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 Sarah Glidden

In 2010, cartoonist Sarah Glidden spent a month traveling around Turkey, Syria and Iraq. She'd tagged along with some old friends, journalists from The Seattle Globalist who were on a reporting trip to tell stories about refugees. Glidden went along to document what it's like to be inside the journalistic sausage factory. 

"The goal of the trip was really to show journalism: how it's made, how difficult it is to do this work, how it's more than just going in, reporting on a story and getting out of there."

Norsk Telegrambyra 

Valerie Hunter Gordon, the British inventor of one of the first disposable diapers, died this month at the age of 94.

She designed the Paddi in the 1940s while living on an air force base in the UK with her husband and young family. Early prototypes were cut out of military parachute silk and stiched with a Singer sewing machine on her living room table. 

Kim Stevens

In recent years, South Africa's rich choral tradition has produced a wave of talented opera singers who are making their mark on the world stage. Soprano Pretty Yende wowed opera enthusiasts in 2013, when she debuted at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, while bass-baritone Musa Ngqungwana will open next year's Glimmerglass Festival as Porgy in the American classic, "Porgy and Bess."

Now, South Africa is pinning its hopes on another rising opera star — 25-year-old Noluvuyiso Mpofu.

The Islamic State's branding crisis

Oct 21, 2016
Khalil Ashawi/Reuters

The Islamic State is shrinking, fast.

Thousands of Iraqi and Kurdish troops are closing in on Mosul, the largest city under ISIS control. The terror group is losing ground to Turkish-backed rebels in northern Syria and being pummelled from the air by a US-led international coalition.

Matthew Childs/Reuters

I’m an American — and the only thing I knew about cricket until about a week ago was that they take a break for tea in the middle of the match.

So when the most famous woman in Pakistani sports agreed to show me how to throw (or bowl, actually) a cricket ball — it was a little embarrassing.  

Evidently, I bend my elbow a bit too much, Sana Mir tells me.

Mir is the captain of the Pakistani women’s cricket team and at age 30, she's already a veteran. She hands me back the ball — it’s like a small baseball.

Caroline Kim

On a sunny fall day, people are strolling along the Long Wharf in Boston's Waterfront area. Cruise ships are taking people on tours of Boston Harbor while seagulls glide overhead.

But at the end of the wharf, there's a rather strange sight — a refugee camp. There are white tents, fences with razor wire, and staff from the international medical group Doctors Without Borders patrolling the area.

Tatiana Chiarella is a nurse from Brazil who has been working for Doctors Without Borders for about three years.

Carlo Allegri/Reuters

The city of Brockton is about an hour's drive south of Boston.

Around a quarter of the people who live here are immigrants. But it's also the kind of place where many families have lived for generations.

Recently the city had been divided over a proposed measure, called the "Trust Act," which would prohibit local police from detaining undocumented immigrants on behalf of federal immigration authorities.

The Garden North America/YouTube

Canadians are by reputation very nice. They're polite. They don't easily engage in harsh talk. But they've been hearing a lot of it lately. Three-quarters of Canada's population live within 100 miles of the border with the US, and that puts them within the media reach of the American presidential campaign.

And the Trump-Clinton mano a mano depresses them. 

Nadege Green

Along busy Northeast Second Avenue, in Miami’s Little Haiti neighborhood, sits the Caribbean Marketplace, a bright yellow structure modeled after Haiti’s famous Iron Market.

Usually, the cultural hub is home to Haitian art exhibits or music-filled nights of konpa and rara.

But recently, the complex has been abuzz with political activity. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (and protesters) made an appearance in September, while a Hillary Clinton campaign office opened a few doors down earlier this summer.

Asmaa Albukaie was married at age 14. She had two children by the time she was 15. Then she took an unusual step for a stay-at-home Syrian mom: She signed up for a university degree in library science in Damascus.

“I noticed that women in movies, American women, decide whatever they want to decide. This is not acceptable in Syria. So I made my own decision to learn and study, but I hid in the bathroom because my husband didn’t allow me to study,” said Albukaie, laughing about that now.

Major League Baseball hopes that Africa's got talent

Oct 20, 2016
Daniel Aguilar/Reuters

At a baseball diamond on the outskirts of Johannesburg, 17-year-old Koketso Manamela steps up to the plate. He looks out at the pitcher, who kicks his leg and delivers a pitch. Manamela swings his bat and, with a crack, drives the ball deep into the outfield. He sprints around the bases, which are spread across the grassy infield of a converted cricket ground.

Damir Sagolj/Reuters 

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has repeatedly said he will challenge the results of the US election if there is a "questionable result."

So let's take a look at what happened in one country where there were serious allegations of fraud after a recent presidential election: Iran.

In the summer of 2009, Iran was going through one of the most lively presidential elections in its history. For the first time in years, candidates from the reformist camp faced off against candidates from the conservative camp.

Why Haitians are stranded in Mexico

Oct 20, 2016
Edgard Garrido/Reuters

In a quiet Tijuana neighborhood, Haitian migrants mill about in the morning light. Some rest on blankets under trees, others play dominoes. Babo Pierrot, 44, wearing a tattered sweatshirt, talks to his wife in Haitian Creole. The couple and their baby boy arrived here about two weeks ago, migrating from Brazil. They had lived there since the massive 2010 earthquake in Haiti forced them to leave.

Jason Margolis

When I went for a ride-along with Officer Dustin Robinson of the Boise Police Department, I was waiting for a cop car to come pick me up. Much to my disappointment, he showed up in an unmarked SUV, and he was wearing a coat and tie. It makes sense though: He wants to put the refugees he works with at ease.

About 1.5 million people clasped hands, creating a human chain that stretched 250 miles through Catalonia to demonstrate they no longer wanted the northeastern region to be part of Spain.

It was 2013, and American writer and translator Liz Castro was a link in that chain.

She said it was one of the most remarkable experiences she’s had fighting to make her adopted home a new European nation.

“I think we really proved to ourselves that we had this mobilizing ability, this organizational capacity,” she said. “And people were happy.”

Donald Trump was the man Hillary Clinton needed to win the women's vote

Oct 18, 2016

It seems an unlikely paradox: In a country where women outnumber men in all but nine states, the first woman in US history to run for president, as a major party nominee, has struggled to win a strong majority of women voters. For most of her 2016 presidential run, Hillary Clinton has not been able to get the vote of women. As it turns out — ironically or not — it has taken a man to do it for her: Donald Trump.

Is Russia pursuing a 'Grozny' solution for Aleppo?

Oct 18, 2016

Secretary of State John Kerry has criticized Russia for pursuing what he called a "Grozny strategy" in the battle underway for control of the Syrian city of Aleppo. It's a reference to Russia's actions in Chechnya decades ago, which perhaps could be paraphrased as “peace through obliteration.”

The Russians are not happy about it.

A day in the life of immigration limbo

Oct 18, 2016

Estela works the night shift at a fish processing factory in Boston. She sorts freshly caught white fish, picking out the occasional parasite or worm. Once she's back home, at 8 a.m., her two older boys, ages 12 and 15, have already made their way to school. Typically, Estela then naps before picking up her toddler from day care.

But today is different. It's a Tuesday, when an immigration officer is supposed to check up on her. The officer comes most Tuesdays, but not all. There is no set time for his visit, just that it will be some time before 4 p.m. 

Tiziana Rinaldi

Julia’s young daughters run around looking for a plug to recharge the battery for her ankle bracelet. The first one doesn’t work, or the second. What if mom’s monitor goes off? Arany’s face tenses up as she darts toward another wall socket at the far end of the immigration clinic.

“I feel detained. It’s so humiliating,” says Julia, 31, in her native Spanish. Like others who are facing deportation, she preferred we not use her last name.

The best and worst countries to be a girl

Oct 18, 2016

The international children's rights advocacy organization, Save the Children, recently released their index, "Girls' Opportunity Index," which rates the best and worst countries to be a girl.

What a 'rigged' election actually looks like

Oct 17, 2016
Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Reuters

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump stated unequivocally on Sunday that the US election is rigged.

"The election is absolutely being rigged by the dishonest and distorted media pushing Crooked Hillary," Trump tweeted.

Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

Recently, for the first time in its 126-year history, the Arizona Republic endorsed a democratic candidate for president. The backlash has been intense.

Mi-Ai Parrish, the head of the paper, published an editorial today about the threats she and her staff have been receiving.

Threats like:

Mosul after ISIS will be a test for all of Iraq

Oct 17, 2016
Azad Lashkari/Reuters

A long-awaited offensive to recapture the Iraqi city of Mosul from the Islamic State began early Monday morning, with US forces involved in their largest operation since withdrawing from the country in 2011.

Some 30,000 soldiers are taking part in the battle for the extremist group’s last major stronghold in Iraq. Among them are Kurdish fighters, the Iraqi army, Shiite militias and Sunni tribal groups — a patchwork alliance of unlikely allies backed by US airpower and support.

Afolabi Sotunde/Reuters

Many Nigerians feared the family reunions would never happen.

But 21 school girls held for more than two years by the extremists of Boko Haram were reunited with their anguished families Sunday.

"As you can imagine, the parents were ecstatic. They were in tears," says Nigerian author and journalist Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani. "A mother carried her [released] daughter on her back and held her wrapped around her back for most of the ceremony."

If you Google images of Port Salut, Haiti, you’ll see a Caribbean paradise — white sand beaches, coconut trees and inviting turquoise sea. The Hotel Reposoir du Village had a bar on the beach and tables under thatch umbrellas. When I stayed there two years ago, the only problem was an almond tree noisily dropping its fruit on my room’s tin roof.

Today, it’s silent. There’s no more roof, and the almond tree has lost it branches. The bar and restaurant are now just a mess of downed trees and rubble.

Razan Alzayani

Images of falcons are prevalent the moment you step into the United Arab Emirates. They're everywhere — on walls, in TV ads, even on bank notes.

The falcon is UAE's national bird. And the Emiratis take falcons and falconry very seriously. So seriously, in fact, that back in 1999 the city of Abu Dhabi decided that it needed a hospital dedicated to the birds. The Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital was born.

Regis Duvignau

A team of wine-tasters from China has scored an unprecedented victory at one of France's most prestigious wine tasting events. It's the first time the prize has been won by tasters from China. 

Organizers from wine magazine La Revue du vin de France described the result as a "thunderbolt in the wine world." The French team came in second, with the US trailing third. 

The Chinese team correctly identified 12 red and white wines from across France, and were the only one of 21 teams with a perfect score. 

Russia chooses myth over history in new WWII movie

Oct 15, 2016
Panfilov's 28 Men 

A massive blockbuster looks set to take Russia by storm. It’s the story of one of the best-known and most iconic episodes of World War II (for the Soviets): The sacrifice made by “Panfilov’s 28 Men" to save Moscow from the Germans.

There is just one small problem.

It’s not true.

Bryan Woolston/Reuters

Chhavi Sachdev, a reporter based in Mumbai, says many Indians in the city have been horrified by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's lewd comments about kissing and groping women.

The response on social media, Sachdev says, has been "shock and horror unanimously, across the board. There have been lots of people just aghast that he can get away with normalizing this sort of 'locker room talk.'"

US involvement in the Yemen war just got deeper

Oct 14, 2016
Reuters/File Photo

The US fired cruise missiles to defend its ships in the Red Sea. And got drawn deeper into the civil war in Yemen.

A US Navy warship, the USS Mason, was fired at — twice — in international waters off the coast of Yemen. The missiles didn't hit the ship, and no one was hurt. Then Thursday, the Navy responded, firing cruise missiles at radar installations on Yemen's western coast, where the original fire came from.