The World

Monday-Thursday 7PM, Friday 6PM
  • Hosted by Lisa Mullins, Marco Werman

PRI's "The World" brings one-of-a-kind international stories home to America. Each weekday, host Lisa Mullins guides listeners through major issues and stories, linking global events directly to the American agenda.

Courtesy of Susannah Heschel

Susannah Heschel was just a child in the spring of 1965, when her father left for Selma, Alabama, to march with those demanding that everyone be allowed to vote regardless of their skin color.

“He kissed me goodbye,” says Heschel. “And I remember thinking ‘I don’t know if I’ll ever see him again.'”

Just a few weeks earlier, many demonstrators had been brutally attacked by police officers on a day known as Bloody Sunday.

Heschel’s father returned safely. But the experience left an impression. 

Jean-Paul Pelissier/Reuters

Asghar Farhadi, the renowned Iranian filmmaker, didn't take home a Golden Globe this year, but he has been putting Iranian cinema in the global spotlight for years.

Back in 2012, his movie "A Separation" won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. Since then, he's taken home many other international awards. His most recent film, "The Salesman," was nominated for a Golden Globe. It's a tense story, based in modern-day Tehran.

On Friday, Donald Trump will become president and commander in chief. And top officials in Europe say they are "deeply concerned" by his latest remarks on NATO, Russia and the European Union.

Germany's foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, said after meeting in Brussels on Monday with colleagues from across Europe, that they were "agitated and astonished" by his latest comments.

Trump said in an interview with two European newspapers that:

Five Italian microbrews you need to try now

12 hours ago
Courtesy of Eataly Boston

You know, there's nothing better than sitting in a Roma café and swilling a cold bottle of Peroni with a wood-fired pizza.

That said, there are a lot of more interesting types of Italian beer to drink.

Yes, the land of Peroni is actually home to a bustling microbrew scene.

<a href="">Nations Unies Haïti</a>

It was seven years ago today, at 4:53 p.m., that Haiti was violently shaken. In just 35 seconds, the 7.0 earthquake destroyed much of the nation’s capital, Port-au-Prince, and claimed more than 200,000 lives.

Just over three months ago, on Oct. 4, Hurricane Matthew dealt another devastating blow to the country. The Category 4 storm’s 145-mph winds tore through Haiti’s southern peninsula, washing away farmland — one of the island nation's “breadbaskets” — along with vast swaths of homes and trees, and killing hundreds of people.

<a href="" target="_blank">Twitter screenshot</a>

There is no country in the world called San Escobar.

But in the age of "fake news" let's just imagine for a moment a "fake country" called San Escobar.

Think of it as "a small country located between Mexico and Guatemala with 200,000 citizens, with several main cities, including Esperal Bay, Santo Subito, and with several major exports including tomatoes and wine," says Ewa Lalik, a technology blogger in Warsaw, Poland.

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

YouTube-inspired music confessionals

Songwriter Teitur Lassen is from the Faroe Islands. His latest collection of songs is a collaboration with American pianist and composer Nico Muhly, and performed with the Dutch ensemble Holland Baroque. The songs were inspired by YouTube videos in which people share something unique about themselves. — Marco

Courtesy of RAICES

When Leah Aguilera was held in a special section of the Santa Ana City Jail in California for transgender people, who were being detained by immigration officials, she experienced a delay and pushback for her request for hormones and disparaging remarks for being transgender.

“The only thing I was thinking is that I want to get out. I really want to get out,” she says. “I was getting in, like, depression. I didn’t know how long I was going to be there.”

Jonathan Ernst/Reuters&nbsp;

Rex Tillerson told the Senate panel considering his nomination for secretary of state that he supported the United States remaining in the Paris climate agreement and that he has made his views known to Donald Trump.

The position, repeated several times during a day-long hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, puts him at odds with the president-elect's campaign vow to "cancel" the landmark global accord.

What it's like to cover Trump for a German audience

Jan 12, 2017
Mario Anzuoni

Germans are closely following President-elect Donald Trump's path to the White House.

Jonathan Alcorn/Reuters

This is a detective story that started off as a love story. And it involves a nearly trillion-dollar-a-year industry — romance scams.

According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, online romance scams account for higher financial losses than any other internet-based crime. It’s not uncommon for victims to lose tens of thousands of dollars.

Erika Beras

Across Europe, countries are grappling with how to best accommodate the surge of migrants. That includes Switzerland, population 8.5 million. The country grants asylum to a few thousand refugees each year and tries to resettle them evenly across the country. But not every community welcomes those refugees.

In Oberwil-Lieli, a small, wealthy town, the immigration battle recently came to a head.

Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

In Wednesday's press conference with reporters, President-elect Donald Trump was again asked whether he would release his tax returns.

It’s been a burning question throughout the campaign and since his election — and one that Trump has dodged repeatedly. His answer Wednesday was no different: “Only reporters care about my tax returns. The American people don’t care. I won the election,” he quipped.

So, we decided to ask you, our listeners and readers, whether you cared if Trump released his taxes. You responded. Boy, did you respond.

Thomas Mukoya/Reuters

Standing outside her tiny mud house in this remote village, Mary Anyango lamented President Barack Obama’s departure from the White House next week.

“Life is going to be very difficult in this village without Obama’s presidency,” said Anyango, 48, a single mother of six. “We have many non-governmental organizations here, which are helping our children pay fees. They are putting up houses for us. This is all happening because of Obama.”

The reconciliation of Mark Wahlberg

Jan 12, 2017
Meredith Nierman/WGBH News

The list of actor Mark Wahlberg’s offenses is not inconsequential. At 16, during an attempted robbery, he pummeled a Vietnamese man with a wooden stick and knocked him unconscious. Later the same day in 1988, he punched another immigrant from Vietnam and allegedly peppered him with a racially derogatory term directed at Asians.

“Gook — just like the N-word. But the G-word is for us,” said Nam Pham, a leader in Dorchester’s 8,000-strong Vietnamese community, who is all too familiar with the term. He never encountered Wahlberg, but he encountered the term frequently.

Data: Hate crimes against Muslims increased after 9/11

Jan 12, 2017
Deanna Dent/Reuters

Statistics from the FBI show that hate crimes against Muslims have jumped in the years after 2001.

"I was afraid to go outside. If I stayed inside, I couldn’t mess up, except maybe with my words, which I policed carefully. I couldn’t speed, I couldn’t frighten anyone, I couldn’t break any law — no matter how tenuous — and therefore couldn’t be thrown in Gitmo," says American Muslim writer Shawna Ayoub Ainslie who shared her experience in a Huffington Post article.

Quiz: What do you know about women's rights in Iran?

Jan 12, 2017
Raheb Homavandi/Reuters/TIMA&nbsp;

The Iran nuclear deal reached last year is expected to revive the economy of the Islamic Republic. However, whether it will lead to improvement in human rights, especially for Iranian women, remains a question.

This quiz will lead you through some of what many Iranian women must endure.

During WWII, European refugees fled to Syria. Here's what the camps were like.

Jan 12, 2017
Courtesy of the Fred K. Hoehler Papers in the Social Welfare History Archives, University of Minnesota

Since civil war erupted in Syria five years ago, millions of refugees have sought safe harbor in Europe by land and by sea, through Turkey and across the Mediterranean.

Refugees crossed these same passageways 70 years ago. But they were not Syrians and they traveled in the opposite direction. At the height of World War II, the Middle East Relief and Refugee Administration (MERRA) operated camps in Syria, Egypt and Palestine where tens of thousands of people from across Europe sought refuge.

<a href="">Jonathan Miano/The Times</a>

A kindergarten teacher in Tennessee says that a Latino child asks every day, “Is the wall here yet?” He was told by classmates that he will be deported and blocked from returning home by the wall proposed by presidential candidate Donald Trump.

That's one of 4,796 comments made in response to a Southern Poverty Law Center survey of teachers across the country. The center, an advocacy group that works on civil rights issues, says the 2,000 K-12 teachers who responded to the survey show that hate has spread into schools, and has inflamed racial and ethnic tensions in the classroom.

Jose Cabezas/Reuters

Like many middle class Salvadorans, Óscar Martínez has a security system in his home. But his goes a step further that most. It has several panic buttons and other features we won’t go into because his life has been very specifically threatened on more than one occasion.

Stephen Lam

Around the world, a human rights group has documented at least 1,634 people who were killed in 2015 after receiving death sentences. That's the highest number of executions recorded by Amnesty International since it started tracking the number in 1989. 

The number, which represents only a percentage of the executions widely believed to have occurred last year, represents a surge of 54 percent, or 573 executions, over 2014. 

Among the 58 countries in the world that still allow the death penalty, the US comes in fifth for the number of executions it carried out last year.

Photo by&nbsp;Christinne Muschi / Reuters.&nbsp;

When it comes to welcoming refugees, Canada just does it better. But the US is taking steps to pick up the pace.

White House officials will be hard-pressed to meet their goal of letting in 10,000 new Syrian refugees by September, according to Becca Heller, the head of the International Refugee Assistance Project. She says the US program to vet Syrians has insufficient resources and isn't considered a top government priority. 

Reuters/Morteza Nikoubazl

One of the main purposes of the nuclear deal with Iran is to prevent the Islamic Republic from producing nuclear weapons.

The agreement, officially named, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, was agreed on July 14 between Iran and China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, the United States, Germany and the European Union. It was implemented on Jan. 16.

Andy Wong/Reuters

World military expenditure had been declining since the beginning of this decade until 2015, which saw a 1 percent increase.

Global governments spent a total of $1,676 billion on defense, and more than one-third of that came from the US, the world's top military spender, according to new figures from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

How much of your work is unpaid? This calculator may help.

Jan 12, 2017
Larisa Okhtienko

The unbalanced work distribution between genders has long been a major contributor to gender inequality.

According to the 2015 Human Development Report by the United Nations Development Program, three out of every four hours of unpaid work are done by women while men get to do two of every three hours of paid work.

Why are the 'Panama Papers' a big deal?

Jan 12, 2017
Kacper Pempel

By now you've probably heard of the “Panama Papers,” the name bestowed on a massive database leaked from a law firm based in Panama. The leaked documents show that the company, Mossack Fonseca, helps its clients set up offshore shell companies, some of which are allegedly linked to crime.

Why is this such a big deal? The size of the release, for one, is staggering; then there's what all these files stand to reveal about offshore banking by global elites and its ties to illegal activities.

Donald Trump this, Rex Tillerson that. Russia, Russia, Russia. It's been a week of heavy news about US politics and America's relationship with the world.

Let's catch up now on some news that's been bumped off the front page by all that's going on in Washington.

Let's start with Peru

Quietly, a court in Peru has recognized a same-sex marriage.

Moscow’s long history of gathering ‘kompromat’

Jan 11, 2017
Wikimedia Commons

Moscow has a long tradition of gathering and using compromising material. It’s so common it even has a special name: kompromat.

“Kompromat,” says David Filipov, “means 'compromising material' that can be used down the road as leverage over somebody. You can use it to recruit them. You can use it to make them do something you want. You can use it to — if it’s an official — coax out of them positions, policy positions that you want them to have.”

Courtesy of WGBH&nbsp;

Science journalist Miles O’Brien recently returned to Fukushima, Japan, for the sixth time since a massive earthquake and tsunami triggered a nuclear meltdown there nearly six years ago.

O’Brien thought he would be reporting on the massive clean-up effort at the shuttered nuclear power plant, a decommissioning effort that requires 4,000 workers to suit up in Tyvek suits, three layers of socks, gloves and respirators every day.

Instead, O’Brien found himself chasing a very different story about nuclear power.

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key is leading an effort to change the national flag. As a vexillological hobbyist, I couldn’t be more excited. New Zealand has one of the most disappointing national flags — even if you don’t confuse it with Australia’s.

I visited New Zealand when I was 16, just before the Lord of the Rings Trilogy hit theaters. It was my first trip off of the North American continent and if I’m being honest, I was more excited for the second leg of the trip to Australia. However, as day broke on my first day there, I was instantly mesmerized.