The World

M-F 3-4pm

A one-hour, weekday radio news magazine offering a mix of news, features, interviews, and music from around the globe.

http://www.theworld.org/

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Courtesy of Major League Baseball

A Pittsburgh Pirates rookie named Gift Ngoepe has become the first African-born player to appear in a Major League Baseball game.

On Wednesday, the 27-year-old South African stepped up to the plate in a game against the Chicago Cubs and hit a single up the middle in his first at-bat.

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Courtesy of the Daum School

History class at the Daum School in Seoul looks pretty typical: Some students take notes intently, others take a nap. You can't tell that most of these students have risked their lives to be here. 

This is a high school for North Korean refugees in Seoul.

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Marie Arago/Reuters

The Oscar-winning director Jonathan Demme was one of the great artistic innocents. This doesn’t mean he was unsophisticated — far from it, just look at his work. But he was open to the world and thought the world had something to teach him; he was an eager and even a hungry learner.

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

Reggae star Jah9 

Jamaican reggae artist Jah9 is a woman who embodies the title of a track on her latest CD, "Unafraid." Women have long been eclipsed on the reggae scene by men. But Jah9 is unafraid to be in that space.

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Courtesy <a href="http://www.armcomedy.com/category/english/">ArmComedy</a>

Narek Margaryan and Sergey Sargsyan want their fellow Armenians to know that it's OK to make a joke. It's not personal.

The two academics-turned-comedians are the creators, writers and co-anchors of ArmComedy, Armenia's first satirical news program — and yes, it's compared to The Daily Show, like, all the time. Sargsyan says the format took a while to find an audience in Armenia.

In slashing $32 million of funding to the United Nations Populations Fund, also known as the UNFPA, earlier this month, the Trump administration slung a decade-old nefarious charge: The agency supports the coercive abortion of Chinese female fetuses.

To many in China, this came as a surprise.

So we slash US foreign aid. But why?

Apr 28, 2017
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Joshua Roberts/Reuters

President Donald Trump's plan to make dramatic cuts in foreign aid and abolish an independent US Agency for International Development has few fans on Capitol Hill and powerful detractors at the Pentagon.

Still, the proposal, or some version of it, could become a reality. 

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Brian Snyder/Reuters

Texas State Rep. Gene Wu was visibly emotional on Wednesday as he spoke about a controversial immigration enforcement bill before the Texas House of Representatives.

"This topic is painful for me," said Wu, a Democrat who represents a district in Houston. "I am an immigrant. My parents are immigrants. I represent a district filled with immigrants."

He spoke about the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, which restricted the immigration of Chinese immigrants into the United States. And he called attention to the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II.

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Courtesy of NRK

The annual migration of reindeer across Norway is a spectacle of nature. The majestic animals are currently moving from their southern winter grazing grounds to greener spring pastures.

This year you can watch it happen in real time — all of it.

The Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK) is following a herd of almost 1,500 reindeer on its Slow TV channel. Tune in and you’ll see reindeer, reindeer, and more reindeer. 

 

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Marco Werman

When you’ve got a great car mechanic and he leaves the neighborhood, it almost feels like your doctor has moved. Guang Lin is that mechanic. And with his departure goes much more than a mechanic and friend I trust, which is no small thing itself.

In my own neighborhood of Cambridge — Cambridgeport — just on the other side of the Charles River from our studios, change has been pretty striking.

Astronauts are baffled by Trump's space travel plans

Apr 27, 2017
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Kevin Lamarque

American astronauts may be walking on Mars in the next eight years, or ideally the next four, if President Donald Trump has his way. But the new timetable has baffled experts in space travel. 

The surprise announcement — or rather instruction — took place this week during a live video conference between President Trump and veteran astronaut Peggy Whitson, who is currently aboard the International Space Station.

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Anita Elash

Amy Wright doesn’t use drugs anymore but when she did, she’d sometimes come to a narrow back alley in Toronto’s downtown core to shoot up heroin and morphine.

The alley is lined with enormous dumpsters and littered with trash. In Wright’s words, “It’s dark, it’s gray, it’s dim, it’s dirty. In the summer, you’ll really start to smell it because of the garbage, and you’ll smell the urine and, as you can see, there’s crap on the door.”

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."

“It’s going to be the biggest tax cut in the history of the country!” That’s how US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin touted the Trump administration’s just-revealed tax plan. But huge cuts mean the government will need to make up the revenue somehow.

James Hines, an economics professor at the University of Michigan, says the United States might want to adopt a value-added tax or VAT.

“More than 170 countries have value-added taxes," Hines says. "Really, the United States is the only country that doesn’t.”

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Petr Josek/Reuters

Here's some news for the lovelorn.

If you’ve ever used the dating app Tinder to meet interesting people, then maybe you’ve come across a handsome devil named Sudan who describes himself as "the most eligible bachelor in the world.” He's one of a kind and “looking for love."

Tempted to find out more?

A closer look at Sudan’s profile will reveal that he also “likes to eat grass and chill in the mud.”

That's because he's a rhino. The last surviving male northern white rhino on the planet.

Fear has not paralyzed Pakistan

Apr 26, 2017
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Akhtar Soomro/Reuters

I recently visited Pakistan after 25 years. Given the long absence, it essentially felt like my first time there. Only faint, isolated images remained from earlier trips.

Despite this, Pakistan's presence has endured in my life not merely because my parents were born there. Conversations with and stories of family members who still reside there maintain the country's presence in my daily thoughts. And an ardent passion for Pakistani cricket, cultivated in my childhood, ensures a continual bond.

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Jason Margolis

The semiarid Mexican city of Monterrey has two major challenges with water: either there is not enough of it, or there's far too much.

Improving and fixing the area’s infrastructure could cost billions. But a US environmental organization has a far cheaper solution, and it’s getting rival corporations — like Coca-Cola and PepsiCo — to come together to pay for it.

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Murad Sezer/Reuters

At Mehmet and Pinar Ozcelebi’s basement home, it’s 8 in the evening. As their two daughters, Ada and Nisa, play with their neighbor girls, the couple watches TV. The family tunes into “Cesur ve Guzel,” The Brave and the Beautiful, one of the latest popular Turkish soap operas.

It’s like Turkey’s Dynasty, a story of secrets, revenge and a mysterious man chasing a rich, pretty woman. The male lead played by Turkish heartthrob Kivanc Tatlitug pursues the female lead played by actress diva Tuba Buyukstun. But he has a vendetta against her father. And the plot thickens and unravels.

Sarmad Gilani was working at Google’s offices in San Francisco one morning when he received a message that two cops were waiting for him in Google’s lobby.

The 31-year-old software engineer at Google figured the officers just wanted to talk about an unpaid parking ticket. But Gilani also wondered if the officers had a more complicated motive.

“Just in case they throw me in Guantanamo, please bail me out,” he told a co-worker.

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Courtesy of the Bailey family

A controversial child trafficking trial starts this Thursday for a 64-year-old American woman who throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s placed hundreds of Guatemalan children with American families. If convicted, she could face more than a decade in prison.

It’s looking unlikely that Congress will take up immigration reform this fall.

But the push is still on to put deportations and immigrant detention centers under the microscope. And some of those leading this effort are immigrants themselves — who’ve spent time in detention centers — and are organizing to support those still inside.

Luis Nolasco was nine when his parents brought him to California from Mexico.

Back then, his family’s “undocumented” status meant little to him, but that changed his senior year of high school.

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Stéphane Remael

It all started in a bar in Paris, back in 2008, when a friend told Lena Mauger a story. It was about a Japanese couple who had disappeared. They hadn’t died. They weren’t kidnapped. They just deliberately vanished in the middle of the night without explanation.

And this wasn’t just a one-off, mysterious occurrence. According to Mauger’s friend, it was a phenomenon. In Japan, thousands of people each year became johatsu — “evaporated people” — driven underground by the stigma of debt, job loss, divorce, even just failing an exam.

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Francois Lenoir/ Reuters

The phrase “climate change” triggers images of a huge, global phenomenon. Rising seas. Drought. Ocean acidification.

But it's actually experienced on a much smaller scale, by individual plants, animals and people.

And most of the world’s organisms experience it much differently than humans do.

“As humans, we have this really biased view of the world. Well over 95 percent of the organisms on Earth, they’re completely dependent on the ambient environment for their temperature,” says Northeastern University marine biologist Brian Helmuth.

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Richard Hall/PRI

Wadha Khalaf sits cross-legged on the rough ground, throwing dough between her hands like she’s done it a million times before.

The 45-year-old mother of 13 is a new arrival among the thousands of displaced Yazidis living on top of Mount Sinjar, in northern Iraq — a sacred place for people of her faith.

But it is not the first time she has sought safety here.

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