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.

In 2008, the allure of coming to the United States seemed like a two-way street for Chinmoyee Datta. The US would get a qualified teacher in a district that couldn’t find enough instructors and Datta would get to experience an entirely new country.

Kolkata-born Datta had been teaching at a Catholic school in a large and growing education hub in central India, the city of Jabalpur, for 11 years. Her husband was a principal at a government school. Like her, he had job stability and credibility in his profession. Their son would soon be in fourth grade.

In their final Olympic appearance, the joint Korean women’s ice hockey team got off to a bad start, giving up two goals to Japan in just the first few minutes. They went on to lose 4-1, with Korean American Randi Heesoo Griffin scoring the team’s only goal of the Olympics.  

The new Marvel superhero movie "Black Panther" premiered in Kisumu, Kenya, Tuesday night. Kisumu is the hometown of actress Lupita Nyong’o, one of the film’s stars.

Tamerra Griffin, a Buzzfeed reporter based in Nairobi, was at the event and wrote about it.

On a chilly November day, Sebastian Khan is kneeling on the floor of his home. He has short, dark hair and brown eyes. His tiny, soft hands grips the top of a yellow toy truck as he swipes it side to side.

Sebastian is 3 and curious about everything around him. He especially loves flying.

“When we’re going through the clouds,” he says, jumping up and opening his arms like wings, “I’m like, ‘Where am I?' Everything starts to look like toys."

In December, three months after Puerto Rico was pummeled by Hurricane Maria, a spokesman for the island's tourism industry declared it was open for business. But much of Puerto Rico is still struggling to get back on its feet. So, what's an island-lover to do for spring break? Embrace the devastated destinations or give them space to breathe?

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From PRI's The World ©2017 PRI

Follow along: Forms, fees and an interview for a US Diversity Lottery Program 'winner'

Feb 13, 2018

Explore the interactive.


From PRI's The World ©2017 PRI

When Emmanuel Macron was elected president of France last May, it was a victory over the extreme right and the candidacy of Marine Le Pen.

At 39, he became the youngest president in French history, and he had recently created his own political party, Republic on the Move. He was seen as a supporter of diversity, bringing more women into high-level positions. And when his party went on to win a majority in parliament, it brought power to political newbies.

There’s a moment in the middle of “Magic Mike Live” when a spotlight shines offstage to a reveal a dapper man sitting on the railing of the balcony. He’s dressed in a velvety-red, sleeveless suit and holding a single red rose, which he begins to suggestively stroke, before giving a playful wink and respectfully distributing the rest of his flowers to women in the audience.

The flu season this year is bad. How bad? With the high number of people getting sick, many are comparing this year to the swine flu epidemic nine years ago. Last Friday, the CDC predicted that as many as 56,000 Americans will die of flu this year.

So, why is it so bad this year?

The quest for coffee from a war zone

Feb 13, 2018

Five years ago, Mokhtar Alkhanshali was a student and a doorman in San Francisco at a luxury high-rise, when a friend told him about a bronze statue. It was just across the street from the lobby where he worked.

“I’d never seen it before and I had worked there for over a year,” Alkhanshali says. “I walked in and I see this statue, this beautiful Arab man, holding this cup of coffee into the sky.”

The nine-foot bronze statue was once the logo for the Hills Brothers Coffee company, which had offices in the plaza.

Lakshmi Ramgopal, known as Lykanthea, nestles comfortably in the electronic-ambient genre. But much more recently her projects have incorporated greater influences from her South Indian-Tamil culture. The historian and musician is revitalizing her childhood education in Carnatic singing to breathe new ideas into her music.

Leading Pakistani human rights lawyer and social activist Asma Jahangir died on Sunday in Lahore. She was 66.

A champion of democracy, Jahangir raised the voices of the marginalized. From movements to law, she inspired many to speak up — and loudly. 

Bustle's politics editor, Mehreen Kasana, says that Asma Jahangir's influence shaped so much of what she's become today. And it started with parliamentary debate.

Marco Werman: So, growing up, what were your impressions of Asma Jahangir?

Half of Team USA's figure skaters are Asian American, a record for the event. They include Karen Chen, Nathan Chen, Madison Chock, Mirai Nagasu, Alex Shibutani, Maia Shibutani and Vincent Zhou.

Contrast that to 1992 at the winter games in Albertville, France, when Kristi Yamaguchi became the first Asian American to win the gold in the figure skating event. You could say it was Yamaguchi's win that paved the way for today's increasing number of Asian Americans on ice.   

If you’ve been following the plunges in the world’s stock markets, you know what many pundits say triggered the recent turmoil: Wages of American workers are finally starting to tick upward. (This led to fears that a cascade of events could end in rising interest rates and inflation.)

The official announcement landed early Monday morning. Vanessa Velasco received a 7 a.m. text from a friend, also from El Salvador. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will end a program that has allowed Velasco and her husband, her friend, and more than 200,000 Salvadoran immigrants to work and live in the US without fear of deportation.

Velasco was not surprised. Neither was her husband.

More than 4,000 migrants have already arrived on the shores of Italy so far this year, and more than 300 have drowned en route to Europe from North Africa.

The numbers are high, but they’re lower than this time last year. In fact, arrivals to Europe by sea fell by more than a third in 2017.

I didn’t know I was being sexually harassed. I definitely felt uncomfortable when I traveled with my boss to Shanghai during a college internship. He stayed in the same hotel as me and knocked on my room door in the middle of the night.

Phil Noble/Reuters

Sam Sinai was coming back to the US last month, after visiting family in Iran. When he got to Logan International Airport in Boston, US Customs and Border Protection agents told him he’d been selected for extra screening.

"I was asked for some information about what I did abroad and my address abroad and my address here," he says.

Nothing unusual, he thought. He’d been asked similar questions before. But then the agent said something that made him do a double take.

If you've ever flown out of the Toronto Pearson International Airport to the US, chances are you've passed through its US preclearance station.

These are US Customs and Border Protection facilities staffed with American agents that will clear passengers before they board a plane headed to the US. And there are several of them worldwide.

In China, millions of Catholics go to church every week. And when they do, around half of them are breaking the law. 

That’s because many Catholic churches in the People’s Republic of China operate in a legal gray area. These so-called underground churches are not registered with the official Chinese government bureau that oversees religious affairs, and neither are the Catholic bishops and the priests who preside over them. 

Why 'Arirang' is the perfect song for a divided Korea

Feb 8, 2018

If Won Hyung-joon’s dream of forming an inter-Korean orchestra is ever realized, "Arirang" is an obvious choice for the playlist. It’s a traditional Korean folk song.

“It just touches our soul,” the South Korean violinist says. “It’s very sorrowful and feels like pain."

"Arirang" will be played as athletes from the North and South walk together during the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics on Feb. 9. And in lieu of both countries’ national anthems, the folk song will also be played at the start of ice hockey games involving the unified Korean women’s team.

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.”

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly on Tuesday suggested that young immigrants who have not applied for legal status are either afraid or "too lazy to get off their asses." 

Mana Yegani, an immigration lawyer in Houston, says there are many reasons young immigrants have not applied for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), but none have to do with laziness.

Fear, however, is one of them, Yegani says. 

Syria's war enters a dangerous new phase

Feb 7, 2018

Civilians in Syria are bearing the brunt of a new onslaught by Russian and government forces against the last rebel-held areas of the country.

The humanitarian situation has become so severe that the United Nations issued an urgent call for a ceasefire, with one official saying he was “running out of words” to describe the scale of suffering.

Her job at the mill bought her a new, better life

Feb 7, 2018

In Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, people like to tell a story about how in the middle of the summer, it used to snow. The white flakes would swirl around and stick to your hair and your car and your lawn. It was all over the place.

This wasn’t snow, though. It was cotton, floating out of the town’s seven cotton mills. This was before air conditioning was commonplace, and the factories would open their windows to let a breeze in.

Acree Bell Lassiter, 89, who now lives just outside the town, remembers those days well. “My daddy was a sharecropper,” she explains.

When Pat's father died and her family didn't have enough money to survive in Nigeria, friends told her about a job taking care of children in Florence. She signed up and traveled there in 2000. But there was no job. She was sold to a sex trafficking ring.

Pat, who preferred that her last name not be used to protect her identity, escaped owing thousands of dollars and her traffickers sought revenge. Back in Nigeria, they found Pat's sister and beat her so badly she died from her injuries. 

The name of Haiti’s most prominent LGBT rights organization is Kouraj (Haitian Creole for courage) — with good reason. The group’s headquarters have moved three times after attacks.

The current office is on a side street, unmarked, with a plainclothes security guard out front. But inside there’s no question where you are. The reception area is decorated with a rainbow flag and a rainbow clock.

Trafficking in ivory and rhino horn is a scourge of Kenya's tourism-based economy. 

This week that economy took a big hit. 

Esmond Bradley Martin, the American conservationist and leading ivory trade investigator was found stabbed to death in his Nairobi home Monday. Four suspects have been arrested in connection with the murder.

Treason is no joke

Feb 6, 2018

Treason is the crime of betraying one's country. Sounds simple. But is it?

In a speech Monday, President Donald Trump agreed with the suggestion that Democratic congressmen committed treason for failing to applaud key parts of his State of the Union address last week. 

A White House spokesman says he was "joking." But even conservative commentators like Bill Kristol have said Trump's use of the term is "a disgrace."