The World

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

The Wabanaki people are taking back their narrative

Nov 15, 2017

Cultural preservation is self-preservation for Native communities. An upcoming film from the Upstander Project, "Dawnland," explains just that.

The documentary, now in post-production, follows the journeys of those involved in a truth and reconciliation process in Maine involving the Wabanaki people. The documentary examines the history and the implications of the removal of Native children from their homes in the US.

Barbara Dane just can't recall any good fascist songs

Nov 15, 2017
Erik Weber

"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. 

Italy's soccer apocalypse is served

Nov 15, 2017
Max Rossi/Reuters

The agony of defeat. That's one way to describe the mood in Italy right now, after the Italian national soccer team failed to qualify for the men's World Cup in Russia next year.

It’s the first time in 60 years that Italy won’t be represented on soccer’s biggest stage. Generations of Italian fans have never experienced this. And they’re taking it hard.

The president of the Italian soccer federation said weeks ago that it would be an “apocalypse” if Italy didn’t qualify. He meant that in a reassuring way. But his choice of words proved prophetic.

Paul Manafort's indictment made headlines in Ukraine too

Nov 15, 2017
James Lawler Duggan/Reuters

Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, was indicted last month.

It was a big deal here in the US — the charges against Manafort, which included conspiracy and money laundering, were the first criminal allegations to come from the investigation into Russian meddling in US politics.

But it also made headlines in Ukraine. Manafort made millions of dollars as a political consultant to former Ukrainian leader Viktor Yanukovych.

Tasnim News Agency/Reuters

How can I help?

That's usually the first of many questions we have after a natural disaster.

And this is the question many have been grappling with over the past three days, after a devastating earthquake jolted an area near the Iran-Iraq border.

Official estimates put the death toll at more than 500. Most of the victims are Iranian.

Related: Iran hunts for survivors as quake kills more than 300 near Iraq border

This Mumbai lawyer inspired a massive beach cleanup

Nov 15, 2017
Chhavi Sachdev

Mumbai has 72 miles of coastline, some of it covered in mangroves and some of it sandy or rocky — but none of it is clean.

Alister Doyle/Reuters

The official US delegation to the United Nations’ climate talks this year in Bonn, Germany, cuts a confusing profile.

It’s small and nearly invisible, delegates refuse to talk on the record and the team’s office door is often closed.

More than halfway through the two-week meeting, the only official US event has promoted fossil fuels as a solution to climate change, including a big push for so-called clean coal.

Wilmot Collins thought he was running for mayor of a small city with challenges he had a plan to address. What he didn't realize is that by actually winning the election he would also become an overnight symbol of what refugees can achieve in America.

Collins, who arrived in the US with his wife as refugee of the Liberian civil war, was elected the first black mayor in the history of Helena, Montana, on Nov. 7, unseating James E. Smith, a 16-year incumbent. Since then, Collins and his family have given dozens of interviews to new media.

The military history behind the Star Wars costumes

Nov 15, 2017
© 2017 Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved. 

The costume designer for Star Wars, John Mollo, died recently, at the age of 86.

Even though he didn’t have any previous costume design experience, he was hired by director George Lucas to design the costumes for the 1977 Star Wars film because of expertise in military history.

“Since he was a little kid, he watched movies and fell in love with costumes," says Laela French, the director of archives for the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, “And military costumes really grabbed his attention."

Courtesy of Spike TV

For the first time in his career, Desmond Chiam, an Australian actor of Chinese-Singaporean descent, is playing a villain. And he’s having a blast.

In a recent episode of “The Shannara Chronicles,” a Spike TV drama, Chiam’s General Riga has captured two heroes. He’s torturing one of them into cooperating by sticking a thick, unhygienic-looking needle in his neck and blood is pumped through a tube into a gigantic rectangular glass container.

Fijians speak from the front lines of climate change

Nov 14, 2017
Sonia Narang/PRI

Fiji is on the front lines of climate change, one of many tiny island nations that could be wiped out by rising seas and more intense storms. And to draw attention to the urgency of their plight, the country is presiding over this year’s global climate summit in Bonn, Germany.

We asked half a dozen Fijians about the threats to their country and their moment in the international spotlight.

Maria Nailevu:

 Eduardo Munoz/ Reuters

President Donald Trump has said he’s pulling the US out of the Paris climate agreement. But UN rules don’t allow the country to exit the agreement until 2020.

Muhammad Hamed/Reuters

ISIS has suffered losses in recent months as large swathes of their territory in Iraq and Syria have been retaken.

And it’s not just on the ground — ISIS’s once robust online presence and propaganda efforts have also slowed dramatically.

That may be due a growing number of cyberattacks on its “virtual caliphate.”

<a href="">Angel Boligán</a>, Cuba/Mexico

Cuban cartoonist Angel Boligán doesn’t draw to make hit-you-over-the-head political points. He draws to make you think.

There are no speech balloons or furrowed brows. In fact, you can barely make out the facial expressions of anyone in his cartoons. It’s their action (or lack of it) that he wants you to ponder. “For all the topics I like to draw, for me the most important thing is to be honest," says Boligán. "All my cartoons come from my heart and my soul. I want them to be authentic.”

Goran Tomasevic/Reuters

Lawrence Davidson, a veteran of the Iraq War, and Yaroub Al-Obaidi, admitted to the United States as a refugee, both left Iraq in 2007 and today, both live in greater Philadelphia. The two took part in a project earlier this year that invited members of both communities to share their memories of Iraq.

Gilles Soubeyran

On Monday, France marked the second anniversary of the attacks that killed 130 people in and around Paris two years ago. French president Emmanuel Macron and Anne Hidalgo, mayor of Paris, stopped at commemorative plaques in the places that were hit — a stadium, cafés and the Bataclan theater — where victims' names were read aloud.

But for some families across the country, more personal tributes were called for. And in the past year, a number of creative projects to honor the dead have emerged. 

"May you live in interesting times."

You may have heard that saying. And depending on your point of view, the times we're currently living in are either a blessing or a curse. Maybe a little bit of both.

That's how British musician Nick Mulvey feels. His new album, "Wake Up Now," is a "response to these crazy times" we're living in. 

Mohamed Azakir/Reuters

For more than a week, the Lebanese people have been consumed with one question. In shops, in bars, over balconies and online, they have been asking: Is our prime minister a prisoner?

Saad Hariri, who became prime minister less than a year ago, sparked a national crisis when he resigned on Nov. 4 in a televised address from Saudi Arabia.

&nbsp;Alejandro Bringas/Reuters

Outside, the heat was finally tired of beating on the suburbs. Sore and spent, it let the evening go. My brother-in-law and I were seated at the dinner table in a tiny vacation rental, going at a plate of grocery store fried chicken and a two-liter bottle of Country Time lemonade. It had been a quiet couple of days in El Paso, Texas, waiting to cross into Ciudad Juárez the next morning for his visa interview.

“Mano, esta es tu última cena de mojado,” I said. Bro, this is your last meal as a wetback.

Antonio Ramirez let out a hearty laugh, his eyes twinkling.

"Think you can get HIV from food?  Bite me." 

That was just one of the slogans on aprons worn by 14 chefs at Canada's first and only pop-up HIV eatery, held earlier this month in Toronto.  

For two days, Nov. 7 and 8, every dish served at the pop-up — called June's HIV+Eatery — was prepared by cooks who are HIV-positive.    

For $125, diners were treated to a menu of northern Thai potato leek soup, roasted heirloom salad, a "surf and turf" main course and a gingerbread tiramisu. 

Both nights were sold out.  

Reuters/Tasnim News Agency

A 7.3-magnitude earthquake rocked a border area 20 miles southwest of Halabja near the Iran-Iraq border. The massive quake, which has killed more 300 people and injured thousands, struck at around 9:20 p.m. on Sunday.

The worst affected areas were in Iran's western province of Kermanshah, where the coroner's office told state television that at least 336 people were dead and 3,950 injured.

Across the border in Iraq, in more sparsely populated areas, the health ministry said eight people had died and several hundred were injured.

Courtesy of Maya Shiroyama

Maya Shiroyama and her husband pull up to a ranch-style tract home in San Jose, California.  An older man waits for them at the screen door.

Tom Kitazawa, 87, is the last surviving son of the founder of Kitazawa Seed Company, a business that opened its doors 100 years ago.

Tom’s father, Gijiu, was a Japanese immigrant who sold vegetable seeds to Japanese Americans hungry for the taste of home, things like Japanese eggplant, shiso leaves and daikon. 

Matthew Emmons/USA Today&nbsp;Sports

It should have been a triumphant moment for the Houston Astros.

First baseman Yuli Gurriel, continuing a great season, had just hit a home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers during game three of the World Series.

After he rounded the bases and triumphantly returned to the dugout, cameras captured Gurriel lifting the corner of his eyes with his fingers — a “slanted eyes” gesture mocking Asians — and said “chinito,” a term that roughly translates to “little Chinese boy.”

When Wilmot Collins and his wife Maddie arrived in Ghana after escaping the Liberian civil war in September 1990, he weighed just 90 pounds. Maddie was about 87 pounds. They were starving, dehydrated and sick. Both had to be rushed to the hospital.

In the days leading up to Tung Nguyen’s check-in with immigration officials in October, he couldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep and couldn’t concentrate at work.

In case he got detained, he cleaned the house and made sure his wife knew where to find important financial information so she can take over paying the bills.

“It’s traumatizing,” says Nguyen. “All I think about is that ... this time, I might not come back and see my wife and kid.”

Murad Sezer/Reuters

In Istanbul, shoppers at the popular retailer, Zara, were recently in for a shocking surprise. Attached to some of the clothing were tags that read, "I made this item you are going to buy, but I didn't get paid for it."

Venetia Rainey/PRI

It's just after 2 p.m. on a sunny day in September, and a motley group of people are standing outside Amsterdam's main courthouse. Among them is a worried-looking couple: a young Arab man with dyed hair, a diamond earring and a tight T-shirt, holding the hand of an older white man in a more nondescript outfit.

Philimon Bulawayo/Reuters

At 93, President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe is the oldest head of state in the world. But he's not letting age slow him down. He is running again in next year’s elections. But his wife, Grace, 52, is positioning herself to succeed him in the event of his death.

Mugabe has run the country since it won independence from Great Britain in 1980. Before that, he led a long and bloody guerrilla war against the country’s white settler regime.

China Daily/Reuters

Take George Orwell’s "1984." Now sprinkle in that episode of "Black Mirror" where characters live in a world in which every aspect of their lives is dominated by ratings.

That’s one way to think about the Social Credit System, a plan that the Chinese government will make mandatory for all its citizens by 2020.

US President Donald Trump promised last month he'd discuss with Chinese President Xi Jinping how to stop the “flood of cheap and deadly” fentanyl “manufactured in China." 

Standing alongside Xi on Thursday during a press conference after the two leaders wrapped up formal talks in Beijing, Trump said he and the Chinese president would focus “very strongly” on curbing the drug trade and stopping “the lethal flow of poisonous drugs into our countries and into our communities."