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.

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Maybe you expect Moscow to be snowy.

But even for Muscovites, the amount of snow that they experienced over the weekend was exceptional.

On Saturday, seven inches of snow fell on Moscow, breaking a record set in 1957 for heaviest daily accumulation.

Related: As the US freezes, Russia's still waiting for winter to start

Then it just kept snowing.

Feminism isn't warmly received these days in Nigeria, laments playwright Ifeoma Fafunwa.

But that hasn't always been the case, she's quick to add.

"The word 'feminist' in Nigeria conjures up this unattractive thing," Fafunwa says. "That's because Nigerians are looking at the way the West presents feminism. ... African women have always been feminists. Colonialism, the evangelical movement, Christianity and corruption have made Nigerian women forget the strong women in their history."

When Simin reached Europe, she thought the hardest part of her journey was behind her.

She left her native Iran, where she had lived all of her 44 years, because she feared being arrested for her work as a journalist.

It took her three months to travel from Iran to Serbia, much of it by foot across mountains and borders.

But it was when she was crossing into Croatia that the worst happened. She was raped by two smugglers, themselves migrants, from Afghanistan.

The 'Truce Village' between North and South Korea

Feb 5, 2018

Next week, top officials from both South Korea and North Korea will be going to a village in the demilitarized zone called Panmunjom to discuss the Winter Olympics.

Panmunjom is historic.

It's where the armistice was signed in 1953 that brought fighting in the Korean War to an end.

Now, it’s become a tourist destination — although a dangerous one — known to some as ''the most tense place on the planet.''

It’s one of the only places where soldiers from the North and South stand face-to-face.

The risks of war with North Korea in 2018

Feb 5, 2018

One of the most serious issues of 2017 has been what to do about North Korea.

In September, the regime of Kim Jong-un tested a large nuclear weapon underground, claiming it was a hydrogen bomb.

North Korea has also demonstrated this year that it has the missile technology to deliver its warheads pretty much anywhere in the world.

The former British Prime Minister David Cameron will chair a $1 billion Chinese fund to help implement the One Belt, One Road, initiative, a global infrastructure project Chinese Communist Party Secretary Xi Jinping has championed.

Tensions between the US and North Korea have spiked yet again.

Pyongyang has tested a new intercontinental ballistic missile that it claims can strike the US mainland. President Donald Trump has promised new sanctions in response.

On a cold December day, she did something drastic.

The woman went to one of Tehran's busiest streets and climbed onto a utility box. She then removed her headscarf and hung it at the end of a stick. She stood in silence, waving the stick back and forth. She was protesting the compulsory hijab in Iran that has been in place since the Islamic Revolution in 1979.

A couple of the passers-by looked surprised. Some took out their cellphones and snapped pictures and video.

Canada's national anthem gets an inclusive update

Feb 2, 2018

Canada has taken steps to make its national anthem “O Canada” more inclusive.

Lawmakers passed a bill this week changing the line “true patriot love in all thy sons command,” to “true patriot love in all of us command.”

“It’s a kind of inclusive, embracing turn of phrase,” says former Prime Minister Kim Campbell. She’s one of several famous Canadian women who started a campaign to change the lyrics in 2013.

The International Criminal Court is considering whether to authorize an official war crimes inquiry for Afghanistan.

Judges from the ICC in The Hague will consider written submissions from victims.

The suspected perpetrators include not only the Taliban and ISIS, but also Afghan government forces and even the US CIA. 

Submissions have been collected by the non-profit group “Reprieve,” and given to the ICC on behalf of Afghans who accuse the US of mistreatment. 

President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi is cruising toward an easy re-election victory next month. Nobody who’s been paying any attention to Egyptian politics doubts that. 

But Sisi’s four-year term in office also coincides with the worst deterioration of human rights in Egypt over the last several decades, according to a veteran human rights activist. 

One by one, in recent months the Trump administration has announced the end to Temporary Protected Status first for Nicaraguans, then Haitians and then Salvadorans.

This caused considerable anxiety for some of the nearly 7,000 Syrians who for several years have also been able to live and work in the US legally.

Amr Sinna is a young software engineer and resident of Watertown, Massachusetts. He says he has been glued to CNN, waiting for word on whether or not the Trump administration will extend TPS for Syrians like himself before it expires in March.

For Bingjie Turner and Abigail Anderson, returning to China has been bittersweet.

Both wanted to go back since leaving their orphanage, the Xining Children's Home, 14 years ago. Turner wished to visit her father's grave. Anderson wished to reconnect with her surrogate grandmother before she died.

At first, they were giddy with excitement when they found out they would get to fulfill their initial wishes. Even more poignant was the chance to meet many of their friends who were not adopted and find out how they were getting along as adults. 

Remembering the ghosts of the 'Tet Offensive'

Feb 1, 2018

For most of us, war is, thankfully, an abstract thing. Something for the history books. But for those who lived it, war remains a reality every day.

"The memories are so strong with me,” says Vietnamese American journalist Nguyen Qui Duc. “I think of the ghosts living in the trees. I think of the temples and the graves. And I can't go there, because the spirit is there, that whole sadness is there with me."

On Jan. 30, 1968, Nguyen and his entire family were swept into the vortex of war.

When I first met a janitor named Georgina Hernández, she was timid and teary-eyed. She had worked at a hotel where she cleaned the lobby and, in a lawsuit, said she was raped on the job by her supervisor. She was a single mom, supporting her children.

“When you need the job, you become a victim by not having the courage to say no,” she told me in her native Spanish. “And if you say no, you are going to lose the job. I didn’t have someone to tell or anyone I could trust.”

January has been a particularly deadly month in Kabul. Terrorist attacks have taken the lives of hundreds of people in the Afghan capital.

One of the deadliest was when the Taliban laid siege to the InterContinental Hotel for about 15 hours and killed 22 people.

Related: Afghan officials search for answers to deadly hotel attack

South Yemen's separatists speak through a Michigan mom

Feb 1, 2018

Summer Ahmed's day job is as a lab technician. But late at night and before dawn, while her husband and young daughter are still asleep, she's a spokesperson for a separatist group that has taken over Yemen's second largest city. And she does it from her home in Dearborn, Michigan.

Four months of food aid in Puerto Rico brought too much salt and sugar, say some recipients

Jan 31, 2018

When the power first went out in Puerto Rico, some Puerto Ricans who opened food relief boxes from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) found chocolate bars, cookies and potato chips.

“I mean, at one point they were giving them dehydrated, expired military meals or, like, powdered mashed potatoes,” says Pao Lebrón Guzmán, whose family in Puerto Rico received these types of meals. “None of it is real food and none of it comes from actual real vegetables or anything that you know has been freshly harvested.”

Alex Sanchez was listening carefully when President Donald Trump spoke about the gang MS-13 during the State of Union Address Wednesday night. 

For Sanchez, it hits home. 

He's a former MS-13 member who founded the US chapter of Homies Unidos, a group that helps get young people out of gangs and into productive roles in their communities. 

Related: Criminals? Immigrants are more law-abiding than native-born Americans

A few months ago, the Olympics weren’t anywhere on Ryan Donato’s radar. The college junior expected to spend February attending classes at Harvard University and skating for his school.

Chief Wahoo’s days as a mascot are coming to an end.

The Cleveland Indians have used the logo since 1947, and have faced charges that it’s a racist caricature of Native Americans for nearly as long.

Now Major League Baseball says the logo is no longer appropriate for the field, and it will be removed from players’ uniforms next year — although merchandise will still carry the image of Chief Wahoo.

Jason Reeves knows what a good cut of steak looks like before it hits your dinner plate. Standing in the middle of a 50-foot-wide cooler, he points out different parts of a freshly slaughtered cow hanging from the hooks while a fan roars in the background. 

"That's the kidney heart. Fat on the inside. You're probably looking at a 2.0 [on a meat-grading scale between 1 and 5, with 1 being the best]. ... You can tell it’s good cattle."

Russia reacts to the 'oligarch list'

Jan 31, 2018

Russian officials, including President Vladimir Putin, poured scorn over the United States’ publication of the so-called “oligarchs list” — a US Treasury-issued registry of 210 Russians identified as close to Putin under a new sanctions law that resulted from allegations of Kremlin interference in the 2016 US presidential elections.

Kim Hoegh-Dam has seen the impact of climate change firsthand.

He’s a fisherman in Greenland and he’s literally observed the ice in the mountains above his hometown of Narsaq melt away.  

“When I was a child, I remember where the edge was,” he says. “And now we [have to] walk, not meters now, [but] kilometers, to find the same edge of the ice.’’

Greenland is warming up, and it’s happening fast. Temperatures there have risen 1.5 degrees Celsius, or more than 2.5 degrees Fahrenheit, since the 1950s. That’s roughly double the increase worldwide.

Soul captured James Hunter's heart at a young age

Jan 30, 2018

James Hunter has released his second album on the Daptone record label. That's the same label that helped make Sharon Jones a star and whose house band, the Dap-Kings, provided the beat behind Amy Winehouse's "Back to Black" album.

Hunter says he and his band, The James Hunter Six, hooked up with Daptone "because their output seemed to be in line with the feel that we were going along with." That vibe is retro-soul and it's oh-so-sweet.  

Arati Baladas, a 20-year-old Bangladeshi woman, lost her mother and her right foot when Rana Plaza collapsed around her in 2013. For Acree Bell Lassiter, now 89, being a creeler, replacing empty spools in a cotton mill in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, helped her buy her first car and rent a room.

Former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson resigned last week from a panel looking into solutions to the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar. And on his way out he blasted Myanmar's de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, for lacking "moral leadership" on the issue.

Richardson said he didn't want to be part of a "whitewash" set up to hide the real causes behind the violence that sparked the crisis. More than half a million Rohingya Muslims have fled their homes in Myanmar's Rakhine state after what they described as a systematic campaign by the Burmese military to destroy their communities.

In 2010, Colorado’s Sixth Congressional District, largely comprising the western suburbs of Denver, was radically redrawn. And Republican Congressman Mike Coffman found himself no longer representing a deeply conservative district, but a liberal-leaning one with many immigrants from Asia, Africa and — especially — Latin America. 

So, Coffman got a tutor to study Spanish.    

To the untrained eye, the camel might not be the most attractive of animals.

It might not rank alongside the more majestic beasts of the animal kingdom like the lion or the elephant. In the popular imagination, it struggles to compete with the cuteness of other national emblems like the panda or the koala bear.

But beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and such is the camel’s importance in Saudi Arabia’s history and culture that it is the subject of a beauty contest every year.

Forty years after it started submitting films to the Oscars, Lebanon got its first nomination for best foreign language film. “The Insult,” which is playing in US theaters, is about a small incident between two people that spins way out of control. The drama is set in modern-day Lebanon, but the film is also about the country’s troubled past. Ziad Doueiri is the filmmaker, based in Paris.

He spoke with The World’s Marco Werman about what inspired his film and what makes it so provocative. 

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