The World

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  • 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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America’s leading coal state looks to the wind

2 hours ago

Wyoming’s economy is dominated by coal, other fossil fuels and mineral extraction. The formula here has worked — residents in Wyoming enjoy among the highest per capita GDP in the nation. So naturally, there’s been some hostility toward new sources of energy that could threaten that.

This is a story about two ranchers in western South Dakota — Kenny Fox and Eric Jennings.

The two men have both been busy vaccinating and branding their calves, and preparing to get hay ready for winter. Fox is in his 60s; Jennings is in his 50s. Their lives, jobs and outlooks have a lot of overlap. Where the two men differ sharply, however, is on trade.  

“We have people who have lost jobs because of NAFTA,” says Fox.

On the flip side, Jennings says, “We’re very happy with NAFTA. It has opened up our borders tremendously.”

On the night of March 20, 1945, a 20-year-old Mexican American soldier named Tony Acevedo lay in the cold barracks of a Nazi concentration camp. 

He pulled out a diary he kept hidden even from his comrades and began to write. 

You’ve probably seen Shigeaki Mori. A photo of him hugging President Barack Obama was published around the world after Obama visited Hiroshima in 2016. 

Mori, now 81, is a Hiroshima survivor.

In a 2016 speech at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, Obama said atomic bomb survivors have stories that make war less likely and cruelty less easily accepted. He mentioned Mori that day, highlighting him as “the man who sought out families of Americans killed here because he believed their loss was equal to his own.” 

It's a busy Tuesday evening in the trendy neighborhood of Podil, not far from the city center of Kiev. It's hot out but people are enjoying a breeze as they stroll through a mostly pedestrian-friendly part of the city. A street band plays in the background while people line up to ride a huge Ferris wheel. 

It's an obscure ocean current in a remote part of the world. But what happens to it as the planet and the oceans warm up could affect the lives of people everywhere.

That’s why Bob Pickart, a physical oceanographer from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution on Cape Cod, traveled to Ísafjörður, Iceland, in the middle of the harsh North Atlantic winter, planning to head into the teeth of some of the worst weather imaginable.

On a quiet street in Worcester, Massachusetts, there’s a little white clapboard church with a steeple called Hadwen Park Congregational Church. Over the past decade, this classic-looking, century-old New England church has become a destination for migrants who were persecuted for their gender or sexual orientation and had to flee their homes. Some find the church online: If you google words like “asylum-seeker,” “LGBT” and  “looking for help,” this church comes up. Others hear about it through word of mouth.

What do the United States, Nigeria, Iraq, Sierra Leone and France all have in common? 

They all have remixed version of Childish Gambino's “This is America” music video specific to their individual countries. The original video is a social and political critique of America that has generated conversation and controversy in the US and, as of publication, more than 350 million views.

President Donald Trump was in southwest Illinois last week touting the re-opening of a steel mill. He credited tariffs for bringing back steel jobs.

But Illinois is also soy country — it’s America’s No. 1 soy-producing state — and soy and corn farmers there are worried about tariffs, retaliatory ones from China.

Speaking in Granite City, Illinois, Trump said American farmers would act like patriots to help him win a trade war.

Joy walks along an overgrown path winding through a village on the rural outskirts of Lagos, Nigeria. She points out a few shops that have closed and a big house on an overgrown plot owned by somebody who has left for a job overseas. The neighborhood landmarks serve as constant reminders of the problem Joy grapples with daily: There is no work here. And she wants out.

“See I’m where I’m living?” she asked, sounding exasperated. “I can’t cope. I can’t cope at all. I don’t like it.”

Herberth Cortez Gaitan waited 16 years for his asylum application to be processed and rejected. It took nine more years for the courts to decide to deport him.

But, as it turned out, four months later, a US federal appeals court found that the government made a mistake.

Here's the next smooth step in Tash Sultana's flow state

Jul 30, 2018

Tash Sultana is making a smooth evolution with her latest single, "Salvation."

With her new track, the Australian native is giving her growing legion of fans a taste from her upcoming full-length album, which is expected to be released in August.

On July 26, 2016, a young girl stepped up to the mic at a meeting of the San Diego Unified School District Board of Education

“Good evening. My name is Sohaila Gebaly,” she said. “I’m going to 6th grade. I love school and science.” 

Gebaly went on to tell board members that the year before, three boys in school started calling her names. When no one stopped them, they hit her, kicked her and pushed her. 

When Esther Hugenholtz stepped forward to give the final sermon at the B’nai Jacob synagogue in Ottumwa, Iowa, in May, she felt a rush of bittersweet emotions.

“It runs against every fiber of my being to sunset a synagogue,” says Hugenholtz, a 40-year-old rabbi in Iowa City. “I felt incredibly honored as a young rabbi to sit by the bedside of this community and pour my love into them, and bless them with this final blessing.”

Thousands of fans will gather in Otsu, Japan, on Monday to watch a sumo match, part of an annual summer tour. 

Normally, the mayor would give a welcome speech from inside the ring. But that can’t happen in Otsu because its mayor, Naomi Koshi, is a woman and women are forbidden from entering the sumo ring. 

“The Sumo Association is approved by the government, so it should follow the constitution, which says men and women should be treated equally,” said Koshi, who with another female mayor, has launched an effort to change the rules. 

When author Jean Guerrero was just a child growing up in southern California, her Mexican father introduced her to the power of fantasy.

Their bond began to fray when he started to be overwhelmed by paranoid thoughts and suffered a breakdown. Guerrero, the Fronteras reporter for KPBS in San Diego, tries to untangle what happened to their relationship in "Crux: A Cross-Border Memoir." She spoke about her book with The World’s Marco Werman. 

On the 65th anniversary of the signing of the armistice agreement that ended the Korean War, the American president had some warm words for North Korea’s dictator, Kim Jong-un. 

“I want to thank Chairman Kim for keeping his word,” President Donald Trump said Friday, praising Kim for relinquishing the suspected remains of 50 American servicemen. Trump also announced that Vice President Mike Pence would meet families of US soldiers killed in Korea when the remains arrive home

When Ehab al-Hurriaya fled to Lebanon from Syria four years ago, it wasn’t just the fighting he was fleeing, but the fear he would have to join it. He had just turned 18 and would be forced to serve in the Syrian army.

“If I stayed, I needed to go to the military,” Hurriaya says.

Men between 18 and 42 are required to serve in the military, according to Syria’s constitution. They face a difficult decision: They must be conscripted into the army, or leave the country.

Herberth Cortez Gaitan waited 16 years for his asylum application to be processed and rejected. It took nine more years for the courts to decide to deport him.

But, as it turned out, four months later, a US federal appeals court found that the government made a mistake.

In December 2015, a family arrived at Memphis' Greyhound bus terminal, a modern, spacious new building near the airport. The parents, Mexican immigrants, were about to say goodbye to their three Mexican American sons.

The parents planned to board a bus that would carry them from Tennessee to Dallas, where they would take a plane to Mexico, a country they hadn't seen for almost 13 years.

How does an industrial city reinvent itself when its main industry disappears? That’s a problem that dozens of American cities have confronted over the past generation.

Consider Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, population 75,000. The city was once synonymous with the company Bethlehem Steel Corp. Iron and steel had been produced in Bethlehem since just before the Civil War. 

When Elyse Dinh first saw the rack of clothes that had been brought in for her character, Mrs. Phan in the OWN television show “Queen Sugar,” she thought the costume department had made a mistake.

She saw shades of coral, yellow and purple. There were pretty blouses with birds and elephants on them. There were even bright orange capris.

The former British Prime Minister David Cameron will chair a $1 billion Chinese fund to help implement the One Belt, One Road, initiative, a global infrastructure project Chinese Communist Party Secretary Xi Jinping has championed.

How Chinese media covers US gun violence

Jul 25, 2018

Chinese state media often hypes American problems and foibles to redirect attention away from China’s poor human rights records. And yet, when it comes to American gun violence, it takes a measured tone.

What does it mean to live in the United States instead of China?

For China’s most prominent political cartoonist, Rebel Pepper, a dissident with a gentle smile and a wicked brush, it’s the difference between life as a wild pig and a domesticated one.

Kept pigs “think they live a carefree life because people feed them. But one day, they will be slaughtered,” Rebel, whose real name is Wang Liming, said in a May interview in Washington, DC, where he now lives.

Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

When US Attorney General Jeff Sessions warned sanctuary cities and counties in a press conference on Monday that they could lose federal grants, he cited a new immigration report about immigrants who were not detained by immigration officials:

“The charges and convictions against these aliens include drug trafficking, hit and run, rape, sex offenses against a child and even murder,” he said.

Sousou and Maher Cissoko make beautiful music together — both in a musical partnership and as husband and wife.

It's also music that brought them together, specifically the West African kora, a 21-stringed lute-type instrument.

The kora is not an instrument often associated with Sousou's native Sweden.

"My father is a musician and he was playing together with a kora player from Gambia," she explains.  

The #MeToo movement continues to resonate around the world, and France is no exception. There was a remarkable development there this month.

A notorious rock singer was pressured into canceling the remainder of his tour in the face of a public outcry. Bertrand Cantat, once the frontman for the popular 1990s band Noir Désir, had been attempting several career comebacks over the past decade. But faced with mounting protests, he had to give up. This is why.

Marc Alain Boucicault has a vision for Haiti. It’s one that comes from experience at home and in the US, and one he hopes other Haitians who return to the island can get on board with.

Giulnara Asanova and her husband remember when they decided to leave Crimea. 

"We sat down at the table and decided what to do," she says, speaking Russian through a translator. "We decided to save our children, save our grandchildren. We saw the tanks, we saw weapons and military.” 

That was in 2014.

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