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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On the 12th day of the United Autoworkers strike, President Joe Biden joined the picketers in Wayne County, Michigan. The UAW strike involves American autoworkers but Canada and Mexico play a critical role in the supply chain of the US auto industry. And, billionaire Hong Kong publisher Jimmy Lai has been languishing in prison for the past three years. He's one of the most high-profile supporters of the island's pro-democracy movement and a persistent thorn in China's side. Also, break dancing started in the US in the 1970s, but it has since spread across the globe. It's now set to make its Olympic debut in Paris next summer. Plus, Lego scraps its first attempt at a recycled plastic toy brick.
Ethnic Armenians have been fleeing Stepanakert, the capital of the Armenian enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, which is now under the control of Azerbaijan, the country that surrounds it on all sides. We look at how this latest crisis fits into a long history of division, displacement and war. Also, US Senator from New Jersey Bob Menendez is facing accusations of taking bribes in return for favorably treating the government of Egypt. Now, there are calls to reassess US aid for Egypt. Plus, new immigrants in many parts of the United States can have a hard time finding work if they don't have a driver's license. But it can also be difficult to pass a driving test in a new language. That's why the state of Maine is expanding its multilingual driving schools. And, a choir in Spain will start selecting a group of girls to join the boys at the altar, singing at Sunday masses.
Indigenous communities in Brazil are celebrating after the country's supreme court rejected a legal policy that would have weakened their ability to claim land. Also, a new book talks about the most powerful woman in North Korean history: Kim Yo-jong, the sister of Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un. And, major film sets across the UK have had to close down because of the actors' and writers' strikes in the US. Plus, a look at Lachlan Murdoch, son of the famed media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, who is set to take over his father's media empire.
The Biden administration is expanding and extending its temporary protected status order for Venezuela, allowing Venezuelans to work. This includes nearly half a million Venezuelans currently in the US. And, Poland's prime minister has said that Ukraine will no longer receive weapons because Poland is upgrading to more modern weaponry. This announcement comes on the heels of a dispute over economic protection for Poland's farmers as the country has banned the import of Ukrainian grain. Also, Pope Francis recently set off a firestorm among Ukrainian Catholics when he praised Russia's great past and culture. Ukrainian Greek Catholics, for whom the pope is a spiritual leader, would like to hear his support for Ukraine in the war against Russia. Plus, this Freetown mayor focuses on climate resilience.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres only invited leaders with credible new climate pledges to speak at this year's UN climate ambition summit. But the UN has limited power to cajole nations when it comes to climate. And, Armenian separatist forces in Azerbaijan's breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh surrendered on Wednesday, 24 hours after Azerbaijani forces began an offensive to take full control of its territory. Also, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Joe Biden have been at odds over proposed judicial reforms in Israel, which Netanyahu backs. On Wednesday, the two leaders are expected to meet on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York. Plus, reparations for Japanese Canadians may be seen as too little, too late.
At the UN General Assembly today, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy again sounded the alarm over Russian aggression. And, family groups crossing the US border illegally reached an all-time high in August. This is a concern for Biden administration officials, as families have always been the hardest migrants to deport. Also, Canada and India are feuding right now over India's alleged potential involvement in a politically motivated killing of a Sikh Canadian activist. India has denied Canada's accusations thus far and the two countries have expelled each other's senior diplomats. Plus, a group of Tibetan Buddhist monks go on a sacred arts tour in the US.
A year and a half into Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, its impact has been felt most acutely in lost lives, flattened cities and destroyed infrastructure. But the environmental damage from combat has also contaminated Ukraine's soil, water and air. From Ukrainian farm fields polluted with mines to Norway's new role as the largest exporter of natural gas to Europe, The World's environment correspondent Carolyn Beeler reports on how the environment and climate impacts are likely to be one of the longest-lasting legacies of the war, persisting for decades after the fighting stops.
The Dominican Republic and Haiti are in a serious dispute over water rights. The Dominican government has moved to seal the border and stopped issuing visas to all Haitian citizens, until the dispute is resolved. And, the United Nations General Assembly kicks off next Tuesday, when both Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelenskiy and US President Joe Biden are expected to take the stage. Also, Sept. 16 will mark one year since the death of Mahsa Amini, who was in Iranian police custody for improperly wearing her headscarf. Her death sparked protests throughout Iran and the world against the Iranian government's repressive treatment of women. Plus, an American caver in Turkey speaks about his 11 days underground.
In the US, auto industry professionals all have their eyes on the emerging electric vehicle market — and the growing global dominance of China's auto industry in electric cars. And, the US State Department estimates that about 10,000 people from around the world are trapped in “scam mill compounds” in Cambodia. They are forced to work for criminal syndicates, luring unsuspecting targets into fraudulent crypto schemes. Also, flooding devastated the city of Derna in Libya. We hear voice messages from everyday people and aid workers about the extreme damage it has wreaked. Plus, threats to a wildly popular Mexican singer point to cartel wars.
A humanitarian crisis has unfolded in eastern Libya, after a major storm battered the region and destroyed two dams. About 10,000 people are missing and more than 5,000 are confirmed dead, after floods wiped away entire neighborhoods in the city of Derna. And, "The Listening Project," launched by The New Humanitarian, is inviting Yemenis from across the country and in the diaspora to talk about their own experiences of war and their daily lives. Also, later this month, Slovakia holds a parliamentary election that will have ramifications far beyond its borders. If the opinion polls are correct, it would mark the return of Robert Fico: a man who models himself on Viktor Orbán, Hungary's “alt-right” leader. Plus, China's tobacco problem.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un arrived in Russia by armored train on Tuesday to meet President Vladimir Putin. The two are expected to hammer out an arms deal that could help Russia continue its war in Ukraine. And, the so-called Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is projected to double the country's electricity supply and promises agricultural expansion. This has worried Egypt for years, and now that the dam is full and complete, the region confronts a new reality. Also, fighting in Sudan between rival armed forces has now dragged on for 150 days. So far, multiple international efforts at mediation have failed to bring about a lasting ceasefire. Experts warn that a broader civil war could be on the horizon. Plus, Portugal's river of wine.
On Friday evening, a rare 6.8-magnitude earthquake struck Morocco in the heart of the Atlas Mountains. More than 2,000 people are reported dead, with many more injured. Aid workers say rough terrain is making rescue efforts difficult. And, last week, the US announced it was sending depleted uranium munitions to Ukraine's military in its fight against Russia's invasion. They are expected to be used against Russian tanks, which are susceptible to the weapon. Also, the bombing of Chile's presidential palace by the military on Sept. 11, 1973, marked the end of a socialist president and the beginning of 17 years of right-wing authoritarianism. We hear how the US played a role in undermining socialist policies and popular support. Plus, soul food in Mexico City, Mexico.
US President Joe Biden arrives in India as Delhi is gearing up to host the G20 summit this weekend. The group of 20 nations includes the United States, Russia and China among others. And, Canada's temporary foreign worker programs are a “breeding ground” for modern forms of slavery, a United Nations expert has warned. Also, the UN on Friday released the most comprehensive analysis to date of global action on climate change. The report makes clear that radical changes are still needed to meet agreed-upon climate targets. Plus, this Puerto Rican rapper swims against the current.
For the first time in Mexico's history, two women will face off for the presidency in next year's vote. Some see the candidates as a milestone. But others caution that Mexican women still face a misogynous culture and rising sexual violence. And, getting that acceptance letter from a US university is cause for celebration. But getting a student visa in time to attend the first day of class can be a bigger achievement, when wait times can last for months in some countries. Also, Pakistan continues to suffer the impacts of climate change in the form of floods and fires. The climate catastrophes have also brought about a major health crisis there. Plus, the massive hidden cost of invasive species.
The conviction and sentencing of former Proud Boys' leader Henry “Enrique” Tarrio for seditious conspiracy coincides with a rise in Proud Boys membership since the Jan. 6 riots at the US Capitol. Prosecutions of right-wing extremist leaders impacts membership in extremist organizations worldwide. And, Wednesday is “back to school” day for millions of children in Britain, but thousands of students were unable to return to their classrooms due to fears that some school buildings may be in danger of collapse. Also, European countries and the United States now ship recyclable plastic waste to countries like Turkey. But this rapidly growing industry often skirts regulations, leading to health and environmental risks for the surrounding community. Plus, sunsets in Ibiza always have a soundtrack.
Heads of state, experts and climate activists from around Africa and the world arrived in Kenya's capital Nairobi this week for the inaugural Africa Climate Summit. Climate financing and sustainable development in Africa are at the top of this summit's agenda. And, a huge auto show in Munich this week has put China's growing dominance in electric cars on display. About 41% of exhibitors at this year's event are headquartered in Asia. Also, we remember former New Mexico governor and UN ambassador Bill Richardson, who played a key role in winning the release of dozens of US citizens held abroad. Richardson died in his sleep on Friday, at age 75. Plus, what's it like to be pregnant in Russia?
In this one-hour special, The World looks at transportation issues around the globe. Thor Pedersen, a former UN soldier originally from Denmark, went on a decadelong adventure that took him to every country in the world. The trick — he never took an airplane. And, NASA's Artemis program aims to bring the first woman and first person of color to the moon in 2024, and it's the prelude to a much bigger ambition — sending humans to Mars. Also, lithium is in soaring global demand, because it's used in electric car batteries. This is good news for the economy of Chile, that meets a third of the world's lithium needs. Plus, a Finnish driver gets a $120,000 speeding ticket.
Today is the first day of school across Ukraine. UNICEF just released a report on the devastating impacts of war on Ukrainian students' education, especially those near the frontlines. And, Cambodia is still recovering from the murderous reign of the Khmer Rouge when most academics were killed. Today, universities have been rebuilt but most people in the impoverished kingdom can't afford even the lowest tuition fees. Also, The World wraps a summer celebration of 50 years of hip-hop, from its birth in the South Bronx to its influence around the globe. Plus, a piano-tuner shortage in Australia.
A fire at an apartment building in Johannesburg, South Africa, has left dozens dead and more victims are expected to be recovered during emergency search operations. The dilapidated building was home to hundreds of occupants, many homeless. And, ever since Spanish Soccer Federation President Luis Rubiales forced a kiss on star player Jenni Hermoso, people have been calling for Rubiales to resign. The situation has sparked a "mini-revolution" in Spain. Also, on Sept. 1, after a three-year pandemic hiatus, interest on student loans in the US will start accruing again, affecting more than 40 million borrowers. The US is an outlier when it comes to high tuition and debts. Plus, an ancient thundering dance floor in Peru.
After the Taliban takeover, the US finished pulling out its forces from Afghanistan two years ago. The withdrawal was violent and chaotic. What lessons were learned from it? And, beginning in 2026, US prices of expensive prescription drugs may be coming down as part of the Inflation Reduction Act. Also, in the early morning hours of Wednesday, military leaders in Gabon announced they seized power and put President Ali Bongo under house arrest. Bongo had just been declared the president in a flawed election. Plus, London's foxes: pest or survivor?
Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, leaders of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, proposed a plan for the kind of democratic government he's undermined in the past. Meanwhile, Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, who leads Sudan's national military, is headed to Egypt and Saudi Arabia for talks. And, disturbing video published on Tuesday by The Guardian newspaper shows the dire conditions of people staying in one of Libya's migrant detention centers. Also, at least seven people are dead in Haiti after a pastor leading a protest marched through a gang-controlled suburb of the capital. Human rights groups are blaming the pastor for taking protesters into such a dangerous situation and the police for not preventing it from happening. Plus, how do you weigh an ant?
US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo is in Beijing on Monday for talks with her Chinese counterpart. The meeting comes as China continues to struggle with deflation and slowing growth. And, on Saturday, incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa was declared the winner of Zimbabwe's presidential election. Electoral observers and opposition leaders say the election had serious issues. Also, the Syrian government thought it had crushed the popular uprisings that began in 2011. But in the past week, two major cities in government-held areas in the south have seen mass demonstrations against the government. Plus, Crimean singer Jamala heads to US for her first major stateside tour.
Greece's wildfires continue to burn. In some cases, asylum-seekers are living in the forests for fear of being deported to Turkey and reversing any potential asylum claims. And, in Russia, Vladimir Putin has consolidated power and taken control of the entire political system. Yet, even as Russia continues to plunge deeper into authoritarianism, the country still hosts elections. Also, a year ago, nearly a third of Pakistan experienced catastrophic flooding that caused massive infrastructural damage. More than 1,500 people lost their lives. We hear how the rehabilitation process has progressed a year later. Plus, this silly hip-hop group challenges politics in Ecuador.
One day after a jet dropped out of the sky north of Moscow, reportedly killing Wagner mercenary group chief Yevgeny Prigozhin and his top commanders, rival private militias are jockeying to fill the vacuum. And, researchers from the British Antarctic Survey say it's likely no emperor penguin chicks survived in 4 out of 5 colonies in one Antarctica region. Loss of sea ice is to blame. Also, the number of children living with only one parent — usually the mother — is growing worldwide, according to the UN. In Latin America, a combination of patriarchal culture and weak laws allow for many fathers to skip out on their financial obligations and get away with it. Plus, a race across Europe using public transit ends in a sprint.
Yevegeny Prigozhin, the leader of the Wagner mercenary army, is reported dead in a plane crash near the city of Tver, just north of Moscow. Earlier this summer, Prigozhin led an armed mutiny in an attempt to oust the military leadership within Russia's Ministry of Defense. And, makeshift chairlifts that bring kids to school in remote, mountainous regions of Pakistan are a local solution to a common problem: the scarcity of roads and buses. Also, belching and farting from cows is responsible for a worrying amount of greenhouse gas emissions every year. Ireland is facing up to the fact that having so many cows may be detrimental to the country's climate goals. Plus, a controversy over Adolf Hitler's house.
The Panama Canal uses a series of locks to raise the water level and carry ships across from one ocean to the other. But that requires lots of freshwater — and it's running low in Panama. And, On Wednesday, Zimbabweans will take to the polls to vote for their next president. Observers are saying this election is marred by violence and intimidation against the opposition and its supporters. Also, right now, in South Africa, the BRICS summit is in full swing. BRICS stands for Brazil, Russia, India China, South Africa, an economic bloc of countries billed as five major emerging economies collectively representing 40% of the world's population. Plus, remembering Isabel Crook, an anthropologist who joined Mao Zedong's rural revolution.
Eradicating the swirling gyre of plastic trash in the Pacific Ocean has been the longtime goal of Ocean Cleanup, a nonprofit group. On Monday, in Victoria, British Colombia, the group took a big step forward, hauling 120,000 pounds of plastic out of the ocean using retrofitted fishing trawlers and specialized nets. And, Bernardo Arévalo upset Guatemala's political establishment by clenching his country's presidency this past weekend. But he faces a tough task ahead. Also, in Ecuador, a peaceful snap presidential election took place over the weekend amid an unprecedented security crisis that has left three politicians assassinated in less than a month. Plus, an artist's fake green card project inspires conversations about US citizenship.
Ecuadorians will take part in a snap election this weekend in a tense political atmosphere. The country is grappling with a recent wave of unprecedented violence that has seen three politicians assassinated in less than a month. And, a former Afghan diplomat, Abduljamil Bais, is resettling with his family in Canada. This follows a harrowing journey for Bais, his wife and three kids through South and Central America. Also, in Myanmar, rappers are considered the artistic arm of a revolution to bring down the ruling military through armed rebellion. "Rap Against Junta" is a collective of lyricists who work under pseudonyms and change locations frequently to avoid getting caught. Plus, a Cuban pianist longs for home.
The entire population of Yellowknife, the capital of Canada's Northwest Territories, was ordered to evacuate due to wildfire danger this week. A climate engineer says he's astonished by the speed of the fires approaching the city. Also, fighting that began in April between the Sudanese Army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) has created a humanitarian crisis, forcing 4 million people from their homes. And, Ukrainian officials have expressed frustration with the treatment of Ukrainians in Israel. Now, Kyiv is reportedly considering canceling visa-free travel for Israelis. Plus, a look at popular ice cream flavors from 18th century Britain, including “brown bread,” and how it's been resurrected for visitors to try at 13 historical sites across England.
Two years after the 2021 Taliban takeover in Afghanistan, independent journalism there has been all but completely snuffed out. Some news outlets continue to report on Afghanistan, but from outside the country. We hear from one Afghan newspaper editor, now working out of Washington, DC. Plus, the South Korean thriller "Parasite" was the first non-English language film to win best picture in 2020. But there's another film from South Korea that's been on the radar of international movie buffs for two decades. Now, "Oldboy" is getting a remake. And in Colombia's capital city Bogota, a guerrilla campaign of vigilantes armed with spray paint cans are calling attention to crumbling urban infrastructure.
Tuesday marks the second anniversary of the Taliban takeover of the Afghan capital, Kabul. Since then, the group has transformed the country into a place where women have very few rights and many are struggling to make ends meet. And, in Ethiopia, an airstrike on a crowded town square in Amhara killed at least 26 people on Sunday. Amhara is a regional state where local militiamen and government forces have clashed recently over efforts to disband the militias. Also, a judge in Montana sided with young people who argued that the state had violated their right to a “healthful environment” by promoting fossil fuel use. We hear how climate change litigation is gaining momentum globally. Plus, this scholar examines Shakespeare through a racial equity lens.
In Australia, 1 in 25 properties will be effectively uninsurable by 2030, according to a recent report due to rising risks of extreme weather events. In the face of worsening wildfires, droughts, floods and cyclones, insurance companies are either pulling out of the highest risk areas or making premiums so high as to be unaffordable. And, activists take on drug gangs in the anti-establishment community of Christiana, in Copenhagen. Also, some young men in Niger's capital Niamey, say they're a "citizens' watch group," patrolling the streets to ensure that outsiders do not drive into Niamey and try to turn back the military coup. We hear why some youth are in favor of the coup. Plus, this Nicaraguan exile makes a new home in the Colorado mountains.
The US and Iran have reached a deal that will see the release of Iranian American prisoners held in Iran in exchange for Tehran gaining access to its frozen assets. Also, authorities in Ecuador have arrested six Colombian suspects in connection to the assassination of presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio. We look at the possible role of organized crime in the shooting. And, to celebrate hip-hop turning 50, we look at women who are rocking the mic across the globe. Plus, the mystique around North Korea, the so-called “Hermit Kingdom,” has allowed officials to profit through restaurants across Southeast Asia, where customers can try the cuisine and watch North Korean waitresses sing and even dance. But now, many of them are closing down.
Fernando Villavicencio, 59, was on the rise as a presidential candidate in Ecuador. He fearlessly took on drug cartels and corruption. On Wednesday, he was shot and killed outside of a political rally in Ecuador's capital, Quito. And, Sixto Rodriguez, the Detroit-born singer-songwriter known under the moniker Rodriguez, has died. His 1970 debut album didn't attract much attention in the US, but it garnered a cult following in South Africa. Also, an accidental data breach is causing anxiety among Northern Ireland's police force. The breach is the second in a matter of weeks and includes the full names and locations of police officers. Plus, Hawaii's royal capital is devastated by wildfires.
Britain has begun moving asylum-seekers out of government-funded hotels and onto a large barge docked off the country's southwest coast. The move is part of a controversial plan by the Conservative government to crack down on the number of asylum-seekers arriving on small boats off UK shores. And, Brigadier Gen. Moussa Salaou Barmou was Washington's point person in Niger, in charge of elite forces that US troops had been training to fight militants. Now, he's the spokesperson for the military junta that ousted Niger's democratically elected president. Also, while most of the globe's economies are grappling with the effects of inflation, China's economy is charting a different course — suffering from deflation. Plus, how the siege of Sarajevo turned this musician from a pop-star to a punk rocker.
Thailand's election three months ago resulted in a winner from the country's most progressive political party ever. But the party's leader, Pita Limjaroenrat, is blocked from becoming prime minister because Thailand's military-backed senate believes he's unfit to rule. Also, since Russia pulled out of the Black Sea Grain Initiative in July, its troops have been attacking Ukraine's ports, destroying 220,000 metric tons of grain in the past week alone. But US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield says the grain deal could be brought back to life. And, more than 100 years ago, many Europeans, especially Italians and Spaniards, migrated to Argentina. Now, some of their descendants are returning to Europe, once again chasing economic stability. Plus, Tijuana's All-Star Little League team heads to the World Series.
Niger's military coup leaders failed to return government to civilian hands Sunday — a deadline set by the Economic Community of West African States. The 15-nation bloc has yet to respond with military action as it promised. And a rennovated naval facility built on Cambodian shores is poised to serve as China's second-ever foreign military base. But Chinese officials are downplaying the importance of the Ream Naval Base. Also, health officials in Australia announced this month that they've virtually eliminated HIV transmission in inner Sydney, which was once the epicenter of the disease in the country. Plus, Moroccan women advance in World Cup.
It's been six months since two massive earthquakes hit Turkey and Syria, killing more than 59,000 people and collapsing thousands of buildings. We hear what life is like for survivors as rebuilding continues. And, from "Stories from the Stage," Javed Rezayee tells the story of how he pits his meager cooking skills against those of his father, a talented professional chef. Also, a federal appeals court has ruled that the Biden administration can temporarily continue to enforce its strict immigration program while the Justice Department appeals a lower court ruling that blocked it. The controversial policy at the heart of the court battle largely restricts migrants who passed through another country from seeking asylum in the United States. Plus, how one man visited every country in the world without taking a flight.
Thousands of tourists evacuated off the Greek island of Rhodes last month are being offered a free holiday on the island next year by the country's government. But a new report by the European Commission suggests that summer holidays on the Mediterranean coast may soon be in jeopardy if temperatures continue to soar. And, paleontologists in Peru have discovered the fossils belonging to the most massive, whale-like animal called Perucetus colossus. Also, in Colombia today, a six-month ceasefire begins with the rebel group, the National Liberation Army, or the ELN. The truce is controversial, because the ELN is known for attacks on civilians, its association with drug trafficking cartels, and its violent hold on the region around Colombia's border with Venezuela. Plus, Dominican musician Yasser Tejeda assures us "it'll all work out."
China's capital has been battered by more than 29 inches of rain since Saturday. It's the heaviest rainfall Beijing residents have seen in 140 years and has taken the lives of at least 20 people. And, top American officials have been visiting Saudi Arabia and Israel in recent weeks to discuss a possible normalization deal between the two sides. President Joe Biden said last week that a deal may be on the way, but both sides have put forward major demands. Also, a rising number of cases in Florida of Hansen's disease, commonly known as leprosy, highlights the increase in tropical disease infections found in the US. Plus, the evolution of hip-hop in South Korea.
Nearly 1 1/2 years into Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the environmental damage from combat has contaminated Ukraine's soil, water and air, at an estimated cost of $56 billion. This impact is likely to be one of the longest-lasting legacies of the war, persisting for decades after the fighting stops. And, on Tuesday in Canada, new regulations take effect that require health warning labels on individual cigarettes. Canada is the first country in the world to take this step. Also, Marta da Silva, who is known as Marta, is a legend of Brazilian and international soccer. She was the first player ever to score in five consecutive Olympics, and the most World Cup goals in world history. This World Cup, she says, is her last one. Plus, the changing landscape for Sweden's music industry.
International condemnation for last week's military coup in Niger continued to grow over the weekend. West African leaders have threatened economic sanctions, travel bans, and possible use of force if the president is not reinstated within a week. And, a series of drone attacks in Moscow on Sunday brought the war closer to Russian citizens. Although Ukraine has not taken responsibility, President Volodomyr Zelenskiy said afterward that attacks on Russian territory are an “inevitable, natural and absolutely fair process” in the war which has ravaged Ukraine for nearly 18 months. Also, the blast that killed dozens at a political rally in Pakistan this weekend exposed the deepening rivalries between the country's powerful militant groups. Officials say ISIS is responsible for the explosion. Plus, a Brazilian masterpiece comes to the US.