The World

Classical Stations: Mon - Fri, 3 - 4 pm | News Stations: 8 - 9 pm
  • Hosted by Marco Werman

The World brings international stories home to America. Each weekday, host Marco Werman guides listeners through major issues and stories, linking global events directly to the American agenda.

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As international climate negotiators meet in Doha, Qatar, scientists are issuing a stark warning of possibly huge emissions of the greenhouse gas methane from the warming Arctic.

If you want to understand one of the ways that warming in the Arctic is affecting climate change, just light a match and stand back.

Reuters/Khaled Abdullah

Leaders in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and Washington, DC long argued, without much evidence, that Yemen's Houthi rebels are puppets of Tehran. Those arguments, which many saw as exaggerated, are now beginning to ring true.

Courtesy of Tonantzin Esparza

When the movie "Selena" opened in theaters back in 1997, it was an instant hit. That first weekend, the biopic starring Jennifer Lopez rang up more than $11 million in box office receipts, making it the No. 2 film in the country.

It had only been two years since singer Selena Quintanilla-Perez died of a gunshot wound, and her most dedicated fans in Texas lined up by the thousands to buy a ticket.

Baz Ratner/Reuters

He's 18. He's Jewish with dual Israeli and American citizenship and lives in southern Israel. But now his home, at least temporarily, is a jail.

The Israeli teenager was arrested Thursday in connection with the dramatic spike in bomb threats against Jewish community centers in the US over the past few months. 

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

"Traveling Mercies"

Emily Scott Robinson was one of the artists World host Marco Werman met at this year's South by Southwest music festival in Austin. She talked to Marco about her new song, "Traveling Mercies." Since President Donald Trump has called for a travel ban, the song has taken on a whole new meaning for her.

Homeland promotional image

There’s no doubt Showtime’s “Homeland” is a hit. It’s now in its sixth season. But it’s also gotten some pretty tough criticism for its portrayal of Muslims.

“The depiction of Muslim characters was almost uniformly negative,” attorney Ramzi Kassem says of the show, which focuses on US counterterrorism and intelligence operations. “Any Muslim character that appeared in the show was either immediately identified as a terrorist, or ultimately revealed to be a terrorist or a terrorist sympathizer.”

How alone are 'lone wolf' jihadi attackers?

Mar 24, 2017

The investigation into what exactly happened in London on Wednesday is really only just beginning. But the initial impression is that it was a "lone wolf" attack by an ISIS supporter, like we saw in Orlando, Nice and Berlin.

We've become accustomed to hearing the phrase "self-radicalized" in connection with these lone wolves. But is that really the case? Are they alone, radicalizing themselves?

It turns out that most lone wolves are actually groomed and mentored, one-on-one, by individual ISIS operatives.

Oleksandr Synytsia/Reuters 

"An act of state terrorism by Russia."

Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko did not mince words about neighboring Russia following the assassination of an outspoken Kremlin critic in Kiev.

Denis Voronenkov, 45, was gunned down in broad daylight in front of a luxury hotel in the center of the city Thursday. He was a former member of the Russian parliament before he renounced his citizenship and emigrated last October to Ukraine where he became a citizen.

Post-Fidel-Castro Cuba isn't that different from before

Mar 23, 2017

For years, opponents of Cuba’s socialist revolution pegged the system’s downfall to the inevitable death of its leader, Fidel Castro. Yet, months after Castro’s death, there have been no major protests on the streets of Havana, no popular uprising against the ruling Communist Party.

As Gladys Esther Marta Luís can attest. She's a manicurist who is currently unemployed. For her, things have continued on much like they were before. Since the former president's death in November, she said, “I don’t see any changes,” adding, “Life seems the same to me.”

London comes together to remember its victims

Mar 23, 2017
Hannah McKay

Hundreds of people paid tribute in central London on Thursday to the victims of a terror attack outside British Parliament a day earlier that left four dead, including a police officer and the attacker, and dozens injured.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan led the tributes in a heavily policed Trafalgar Square, vowing "Londoners will never be cowed by terrorism" after a 52-year-old UK-born man went on the rampage at Westminster.

Carlos Barria/Reuters

I meet Nadzeya at an upscale café, somewhere in Manhattan. It’s the only place where she would meet me: somewhere crowded, so she could remain anonymous. Nadzeya, by the way, is not her real name.

Let’s get something out of the way. When people think of undocumented immigration in America, many don’t necessarily think of Nadzeya — a tall, pale platinum blonde woman from eastern Europe.

Candlelight vigil honors victims of Wednesday's terror attack in London

Mar 23, 2017
Stefan Wermuth/Reuters

Hundreds of people paid tribute in central London on Thursday to the victims of a terror attack outside British Parliament a day earlier that left five dead including a police officer and the attacker, and dozens injured.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan led the tributes in a heavily policed Trafalgar Square, vowing "Londoners will never be cowed by terrorism" after a 52-year-old UK-born man went on the rampage at Westminster.

Photos: See Japan's nuclear legacy — from Fukushima to Hiroshima

Mar 23, 2017
Ari Beser

Ari Beser is a photographer from Baltimore, but his family history connects him to Japan. His grandfather, Jacob Beser, helped drop nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. (Listen to the story of Beser's friendship with Keiko Ogura, a Hiroshima survivor.)

Hussain Manawer thinks he is jinxed he gets stopped so often. He has been questioned at airports from LA to Macedonia, but jokes he doesn’t get stopped anymore because they all know him now.

“I’m just trying to figure out the best way in order to demolish this stigma that all Muslim people are terrorists,” he says.

Bassem Youssef likes to swear.

In his new book, "Revolution for Dummies: Laughing Through the Arab Spring," he uses the F-word as any number of parts of speech: noun, verb, adjective, even a command.

Trevor Corson 

The first time I saw a doctor in the United States after I’d gotten my American health insurance, it wasn’t for anything serious. American friends had told me I should get an annual physical exam. That way, they explained, a record would exist that I’d been in good health. If I got sick later, the insurance company wouldn’t be able to claim that I’d hidden any pre-existing conditions.

Immigration is often front-page news these days in the US — how deportations split families, how the system is toughening. There are true stories that bring all of this to life, and then there are stories that are not real. Fiction. Stories that show what we cannot always see or hear when it comes to immigration.

Shanthi Sekaran's "Lucky Boy" does just that.

It's also the inaugural pick for the Global Nation Book Club, which you can join by heading to the Global Nation Exchange on Facebook

© Art Gallery of Ontario, 2016. Courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

In 1944, photographer Henryk Ross dug a hole in the ground and buried his negatives — more than 6,000 of them. Ross was the official photographer of the Jewish ghetto in Lodz, Poland. He also lived there.

“His intention was really to preserve this record of the tragedy that they were living through, not knowing at that point whether he would survive or not,” says Kristen Gresh, the Estrellita and Yousuf Karsh curator of photographs at the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) in Boston.

Baby Shafagh was born seven hours ago. In a refugee camp. Eight miles south of the Syrian-Jordanian border.

She's wrapped in a pink blanket. A white beanie covers her head.

In some ways, Shafagh is lucky. She came into this world in a maternity clinic, not a tent, and in a place where bombs are not falling overhead.

Jason Lee/Reuters

As a second-generation Chinese American author, Gish Jen is well aware of the dangers of stereotyping.

That doesn't stop her from unpacking the controversial notion that a deep culture divide separates East and West when it comes to how we view the self and identity. 

Her new book, "The Girl At the Baggage Claim: Explaining the East-West Culture Gap," is a deep dive into the debate.

Photos: What do refugee parents tell their children about Syria?

Mar 22, 2017
Alisa Reznick

A sign outside of the maternity clinic at the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan tells you at any moment how many babies have been born at the camp. You can’t miss it.

The number updates with every single birth.

The day we visited, that number read 7,017. That’s more than 7,000 babies born in Zaatari over the past five years that the camp has been in operation. And, the camp itself is large, home to almost 80,000 people, according to the United Nations.

Douglas Juarez/Reuters 

Peru is expected to experience another two weeks of highly unusual torrential rains, which have already caused devastating floods along large swaths of its arid coast, destroying homes and crops and killing an estimated 75 people.

The music of Colombia has long inspired people from across the world, but it holds a particular fascination for Will Holland, the British music producer better known as Quantic.

For years, he has worked with the Colombian bandleader, Mario Galeano, on a project called Ondatrópica, in which the pair lovingly re-examine and celebrate the country's musical heritage.

Anna Boiko-Weyrauch

Between three jobs and a full academic course schedule, University of Washington senior Sam Le is always on the go. He also plans to graduate on time this June. But that wasn’t the case when he was a freshman and nearly flunked out.

“I was taking hard classes early on and I was commuting really far,” Le said. “I thought I could manage it, but I couldn’t.” 

Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

If much of the US was transfixed by the sight on Monday of two of America’s top intelligence officials sitting in Congress, addressing allegations of Russian meddling in the US elections, the Kremlin claimed it had better things to do.

“We have many concerns in the Kremlin and following that [debate] isn’t one of them,” said presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

“New information we’re not hearing and doubtfully will hear,” said Peskov, who went on to compare the hearings to a “broken record” being played ad nauseum.

Laptop, tablet bans on flights: Here's what we know

Mar 21, 2017
Andrew Winning /Reuters

Britain and the US on Tuesday banned laptops and tablet computers from the passenger compartment of flights from several Middle East and North African nations.

The restrictions are different in the two countries and only Britain specified the maximum size of device allowed: 6.3 by 3.7 inches.

A French civil aviation agency spokesman said France was considering whether to impose similar measures.

Here is what we know so far:

Airports affected 

The US ban applies to flights from 10 airports in eight countries.

The airports affected are:

After her dad had a stroke, 14-year-old Reina was brought to the San Jose Pinula public shelter near Guatemala’s capital with a promise she'd be taken care of.

A riot and massive fire at the shelter earlier this month left 42 of Reina's fellow residents dead. The tragedy has focused global attention on this nation’s treatment of women and girls.

Guatemalan authorities aren’t saying yet what caused the fire, but more than 500 children and teenagers were at the shelter, and rumors abound of abuse, trafficking and neglect.

Six years ago, Ari Beser, a photographer from Baltimore, received a grant to visit the city of Hiroshima for the first time. He wanted to trace the path his grandfather had once taken. Jacob Beser, who died in 1992, flew over Japan as a member of the Army Air Force during World War II.

On the day that Beser got the grant, a tsunami struck the coast of Japan, flooding Fukushima nuclear power plant and causing an explosion and meltdown.

Deepa Fernandes

At a recent bolero concert at Havana’s Cine Acapulco, emcee and lead crooner, Alberto, had the audience entranced. He poked fun at himself and them. He also recited a love poem. Later, three other dapper men joined Alberto onstage, and together, they sang traditional Cuban love songs.

<a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Strebe">Daniel R. Strebe</a>/<a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gall%E2%80%93Peters_projection_SW.jpg">CC BY 2.0 (image cropped)</a>

There's nothing like a map to help explain the world. But some maps do a better job of it than others.

Which is why Boston's public schools have adopted new world maps for some of their classrooms. And, the district claims that it's the first public school system nationwide to make the switch.

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