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.


Teju Cole admits he doesn't feel at home anywhere. 

As a citizen of Nigeria and the US, he thinks about art, literature and politics from a point of view he calls "placelessness." 

That's one of the themes in his new essay collection, Known and Strange Things. The volume covers the globe, but it's rooted in the dynamism and energy of Lagos, a place the author misses so much he finds himself toggling over to Google Maps to establish a sort of contact. 

Promethean Power Systems

Sorin Grama had a great idea. Like, a really terrific idea. It was so good, MIT awarded him one of its most prestigious entrepreneurship prizes: second place in the university’s annual 100K Entrepreneurship Competition.

Lucas Jackson/Reuters

The Washington Post reports that access to presidential candidate Hillary Clinton may have been influenced by donations to the Clinton Foundation when she was secretary of state.

The Post's Rosalind Helderman got ahold of the emails after a lawsuit made them public. An excerpt from Helderman's story:

Rolf Schoellkopf

When we think of Syria, we usually think of war, misery and desperate refugees. Classically trained bassist Raed Jazbeh is trying to change that image.

Jazbeh fled Syria three years ago for Europe and was granted asylum in Germany. His fellow musicians were also scattered all over Europe by their country’s civil war. This is the story of his effort to find his former colleagues and preserve a piece of Syria’s musical culture.

Raed Jazbeh is a hard guy to reach.

Djordje Kojadinovic

More than 1,500 years ago, during the Roman Empire, a young woman died and was buried in the city of Viminacium, in modern-day Serbia. Someone close to her thought she might need some help in the next life.

A particular kind of help. Help from a demon.

Ilija Dankovic from the Archaeological Institute in Belgrade is one of the archaeologists excavating the remains of Viminacium, including the grave of the unnamed woman. Alongside her remains, his team discovered a selection of spells inscribed on tiny gold and silver pages locked in a lead amulet.

The streets are always emptier in Paris in August. It’s when Parisians clear out of the city for their long French vacations.

But this year, certain neighborhoods popular with tourists are even emptier than usual.

“You almost feel like you’re in an episode of 'Walking Dead,'” said Emanuel Afonso, who sells hats, scarves and other accessories at a shop near Notre Dame.

Gamers want video games at the Olympics already!

Aug 22, 2016
REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov

The next Olympic Games will be held in Tokyo in 2020. The host city made quite an entrance during the closing ceremonies Sunday night. In a pre-recorded skit, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe transformed into Super Mario and proceeded to travel to Rio via pipe. Like from the Super Mario video games.

Then, in Rio, emerging a pipe in the middle of the stadium, suddenly it's Super Mario live. He changes out of his costume and he's ... Prime Minister Abe.


How female Olympians help some nations stand out from the crowd

Aug 22, 2016
Ricardo Moraes/Reuters

Team USA had an incredible medal haul at the 2016 Olympics — with women leading the way. Women competing in female-only events took home 61 medals, compared to 56 by men and another four medals in mixed competitions.

And for the second consecutive Summer Games, the US sent more women athletes than men. But on the whole, there were still more men competing than women at the Olympics.

Matthew Childs/Reuters

Let's turn back the clock 20 years to the Atlanta Games in 1996. There, mighty Great Britain took home just one gold medal.

This year, British athletes won 27 golds and 67 medals overall. Great Britain finished second in the gold medal count behind only the US, and third in the total medal count behind the US and China.

Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

Ethiopia's Feyisa Lilesa marked his silver medal in the Olympic Games men's marathon on Sunday by staging a dramatic protest against his country's government, claiming his life could be in peril.

Lilesa, who was second to Kenyan favoutite Eliud Kipchoge, crossed his arms above his head as he finished the gruelling event as a protest against the Ethiopian government's crackdown on political dissent.

"I have relatives in prison back home," he said.

"If you talk about democracy they kill you. If I go back to Ethiopia maybe they will kill me, or put me in prison.

Here at The World, both host Marco Werman and I listen to a lot of music. And we often have the honor to speak with the musicians who make it. 

Recently I had the pleasure to speak with one talented artist — Moken. Moken is the stage name for artist Kenneth Nunga.

He's originally from Cameroon and it's his music and voice that really pulled me in. 

Just listen to this:

What the London Tube looks like past midnight

Aug 22, 2016
Orlando Gili/PRI

Something unusual happened on London on Friday night. The Tube — officially the London Underground — opened up two of its lines for 24-hour service.

Since its creation in the 19th century, the Tube has never been a 24-hour service. Most lines close around midnight.

That's left generations of Londoners ending their evenings in a mad dash — like Cinderella — to make it on to the last Tube heading home.

Documentary photographers Orlando Gili and Joseph Fox and spent Friday night riding the Tube, capturing the extended-hours mood. Here's what they saw.

One of London's oldest gay bars is pouring its last pint

Aug 22, 2016
The Queen's Head/Facebook

One of London’s oldest gay bars is closing next month, after the pub’s owners failed to come to an agreement with their landlord.

The Old Lady of Tryon Street — officially known as The Queen's Head — confirmed the rumor on its Facebook page. “We're bloody gutted,” the post reads.

The bar itself is almost two centuries old. Freddy Sipson, who has managed The Queen's Head for seven years, says it’s been known as a gay bar since about the 1920s.

Adeline Sire

I grew up in a medieval part of Auxerre, in a house nestled between two churches. To the south, Saint Pierre’s church, and to the north, Saint Étienne’s cathedral. You could say I was raised in its shadow.

This cathedral is a sumptuous, gothic monument, only a few feet shorter than Notre Dame in Paris. You can spot its tower from miles around, because at 200 feet in height, it’s this medieval town’s only skyscraper.

And it’s 800 years old.

And it doesn’t care if the calendar reads 2016. It rings its bells like it’s 1216.

Linus Escador II/PRI

It’s just past 10 pm on a Friday night in the Philippine capital of Manila. A crowd is gathered around police tape on a quiet street.

At the center is a man named Redentor Manalang, who is slumped over the back of his sidecar motorcycle, a gunshot wound to his head. The unknown assailants sped away on their own motorcycle before the police got there. They left a blood-splattered cardboard sign next to his body. It reads: “I’m a drug pusher. Don’t copy me.”

(Editor's note: Some photos in this story are not suitable for all audiences.)

Angelo DalBo/Refettorio Gastromotiva

Olympic athletes eat a lot more than powerbars and high protein shakes. Just imagine the roughly 250-ton mountain of food that has to be prepared to feed more than 11,000 athletes competing in the Rio Games.

The food supply chain at the Olympics, like other huge events, requires advance logistics, planning and educated guesses as to how much food and ingredients to have on hand to make nourishing meals.

Inevitably there’s going to be a surplus, whether it’s cases of bruised fruit and vegetables, or leftover palettes of potatoes and rice.

Policing the language of the Holocaust in Poland

Aug 22, 2016
Kacper Pempel/Reuters

It's hard to find words to describe an abomination like Auschwitz, the infamous Holocaust death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland.

However, if you choose the wrong words, you might soon end up in jail.

This week Poland's ruling right-wing Law and Justice Party pushed for a new law that would forbid the use of phrases like "Polish death camp" or "Polish concentration camp," which the party says imply that Poland was responsible for atrocities perpetrated by Nazis during the Holocaust. If the law passes, there could be a penalty of up to three years in prison.

Spritz: Italy's Most Iconic Aperitivo Cocktail, with Recipes by Talia Baiocchi and Leslie Pariseau, copyright 2016.

It's Time to Spritz! 

Leslie Pariseau is an editor at Saveur magazine, and the co-author with Talia Baiocchi, of "Spritz: Italy's Most Iconic Aperitivo Cocktail."

She sets the scene:

US support for Saudis in Yemen is 'not a blank check'

Aug 21, 2016
Abduljabbar Zeyad/Reuters

The United States has withdrawn most of its advisors that have been helping Saudi Arabia coordinate a bombing campaign for 17 months in Yemen.

In Haiti, the UN still has to clean up its act

Aug 19, 2016
Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

Last week, the United Nations acknowledged some responsibility for the cholera epidemic in Haiti that broke out six years ago, killing more than 9,000 people.

But the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that despite this admission the UN cannot be sued in US courts. The victims and the families of the victims have 90 days to decide whether they would like to appeal the case up to the Supreme Court, and journalist Jonathan M. Katz says that may happen.

Who politicized the burkini?

Aug 19, 2016

In the past few weeks, multiple towns in France have issued bans on the full-body swimsuit known as the "burkini."

Designed for Muslim women, the burkini covers everything but the face, hands and feet.

At least 15 towns and cities in France have banned the swimwear, according to AFP. Nice is the most recent to join in.

Shuka Kalantari

A year ago, Franci Machado started feeling really sick with nausea and vomiting. She went to the hospital and then again when her symptoms worsened a month later. Doctors told her she had thyroid cancer. And that she was two months pregnant.

Machado, a 26-year-old single mother, needed chemotherapy to save her life, but that could kill the fetus. Under Nicaraguan law, that’s considered an abortion. So doctors refused to treat Machado.

Carlos Jasso/Reuters

Venezuelans are suffering in many ways right now.

A severe economic crisis in the country has led to massive inflation and major shortages of food, medicine, and other essentials.

Like the people, zoo animals are also going hungry, says Marlene Sifontes, a union leader for the National Park Institute Inparques Project.

"The story of the animals at Caricuao [Zoo in Caracas] is a metaphor for Venezuelan suffering," she said.

Abdalrhman Ismail/Reuters

A group of doctors in the besieged Syrian city of Aleppo have appealed to President Barack Obama for help. In an open letter, they told the US president, “We don’t need tears, we need action.”

The doctors are in the eastern part of the ancient city, in an area controlled by rebels.

One of the physicians who signed that letter is an obstetrician-gynecologist called Doctor Farida. She uses only a first name for security reasons.


The Olympic Games are being broadcast and streamed far beyond Rio de Janeiro. One place where the crowds watching the competition are really dedicated? One of the world's largest refugee camps, a place called Kakuma in northwest Kenya.

Some 200,000 refugees live there in a crowded and sprawling tent city overseen by the United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR.