The World

Monday - Friday 3 p.m. and 9 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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Here's an explanation about why there's a backlog of immigration cases

Oct 5, 2018

The recent wave of migrants crossing the US-Mexico border tests any already overwhelmed US judicial system.

There’s a push by Washington to send one clear message to Central American families wanting to migrate here: Don’t come.

Or, at least, don’t believe what all the smugglers promise.

“You will not get papers to allow you to stay, and you are putting yourself and your children in grave danger,” Gil Kerlikowske, head of US Customs and Border Protection, said during a press conference earlier this month.

Gordon Liu, a 28-year-old office worker in Hong Kong, dashes to a Chinese medicine clinic after work to get acupuncture for his shoulder and neck pain. Liu goes inside a large cubicle curtained off for privacy. He takes off his shirt, lies face down on a bed and an acupuncturist puts needles in points near his shoulders, neck and hands, leaving them in for about 20 minutes.

“Now it feels like my neck and shoulders are more moveable, like they’ve loosened up,” he says.

Jane Faye was early in her transition from male to female when she was accosted before entering the women's changing area. It was a Saturday morning, and she was getting ready to step into the pool with her then 5-year-old son. A man appeared out of nowhere and threatened her.

“This man just hogged the way. And said, 'You're not going in there.' And I said, "Why not?" And he just said, 'Well, I'm going to hit you if you do,'” said Faye, who lives north of London. 

Barranquitas, a rural region of 30,000 people in central Puerto Rico, gets its name from the terrain. Barranca roughly translates to ravine or gully, and the steep slopes here meant the area was especially hard-hit by Hurricane Maria.

Countless landslides blocked roads for weeks. Streets weren’t completely cleared of mud and debris until long after green returned to the lush valleys, three months after the hurricane.

Scientists say 25 years left to fight climate change

Sep 13, 2018

You can think of global warming kind of like popping a bag of popcorn in the microwave.

Anthropogenic, or human-caused, warming has been stoked by increasing amounts of heat-trapping pollution since the start of the industrial age more than 200 years ago. But that first hundred years or so was kind of like the first minute for that popcorn — no real sign of much happening.

Doug Ford had been premier of Ontario for less than a month when he fulfilled a campaign promise in mid-July. Ford rolled back an updated sex ed curriculum that had been hailed as more inclusive. As it was just a few weeks into summer, the response was delayed.

“My friend called me and he was like, ‘Hey no one's doing a protest, we should do a protest,’” says Rayne Fisher-Quann, 17. “And then I was like ‘OK, sure, that sounds great.’”

Siberian war games send a signal to the West

Aug 31, 2018

It was a hot September day. We were dug in to a potato field on the edge of a village somewhere in West Germany, waiting for the next attack.  

I distinctly remember Corporal Olding wandering over and saying, “I feel like a potato.”   

After two weeks on the exercise — two weeks of being tired, dirty and hungry — it seemed like the funniest thing ever.   

In central Athens, the sun-drenched streets are filled with tourists clutching at shopping bags and locals crowding cafes. It’s a far cry from the turmoil that has rocked this country over the past eight years.

At long last, things seem to be looking up here. On Monday, after eight years of emergency loans, Greece exited the international bailout program that prevented it from going bankrupt.

It’s an overcast summer day at the Normandy American Cemetery. Taps plays as a flag-draped casket is carried to a freshly dug grave. A small group gathers to bury a fallen soldier.

For decades, the remains of this sailor were labeled only as Unknown X-9352. Today, he has his name again: Julius “Henry” Pieper.

Henry is finally getting a proper burial. It’s 74 years after his death, on the exact day his Naval ship was sunk by a German mine during World War II D-Day operations.

On a quiet street in Worcester, Massachusetts, there’s a little white clapboard church with a steeple called Hadwen Park Congregational Church. Over the past decade, this classic-looking, century-old New England church has become a destination for migrants who were persecuted for their gender or sexual orientation and had to flee their homes. Some find the church online: If you google words like “asylum-seeker,” “LGBT” and  “looking for help,” this church comes up. Others hear about it through word of mouth.

On July 26, 2016, a young girl stepped up to the mic at a meeting of the San Diego Unified School District Board of Education

“Good evening. My name is Sohaila Gebaly,” she said. “I’m going to 6th grade. I love school and science.” 

Gebaly went on to tell board members that the year before, three boys in school started calling her names. When no one stopped them, they hit her, kicked her and pushed her. 

Sousou and Maher Cissoko make beautiful music together — both in a musical partnership and as husband and wife.

It's also music that brought them together, specifically the West African kora, a 21-stringed lute-type instrument.

The kora is not an instrument often associated with Sousou's native Sweden.

"My father is a musician and he was playing together with a kora player from Gambia," she explains.  

AP world history covered about 10,000 years when 16-year-old Paige Becker took it last year in Lady Lake, Florida.

“For me, it wasn’t too much because I love the course,” she says, “but I know not everybody’s a history lover.”

In the early days of American democracy, you could always count on Benjamin Franklin for a good political joke to put things into perspective. In the early days of Egypt's democracy, you've got Bassem Youssef. He's been called the "Egyptian Jon Stewart." The former heart surgeon, shot to fame during Egypt's revolution in 2011 after he posted videos on YouTube lampooning political figures. And those videos paved the way for a TV show with millions of viewers. But over the weekend Bassem Youssef saw what happens when he thinks he's funny, but the Egyptian government does not.

As Russian President Vladimir Putin prepares for his first one-on-one summit with President Donald Trump in Helsinki next week, Russian political observers say Kremlin expectations are low but for one key deliverable: Russia’s symbolic return from international isolation to a global powerbroker America needs to negotiate with once more. 

Ahead of the summit, Trump — currently amid a contentious week of meetings with traditional US allies in Brussels and London — has suggested his talks with the Russian leader “may be the easiest of them all.”

More than a decade ago, the founding members of A2VT, an Afropop band based in Burlington, Vermont, arrived in the United States as refugees. And when it came time to choose a group name, they wanted it to reflect their journey: from Africa to Vermont. 

Lead singer Said Bulle goes by the moniker "Jilib." He grew up in Somalia and moved with his family to a Kenyan refugee camp at age 10. Five years later, a family in Burlington, Vermont, offered to sponsor him. 

'For people like you, there is no law'

Jul 2, 2018

A few months ago Baner Morales went to the bank. He saw a couple acquaintances, said hi, made small talk and cashed his check. Later he learned that rumors were spreading about him.

One of the employees at the bank who knew Morales had gossiped to a colleague, revealing that Morales is a transgender man. The two employees went through his file and found his identification that still indicates female despite Morales’ male appearance —  the gender he identifies with.

A Spanish-language play in Miami that's been showing since January, until recently, featured a character in blackface.

The promotional video for "Tres Viudas en un Crucero" (Three Widows on a Cruise) shows a fair-skinned actress smeared in brown makeup and overdrawn big red lips, pounding her chest and joking about having fun like gorillas.

After public backlash, the play’s directors announced at the end of May that they would no longer show the character in blackface, though they initially defended the practice.

How far would you go to have a biological child?

Jun 20, 2018

Surrogacy is a multimillion-dollar, global industry. People who face infertility have tough choices when it comes to deciding whether to keep trying to get pregnant via infertility treatments like in vitro fertilization — only to experience disappointment when it doesn’t take — or resort to surrogacy, which can get complicated.

A key battle to capture a seaport in Yemen is entering its second week, as residents and humanitarian workers worry fighting could soon reach civilian neighborhoods.

Yemeni troops, backed by the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, claim to have captured an airport just south of the city of Hodeidah. And inside the city center, residents can hear explosions from airstrikes, artillery and mortars.

A Dutch brothel where women work for themselves

Jun 15, 2018

From purple and red walls to safes in every room, just about everything at the My Red Light brothel has been designed with input from the women who work there.

It’s also almost completely run by former or current sex workers, something rare in Amsterdam’s world-famous prostitution district. But the most important thing about My Red Light is that its 14 rooms can only be rented by people who have been thoroughly vetted to ensure they are not being trafficked, pimped or exploited.

What reporters couldn't see when they toured a Texas shelter for child migrants

Jun 14, 2018

Life for children inside a privately run facility for migrant children at the Southern border is a cross between living in a detention center and temporary shelter.  

That’s according to people who got a brief glimpse inside. This week, a small group of reporters toured Casa Padre, a converted former Walmart in Brownsville, Texas, that houses nearly 1,500 boys ranging in age from 10 to 17 who were caught crossing the border between checkpoints. Most come from Central America.

Most college students in the US are making plans for the summer. For some of the many Puerto Rican college students who came to the mainland to continue their studies after Hurricane Maria roared through the island last September, this time of the year brings a more complex question — whether to stay or go back home.

Halina Litman Yasharoff Peabody remembers the events of her life during the Holocaust in remarkable detail.

She was only 6 when Russians invaded her Polish town, arrested her father and sent him to a prison camp in Siberia. The Germans arrived in 1941, setting off a string of horrors for Peabody, her mother and her baby sister: the hiding, the ghetto, the mass graves, the escape by train and the bomb that took two of her fingers.

Germany's Jewish population is small, somewhere around 200,000. Yet in German schoolyards, the word “Jew” is heard regularly, and not in a good way.

“'Jew' is an insult here,” says Berlin resident Gemma Michalski. “If you want to insult somebody, whether they're Jewish or not, it doesn't matter, but it's the thing you throw at them: 'Ah he's a real Jew,' or 'You're a Jew.' That's a sort of go-to insult.”

It’s never been a tough question for her.

Irish podcaster Ciara O’Connor Walsh, 37, says she has always been a supporter of abortion rights. But as she was parking her car one day, O’Connor Walsh was suddenly confronted by one of her own prejudices.

There was a bumper sticker on the car next to hers with a picture of a smiling fetus on it saying, “When I grow up, I’m going to play for Ireland.” The sticker also said, “Love both,” a motto used by anti-abortion activists in Ireland.

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.

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.

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.

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