The World

Airs Weekdays at 7 pm
  • Hosted by Marco Werman

The World is your world revealed. It's about the events, trends and personal tales that connect us around the globe. Marco Werman hosts an hour of surprising angles, unexpected insights and engaging voices to illuminate what's going on in the world, and why it matters to you.

Distributed by: PRI

Ways to Connect

Deadly wildfires ravage Portugal and Spain

19 hours ago
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Miguel Vidal/Reuters

On Sunday night, Rafael Kotcherha Campora posted a series of alarming status updates on Facebook:

 

Kotcherha Campora was staying at his partner's farm in Galicia, Spain, when he spotted a fire on the horizon. Soon, the winds began to whip up, "and the smoke started tunneling down in all directions," he recalls. "The smoke was so dense that we literally couldn't breathe anymore."

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US Air Force/Courtesy of Blaine Harden 

The shelling started on Sunday morning, before sunrise. It was June 25, 1950. A couple of hours later, dozens of Soviet-made, state-of-the-art battle tanks from the Korean People’s Army — along with about 90,000 troops — began moving across the 38th parallel to attack South Korea. 

Suddenly, the Cold War had turned into a full-blown shooting war. 

A day later, from his base in Tokyo, General Douglas MacArthur sent a bleak assessment of the situation in Korea back to Washington. 

“Complete collapse is imminent,” MacArthur told the Joint Chiefs of Staff. 

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Erik De Castro/Reuters

As they surrendered the city of Raqqa today, ISIS militants climbed onto 30 buses and 10 trucks for the ride out of town. 

Some fighters even stopped to snap a couple of parting photos.

Then the extremists abandoned the city they'd considered the capital of their so-called caliphate. US-backed Kurdish and Arab militias now say they're "fully in control."

"There were big celebrations in the center of Raqqa where ISIS used to carry out executions," says The World's Rich Hall from his base in Beirut. "It's a very symbolic defeat for ISIS."

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Alaa Al-Marjani/Reuters

The Iraqi oil city of Kirkuk has been under Kurdish control for several years. On Monday, Iraqi soldiers reclaimed it for Baghdad, and that's a big deal.

"It is a different Iraq today than it was two days ago," says journalist Ben Van Heuvelen.

"It's a paradigm shift in Iraq akin to what happened in 2014 when ISIS came in," he says. "The territorial boundaries between the Kurdistan region and the federal government have been redrawn, and the control of northern Iraqi oil resources has shifted." 

Modern shipping containers are a bit like Legos — you can take them off a ship and snap them perfectly onto a truck or train. This relatively simple innovation, which started in the 1950s, has allowed global trade to go gangbusters.   

“In was in 1992 when 100 million containers moved through all the world’s ports, then in 1998, we went to 200 million,” said Stephen Flynn, founding director of the Global Resilience Institute at Northeastern University in Boston. “Roughly we’re at a little over 600 million today.

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Lucas Jackson/Reuters

Three weeks after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, we’ve seen images of the destruction and heard stories about the lack of electricity and basic supplies like food and water in some areas.

But the main way we measure — and understand — the scope of any disaster is through the death toll.

The official count is now 48 deaths. But the news site Vox thought that number seemed off.

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Violet Law/PRI

It’s been 10 years since Anna Takada was in sixth grade, but she still remembers her history class. The World War II imprisonment of her grandfather and nearly 120,000 others with Japanese heritage merited only a few lines in her textbook. And at school, her teacher skipped over those lines.

“I remember being shocked and hurt how it was glossed over,” Takada, 25, says.

At home, her father, who was born in Chicago where his family resettled after incarceration, told Takada not to ask her grandfather about that time in their family’s history, either. And she didn't. 

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Feisal Omar/Reuters

When Jibril Afyare arrived in Mogadishu from Minnesota, just two weeks ago, the atmosphere was one of hope.

“I saw a Somalia [that] had made a lot of tremendous progress in terms of security, the economy, education,” Afyare said. “Everywhere you go, people were jubilant and optimistic.”

Afyare was in the car, on the way to meet his relatives, when Saturday’s explosion happened.

“I was at a place called kilometer 4,” he said. “Where the attack had taken place was kilometer 5.”

The family he was to meet — his uncle, aunt and cousins — did not survive.

US allies turn their US guns on each other in Iraq

Oct 16, 2017

Iraqi forces took control of the contested city of Kirkuk from Kurdish authorities on Monday, as tensions over last month’s independence referendum in the Kurdistan region erupted into violence between two key US allies.

Thousands of civilians fled in panic from the city, which lies in the heart of a major oil-producing region and which both the Kurds and Iraq claim as their own.

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National Archives/Reuters

A few weeks ago, while mowing the lawn, Clifton Daniel began to recite a monologue in character as Harry S. Truman.

“Which is weird,” he admitted recently, in between bites of a Whole Foods wrap. Truman hated mowing the lawn. “My neighbors probably think I’ve lost my mind.”

As some Puerto Ricans fill flights to Miami, we asked a handful of people in San Juan their thoughts about leaving their homes for the mainland US. About 3.4 million people live in Puerto Rico, and some will choose to leave the island behind and move permanently.

The House passed a $36.5 billion aid package last week and on Sunday, Puerto Rico Gov. Ricard Rosselló said he expected power to be restored to 95 percent of the island’s electric grid by Dec. 15. Currently, 85 percent of the island is still without electricity.

Why people stay friends with their rapists

Oct 13, 2017

Since The New York Times reported about how Harvey Weinstein has been paying off accusations of sexual harassment for decades, more and more women have been coming forward to report abuse, in some cases from years ago.

Writer, journalist and playwright, Natalia Antonova, thinks she understands why some have kept silent for so long.

Acid attack victims reverse expectations on the runway

Oct 13, 2017

It's a fashion show to make a difference.

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Raheb Homavandi/Reuters

In the US there's YouTube, Groupon and Uber. In Iran there's Aparat, Takhfifan and Snapp.

"A couple years ago the tech community in Tehran was just really a handful of [venture capitalists] and a [few] young entrepeneuers," said Aki Ito, Bloomberg's tech editor and co-host of the podcast Decrypted.

But the country's tech sector flourished after sanctions were lifted as part of the Barack Obama-era nuclear deal.

The Republic of Ireland marked the 50th anniversary of the death of Che Guevara, on Oct. 9, with a commemorative postage stamp. It’s become hugely popular, but it’s also causing quite a stink.

Ernesto “Che” Guevara helped lead the communist revolution in Cuba, in the 1950s, but was later captured and executed for trying to launch a revolution in Bolivia.

He was chosen for the stamp, because — to quote the Irish postal service — Che is the “quintessential left-wing revolutionary.” He’s also of partial Irish descent.

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