The World

Monday-Friday, 7pm
  • Hosted by Marco Werman

The World is a one-hour, weekday radio news magazine offering a mix of news, features, interviews, and music from around the globe, hosted by Marco Werman.

Coronavirus exposes Sudan's broken health care system

May 29, 2020

Earlier this week, senior members of former Sudan President Omar al-Bashir’s regime were reportedly diagnosed with the coronavirus and transferred from the notorious Kober prison to a hospital in Sudan’s capital city of Khartoum.

Top of The World — our morning news round up written by editors at The World. Subscribe here.

Demonstrators outraged over police brutality in the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, took to the streets in Minneapolis for the third straight night, as Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz called in the National Guard after fires and vandalism erupted during protests. 

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China's parliament voted to move forward with a controversial security law that would make it a crime to undermine Beijing's authority in Hong Kong. Bypassing Hong Kong's legislative process, the law would effectively alter the territory's mini-constitution, which gives it semi-autonomy.

Editor's note 5/27/20: A previous version of this story displayed images of an asylum seeker. They have been removed for the asylum seeker's protection.

At the airport in the Russian Arctic city of Murmansk, passengers file out from the morning flight from Moscow — many seemingly dazed by the surroundings and clearly underdressed for the coming polar winter.

“We are all from hell,” says a passenger named Tomasi, an Iranian from Tehran, when asked where he and others had arrived from.

Syria’s first family is caught in a feud

May 27, 2020

The inner workings of the powerful Assad family have remained under close wraps in the past five decades or so since Hafez al-Assad took control of Syria in a coup.

On the surface, all seemed fine between the ruling elites.

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The key to winning the Latino vote in 2020? Latinas.

May 25, 2020

This story is part of "Every 30 Seconds," a collaborative public media reporting project tracing the young Latino electorate leading up to the 2020 presidential election and beyond.

Women vote at higher rates than men across all racial and ethnic groups in the US. That gap is particularly wide for Latino voters. 

South Korea limited the spread of the coronavirus through aggressive contact tracing that relies heavily on data collection. But following a recent outbreak, many in the country’s LGBTQ community feel they’re being singled out.

South Korean health officials gain access to the cellphone GPS records, credit card transactions and transportation history of anyone who tests positive for COVID-19, and then they release much of that information to the public. Text message alerts urge everyone who might have crossed paths with the patient to immediately get tested.

Is it curtains for London's West End?

May 20, 2020

Theater producer Nica Burns remembers precisely where she was when word filtered through that all theaters across London would have to close — she was backstage with the cast of her new show, "City of Angels." 

One of the world's richest nations, Saudi Arabia, is calling for shared economic sacrifice.

The announcement came earlier this month when the Saudi finance minister, Mohammed al-Jadaan, went on state media.

He told the nation that starting July 1, they will have to pay a 15% tax on all goods and services in the kingdom.

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How to deal with a cyclone in the middle of a pandemic?

May 19, 2020

India and Bangladesh evacuated around half a million people out of the way of the most powerful storm in a decade ahead of its landfall on Wednesday amid fears of heavy damage to houses and crops and disruption of road, rail and power links.

The authorities' task to save lives was complicated by ongoing efforts to curb the coronavirus pandemic and enforce social distancing to avoid a surge of infections. Many thousands of migrant workers are on the roads trying to get home from big cities after a nationwide lockdown destroyed their livelihoods.

Gloria Fung first saw them nine months ago. She was at a rally she helped organize in front of Toronto’s old City Hall, to show support for pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.

“Soon after we had assembled, more than 100 counterprotesters blocked our way chanting, ‘One China,’” Fung said, recalling that the counterprotesters waved Chinese flags.

“They shouted insults and threats and photographed individuals as an intimidation tactic.”

This interview was featured in Critical State, a weekly newsletter from The World and Inkstick Media. Subscribe here.

How do relationships between combatants forged in wartime continue to shape political, economic, and social relations even after those combatants have been reintegrated and the conflict ends? 

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When the novel coronavirus first emerged in China, the world was warned to watch out for two main symptoms: fever or a persistent cough.

A lot has changed since then.

The Colombian government is considering extending loans to the country’s airlines, as the coronavirus pandemic has grounded their fleets and wiped out most of their revenue through at least June.

World faces risk of 'vaccine nationalism' in COVID-19 fight, says CEPI chair

May 18, 2020

Global competition to find a vaccine to tackle COVID-19 is fierce, with at least 130 groups racing to be first.

One US-based company, Moderna, announced preliminary positive results Monday, saying a human vaccine trial produced protective antibodies in a small group of healthy volunteers.

The 1918 influenza pandemic was a historic event with massive influence. Millions of people died. Roughly one-third of the entire global population was infected.

But until the novel coronavirus pandemic struck, odds are you probably haven’t thought much about the impact of 1918's flu outbreak.

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Is 2020 an economic write-off?

May 15, 2020

The US Commerce Department said retail sales, a significant portion of the economy, plunged 16.4% last month, the biggest decline since the government started tracking the figures in 1992. That data followed a historic 20.5 million job losses last month.

Germany's economy slumped in the first quarter at its steepest rate since 2009 with worse expected by mid-year, but it is weathering fallout from the coronavirus better than other EU states where outbreaks have been more disruptive.

What history tells us about building climate coalitions

May 15, 2020

Massive programs of green public investment would be the most cost-effective way both to revive virus-hit economies and strike a decisive blow against climate change, top US and British economists said in a study published last month. 

With co-authors including Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz from Columbia University and prominent British climate expert Lord Nicholas Stern, the findings are likely to fuel calls for "green recoveries" gathering momentum around the world.

In a landmark decision that could have implications for content moderators around the world, Facebook has agreed to pay $52 million to compensate some US-based workers for the trauma they endured on the job.

Related: Twitter and Facebook are collaborating to stop the spread of coronavirus misinformation. Is it enough?

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It was just another morning at the Dasht-e-Barchi hospital in Kabul. The government-run hospital hosts a maternity clinic run by Doctors Without Borders, which is also known by its French name, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).

Around 10 a.m., three gunmen disguised as police burst into the hospital’s maternity ward and started shooting. They fired indiscriminately, killing at least two dozen people — including mothers, infants, hospital workers and a policeman.

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Pachinko defies easy description. Imagine if a pinball machine and a slot machine had a baby — an incredibly loud baby that bleeps and jingles and lures you into a daze.

As with slot machines, playing pachinko is gambling, though the Japanese government insists it is a game of skill, lest the popular game run afoul of anti-gambling laws.

Related: Japan’s Studio Ghibli teaches fans how to draw its beloved character Totoro

Madagascar defends coronavirus herbal remedy 

May 13, 2020

In the face of mounting criticism, Madagascar’s President Andry Rajoelina continues to champion COVID Organics, an herbal remedy produced by Malagasy Institute of Applied Research (IMRA) last month.

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Jon Huntsman: ‘Stakes are high’ for US-China relationship

May 12, 2020

Sino-US tensions have mounted over the coronavirus outbreak, with Trump blaming China for causing tens of thousands of deaths and millions of job losses in the United States.

These renewed tensions between Beijing and Washington threaten cooperation on halting the spread of COVID-19 and make completion of the landmark trade deal between the two superpowers less likely.