The World

News & Music Stations: Mon - Fri, 3 - 4 pm | News & Talk 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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The trope that migrants bring diseases that threaten immigrant-receiving countries is among the most pervasive myths touted in anti-immigrant discourse, and one justification of racist and humiliating policies directed toward immigrants throughout history. 

Mexico’s government ordered schools in and around Mexico City to be closed on Thursday in an extraordinary step taken due to elevated levels of pollution in the smog-wreathed capital.

Smoke from nearby wildfires has pushed pollution to levels deemed potentially harmful to human health.

The city’s authorities declared an environmental emergency on Tuesday. They have come under pressure to act due to reduced visibility caused by smoke and ash in the air during an extended dry spell.

LEGO is an icon. Nearly every kid around the world has played with this childhood staple said to promote science and technology thinking, creativity and invention. However, depending how old and what gender you are, you may have been sold a different LEGO experience than, say, your child or grandparent.

What if your hometown were hit by the Hiroshima atomic bomb?

May 14, 2019

While the graying Hiroshima Generations who survived the atomic bomb attack seven decades ago are struggling to pass their memories to the younger generations, much of the world has allowed that fateful morning on Aug 6, 1945 to slip from their minds.

Trump says trade wars are 'easy to win.' (They're not.)

May 10, 2019

Just last week, it looked like Washington and Beijing were close to a deal. But one minute after the stroke of midnight early Friday, the Trump administration raised tariff rates from 10% to 25% on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports. The president said, via tweet, "Tariffs will make our country much stronger, not weaker."

Jared Kushner's peace plan that nobody loves

May 10, 2019

It’s what American presidents do. 

Barack Obama tried. So did George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter. 

For decades, US presidents to one extent or another have stepped into an active role as Middle East peace broker in an attempt to help secure an enduring diplomatic deal between Israel and the Palestinians. 

If you want to sing along to today's top hits, you might be belting out Korean lyrics.

Korean pop music bands like BTS and BLACKPINK have lit up US music charts and taken on the American teen scene by storm. But 60 years before this “K-pop invasion,” the Kim Sisters, a Korean girl group, landed on US shores and rocketed to stardom — singing American hits before they even learned English.

On April 26, 1986, the No. 4 reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant near Pripyat, Ukraine, exploded and started a fire during a safety test. By the time the fire was contained, the incident — one of only two level-7 events in history on the International Nuclear Event Scale — had sent deadly radiation into the air and over western Europe, killed dozens and sickened more. 

HBO is releasing a five-part miniseries dramatizing the disaster, which was the worst nuclear power accident in history.

Muslims in Sri Lanka say they feel targeted after bombings

Apr 26, 2019

Sri Lankan police are trying to track down 140 people believed to be linked to ISIS, which claimed responsibility for the Easter Sunday suicide bombings that killed 253, as shooting erupted in the east during a raid.

Muslims in Sri Lanka were urged to pray at home after the State Intelligence Services warned of possible car bomb attacks amid fears of retaliatory violence.

A picture has emerged of a group of nine, well-educated, homegrown suicide bombers in the Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka. Two were brothers, sons of a wealthy spice trader and pillar of the business community, a source close to the family said.

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

Pushback against the US began minutes after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Monday an end to waivers that permit some countries to purchase oil from Iran.

When Prisca Dorcas, founder of Latina Rebels, was in graduate school at mostly white Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, frequent race-driven microaggressions made her feel isolated and confused. Without a physical place to vent her frustrations and find solidarity, Dorcas turned to Instagram in 2013 to create a virtual rallying ground.

Is coffee essential? Switzerland says no.

Apr 12, 2019

From European coffee houses in the 18th century that fostered philosophers such as Voltaire to Starbucks and Dunkin' with free Wi-Fi, the caffeinated beverage has long fueled creativity and culture.

But is it essential to human life?

The Swiss government doesn’t think so. Its Federal Office for National Economic Supply announced Wednesday that it will no longer stockpile the beans in emergency reserves meant to protect Swiss citizens in cases of war or natural disaster.

It now hopes to end the practice by late 2022.

What does Assange's arrest mean for press freedom?

Apr 11, 2019

British police arrested WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in London Thursday after the Ecuadorian embassy revoked his asylum nearly seven years after he sought refuge there.

Russia agrees to free whales held in 'whale jail'

Apr 10, 2019

Video of dozens of orca and beluga whales being held in a small pen near the Russian far east city of Nakhodka sparked outrage earlier this year.

The whales were reportedly captured last summer and herded into pens in the Pacific Ocean, apparently awaiting illegal sale to marine parks in China.

Several have since disappeared and may have died. Others appear to be sick.

And activists have been trying for months to get the Russian government to step in and rescue the whales from what they're calling a "whale jail."

Was this Polish American war hero intersex?

Apr 10, 2019

Polish-born American revolutionary hero Casimir Pulaski was known as "The father of the American calvary." He died at the young age of 34, during the Revolutionary War, soon after being fatally wounded during the Siege of Savannah in Georgia. But questions have always lingered about his burial.

In downtown Savannah there's a monument at Monterey Square honoring Pulaski — some believe this was his resting place. Other records say that he was buried at sea, somewhere between Savannah and Charleston, South Carolina. It remained a mystery.

US President Donald Trump said on Monday he would name Iran's elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or IRGC, a "terrorist organization," in an unprecedented step that drew Iranian condemnation and raised concerns about retaliatory attacks on US forces.

The action by Trump, who has taken a hard line toward Iran by withdrawing from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and reimposing broad economic sanctions, marks the first time the United States has formally labeled another nation's military a terrorist group.

There’s a five-mile-long line of trucks amassed at the border between Ciudad Juárez and El Paso, after the Trump administration moved federal agents away from ports of entry to other immigration duties. The delays can cause gridlocks lasting up to 12 hours and convince some business owners to consider moving goods via air freight to avoid the lines.

But the truckers aren’t the only ones waiting in lines at the border.

High school senior Melissa Sánchez starts her day at 5:30 a.m., even though class won’t start for hours.

Capt. Michel Bacos, Entebbe hijacking hero, dies at 95

Mar 29, 2019

Michel Bacos, a French pilot who refused to abandon the Jewish passengers of a hijacked flight that was diverted to Entebbe in Uganda in 1976, died Tuesday in Nice, France. He was 95.

Bacos was the pilot of Air France Flight 139, which was hijacked June 27, 1976, by two Palestinian and two German terrorists. The flight was en route to Paris from Tel Aviv, Israel. The terrorists boarded the plane at a stopover in Athens and held the captain and crew at gunpoint. Bacos rerouted the flight, first to Benghazi, Libya, and then to Entebbe.

Students hoping to attend the University of California, Irvine, started receiving letters of acceptance this month. The school, located between Los Angeles and San Diego, is considered to be among the top public colleges in the country.

But the campus is also notable for another reason — it has made strides in recruiting and graduating Latino students. 

One of those students is Marlen Gomez, a college senior. The 23-year-old says her hometown, Santa Ana, where more than 90 percent of the population is Hispanic or Latino, was a tough place to grow up.

Israeli leaders have been flying to the US to speak to American audiences for a long time. 

The first was David Ben-Gurion. Israel’s first prime minister visited here in 1951. Diplomats from the US State Department, American Jewish organizations and the Washington-based Israeli diplomatic corps met Ben-Gurion at the airport.  
“Our war of independence fought after 6 million of our people had been exterminated by the Nazis proved once again that the cause of justice faithfully pursued must triumph in the end,” the prime minister said upon arrival. 

Nakatani Etsuko says her father rarely spoke of the day that the world’s first atomic weapon killed 140,000 people in his city of Hiroshima, Japan.

But she says he did mention one thing: “That there were so many dead bodies in the river, you couldn’t see the water.”

Etsuko’s father was a teacher in Hiroshima. He was out of town when the bomb fell on Aug. 6, 1945. But he returned to the city the next morning to check on his school.

Omar Djabi grew up only knowing one president his whole life.

The high school student says he sees Abdelaziz Bouteflika as a “sick and invisible” president of Algeria. Bouteflika has been in power for 20 years, but the 82-year-old hasn’t made any public appearances since he suffered a debilitating stroke in 2013.

UK museums say no to Sackler family money

Mar 25, 2019

The Sackler family — which owns Purdue Pharma —  has used much of its fortune to fund museums and cultural institutions. Last week, the National Portrait Gallery in London and the Tate galleries said they will no longer accept Sackler money. On Friday, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York became the first American institution to follow suit. 

In 1996, Purdue released OxyContin, the drug that is primarily responsible for triggering the US' opioid epidemic.

Tropical cyclone Idai: The storm that knew no boundaries

Mar 21, 2019

Tropical cyclone Idai has made headlines across southern Africa throughout the month of March. Lingering in the Mozambique Channel at tropical cyclone intensity for six days, the storm made landfall in Beira, Mozambique in the middle of the month, then tracked in a westerly direction until its dissipation.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Monday she would announce new gun laws within days, after a lone gunman killed 50 people in mass shootings at two mosques in the city of Christchurch.

"Within 10 days of this horrific act of terrorism we will have announced reforms which will, I believe, make our community safer," Ardern told a news conference after her cabinet reached in principle decisions on gun reform laws in the wake of New Zealand's worst ever mass shooting.

There’s a sculpture in Midleton, Ireland, made up of oversized steel eagle feathers — they're 20 feet tall — arranged in a circle, kind of like a bowl. The structure honors historic ties between the Irish and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. 

The trolls are winning, says Russian troll hunter

Mar 13, 2019

Slaying online trolls can be a lonely business. Just ask Russia’s Lyudmila Savchuk, who first exposed the story of Russia’s disinformation campaign back in 2014. 

The journalist and 33-year-old mother of two, Savchuk started noticing websites and social media accounts attacking local opposition activists in her hometown of Saint Petersburg with a frequency she hadn’t seen before.