Host Marco Werman and his team of producers bring you the world's most interesting stories that remind us just how small our planet really is. PRI's The World, the radio program, is heard every weekday on over 300 public stations across North America.
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Moscow's capture of the eastern city of Lysychansk this past weekend gives Russia total control of the Luhansk region. Russian troops are now looking to take even more territory further north in Donetsk. And as authorities have started to identify the bodies of the 53 migrants who lost their lives in an abandoned tractor-trailer in Texas, the portraits of the victims are slowly coming together. One common narrative is that the victims wanted to pursue a better life. Plus, COVID-19 is on the rise, again. We hear from a molecular biologist about how to make practical use of the news as people begin to break out of routines and travel again.
Enjoy a compilation of music segments that have aired on The World, including a conversation with Ukraine's Go_A band, which combines Ukrainian folk music and modern electronica. We also bring you UK breakout artist Joy Crookes, who is a student of history, born in London to a mother from Bangladesh and a father from Ireland. And a look at how the Beatles inspired a rock revolution in Argentina.
Hong Kong is marking its 25th anniversary since the United Kingdom handed over its administrative control to China as Chinese President Xi Jinping visits for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic and the crackdown on pro-democracy protests in 2019. And, a wildfire is threatening a centuries-old landmark: Peru's Machu Picchu archaeological site. Plus, The Economist predicts that governments being mired in debt and unable to ease the cost of living will lead to mass protests and violence in countries around the world within the next couple of years.
At the NATO summit on Thursday, US President Joe Biden announced that NATO is "more united than ever.” Changes to the bloc include an increased US presence in Europe, more US troops on NATO's eastern flank and a new permanent US base in Poland. And in northern India on Thursday, thousands of people took to the streets in Udaipur to protest the murder of a Hindu tailor. They were calling for the death penalty for two Muslim men accused of the murder, pushing religious tensions in India to a boil. Plus, Salah Abdeslam, the lone survivor among ISIS assailants who attacked the Bataclan concert hall in 2015, has been found guilty of murder. We need just 130 more listeners to donate $100 before July 1 to make our goal — can we count on you? Learn more and donate here.
Wednesday at the NATO summit, US President Joe Biden announced a plan for new US military deployments to Europe including creating a new permanent US military headquarters in Poland. NATO also formally invited Finland and Sweden to join the alliance. Turkey was threatening to veto their membership aspirations on grounds the countries were supporting terrorists. Now, the memorandum says they will be fighting terrorism together. Plus, scientists are raising alarm bells once more about bird flu. Tens of millions of birds have been culled and hundreds of thousands have died from the H5N1 strain. We need just 130 more listeners to donate $100 before July 1 to make our goal — can we count on you? Learn more and donate here.
NATO members are gathering in Madrid for what many are calling the most important summit in at least a generation. From the war in Ukraine to the threat of China's rising power, much is at stake. And, as leaders prepare for the NATO summit this week we look at the outsized role of the US within NATO and its direct support of Ukraine's military. Plus, language learning app Duolingo recently added a course in Haitian Creole for English speakers. The course helps Haiti's diaspora communities reconnect with the mother tongue of families and ancestors. We need just 130 more listeners to donate $100 before July 1 to make our goal — can we count on you? Learn more and donate here.
Efforts to expand reproductive freedom in the US in recent decades have propelled similar changes in other countries. Now that the US Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade, that momentum could flip. And, the Chinese trend of made-to-order videos featuring African children often contain racist, exploitative content. A recent expose has triggered calls for this to end. Also, local farmers in Honduras turn to cashews as erratic weather patterns in Central America are leaving millions of people facing food insecurity. We need just 130 more listeners to donate $100 before July 1 to make our goal – can we count on you? Learn more and donate here.
The US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on Friday, revealing a canyonlike divide across the nation over the right to terminate a pregnancy. Abortion rights supporters condemned the decision as a dark day in history, while abortion foes rejoiced and said it will save countless lives. Also, in Lebanon, a pregnancy can only be terminated if three doctors agree that a person's life is at risk. But this doesn't stop them from happening — abortion pills are available online, and some doctors provide abortions privately. Plus, meet King Rao, the central figure in a new dystopian novel called "The Immortal King Rao," by Vauhini Vara. The World is supported by our generous listeners, like you! Make a monthly gift to power our nonprofit newsroom all year long. Learn more and donate here.
The first delivery of heavy weapons from Germany arrived in Ukraine this week, marking the end to a longstanding policy not to send lethal aid into active conflict zones. In a country where history looms large, many Germans are uneasy with their country's new proximity to war. Also, Southeast Asia is opening up to tourists this summer for the first time since the pandemic began. But Chinese tourists will be conspicuously absent due to the country's restrictive COVID-19 policy. Plus, at the last minute, pop star Dua Lipa was forced to change the location of her Sunny Hill music festival from Kosovo to Albania. The World is supported by our generous listeners, like you! Make a monthly gift to power our nonprofit newsroom all year long. Learn more and donate here.
Rescuers are trying to reach provinces in eastern Afghanistan after a 5.9-magnitude earthquake shook the area on Wednesday. Initial reports suggest a high death toll and injuries. And Mohamad Bin Salman, Saudi Arabia's crown prince, is in Turkey on Wednesday for a visit with President Recep Erdoğan. The visit is seen as the two sides normalizing relations following the 2018 murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey. The World is supported by our generous listeners, like you! Make a monthly gift to power our nonprofit newsroom all year long. Learn more and donate here.
The state of Assam in northeast India has seen the worst flooding in generations. Weeks of monsoon rains have caused the largest rivers to overflow, flooding 32 of the state's 35 districts. Also, many US manufacturers rely on products from China's Xinjiang region, where forced labor is common. New rules that come into force on Tuesday require firms to prove a “complete digital chain of custody” for products from the region. Plus, the US Navy says a small Iranian vessel charged an American ship in the Strait of Hormuz on Monday. The World is supported by our generous listeners, like you! Make a monthly gift to power our nonprofit newsroom all year long. Learn more and donate here.
Voters in Colombia have chosen a left-wing president for the first time, signaling a shift in the nation's politics. Also, ethnic tensions continue in Ethiopia following an attack on Sunday that killed more than 200 people. And in Germany, officials say they are ready to fire up coal power plants again in an effort to save on natural gas, which may impact climate targets. The World relies on listener support to power our nonprofit newsroom. If you count on The World to bring you human-centered stories from across the globe, make your gift today to help us reach our goal of raising $25,000 before June 30. Learn more and donate here.
The World Trade Organization has reached an agreement on vaccine sharing. The deal allows for ways to circumvent intellectual property rules to manufacture, import and export lifesaving COVID-19 vaccines and treatments. Still, many view the result as a disappointment. Also, on Sunday, Colombians head to the polls to elect their next president. Their choices: a right-wing real estate billionaire and a leftist former guerrilla fighter. And, for art lovers, there's a must-see event in West Africa right now: The Dakar Biennale in Senegal, also known as Dak'Art. It's a showcase of spectacular work from artists across the globe. The World relies on listener support to power our nonprofit newsroom. If you count on The World to bring you human-centered stories from across the globe, make your gift today to help us reach our goal of raising $25,000 before June 30. Learn more and donate here.
Leaders of France, Germany, Italy and Romania met with President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in Kyiv today, to show support for Ukraine and its defense against the Russian invasion. The high-profile visit demonstrates Europe's measure of support for Ukraine as the war continues. And rents in the Ukrainian city of Lviv have finally leveled out after ballooning at the start of the war, but they're still much higher than before it began in February. Those who fled the eastern part of the country are still in limbo, but the high prices have made it hard to stay in Lviv. Plus, TikTok may be a platform known for its fun and silly videos, but according to a new report, it's also a culprit when it comes to election disinformation in Kenya.
The risk of war between the US and China is on the rise. Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd discusses how the two superpowers can step away from the precipice. Also, in Southeast Asia, 99.9% of the regional population breathes in air with pollution levels high above World Health Organization standards, according to a new University of Chicago study. Plus, Ukraine is often known for its comedians — including its president. The war abruptly ended the comedy scene in Kyiv for a few months, but it's coming back, with comedians stressing the importance of laughter during wartime. The World relies on listener support to power our nonprofit newsroom. If you count on The World to bring you human-centered stories from across the globe, make your gift today to help us reach our goal of raising $25,000 before June 30. Learn more and donate here.
Ukrainian soldiers are having to make do with shortages of weapons and supplies on the frontlines in eastern Donbas, according to Ukrainian MP Mariana Bezugla, who is hunkered down there with the troops. Also, a fight between Turkish and Afghan teenagers has set off a series of attacks against migrant workers who pick up trash around Istanbul. As the country's economy worsens, tensions between Turks and refugees are getting worse. And in mid-August of last year, as the US was fully disengaging from Afghanistan, some Afghans clung to a C-17 military plane as it was taking off from Kabul airport and fell to their deaths. Multiple investigations had been launched to uncover exactly what happened. Plus, June 14 marks 40 since the war between the United Kingdom and Argentina over control of the Falkland Islands. We hear what the war and the islands mean to Argentinians today. The World relies on listener support to power our nonprofit newsroom. If you count on The World to bring you human-centered stories from across the globe, make your gift today to help us reach our goal of raising $25,000 before June 30. Learn more and donate here.
Faced with rising numbers of migrants and asylum-seekers crossing the English Channel on boats, the British government came up with a plan to fly them to Rwanda to apply for asylum there. Now, the plan is facing legal challenges, and it might not even happen. And, in 1962, revolutionary leader Fidel Castro banned professional sports in Cuba, and encouraged athletes to pursue amateur careers. Now, the country is ending its longtime ban on professional boxing, and the national team has made a triumphant debut. Also, in Zambia, the growing presence of neurologists in the region is starting to challenge long-held beliefs about multiple sclerosis. Plus, for the third time in 40 years, a human beat a horse in the annual 22.5-mile race held in Wales, scoring a cash prize and bragging rights over 1,000 other runners and 50 horses (and their riders). This podcast and all The World's coverage is free and accessible because listeners like you support our work. We need your help to continue to go beyond the headlines, to bring you the people at the center of the events we cover. Help us reach our goal of raising $25,000 before June 30 by learning more and donating here.
The Summit of the Americas started with discord but ended the week on a high note. The United States unveiled a long list of measures to confront the migration crisis in the Western Hemisphere and pledged $300 million to tackle the problems. And the Polish government is being accused of setting up a "pregnancy register" to document all the pregnancies in the country. The country's Health Ministry said the new database is being set up following a European Union directive, but abortion activists are not convinced. Plus, as the Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics fight for basketball's biggest bragging rights, Celtics' head coach Ime Udoka, from Nigeria, has attracted lots of Nigerian fans in Boston to cheer them on. The World relies on listener support to power our nonprofit newsroom. If you count on The World to bring you human-centered stories from across the globe, make your gift today to help us reach our goal of raising $25,000 before June 30. Learn more and donate here.
Gas prices in the US are at an all-time high, according to the American Automobile Association. But on the other side of the Atlantic in Europe, they're paying much more. And, earlier this month, the State Department dropped a massive report that looked at the state of religious freedom in some 200 countries. Also, this month in Rome, Pope Francis canonized 10 new saints. He's named a record number of saints since becoming pope. Plus, no letup in the grueling battles raging in Ukraine's eastern Donbas region. We hear the story of one Ukrainian soldier shaken by the relentless fighting.
Allison Fluke-Ekren, from Kansas, has pleaded guilty to organizing and leading an all-female military battalion on behalf of ISIS. According to court documents, Fluke-Ekren trained women on to how to use assault rifles, grenades and suicide belts. And in Brazil, journalist Dom Phillips and anthropologist Bruno Pereira have gone missing from one of the largest Indigenous territories in the Amazon rainforest. It's an area that, in recent years, has become increasingly dangerous because of illegal logging, mining and narcotrafficking. Plus, as “Nanook of the North” turns 100, we hear from an American filmmaker who returned to Inukjuak to examine what has happened to the community over the past century.
A diplomatic firestorm has engulfed India's ruling party, the BJP, following the sanctioning of two party spokespersons over insulting remarks the pair are reported to have made toward Islam and the Prophet Muhammad. Several Gulf countries described the comments as “insulting.” And in April, the UN refugee agency said it was on "high alert" for cases of human trafficking among Ukrainian refugees, 90% of whom are women and children. In Romania, which had relatively high rates of trafficking and exploitation even before the war, nonprofit groups are working to keep refugees safe. Plus, Colombia's first all-female orchestra has developed a strategy to encourage women to succeed and rise to leadership positions in classical music. The World relies on listener support to power our nonprofit newsroom. If you count on The World to bring you human-centered stories from across the globe, make your gift today to help us reach our goal of raising $25,000 before June 30. Learn more and donate here.
Several Latin American and Caribbean heads of state, including the president of Mexico, aren't showing up to the ninth annual Summit of the Americas. A former ambassador discusses Latin America's growing dissatisfaction with Washington's approach to the region. Plus, gunmen stormed a church in Nigeria over the weekend, leaving 50 people dead and many more injured. Experts say this is an example of intercommunal violence between Muslim and Christian groups. Also, we hear about how Czech writer Karel Capek's 1930s science fiction novel, adapted into an audio drama, still resonates today. The World relies on listener support to power our nonprofit newsroom. If you count on The World to bring you human-centered stories from across the globe, make your gift today to help us reach our goal of raising $25,000 before June 30. Learn more and donate here.
Friday marks 100 days of war in Ukraine. During that time, death, destruction and displacement has occurred on a massive scale, and it's difficult to accurately count the human toll. We hear about how Ukraine's seed bank is under threat amid the mass destruction of other critical infrastructure. Also, at the invitation of President Vladimir Putin, the chairmen of the African Union, Senegal's President Macky Sall, headed to Russia on Friday for talks about the impact of the war in Ukraine on African countries. Russia and Ukraine are both major exporters of grain to the continent. Plus, on Sunday, thousands of spectators in the English village of Brockworth will watch contestants run and tumble down a hill in pursuit of a 9-pound wheel of Double Gloucester cheese. The World relies on listener support to power our nonprofit newsroom. If you count on The World to bring you human-centered stories from across the globe, make your gift today to help us reach our goal of raising $25,000 before June 30. Learn more and donate here.
Hundreds of flights have been grounded across Europe this week with British airports particularly badly affected. Airport and airline operators blame the end of COVID-19-related restrictions and a lack of trained employees for the delays. And in Kenya, conflicting legislation on abortion has stirred confusion about what is and is not illegal. Also, Japan's government has pledged to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. But the resource-poor island nation has struggled to wean itself off coal. Plus, from the twilight of the British empire to Brexit, a lot has changed since Queen Elizabeth II's coronation ceremony 70 years ago. We look at the evolution of the monarchy as the UK hosts her Platinum Jubilee celebrations. The World relies on listener support to power our nonprofit newsroom. If you count on The World to bring you human-centered stories from across the globe, make your gift today to help us reach our goal of raising $25,000 before June 30. Learn more and donate here.
In a first for Canada, British Columbia has joined a handful of regions around the world in decriminalizing small amounts of illicit drugs. The decision, granted by the federal government, comes amid a massive overdose crisis that has only worsened during the pandemic. Also, Italian officials have been circulating a four-point peace plan for Ukraine, calling on Kyiv to give up territory to Russia. The Ukrainian president has criticized the plan as appeasement, while the US has announced it will send Kyiv midrange rockets. How might US support prolong the war? Plus, across the world, men make up the majority of taxi drivers. But the pandemic has led some women in Turkey to take up the work. We hear from one woman who happily traded her desk job for a life behind the wheel. The World relies on listener support to power our nonprofit newsroom. If you count on The World to bring you human-centered stories from across the globe, make your gift today to help us reach our goal of raising $25,000 before June 30. Learn more and donate here.
European Union leaders agreed to punish Russia for its Ukraine invasion with sanctions banning the purchase of crude oil delivered to EU states by sea. Moscow has vowed to find other importers for their crude oil. And in response to the string of mass shootings this year in the US, neighboring Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that his government will put forth legislation freezing all handgun sales. Still, some guns arrive in Canada illegally, often from the US. Plus, in the Seychelles, a collaboration between the government and three companies in the tuna fishing industry have found a way to recycle old fishing nets.
The World's Memorial Day special is focusing on energy. Much of the world is working to wean itself off of Russian energy in the short-term, which in some cases means building up new fossil fuel infrastructure to secure supplies from different countries. At the same time, countries are struggling to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but falling behind on climate targets. Which raises a question: Will the move away from Russian energy speed up the development of renewable energy sources, or lock-in dependency on fossil fuels for longer? Also, since Russia's invasion of Ukraine this year, many European countries are refocusing their energy independence efforts to nuclear power. And, here's what we largely know how to decarbonize, and what we don't — yet.
Since the start of Russia's war in Ukraine, Moscow's navy has blockaded Ukrainian Black Sea ports. Its impact is having ripple effects all around the world. Also, pandemic restrictions have prevented most asylum-seekers hoping to enter the US from Mexico from entering. The Biden administration tried to end the practice on Monday, but a judge in Louisiana blocked it, at least for now. And in Israel, the Palestinian flag is seen as a threat. Plus, extreme weather in Iraq is deepening inequality. Flooding and dust storms are disproportionately impacting poor neighborhoods that lack adequate infrastructure to cope. And finally, a Zulu musician from South Africa hopes to transport listeners to Mars.
China has dangled security agreements and cooperation on communications and cybersecurity before 10 Pacific nations. The Federated States of Micronesia has warned them not to go along with China. Also, Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine has made the company a lot of money — tens of billions of dollars in sales. Those dizzying returns have led to accusations of pandemic profiteering. Also, the Marcos family looted an estimated $10 billion from the Philippine government in the 1970s and '80s. Now, the Marcos family is back in power and once again, flaunting its wealth. And, spoken communication is not just a human gift. Chimpanzees have a 400-word language, according to new research published in the journal Communications Biology.
Following the mass shooting on Tuesday at an elementary school in Texas, US Senator Chris Murphy gave an impassioned speech to Congress highlighting America's exceptionality when it comes to gun violence when compared to other countries. And around the world, few treatments exist for long COVID. In the UK, a group of medical specialists and professional opera singers are examining if opera singing can help with the debilitating symptom of breathlessness. Plus, the day after 19 children were murdered in Texas, 12-year-old Noah Green sings a healing Cree song with his grandmother that goes viral.
It's been three months since Russia began its invasion into Ukraine on Feb. 24. Most of the fighting has shifted to areas in eastern Ukraine such as the Donbas and Kharkiv regions. And a trove of leaked police files and photos from Xinjiang, in western China, has revealed more than 2,800 mugshots of Uyghur detainees in what China terms "reeducation" camps, along with a shoot-to-kill policy for those who try to escape. Plus, hospital sounds like alarms and beeping monitors can be detrimental to doctors and patients alike. A group of psychologists, designers and musicians are reimagining the future of hospital sounds.
President Joe Biden said during a summit in Tokyo that the US will get involved militarily in the event that China attacks Taiwan. Beijing responded by expressing opposition to the comments. And, new technology often gets tested in war zones. In Ukraine, one particular form of technology has taken hold within the Ukrainian army — facial recognition. Plus, a sobering statistic: 100 million people have now been forcibly displaced worldwide due to conflicts and crises. Refugees from Ukraine make up about 6.4 million of the tally.
US President Joe Biden arrived in South Korea on Friday and will meet with leaders from Japan, Australia and India on his first trip to Asia as president. The White House seeks to rally its allies in Asia to send a message to China against bullying its neighbors. And the UN human rights office has confirmed 8,000 civilian casualties in Ukraine, including 3,800 deaths, since Russia invaded the country 86 days ago. Most of the fighting now is in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine. Plus, Russian President Vladimir Putin has challenged the validity of Ukrainian culture and identity. Olga Pariieva, a language teacher, weighs in on what it means to speak Russian in Ukraine.
On Monday, 260 Ukrainian fighters surrendered at the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol. The troops were taken to areas under Russian control and now face an uncertain fate. Also, Secretary-General António Guterres says that the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine has fueled unprecedented world hunger. In just two years, the number of food-insecure people has doubled to over 276 million worldwide. And Australian bands Hermitude and The Jungle Giants have teamed up to create a feel good vibe with their tune, "When You Feel Like This."
For weeks now, baby formula has been hard to find in some US states. Amid pandemic supply chain issues and a formula plant shutdown, global trade policy is also responsible for the crisis. And on Tuesday, an armed opposition group tried to take power in Tripoli, Libya's capital, sparking armed clashes between rivals. We hear about the challenges Libya faces toward the establishment of a unity government. Plus, Biniam Girmay of Eritrea became the first Black African to win a stage of one of cycling's Grand Tours. But he had to pull out of the race after a freak eye injury at the winner's podium.
Ukrainian troops in Mariupol fought against Russia's military onslaught for more than 80 days. Now, after weeks of siege at the Azovstal steel plant, the last Ukrainian fighters mounting Ukraine's resistance have ended their defense. And as Sweden and Finland take steps toward joining the NATO military alliance, NATO member Turkey is saying no. We hear about the factors behind Turkey's decision and what it means for NATO. Plus, fuel is running critically low in the island nation of Sri Lanka. The country's new prime minister warns that only a day's fuel supply remains.
Sweden has announced its intent to apply for NATO membership in an historic break with its neutral security policy in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. And Turkey is closely watching Pennsylvania's Senate race as Dr. Mehmet Oz, a dual Turkish and US citizen, edges ahead in recent polls for the state's Republican primary on Tuesday. Opponents accuse the TV-doctor-turned-politician of conflicting loyalties. Plus, the mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, over the weekend is not simply a domestic phenomenon. A growing, global network of extremists online played an important role in the shooter's radicalization.
On Friday, a Russian soldier appeared in court for the first time since Russia invaded Ukraine. Vadim Shishimarin, 21, stands accused of committing war crimes in a district court in Kyiv. And mourners were attacked by Israeli police during the funeral procession of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in Jerusalem on Friday. The police claimed that rocks and projectiles were thrown at them. Plus, Princeton University researchers have discovered which chemical compounds in human odor cause mosquitoes to zero in on people and spread mosquito-borne diseases.
On Wednesday, Finland's leaders announced their support for joining NATO, a reversal from their decadeslong stance of neutrality in relation to Europe's NATO-Russia divide. And the Taliban in Afghanistan have announced new rules requiring women to cover their faces in public and to leave home only when necessary. This is the latest in a series of restrictions imposed on women since the Taliban came to power last summer. And Brazil's former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is aiming for a comeback. Lula is a frontrunner for the 2022 election, but incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro could still pull off a victory in the deeply divided country.
Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh was shot and killed in the occupied West Bank while covering an Israeli army raid in the Jenin refugee camp. Palestinians are blaming the Israeli military, while Israel is neither confirming nor denying responsibility. Also, as the US Supreme Court weighs in on Roe v. Wade, we hear about abortion rights in India, where the procedure has been legal, within certain confines, for more than 50 years. Plus, dengue cases are on the rise across Brazil, leaving public health experts rushing to tackle the mosquito-borne disease.
Russian troops in Ukraine are reportedly retreating from the region around Kharkiv, blowing up bridges as they pull back. But elsewhere along the eastern front line, Russian troops seem to be advancing. And US military aid to Ukraine has overwhelming support in Congress. But as American-made weapons go into battle, they deplete US stockpiles, potentially impacting US preparedness for other wars. Plus, we hear the story about a restaurant in small-town Vermont that's receiving a lot of attention for its excellent regional Thai cuisine.
On May 9, Russia celebrates Victory Day, the Soviet Union's historical triumph over Nazi Germany during World War II. President Vladimir Putin gave a speech in Moscow amid patriotic scenes, military muscle flexes and saber-rattling. And a drug cartel in Colombia's north has blocked roads and held residents hostage following the extradition of its leader, known as “Otoniel,” to the United States. Plus, the European Union has a new law regulating tech platforms called the Digital Services Act. So far, Europe has led the world with the most aggressive regulation of so-called “Big Tech.”
On Friday, the Women's National Basketball Association's season opens but star player Brittney Griner can't compete. That's because Griner was “wrongfully detained,” in Russia 78 days ago, according to the US State Department. And Spain has one of the most liberal abortion laws in Europe. But abortion rights activists say there are still setbacks, including the increased presence of outlier anti-abortion groups, many with ties to the US. Plus, a major sandstorm in northern and western Iraq this week has sent hundreds of people to the hospital with respiratory issues. We hear from an Iraqi environmentalist about what's causing the powerful sandstorms.
Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, 12 Russian generals have been killed. Ukraine's successful targeting of Russian generals has been helped by a classified intelligence gathering effort by the US. And police around the world use Pegasus spyware to track criminals and terrorists. But it's also been used to hack the electronic devices of others, including the Spanish prime minister. Plus, “beachcombing scholarship” is the latest in a line of indirect methods used to study North Korea. Picking up trash washed ashore on South Korea's beaches helps researchers get a handle on what's happening inside the insular country.
The European Union is looking at a proposal to cut itself off of Russian energy as part of a new package of sanctions. Putting the embargo in place would take some time to implement, and it would require all 27 member states to agree. And polls indicate that voters on Thursday are going to make Sinn Fein the largest electoral force in Northern Ireland. It would be a first for the former political wing of the Irish Republican Army. Plus, what's in a name? Italy's top court has declared that the automatic practice of only giving children their father's last name is discriminatory.
Russian troops resumed bombing a steel plant in the port city of Mariupol today, even though many civilians are apparently still trapped inside the factory. More than 100 Ukrainians who had escaped from bunkers below the steelworks have arrived in Kyiv-controlled Zaporizhzhia. And, a leaked draft opinion suggesting that the Supreme Court has a majority to overturn Roe v. Wade has implications both domestically and globally. Globally, if overturned, it could affect US funding for reproductive health around the world. Plus, Ukrainian poet Iya Kiva is no stranger to war. In 2014, she had to flee her hometown of Donetsk. Now a refugee once more, she turns again to poetry.
At least 100 people have been evacuated from hiding in bunkers in Mariupol's Azovstal steel plant, in southern Ukraine. As Russia enters the second phase of war with Ukraine, most of its ground troops are now concentrated in the eastern Donbas region. And, at the Venice Biennale, the world's largest art show in Italy, the Nordic pavilion is featuring art made by the Indigenous Saami people of Arctic Europe. Plus, the metaverse is upon us. South Korea's tech hub is spending nearly $200 million to create the future's virtual worlds — and 1.5 million new jobs.
The effort to document war crimes in Ukraine has gotten strong international support and the International Criminal Court is currently on the ground investigating. But what does it actually take to put a former leader on trial at The Hague? Before the International Criminal Court existed, there was the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. The marquee case was the trial of Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic, the so-called “Butcher of the Balkans.” The World's Chris Harland-Dunaway tells the story of two men from the court: a prosecutor and an insider who flipped on Milosevic.
The United States plays a leading role in the global response to disease threats and pandemics. But the momentum for addressing COVID-19 worldwide is slowing down, according to the director of USAID's pandemic task force, while global leaders warn that the world remains vulnerable. And one of Ukraine's leading artists, Pavlo Makov, has become a spokesperson for Ukraine's cultural resistance at this year's Venice Biennale. Makov was able to escape from the eastern city of Kharkiv just in time. Plus, the US Army has delivered a birthday cake to Italian woman Meri Mion on her 90th birthday. The cake replaces the one stolen by US soldiers in 1945.
Explosions this week rocked Moldova's breakaway region of Transnistria, which borders Ukraine. A Russian military commander has said that the Kremlin plans to set up a corridor through southern Ukraine, connecting it to the separatist region. And Ukrainian families who fled to Poland are finding ways for their children to continue their education in Ukrainian, help them learn Polish and ease the trauma of war. Plus, France said it was leaving Mali in February, after French troops spent a decade in the region fighting militant groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda. But two months on, 5,000 French troops still remain in Mali and neighboring countries.
Moscow has cut off natural gas supply to Poland and Bulgaria because they have failed to make their payments in rubles, a demand of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The European Union has countered that Russia is just trying to blackmail countries that support Ukraine. And, in a rare form of diplomacy between the US and Russia, the two nations agreed to an unexpected prisoner swap: Russia released former US marine Trevor Reed while the US released a Russian pilot. Both men were facing long prison sentences. Plus, when the American band Sonic Youth played for a crowd in Kyiv in 1989, it changed teenager Eugene Hutz's life, inspiring him to find his own musical voice.