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.

Reuters/Mike Blake

President Donald Trump didn't let his travel ban expire on Sunday. Instead, he beefed it up and made it open-ended. Travel Ban 3.0, as some are calling it, bars people from six Muslim-majority countries, plus Venezuela and North Korea, from entering the US.

Pablo Esparza 

In the mid-'60s, Mexican mariachi music ruled the airwaves in Yugoslavia. Singers sported charro suits and sombreros, typical mariachi garb, with typically Slavic names.

The style was known as Yu-Mex, a mix of Mexican sounds with Serbo-Croatian lyrics and performers.

But how did this rather unlikely mixture of sounds and cultures happen? The origin of the genre is mixed up in the geopolitics of the Cold War.

In 1948, Yugoslavia, a socialist country under the command of Marshal Josip Broz Tito, broke with the USSR and its leader, Josef Stalin.

Courtesy of Ahmad Wali Temory

On Sunday, Germans re-elected Chancellor Angela Merkel, one of the most powerful women in the world. But, for the first time in decades, they also voted a far-right political party into Germany's parliament, the Bundestag.

The Alternative for Germany party, known by its German initials AfD, campaigned aggressively against immigration policies that welcomed more than a million refugees to Germany in recent years.

It’s been five days since Hurricane Maria tore through the island of Puerto Rico, killing at least 16 people, damaging homes, roads and fields and leaving millions without power.

The Trump administration says it will "continue to do everything it can" to provide assistance.

But Frances Robles, who has been reporting from Puerto Rico for The New York Times, says help has been slow in coming.

“I went to [the town of] Arecibo on Saturday,” says Robles, “and there was definitely the start of what looked like a humanitarian crisis.”

Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters

Angela Merkel has won her fourth term as chancellor of Germany, as expected. But things are likely to be different this time around.

Germany continues to grapple with a refugee crisis, and the nationalist sentiment that’s come to the forefront in recent months has finally resulted in concrete political consequences.

Related: Merkel's party wants to deport thousands to Afghanistan, but this refugee says it's unsafe

Iraqi Kurds go to the polls on Monday to take part in a historic referendum on their future. Should the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region remain part of Iraq, or become an independent country?

Thousands have died fighting for an independent Kurdistan, and tens of thousands of civilians were killed by Saddam Hussein’s army.

This is a nonbinding vote but Kurdish leaders hope it will be a major step toward nationhood. That would be the realization of a long-held dream for many. 

Lesego Legobane on Twitter

It was around 11 at night, and Lesego Legobane was getting ready to go to bed. A friend asked if she had seen the tweet about her, which had been circulating on the internet.

It was posted by a Twitter user named Leyton Mokgerepi, and it showed two pictures side by side, one of a thin model, and one of a plus-size model. 

The caption read: "Girls that I like vs Girls that like me."

Dado Ruvic/Reuters

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday announced the company would be taking several steps “to protect election integrity and make sure that Facebook is a force for good in democracy.”

North Korea's leader is believed to be 33 years-old, which makes Kim Jong-un a millennial. 

Donald Trump is 71, meaning he was born two full years before Kim's grandfather founded the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in 1948.

In addition to being "supreme leader," Kim is the living relic of a mostly bygone Communist era. His official title is chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea. 

Trump, of course, is the president of the United States, a businessman and a reality television star. 

Ricardo Rojas/Reuters

With so much destruction from this season's hurricanes in the Caribbean, there are going to be a lot of people on the move — looking to start their lives in new places. We’ve already seen mass movements of people from areas plagued by drought, floods or storms. Many casually refer to these people as “climate refugees.”

But the problem with the term climate refugee starts with the word “refugee.”  

Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters

¿Estás bien? (Are you okay?)” my brother asked, a whisper in the darkness. Then he pointed his flashlight at me: “Alfredo?”

We were just a couple of hours into Hurricane Maria’s reign of terror as it made its way through Puerto Rico. Unlike many, we were in our mother’s two-story concrete home in a comfortable, middle-class suburb of San Juan. One town over, our mother was keeping busy taking care of her own mother and ailing uncle. 

Hua Qu has not seen her husband, Xiyue Wang, since April 2016, when Wang left for Iran. He was doing research in Iranian archives for his dissertation. Wang, 36, is a PhD candidate at Princeton studying Eurasian history.

On the day before he was scheduled to return home to New Jersey, authorities in Tehran asked him to turn over his laptop and passport. Qu says he was interrogated but allowed to move freely. Three weeks later, Wang called and told his wife he’d been ordered to leave Iran immediately.

Paola Mardo/PRI

It’s a warm summer evening and a crowd gathers in a small, divey bar on Sunset Boulevard just east of Hollywood. The place is packed and every inch is decorated with bright strings of light, tapa cloth and tropical knickknacks. Folks new to the bar and longtime patrons, some wearing Hawaiian shirts and holding their own unique mugs, sip strong cocktails.

Welcome to the Tiki-Ti, the oldest family-owned Tiki bar in Los Angeles, the birthplace of the Polynesian-inspired rum palaces that were all the rage in the 1940s through the 1960s.

Olivier Boitet/The Associated Press 

When Vincent Lancisi and his wife were traveling in the south of France earlier this year, they began chatting with their driver. And he told them a story about his former employer.

“He said, ‘I was a driver for a famous man,’” Lancisi said. “‘You probably don’t know his name but there’s a movie about him made with Jeremy Irons called 'M. Butterfly.'"

“My wife looked at me, her jaw dropped.”

Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi will not be going home anytime soon. His opinion piece in The Washington Post has drawn fire in the Saudi press, all because he dared write about a crackdown on free speech in the kingdom.

Morne Hardenberg/Shark Explorers 

When Alison Kock was a little girl, her father would take her out fishing for lobster. That was when she started to foster her passion for the ocean — and sharks.

While fishing, shysharks would sometimes get caught in the crawfish nets. Kock watched as the sharks would wrap their tails around their heads and cover their eyes.

“I was really concerned," Kock says. "My dad said to me, ‘Listen, they'll be fine. Just pick them up, kiss them on the nose and release them back into the water.’”

Driving up to a trailhead just a few miles from the US-Mexico border in Arizona’s Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, biologist Rosemary Schiano’s first advice is to cover our spare water gallons.

“People will break into your car if they see water, especially in this heat,” she says.

It’s just past 8 a.m. and the temperature in this part of the Sonoran Desert is already climbing above 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Arroyos slice into a mountainous expanse laden with Organ Pipe’s namesake cactus.

Aliou Touré told me not too long ago, "When you write a song about racism, it's a big deal." Touré is lead singer of Songhoy Blues, a band from Mali.

He said this in the context of the band's new song "One Colour," off their new album, "Résistance."

The song was recorded with a school children's choir in London. Touré says recording with kids made him optimistic about the future, especially if adults take the moment to learn from them.

Charles Maynes

 

Stanislav Petrov, a Russian hero of the Cold War, died in May at his home outside of Moscow. However, his death went unmarked until this month. 

Petrov, 77, was largely unheralded in his own country, despite an act of bravery that likely prevented nuclear armaggedon and kept the world in course.

To understand his choice, first dial the clock back to the summer of 1983.

Carlo Allegri/Reuters

It's been over a week since Hurricane Irma tore through the Caribbean and southern Florida, but the recovery has been slow.

In Miami, some neighborhoods didn't have electricity for 10 days. 

WLRN reporter Nadege Green lives in one of those areas, and before the power returned, she noticed that a sense of community was forming as people were forced to cook outside on charcoal grills.  

Russia puts Kalashnikov on a pedestal

Sep 20, 2017

Russia is putting Kalashnikov on a pedestal, literally and metaphorically.

Literally, a statue of Mikhail Kalashnikov, the inventor of the iconic AK-47 rifle, was unveiled in downtown Moscow on Tuesday. Metaphorically, the Kremlin is pushing his rifle as “a true cultural brand of Russia.”

The Kalashnikov rifle, in all its forms, is the most popular weapon ever made. It's killed more people than any other single weapon, including the atomic bomb. And yet, now you can buy Kalashnikov tchotchkes at a special souvenir shop at the Moscow International Airport.

Rescue teams are frantically working to save people trapped by rubble after a powerful earthquake hit Mexico Tuesday.

The 7.1 magnitude quake was centered about 100 miles from Mexico City, but caused about 45 buildings in the capital to collapse.

Courtesy of Jericho Road Community Health Center

Beginning life in a new country as a refugee is not easy. Culture shock can kick in over food, languages — or health care.

For some women from conservative Muslim families, US health care practices can clash with what they’re used to. Reporter Sarah Varney went to Buffalo, New York, a city that is increasingly accepting refugees from countries such as Somalia, Syria and Iraq, to speak to some women who are in that position. 

Trump's Twitter storms have a parallel in India

Sep 20, 2017

Social media is shaping politics across the world, and perhaps nowhere more so than in India. And, as in the US, the head of government's Twitter has become a key factor in political debates.

According to journalist Swati Chaturvedi, author of "I Am A Troll," India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi also uses Twitter as his preferred means of communication.

Earlier this summer, the first Vancouver Indigenous Fashion Week featured the creations of 25 designers from First Nations communities across Canada. Joleen Mitton, a former model who has Plains Cree and Blackfoot ancestry, launched the four-day event, held at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver, Canada.

Soe Zeya Tun/Reuters

It’s been more than a month since members of a Rohingya militant group attacked police outposts in northern Myanmar, killing 12 people.

The attack led to a massive Myanmar military crackdown on the Rohingya, a Muslim ethnic minority that is denied equal rights and widely despised by the Buddhist majority.

Jason Margolis

Forty years ago, Alaska had a near monopoly on supplying the world with salmon. But then Norwegian fishermen began experimenting with salmon farming — raising fish in enclosed ocean pens. By the 1990s, international salmon farming had taken off, not just in Norway, but also in Canada, Scotland and Chile.

As global supplies skyrocketed, Alaskan salmon prices plummeted.

Wiki Commons

Donald Trump loves the military. He claims "our military will soon be the strongest it has ever been." And now he’s touting an idea for celebrating the US armed forces: a massive military parade in Washington, for the Fourth of July, perhaps as soon as next year.

He was inspired by the Bastille Day parade he witnessed in Paris in July.

Kacper Pempel/Reuters

The government of Russian President Vladimir Putin is widely believed to be behind social media disinformation campaigns aimed at influencing the 2016 US presidential election. As Germany’s general elections approach, many worry that a similar scenario could play out in that country.

Carlo Allegri/Reuters

Questions continue to swirl around President Trump's beleaguered former campaign manager, Paul Manafort. 

Will he eventually cut a deal with federal investigators? Will he face an indictment and then enjoy a presidential pardon? Or will he be accused of a crime in the State of New York, and be beyond the reach of Oval Office mercy? 

Former FBI agent Asha Rangappa says none of those possibilities can be ruled out, now that it's clear a federal judge approved two Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants — or FISA warrants — allowing wiretaps.

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