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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When the UK government officially filed divorce papers Wednesday to leave the European Union, Darren Grimes woke up a happy camper.

“I’m extremely optimistic about our future chances outside in the world!” he chimes. “I think Brexit and the repeal bill present a great opportunity to bring about the changes our country so desperately needs.”

When Eric Ripert was growing up on the French Riviera, he found his love for food and found that food was love.

"I think my mother was giving back some love to her son, which was me, through the cooking that she was doing. She was trying to bring the family together," he says.

Ripert's mother always made elaborate French meals to help the family heal hurt emotions, he says.

"I had a very tense relationship with my stepfather, and she was making sure that we would sit for breakfast, lunch and dinner and have a very special experience," he explains.

Sitting across from ‘the Ghost of ISIS’

17 hours ago
Zohra Bensemra/Reuters

The fight against ISIS generates a lot of headlines. But we know frustratingly little about the individuals who run the terrorist group.

Like Abu Islam al-Iraqi, who was at the very heart of the ISIS mission in northern Iraq. Abu Islam was an emir, a religious leader, who ran sleeper cells in Kirkuk. And despite repeated efforts, he always managed to escape arrest.

"Iraqi intelligence called him 'the Ghost of ISIS' because he'd proven so elusive," says author Robin Wright.

Carlos Barria/Reuters

President Donald Trump this week surrounded himself with coal miners when he signed his executive order blocking, reversing or ordering the review of several Obama-era initiatives to limit climate change.

“The action I’m taking today will eliminate federal overreach, restore economic freedom, and allow our companies and our workers to thrive, compete and succeed on a level playing field,” Trump said Tuesday.

This underground railroad took slaves to freedom in Mexico

Mar 29, 2017
Rick Wilking/Reuters

Donald Trump said during the presidential campaign that he wanted to keep “bad hombres” out of the country. He told the Mexican president, according to documents obtained by the Associated Press, that he wanted Mexico to stop "bad hombres down there" from coming across the southern border of the US.

BQ Energy

It’s easy to pick on Buffalo: It’s cold, it’s snowy, the economy has been in the dumps for four decades, and the Bills lost four straight Super Bowls. (Just sayin’.)

But around the turn of the 20th century, Buffalo was THE place to be. It had the most millionaires, per capita, of any city in America. It hosted a World’s Fair. It was a bustling inland port, the terminus of the Erie Canal, with hulking grain elevators and steel mills.

Courtesy of Jeanne Carstensen

At an abandoned grocery store on a strip of dirt next to the Hungary-Serbia border fence, Bashar and Marua Surchi huddle with their children around the fire.

The Surchis have spent seven months in Serbia after fleeing violence in their hometown of Dohuk, in Iraqi Kurdistan. Bashar, an English teacher, and Marua, a veterinarian, traveled from Iraq to Turkey to Bulgaria with their two young girls. They wanted to reach Germany, but after arriving in Serbia they found their path blocked.

Mike Segar/Reuters

The former head of United Nations climate negotiations says the Trump administration executive order rolling back energy regulations won’t derail the landmark Paris climate change agreement.

Christiana Figueres, who led nearly 200 countries to a hard-fought international climate change agreement in December 2015, says the US policy changes are a “sad commentary” on the worldview of the current administration, but that other countries remain dedicated to the UN climate agreement.   

Lina Shahab turns slowly and painfully in her hospital bed. Her lips are dry and cracked. Her right eye is swollen shut. There is hardly a patch on her skin that is not marked by shrapnel wounds.

“Suddenly, we heard a boom,” she says softly, describing the explosion that put her here.

“I couldn’t see anything. Glass went into my eye. A hole opened up in the floor and I fell through it. I saw everything burning. I saw my aunt and her kids dead on the other side of the room.”

Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

I’m half-Palestinian, half-English. I have often been mistaken for a range of ethnicities along the brown spectrum, from Italian to Indian. When people hear my name they often mistake me for a Muslim. What they never mistake me for, however, is white.

And yet, in America, that's how I'm classified. For the time being, anyway.

Brenna Daldorph

Much has been written about the Chibok girls, the 276 schoolgirls from the village of Chibok in northern Nigeria who were kidnapped by Boko Haram in April 2014. A few have been found or rescued in the past few months; most are still missing. However, there’s another group of those Chibok girls we’ve heard less about — those who managed to escape the night of the abduction.

Courtesy of Dominic Raimondo

Dominic Raimondo was one of the Lost Boys of Sudan. They were a group of young boys (and girls) displaced or orphaned during the Second Sudanese Civil War.

Raimondo now lives in Salt Lake City, but even from that long distance, the culture of his homeland is always on his mind.

That's why he visited the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya last year, where hundreds of thousands of refugees from South Sudan have settled. 

George Frey/Reuters

US President Donald Trump on Tuesday rolled back a slew of environmental protections enacted by Barack Obama, in a bid to untether the fossil fuel industry.

In a maiden trip to the Environmental Protection Agency, Trump signed an "Energy Independence Executive Order," a White House official told AFP.

The new president unveiled a series of measures to review regulations curbing oil, gas and coal production and limiting carbon emissions.

National Police/Reuters

At the bottom of a cement glen, by the banks of the canal, there’s a tiny store that sells green plantains, cola and cigarettes. But they are out of plantains.

The woman who tends the store, who goes by Xiomara, often has to fight the urge to run away. She compares the desire to escape to something taking over her body.

“I’ll be fine and then from one minute to the next, I want to get out," Xiomara says. "I just want to go. I want out. I need to leave.”

When she gets this way she lights up a smoke and maybe watches some TV.

Yuri Maltsev/Reuters

Going into Sunday, no one really knew how many people would show up for the “anti-corruption” rallies across Russia. But show up they did.

Independent estimates say some 60,000 Russians defied strict government, anti-assembly laws in more than 90 cities across Russia — the largest turnout against the Kremlin since mass street protests in 2011. Then as now, hundreds of people were arrested for protesting without permission.

But Sunday’s rally also proved a test of the power of the internet.

Esther Honig

Outside an old, brick apartment complex, Virginia Nunes Gutierrez pulls two large, plastic garbage bags from the trunk of her white Ford Explorer. “We have a diaper fund, so we buy diapers," for immigrant families in need, Nunes Gutierrez explains. “Also, we have some clothes that the church donated.”

Her arms full, Nunes Gutierrez climbs the steps to one front door and knocks. She says this is her third trip to this house.

Drought doesn't cause famine. People do.

Mar 27, 2017
Siegfried Modola / Reuters

The United Nations announced this month that more than 20 million people in four countries are teetering on the edge of famine, calling the situation “the worst humanitarian crisis” since the end of World War II.

The key for avoiding the worst outcomes? Political will, experts say.

Jessica Pepper Peterson

When you’re poor, you have to make tough choices.

“I couldn’t afford to pay my heat bill. My gas got turned off,” says Bob Cook, who lost his $30,000-a-year job a few years back while working in the computer industry.

“I had to stay warm by using a small electric heater and have a blanket around myself to stay warm in the winter,” says Cook. “This happens to families.”

Bria Webb/Reuters

REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Over President Donald Trump's first 100 days, we're asking him questions that our audience wants answers to. Join the project by tweeting this question to @realDonaldTrump with the hashtag #100Days100Qs.

#64. @realDonaldTrump President Trump, what are your plans for the Office of Global Women's Issues? #100Days100Qs

I took an interest in Yemen some years ago and began following events there for The World, our Boston-based radio show. Because the US has taken on a major role in the Yemen civil war — supplying weapons, logistical and intelligence support to one side in the conflict — I've become, from a distance, a conflict journalist. 

As international climate negotiators meet in Doha, Qatar, scientists are issuing a stark warning of possibly huge emissions of the greenhouse gas methane from the warming Arctic.

If you want to understand one of the ways that warming in the Arctic is affecting climate change, just light a match and stand back.

Reuters/Khaled Abdullah

Leaders in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and Washington, DC long argued, without much evidence, that Yemen's Houthi rebels are puppets of Tehran. Those arguments, which many saw as exaggerated, are now beginning to ring true.

Courtesy of Tonantzin Esparza

When the movie "Selena" opened in theaters back in 1997, it was an instant hit. That first weekend, the biopic starring Jennifer Lopez rang up more than $11 million in box office receipts, making it the No. 2 film in the country.

It had only been two years since singer Selena Quintanilla-Perez died of a gunshot wound, and her most dedicated fans in Texas lined up by the thousands to buy a ticket.

Baz Ratner/Reuters

He's 18. He's Jewish with dual Israeli and American citizenship and lives in southern Israel. But now his home, at least temporarily, is a jail.

The Israeli teenager was arrested Thursday in connection with the dramatic spike in bomb threats against Jewish community centers in the US over the past few months. 

Each week on The World, we feature a unique selection of music, and every week, we put together the highlights for you here.

"Traveling Mercies"

Emily Scott Robinson was one of the artists World host Marco Werman met at this year's South by Southwest music festival in Austin. She talked to Marco about her new song, "Traveling Mercies." Since President Donald Trump has called for a travel ban, the song has taken on a whole new meaning for her.

Homeland promotional image

There’s no doubt Showtime’s “Homeland” is a hit. It’s now in its sixth season. But it’s also gotten some pretty tough criticism for its portrayal of Muslims.

“The depiction of Muslim characters was almost uniformly negative,” attorney Ramzi Kassem says of the show, which focuses on US counterterrorism and intelligence operations. “Any Muslim character that appeared in the show was either immediately identified as a terrorist, or ultimately revealed to be a terrorist or a terrorist sympathizer.”

How alone are 'lone wolf' jihadi attackers?

Mar 24, 2017

The investigation into what exactly happened in London on Wednesday is really only just beginning. But the initial impression is that it was a "lone wolf" attack by an ISIS supporter, like we saw in Orlando, Nice and Berlin.

We've become accustomed to hearing the phrase "self-radicalized" in connection with these lone wolves. But is that really the case? Are they alone, radicalizing themselves?

It turns out that most lone wolves are actually groomed and mentored, one-on-one, by individual ISIS operatives.

Oleksandr Synytsia/Reuters 

"An act of state terrorism by Russia."

Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko did not mince words about neighboring Russia following the assassination of an outspoken Kremlin critic in Kiev.

Denis Voronenkov, 45, was gunned down in broad daylight in front of a luxury hotel in the center of the city Thursday. He was a former member of the Russian parliament before he renounced his citizenship and emigrated last October to Ukraine where he became a citizen.

Post-Fidel-Castro Cuba isn't that different from before

Mar 23, 2017

For years, opponents of Cuba’s socialist revolution pegged the system’s downfall to the inevitable death of its leader, Fidel Castro. Yet, months after Castro’s death, there have been no major protests on the streets of Havana, no popular uprising against the ruling Communist Party.

As Gladys Esther Marta Luís can attest. She's a manicurist who is currently unemployed. For her, things have continued on much like they were before. Since the former president's death in November, she said, “I don’t see any changes,” adding, “Life seems the same to me.”