The World

Weekdays at 3

"PRI's 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.

Reporters and editors for "PRI's The World®" seek voices of people around the globe to reveal what's happening and why. Bringing this new global journalism to the United States, The World's unique editorial perspective brings energy and passion to each day's broadcast. The goal: to take us beyond borders and boundaries, and fire up our curiosity about a fascinating, messy, contentious and beautiful planet. It's about exploration and risk, war and peace, fun and folly, and how our daily drama plays out around the globe.

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.

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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.

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Andalusia Knoll Soloff

This week, Austin hosted its annual South by Southwest conference — a gathering of film, music and media festivals that takes over the city. In between the hundreds of panels and concerts and screenings, attendees network and connect. And this year, that connection extended between two groups of kids hundreds of miles apart.

Several Austin elementary schoolers strain against a thick black rope. They pull with everything they have.

“I got this!” one of them shouts. “Pull!” cries another.

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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.

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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.” 

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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

21 hours ago
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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:

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Aaron P. Bernstein/Reuters

Imagine you're the parent of a small child, living in a home where explosions have shattered the windows. 

Then imagine that you have to leave that child each day, because you're one of the few physicians left at your hospital and countless patients rely on you during a military siege. 

That was the dilemma facing two Syrian doctors last year, as they struggled to parent their 8-year-old daughter while also pulling late-night shifts in the overwhelmed operating rooms of eastern Aleppo.

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.

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<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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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.

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Santiago Ferrero/Reuters&nbsp;

Chuck Berry, the late musician who helped lay the foundation for rock ’n’ roll, was serious about his Indian food.

He would sometimes even choose venues to perform at based on their proximity to Indian restaurants.

That’s why it is rumored he often played at the Nottingham Royal Concert Hall in the 1990s.

It’s across the street from an Indian restaurant called Mogal E Azam. The stage door is directly opposite the front door of the restaurant.

The pros and cons of 'gene drives'

Mar 20, 2017

Scientists have used genetics to alter mosquito populations for several decades, to try to eliminate diseases such as malaria and more recently Zika. But these efforts — when they've worked at all — have only partially addressed the problem.

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Courtesy of Bill McCullough

It was a typically warm March afternoon in Austin — a Friday, and also St. Patrick’s Day. The alley behind the Palm Door club was a welcome oasis from the revelers along Sixth Street already rowdy from cheap green beer. The artists in the ContraBanned showcase had just loaded in their instruments, a variety of music-making devices from electric guitars and brass to rebabs and setars. Most of them had since walked over to the Austin convention center for a panel about the showcase and the thing that prompted it: President Donald Trump’s Jan.

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Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Editor's note: This story was published in January. Congress is still investigating Russian attempts to influence the 2016 US presidential election. FBI Director James Comey and Mike Rogers of the National Security Agency testify before the House Intelligence Committee on March 20. You can watch those proceedings here.

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Ari Daniel

An 11-year-old named Asmaa Jaffal sits with her hands stuffed into the pockets of her Rolling Stones sweatshirt. Asmaa is from northeastern Syria. She says she was in the second grade when her world turned upside down.

“When the war started,” she explains in Arabic, “ISIS came and they closed all the schools — except for the mosques. They ordered us to wear all black and do exactly as they said. The bombing and the shelling made us too afraid to go anywhere. It got so bad that we ran away.”

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Eric Gaillard/Reuters

As news erupted about a shooting at the Alexis de Tocqueville High School in Grasse on Thursday, there was an expectation among much of the French public that the attacker had an ideological motive. This had to be an act of terror, right?

A reporter at the scene early on asked students whether the gunman had shouted anything before firing his weapons, injuring several people. A claim of allegiance, perhaps. Witnesses said they hadn’t heard anything. 

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Jasmine Garsd/PRI

When she was 10, Safia Mahjebin started skipping school. She used to ride the New York City subways, aimlessly. "I just love riding the train," she says. "You ride from one end to the other, and then you go back. And then you get out at a few stops and just explore ... some stations are really beautiful.”

Feed homebound seniors, or build a wall?

Mar 17, 2017
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Courtesy of KCS

About 2.4 million homebound seniors in the US get food delivered to their doors by the Meals on Wheels program. But President Donald Trump has proposed slashing federal funds for the program, as part of his new budget plan, released this week.

The president's plan includes increases for the departments of defense, veterans affairs, and homeland security — which would also cover the cost of his proposed wall on the US border with Mexico.

The curious origins of the ‘Irish slaves’ myth

Mar 17, 2017
<a href="http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/ncl2004002613/PP/">Lewis Wickes Hine/Library of Congress</a>

Irish Americans were slaves once too — or so a historically inaccurate and dangerously misleading internet meme would have you believe.

The meme comes in many varieties but the basic formula is this: old photos, paintings and engravings from all over the world are combined with text suggesting they are historic images of forgotten “Irish slaves.”

The myth underlying the meme holds that the Irish — not Africans — were the first American slaves. It rests on the idea that 17th century American indentured servitude was essentially an extension of the transatlantic slave trade.

President Donald Trump’s proposed budget marks a sweeping shift in domestic environmental policy and a decisive sign that US international leadership on climate change has ended.

The first draft of a 2018 budget, released by the White House on Thursday, would cancel funding for climate change research and United Nations climate programs. It would also chop funds for enforcing the Clean Power Plan, a rule that would have cut emissions from the electricity sector.

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Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

Unlike President Donald Trump’s refugee and travel ban, which is now stalled in the courts, the crackdown on undocumented immigrants in the US is ramping up.

That could mean we'll see more people being sent to detention centers. For some companies, more detained immigrants mean more business. 

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Sitara Sadaat

Across Women's Lives reaches out to women on the ground to include their voice in our global coverage. Afghanistan is one of the world's hardest places to be a woman in public. Here, our Afghan correspondent tells us about her sanctuary — a restaurant by and for women 

Afghanistan is not a safe place for women. Domestic and other kinds of violence and discrimination are endemic, and justice is not enforced fairly. 

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Girl Guides of Canada via <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/girlguidesofcan/" target="_blank">Flickr</a>

President Donald Trump's first executive order restricting travel to the US by citizens of seven Muslim-majority nations caused chaos at US airports and was eventually suspended by the courts.

Uncertainty about the president’s newest, narrower executive order barring nationals from six Muslim-majority countries is already creating more confusion about who can and who can't travel to the US.

#BringBackOurGirls was a mistake

Mar 16, 2017
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Regis Duvignau/Reuters

The global #BringBackOurGirls campaign is a great example of how a noble cause can backfire.

The abduction of over 200 girls from their school dorm in Chibok, Nigeria, by Boko Haram militants in April 2014 could have been an opportunity for the world to clamor for the release of the thousands of women and girls the insurgents have kidnapped in northeast Nigeria. Instead, it focused only on the Chibok schoolgirls and made celebrities out of them. That was a mistake.

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Shirin Jaafari

It's 5:30 in the afternoon in Amman, and the gloves are on. At the female-only gym called SheFighter, it's time to practice those punches, jabs and kicks.

The studio is on the second floor of an apartment complex. Visitors have to press a buzzer to be allowed in. A group of teenage girls kick and punch the bags mercilessly. The very human-like dummy gets the most severe blows.

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Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters

When Pope Francis named two victims of clergy sexual abuse to a new Vatican commission on the protection of minors in 2014, some observers took it as a sign that the pope was getting serious about the issue. 

But Marie Collins says there was still some skepticism. 

“A lot of people felt that I was just being asked [to join] the commission as a sort of token survivor,” says Collins, who was sexually abused as a child by a Catholic priest in Ireland. “I wanted to be sure that the commission was sincere.”

Two federal judges, in Hawaii and Maryland, recently froze parts of President Donald Trump’s order to block travel and immigration from six countries — Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. All heavily Muslim nations. Groups pushing to stop the order say it was a Muslim ban and followed what Trump said he’d do during his campaign.

For a lot of Muslim Americans, this order feels like a stance against them, in an America where anti-Muslim hate crimes are on the rise.

President Donald Trump proposed drastic cuts in spending on the arts, science, foreign aid and environmental protection Thursday, in a security-focused budget blueprint that could struggle to pass Congress.

Translating hardline campaign promises into dollar-and-cent commitments, the Republican leader proposed scrapping dozens of programs like public broadcasting and climate funding, while boosting Pentagon spending by $52 billion.

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