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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After the release of 82 girls from Boko Haram captivity was announced this month, several of the missing girls’ parents set off from their remote hometown in northeast Nigeria to Abuja, the capital, to see the girls in person. The three represented parents of more than 200 girls kidnapped in April 2014, who have formed an association to work with the government and others for their release.

President Donald Trump's decision to share classified information with Russian officials has the potential to severely harm the United States’ intelligence relationships with allies, a foreign official said.

Russia is ready to fight dirty

May 16, 2017

The US intelligence community, still reeling from the firing of FBI Director James Comey last week, is now worried that a disclosure by President Donald Trump could put the US relationship with other intelligence agencies at risk.

In the town of East Porterville, in California’s Central Valley, there aren’t any sidewalks and there are as many dirt roads as paved streets. It’s also home for Saber Askar, a US citizen from Yemen. Most days, he's found working the cash register at La Buena Vista, a corner store in town with a butcher in the back, a taco truck out front and a stray dog for a mascot. It’s the type of place that sells everything from lotto scratchers to engine oil.

The return of Senegal's Orchestra Baobab

May 8, 2017

I've always wanted to tell the story of the lead guitarist in the legendary Senegalese ensemble, Orchestra Baobab.

His name is Barthelemy Attisso and he's an amazing musical talent. Attisso also happens to be a lawyer in his native Togo, though. So he would commute from there to Senegal to rehearse and tour with the band.

A few years ago, he recommitted himself to the law, which meant that when Baobab was ready to record its latest album, they needed a replacement for Attisso.

How Russia’s hacking and influence ops help Putin

May 8, 2017

In case you missed it, the presidential election in France was rocked at the last minute by a massive hacking attack on Emmanuel Macron's campaign.

No surprise, perhaps, given what happened in the US before the election last year.

Also no surprise: There's evidence that points to Russian hackers as the potential culprits.

How do you capture the loneliness of being kept in a locked room? The shades are pulled. You have no books, TV or smartphone, and you're handcuffed to a radiator. Oh yeah — it's also been months, and you have no idea if you'll ever be released.

The March for Science, happening Saturday in Washington, DC, started as a reaction to the Trump administration’s attitudes toward science. But since it was dreamed up in late January, the movement has spread well beyond the Beltway.

As of Friday afternoon, organizers say there are more than 600 demonstrations planned, including roughly 200 outside of the United States.  

Science events — not all of them actual marches — are happening from the North Pole to Cape Town, from Bhutan to Greenland.

Maria Soria Castañeda grew up in North Carolina but was born in Mexico. She moved to the US with her family when she was 3. She’s also undocumented and, now, a junior at Swarthmore College, where she feels like a bit of a pioneer.

"We don’t really know what undocumented students they had before, but we were under the impression there weren't that many," says Castañeda. "Once we got here, we had to be the ones to sort of bring up what we would like to have here."

US President Donald Trump hasn't won any friends in South Korea this week.

A firestorm has erupted on South Korean social media after Trump said during an interview with The Wall Street Journal, “Korea actually used to be a part of China.”

The Wall Street Journal published the story on April 12, but it gained traction in South Korea this week.

An official with the foreign ministry in Seoul responded Wednesday by saying the Trump comment was “historically untrue” and “not worthy of a response.”

Gerard Fesch didn’t learn that his father was a notorious murderer until he turned 40. Gerard grew up in foster care, with his records sealed. All he knew about his history was his mother’s first name: Thérèse.

“Every time I tried to look into my past, I would come up with possible theories as to why I’d been abandoned. I suspected I might uncover something unpleasant,” Fesch says, “but I never imagined this.”

Many immigrants without legal status pay taxes.

Lots of taxes. Last year, undocumented workers handed over $26.3 billion in federal taxes to the US Internal Revenue Service. 

Those filings came in all sorts of income categories. Youth organizer Greisa Martínez first visited a tax preparer in Dallas, Texas, with her father about a decade ago when she was 17 years old and working odd jobs. Both she and her dad were undocumented, but they wanted to file returns. It wasn't long afterward that her father was deported back to his native Mexico. She hasn't seen him since then.

It’s Sunday morning in the Indian city of Banaras. In a humble concrete and sheet-metal church, worshippers gather for the weekly service. 

But this is no regular church. There is no spire. There are no ringing bells. The regular vocabulary of praise for Christ is tailored to this Hindu-Indian congregation. 

When Chinese President Xi Jinping meets US President Donald Trump at the Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida the pair probably won't be playing any golf.

Trump is a devoted golf player. He's played more than a dozen times since taking office. When Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met Trump in February at Mar-a-Lago, the billionaire's private Florida club that he calls the "winter White House," they played a round together. 

Seagulls circle above a deserted street near Calais’ seaport. A police van keeps a watchful eye at the entrance of the charity Secours Catholique. In the yard, there are two new portable shower trailers.

Volunteer Pierre Leleu says he spends his days shuttling migrant men between the day center in town and this facility so they can shower. Then the young men can get some refreshments and pick some clean clothes in the warehouse.

My grandfather, Charles Barton Sr., was a man of many contradictions. The son of religious Appalachian parents, he ended up working on some of the most cutting-edge chemistry of his day for the US Atomic Energy Commission.

When the UK government officially filed divorce papers Wednesday to leave the European Union, Darren Grimes woke up a happy camper.

“I’m extremely optimistic about our future chances outside in the world!” he chimes. “I think Brexit and the repeal bill present a great opportunity to bring about the changes our country so desperately needs.”

How alone are 'lone wolf' jihadi attackers?

Mar 24, 2017

The investigation into what exactly happened in London on Wednesday is really only just beginning. But the initial impression is that it was a "lone wolf" attack by an ISIS supporter, like we saw in Orlando, Nice and Berlin.

We've become accustomed to hearing the phrase "self-radicalized" in connection with these lone wolves. But is that really the case? Are they alone, radicalizing themselves?

It turns out that most lone wolves are actually groomed and mentored, one-on-one, by individual ISIS operatives.

How alone are 'lone wolf' jihadi attackers?

Mar 24, 2017

The investigation into what exactly happened in London on Wednesday is really only just beginning. But the initial impression is that it was a "lone wolf" attack by an ISIS supporter, like we saw in Orlando, Nice and Berlin.

We've become accustomed to hearing the phrase "self-radicalized" in connection with these lone wolves. But is that really the case? Are they alone, radicalizing themselves?

It turns out that most lone wolves are actually groomed and mentored, one-on-one, by individual ISIS operatives.

Six years ago, Ari Beser, a photographer from Baltimore, received a grant to visit the city of Hiroshima for the first time. He wanted to trace the path his grandfather had once taken. Jacob Beser, who died in 1992, flew over Japan as a member of the Army Air Force during World War II.

On the day that Beser got the grant, a tsunami struck the coast of Japan, flooding Fukushima nuclear power plant and causing an explosion and meltdown.

President Donald Trump proposed drastic cuts in spending on the arts, science, foreign aid and environmental protection Thursday, in a security-focused budget blueprint that could struggle to pass Congress.

Translating hardline campaign promises into dollar-and-cent commitments, the Republican leader proposed scrapping dozens of programs like public broadcasting and climate funding, while boosting Pentagon spending by $52 billion.

Six years after the Fukushima Daiichi meltdown, officials are still seeking ways to deal with the huge amount of hazardous waste being generated at the nuclear power plant.

Tokyo-based journalist James Simms has been covering the Fukushima cleanup since shortly after the effort was crippled by a tsunami in March 2011.

He told The World that six years on, there has been some progress toward decommissioning the plant, “but many unforeseen issues may mean that the cleanup and dismantling and decontamination will take longer than previously expected.”

In his new book "How May I Help You? An Immigrant's Journey from MBA to Minimum Wage," Deepak Singh writes about what it was like to arrive in a new country he did not fully understand.

He came to the US from India to join his new wife, an American grad student in Charlottesville, Virginia. Singh arrived armed with an MBA from India, but he couldn’t find a job in his field in the US. He ended up working a minimum-wage job at a mall electronics store. 

Violence against women, as an acceptable practice in some cultures, is hardly a new story to me. For years, I’ve reported in countries across the Middle East and Asia, where women face deep-seated oppression and a lack of basic rights, including the right to pursue justice against domestic violence.

But this was different.

America's sanctuary communities are more numerous than you think

Mar 10, 2017

For some, the term "sanctuary city” is hardly new. It’s decades old, with roots in the 1980s — when churches defied federal officials and led efforts to house people escaping violence from Central America's civil wars.

As the debate over immigration policies and their legality intensifies, the push to protect unauthorized immigrants from deportation has spread to more than 600 counties in 30 states. While policies vary, one tactic used by resistant localities is to limit cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, when it comes to immigration detainers.

Why the fight over how immigrants are characterized is so important

Mar 1, 2017

For anyone who watched President Donald Trump’s address to Congress on Tuesday, the irony of who was in the audience on either side of the aisle was clear.

No group is more affected by Trump’s immigration ban than Iranians. Over 35,000 Iranians come to the US each year with temporary visas — more than any other nationality on the seven-country list.

Meanwhile, in Europe, many are struggling for recognition alongside unprecedented numbers of refugees.

Most of the asylum-seekers in Europe now are fleeing violence in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, but in 2015 more than 25,000 Iranians also sought asylum in Europe.

With 200 museums in greater Paris, newcomers face tough competition.

The privately run Phono Museum, which opened in 2014, guides visitors through the history of recorded sound. But it has struggled to overcome financial problems, despite a collection full of old and sometimes bizarre artifacts of audio history.

Donald Trump's pick for ambassador to Israel began his confirmation process in the Senate on Thursday. And the first thing David Friedman did was express regret for what he called his "inflammatory" language during the election campaign.

He didn't specify what that language was, but it probably included the word “kapo,” a German word with connotations that are highly insulting to Jews.

Russian state media ordered to scale back positive coverage of Donald Trump

Feb 17, 2017

The Kremlin ordered Russian state media on Thursday to stop praising Donald Trump. It was a big change, and an indication that the Putin-Trump "bromance" could be on the rocks.

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