Catholic school in Miami Gardens, Florida with over 5,000 students.

Barbara Dane just can't recall any good fascist songs

Oct 18, 2017

"Can you recall any good fascist songs?" Barbara Dane, the founder of Paredon Records, asks.

Unlike fascist music, Dane recalls protest and struggle songs as having a rallying effect. Songs like "Deutschlandlied," which was chosen as Germany's national anthem in 1922 (today only the third stanza is used in the national anthem), can be pointed out as nationally successful. But fascist songs just don't seem to bring people together the way that protest music from folk culture does. 

Acid attack victims reverse expectations on the runway

Oct 13, 2017

It's a fashion show to make a difference.

Google is the latest tech company that’s found evidence of Russian-bought ads on its platforms.

Facebook recently shared 3,000 ads purchased by Russian operatives with Congress after finding that they were part of a disinformation campaign during the 2016 presidential election. Twitter has also faced scrutiny.

A fly-along with relief workers in Puerto Rico

Oct 6, 2017

It's day 16 without electricity for most of Puerto Rico.

Two weeks ago, Hurricane Maria hit the island as a Category 4 storm, wiping out the whole power grid. As of Friday, only half of Puerto Rico had safe drinking water.

Related: The federal emergency response in Puerto Rico has been slow, and there's a long way to go

Why I'm pro-secession for anyone who wants it

Oct 4, 2017

As a matter of principle and personal preference, I’m in favor of secession.

Related: Chronicle of a crackdown on Catalonia's independence vote

At least 21 people associated with the US diplomatic corps in Cuba have been suffering from an array of mysterious symptoms ranging from hearing loss and dizziness to concussions and brain swelling.

After months of investigation, the US determined that a secret sonic weapon was to blame.

But Dr. Joseph Pompei, a former researcher and psychoacoustics expert at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, says that’s impossible.

Like any coastal city, the impacts of climate change are a concern for Anchorage’s leaders. But in Alaska, the concerns are even direr. 

Ashley Grey gestures toward the crowd on the campus of Howard University in Washington, DC, as hundreds of new students make their way to the main yard. The marching band and cheerleaders pep up the new class with popular school chants. Today is the official pinning ceremony, where alumni, staff and current students officially welcome students by giving them school pins.

“It’s been chaos here in Puerto Rico,” says Ezequiel Rodríguez-Andino, an independent radio producer in the capital, San Juan. The phones have been down, along with most internet service. The roads are blocked, and there are long lines for food, water and fuel, he says. 

“The whole island has been affected,” Rodríguez-Andino says. “Every single town has been affected in some way.” 

Twitter says it won't take down Trump's tweet to North Korea

Sep 26, 2017

Like many diplomatic flare-ups under the Trump administration, this one began with a tweet.

Following weeks of escalating tensions and hostile statements between the US and North Korea, over the weekend, President Donald Trump warned North Korean leaders that they “won’t be around much longer” if they continue to threaten the US.

How Facebook saved a dying mill town

Sep 26, 2017

Everything people post on Facebook actually lives somewhere in real life — like a small town in central Oregon that was once decimated by the loss of manufacturing industries. 

The people of Prineville live deep in a valley surrounded by dense forests. In the 1800s, it was the first place in central Oregon where white settlers drove out Native Americans to start a city.

Steve Forrester’s grandparents got here in 1902. When he was growing up in the 1970s, Prineville was idyllic.   

How the Vietnam War shaped my life and my career

Sep 26, 2017

Vietnam loomed large in my early childhood. Images of choppers and rice fields, guns and body bags, filled the television screen each night. One year, my mother jumped every time the phone rang at an odd hour.

It was 1968, the most deadly year for Americans in Vietnam, and my mom’s youngest brother was stationed within a couple of miles of the demilitarized zone, as an adviser to a South Vietnamese unit. 

It’s been five days since Hurricane Maria tore through the island of Puerto Rico, killing at least 16 people, damaging homes, roads and fields and leaving millions without power.

The Trump administration says it will "continue to do everything it can" to provide assistance.

But Frances Robles, who has been reporting from Puerto Rico for The New York Times, says help has been slow in coming.

“I went to [the town of] Arecibo on Saturday,” says Robles, “and there was definitely the start of what looked like a humanitarian crisis.”

Donald Trump is not known for his strong grasp of history. But in controversial unscripted remarks this week, Trump claimed "leftists" were trying to rewrite history by destroying monuments.

“This week it's Robert E. Lee. I notice that Stonewall Jackson is coming down,” he said on Tuesday, referring to the top two generals of the Confederacy in the Civil War. “I wonder,” he continued, “is it George Washington next week? And is it Thomas Jefferson the week after. You really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop?"

The US far-right is a fan of — Syria's Assad?

Aug 14, 2017

President Bashar al-Assad of Syria has some unlikely fans in the US among far-right communities.

In a video that was posted on Twitter, three men who took part in the Charlottesville protests talk about their support for Assad, the notorious Syrian leader accused of killing thousands of his own people. One of the men is wearing a T-shirt that reads “Bashar’s Barrel Delivery Co.”

"Support the Syrian Arab army," one of them says.

It's been a little over a year since Auschwitz survivor and Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel died.

He was celebrated around the globe as an activist and a writer, and for his lifelong efforts to keep the world from forgetting the horrors of the Holocaust.

But for his only child, Elisha Wiesel, coming to terms with who his father was and what he represented was a difficult road.

When I first bought Zoe, my poodle mix, I had high hopes for her future.

I was convinced she’d be an astrophysicist like Mr. Peabody on "The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show." 

But it’s been three years, and while Zoe has had plenty of time to think, she has made zero progress on her time machine.

So now, I'm looking at backup careers for her.

Ziynda Kamte says she looked out the bus window the whole way to Cape Town.

She says she never stopped looking back. She was terrified that he would pop into her view, coming to get her and their two kids.

“My husband — he changed,” Kamte explains. “He started being abusive, beating me, treating me like nothing. There were days in which he would come home at 4 a.m. And he just wanted us to jam into it, and make love.”

Montreal's iconic Olympic Stadium has undergone a temporary transformation into a refugee welcome center.

The stadium has agreed to house about 450 asylum-seekers for a couple of months while the government figures out what to do next.

On Wednesday, the first busloads of people arrived, and now they are sleeping on cots, in a hallway, by the concession stands.

“The ambiance is camplike,” says Mireille Paquet, an immigration policy expert at Concordia University in Montreal, “but for now at least they're safe.”

Each week on The World, we feature a unique selection of music. And most every week, we put together the highlights for you here. 

WALK-OFF MUSIC FOR AN OLYMPIC STAR
Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt is currently the fastest man in the world. And this weekend, at the World Athletics Championships in London, Bolt will run his final 100 meters. There are years of musical tributes to him. 

After Arpaio guilty verdict, immigrant advocates want his legacy dismantled

Aug 3, 2017

News that former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio was found guilty of criminal contempt of court spread quickly through Phoenix’s immigrant community on Monday. That evening, a dozen women — most of them of Mexican descent — stood in front of a giant balloon effigy of Arpaio wearing a striped prison uniform, and cheered.

Ya cayó, ya cayó, Arpaio ya cayó,” they chanted in Spanish, which roughly translates to “Arpaio has fallen.”

Here's a riddle for you. 

There's a man with roots in Sierra Leone, but who was born and raised in the US. If he creates music that has roots in the sounds of Sierra Leone, is it cultural appropriation? And what if a legendary Sierra Leonean roots musician gladly collaborates with him?

There were Indian troops at Dunkirk, too

Aug 2, 2017

"Dunkirk" has been the surprise box office hit of the summer. It recounts the tale of how the beaten British army escaped the Germans at the beginning of World War II, from a beach at Dunkirk, in northern France.

It’s a surprise hit in the US considering the fact that there's not a single American character in it. America wouldn't even be fighting in northwest Europe for another four years.

But it’s not the absence of an American angle that has caused a minor stink. Commentators in Britain and India are complaining that no Indian soldiers are portrayed in the movie.

Being 'endlessly sorry' may not put an end to VW's emissions scam troubles

Aug 2, 2017

Volkswagen’s CEO Martin Winterkorn has said he's ‘endlessly sorry’ that his company rigged the pollution control systems of millions of its diesel cars to show bogus emission levels during tests.

The company's US business chief, Michael Horn, admits VW "totally screwed up" and dramatically mislead the public and regulators. “Our company was dishonest with the EPA, and the California Air Resources Board and with all of you," Horn said at an auto industry event in New York.

Forget the seven deadly sins. In the universe of President Donald Trump, there is but a single deed more grievous than all the others.

It’s leaking.

Talking out of school — so to speak — is strictly verboten within the Trump inner circle. But it keeps happening.

This time, it was a talk by Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and one of his top advisers at the White House. Kushner was speaking to a group of congressional interns on Monday. They were told not to record the Q&A with the president's son-in-law.

We love music here at The World, and we love to share our latest favorites with you. From a feminist and rebel in Buenos Aries to a Latin-funk act in Austin, give a listen to some of what we loved in July.

Korea's G-Dragon is on tour, but not for long

Korean pop star G-Dragon is drawing big crowds in the US. But he may not be on the scene for long. He's about to start his compulsory military service in Korea.

The Creator’s game. That's what the Haudenosaunee Nation, which straddles the US and Canada, calls lacrosse.

And they should know — they invented the game.

This month, the women's national team went to England to compete in the Lacrosse World Cup, and they were able to travel on their tribal passports.

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