The World

Weekdays at 8 PM
  • Hosted by Lisa Mullins

PRI’s 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 Lisa Mullins in Boston, it is the first global radio news program developed specifically for an American audience.

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Back in 2010, President Vladimir Putin helped secure Russia’s bid to host the 2018 World Cup with guarantees the world would see a Russia both open and welcoming.

This week, the Russian leader said his country had made good on that promise. 

“We’ve done everything to ensure our guests — sportsmen, experts and, of course, fans feel at home in Russia,” said Putin in a video address released by the Kremlin. “We have opened our country and our hearts to the world.” 

The Centro Mercado Latino in Phoenix is a giant warehouse filled with vendors peddling everything from cell phone accessories to quinceñera dresses to parakeets. On Sundays, there are lucha libre wrestling matches in the corner.  

But there’s something unexpected tucked next to a kiosk selling alarm systems: a campaign booth promoting a presidential candidate — for Mexico.

The Centro Mercado Latino in Phoenix is a giant warehouse filled with vendors peddling everything from cell phone accessories to quinceñera dresses to parakeets. On Sundays, there are lucha libre wrestling matches in the corner.  

But there’s something unexpected tucked next to a kiosk selling alarm systems: a campaign booth promoting a presidential candidate — for Mexico.

Ireland is not as Catholic as it used to be. It’s a trend that goes back many years, but recent events have been chipping away at the church’s hold on Irish society. 

In 2015, Irish voters chose to legalize same-sex marriage. Last month, they rebuked the church again by voting overwhelmingly to legalize abortion. 

One part of life where the Catholic Church remains very powerful to this day, though, is in education. Around 90 percent of the schools in Ireland, for example, are overseen by the Catholic Church. And that includes many public schools. 

Residents of the Yemeni port city of Hodeidah have been anticipating a Saudi-led invasion for weeks. It may have just begun.

Naval warships from the Saudi-led coalition began firing on Hodeidah Tuesday night in what could be the first shots of a battle to drive out Houthi rebels that have held the city since 2014. Early reports indicate that rebels returned fire and that the warships retreated.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision on asylum seekers is 30 pages long.

Advocates and many judges say that the decision is extraordinary, not only because the attorney general took steps to overrule the court's’ prior rulings, but because the decision that victims of certain kinds of violence can qualify for asylum has been previously reviewed over the course of decades.

For many South Koreans, the summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean ruler Kim Jong-un has brought their divided peninsula one step closer to peace. 

Even though the declaration signed by both leaders at the conclusion of their historic meeting in Singapore was high on lofty goals and short on details about how central issues like complete denuclearization would actually be achieved, the most important outcome is that Trump and Kim are no longer threatening mutual annihilation.

Michael Brun delivers a message from Haiti — one summer block party at a time

Jun 12, 2018

Michael Brun held his microphone out toward the crowd at Miami’s Little Haiti Cultural Complex as they erupted in cheers and some waved Haitian flags. The venue was packed, the cocktail bar did a roaring trade and the smells of fried pork griot and spiced pickled cabbage, or pikliz, and fried plantains were in the air.

Sherry Ott has been all over the world. Borneo, Mongolia, Nepal — she writes about travel for a living.

But Antarctica was different.

It’s “the closest you can get to leaving this planet," Ott says. “This was the first place ever that I had been where clearly people were not in charge.”

At 3 a.m. in the Muslim quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City, a crew of four young Palestinian men sang, chanted and drummed in a chorus. The traditional Ramadan musical procession is called musahar. And they're musaharatis, or volunteers tasked with waking Muslim worshippers for their pre-dawn meal and prayer before the day’s fast.

Step into the City Hostel Berlin and you'd be forgiven for not noticing anything strange at all. The budget backpacker hotel near the Brandenburg Gate in former East Berlin has a spacious lobby, a big-screen TV, a pool table and room for hundreds of guests in its no-frills shared bunkbed rooms. Multilingual receptionists hand out rental towels and bartenders take orders for 12 kinds of beer at the hostel's busy bar. 

Most college students in the US are making plans for the summer. For some of the many Puerto Rican college students who came to the mainland to continue their studies after Hurricane Maria roared through the island last September, this time of the year brings a more complex question — whether to stay or go back home.

For millions of women worldwide, menstruation is seen as a mark of shame. Many are told not to discuss it in public, to hide their tampons and sanitary pads. The stigma is universal, rendering women and girls vulnerable to health problems and gender discrimination.

In her new book, "It's Only Blood: Shattering the Taboo of Menstruation," Swedish author Anna Dahlqvist traveled to Rwanda, Uganda, Bangladesh and India to find out the menstrual rules across the world.

The city-state of Singapore is preparing to host a much-hyped summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Tuesday.

Local speculation about where, exactly, the summit would be held was resolved this week. The two men, and possibly South Korean President Moon Jae-in, will hold talks at a swank hotel on Sentosa, an island resort just off the mainland that also features a water park, a Universal Studios theme park and a casino.  

The photos on Naomi’s cell phone tell a gruesome story: shriveled and discolored skin on her now 8-year-old son’s left-hand.

She said he suffered third-degree burns when her former boyfriend threw a pot of hot oil at her, but it scalded her son instead. This happened back home in Honduras, when the boy was 4. The mother asked us not to use her real name in order to protect her identity while she seeks asylum.

"It's something I'm going to remember my whole life," Naomi said, adding that she feels guilty about her son's injuries but knows they are not her fault.

Sassafrass. It's what musician Tami Neilson defines as "a sassy person who speaks her mind." It's also the title of her new album, "Sassafrass!"

On a hilltop in eastern Puerto Rico’s Humacao municipality, a handful of women bustled around pans of sizzling oil and fragrant pots of stew. They spooned heaping piles of rice, chicken, chickpeas, fried plantains and salad into Styrofoam containers. At a serving window, one of the women slid the food to waiting customers.

“This is like therapy for us,” said María Laboy.

In September, Hurricane Maria made landfall just south of this community, called Mariana. The storm blew out the power grid, leaving people without electricity and damaging many homes in the region.

When Maria was six in August 2017, she was separated from her mother, Magdalena, by border patrol agents near El Paso, Texas.

“I didn't understand them,” Maria says. She and her mother speak Akateko, an indigenous Mayan language. “I kept saying, ‘Ummm ummm ummm.’ And then when they took my mom, I got scared and didn’t understand anything.”

Tomoko Shinkai is on the front lines of Japan’s demographic decline. She works for the small city of Hamada, and it’s her job to get people to move there. It’s hard to imagine a better cheerleader for the place. When you ask her what people should know about her hometown, Shinkai says there are too many wonderful things to name. “Come and see it for yourself!” she laughed.

Fasting can be tough for pretty much anyone. But what about the men and women who are fasting during daylight hours and spend all day preparing and serving food to the public?

This question got video producer Aymann Ismail thinking. What's it like to be a Muslim food truck owner during the month of Ramadan? Ismail was born to Egyptian parents and he grew up in New Jersey.

Residents of Yemeni port city prepare for an invasion

Jun 5, 2018

News over the weekend that the Trump administration was considering expanding the US role in the Yemen war may have been premature. 

A National Security Council spokesperson on Monday denied reports that the White House was weighing whether to directly assist a possible Saudi-led coalition invasion of Yemen's Red Sea port of Hodeidah. 

When Neriza Caspe said goodbye to her four children in the Philippines 18 years ago, she didn't know how long she'd be gone — just that she wanted to work abroad to better provide for them, and escape her abusive husband.

Breaking into the hyper-competitive K-pop music industry is notoriously brutal. But what if you’re a foreigner — and gay?

Meet Marshall Bang, better known to audiences as MRSHLL. He’s a Korean American singer from Orange County, California, who's trying to conquer South Korea’s music scene with his rich, chocolatey voice, and at the same time upend its culturally conservative mores. 

Two years ago, Vanessa Roanhorse was in Taos, New Mexico, with her husband, and they walked by the Kit Carson museum.

"My husband was like 'who's Kit Carson?'” says Roanhorse. “I'm looking at him thinking, ‘how do you not know who Kit Carson is?'”

Although Carson is a significant part of US history, people outside of the Southwest generally have no idea who he was. He was a frontiersman, famous as a tracker and wilderness guide and for shaping New Mexico.

Halina Litman Yasharoff Peabody remembers the events of her life during the Holocaust in remarkable detail.

She was only 6 when Russians invaded her Polish town, arrested her father and sent him to a prison camp in Siberia. The Germans arrived in 1941, setting off a string of horrors for Peabody, her mother and her baby sister: the hiding, the ghetto, the mass graves, the escape by train and the bomb that took two of her fingers.

At a café near Williams College in the Berkshires, in western Massachusetts, students crammed for final exams. Sitting in the back, junior Tyler Tsay, an American studies major, had something else on his mind as well.

“It's very necessary to have an Asian American studies program, if only to complete the American Studies program that already exists on campus,” Tsay said.

Germany's Jewish population is small, somewhere around 200,000. Yet in German schoolyards, the word “Jew” is heard regularly, and not in a good way.

“'Jew' is an insult here,” says Berlin resident Gemma Michalski. “If you want to insult somebody, whether they're Jewish or not, it doesn't matter, but it's the thing you throw at them: 'Ah he's a real Jew,' or 'You're a Jew.' That's a sort of go-to insult.”

Pa’lante, meaning “onwards” or “forward,” was the title of a newspaper published by the Young Lords, a Puerto Rican leftist group advocating for social change in the '70s. Now the newspaper and Pedro Pietri’s poem, "Puerto Rican Obituary," are leading inspirations for a new song by the band Hurray for the Riff Raff — and also for a new music video that captures life in post-storm Puerto Rico.

In 1942, there were 44 people living on Attu Island, nearly all Alaska Natives. They were taken as captives to Japan, where half of them died. And after the war, the federal government forbade them from returning.

But in August, a group of 11 descendants finally visited their ancestral home for the first time.

Related: Seventy-five years after the Battle of Attu, veterans reflect on the cost of reclaiming US soil

A note to listeners and readers: A person in this story uses an offensive word for Japanese people.

Seventy-five years ago, Japan and the United States were locked in one of the bloodiest battles fought on American soil: the Battle of Attu.

Army veteran Allan Serroll served on Attu Island, which sits at the westernmost end of the Aleutian Islands — closer to Japan than Seattle.

Serroll is now 102. But he’s still haunted by the experience of staring down young men like himself.

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