The World | KERA News

The World

Weekdays at 2 p.m. on KERA 90.1 FM
  • 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. It airs at 2 p.m. weekdays on KERA 90.1 FM. 

Scroll down to read and listen to stories featured on The World.

When Steve arrived in Paris in the summer of 2015, he was 16 and full of hope. He’d spent three years on the road after leaving his native Cameroon and was eager to start a new life in France. But when he tried to apply for asylum as an unaccompanied minor, he realized that proving he was under 18 would be yet another hurdle on the journey.

“At first, all I had was my birth certificate,” he says. “I couldn’t get anything out of it. They told me if I didn’t have a document with photo ID to confirm my birthplace and my age, they couldn’t do anything.”

Minus 8 degrees. That was the temperature one recent day in Shishmaref in far-western Alaska — frigid for most of us, but pretty good for Dennis Davis, because minus 8 means good ice formation on the Chukchi Sea surrounding his tiny island community near the Bering Strait.

Like his neighbors in this Native community, Davis needs to get out to the ice edge to hunt the marine mammals his family depends on for food. But the weather early this winter was warm and the ice was late in coming, which created a dangerous patchwork extending from the town’s seawall on toward the horizon.

Her picture was one of the most iconic images of the Vietnam War: a girl running naked down a road, screaming in pain after a napalm attack.

Her name is Kim Phuc, but to many people, she's known as the Napalm Girl. She was only 9 years old when that photograph was taken by The Associated Press photographer Nick Ut, for which he won a Pulitzer Prize. That photo exposed the horrors of the Vietnam War to the world. It also left Phuc bitter and full of hatred. Later, she picked up the Bible and converted to Christianity.

"America's pastor," the Rev. Billy Graham, died on Wednesday at 99.

The son of a North Carolina farmer, Graham went on to become an adviser and friend to US presidents, meet face-to-face with dictators and bring the Christian message to millions around the world. At the same time, he had fierce critics and made comments that would be outside the mainstream today. He said AIDS was God’s punishment, though he later apologized, and made anti-Semitic comments to Richard Nixon that he later tried to explain away.

In the Winter Olympics, we've see teams that had to overcome big hurdles — like athletes from tropical countries competing on snow and ice. But other athletes face bigger foes and tougher obstacles: war, poverty and sexism. Kelly Lindsey, coach of the Afghanistan women's national soccer team, knows about the latter.

Lindsey is American and used to play for the US women's national soccer team — but she's also never been to Afghanistan: The team practices all over Asia and the Middle East.

How Koreans put the 'K' in K-pop

Feb 21, 2018

K-pop doesn’t sound anything like traditional Korean music. But the two waves of music are shaped by the politics — and, sometimes, the countries — surrounding them.

Whatever became of National Brotherhood Week?

Feb 21, 2018

Ever heard of National Brotherhood Week?

If you Google it, you'll see a video of a man in a coat and tie sitting in front of a piano.

It's Tom Lehrer, a math professor turned musician-satirist, mocking the idea of National Brotherhood Week in the 1960s.

Yocelyn’s 18-month-old has chickenpox. Her younger brother, who is 21, caught it too.

“I take the kids to the doctor because they have Medi-Cal, but we have to put up with it if we get sick,” she says.

Medi-Cal, California’s insurance for low-income families, covers children regardless of their immigration status but only provides coverage to undocumented adults in specific, often extraordinary, circumstances. Yocelyn’s brother has had a high fever for two days.

Make your way through the maze of seeking asylum in the US

Feb 21, 2018

Explore the interactive

From PRI's The World ©2017 PRI

After every high-casualty mass shooting, there's a lot of heated political debate over how to interpret what happened and how to prevent the next one. The Parkland, Florida, tragedy is no exception, except that these days, the debates come with a steroid boost in the form of tweets that divide Americans even further.

Host Marco Werman speaks with Erin Griffith, a senior writer at Wired who wrote the article, "Pro-Gun Russian Bots Flood Twitter After Parkland Shooting."

The county of Kent in southern England is a fairly peaceful place today — think rolling fields, cozy pubs and picturesque beaches. But it wasn’t always this way.

More than 2,000 years ago something terrible and violent happened here, near the present-day seaside villages of Deal and Walmer. In 55 B.C., it is believed that Julius Caesar’s forces made their first landing in Britain on the beach here, part of a project to push beyond the boundaries of the known world and claim new territory for Rome.

The students, teachers, and administrators of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, have practiced how to respond to a school shooting.

Stay calm, stay in place. Those are the messages they had rehearsed during a routine active-shooter drill just days after returning from winter break. 

But still, 17 people died and 15 others were injured.

Ruby Ibarra's memories of hip-hop date back to childhood. 

"I was 4 years old ... and remember being in my family's home and watching one of those Filipino variety shows," said Ibarra, referring to popular programs broadcast both in the Philippines and on networks catering to the Filipino community in the United States.

Late last month, Abdul Aziz Adam posted a video on social media of a group of young men at a Manila airport. They were all glued to their cellphones, the blue light reflecting off of their faces.

"Last goodbye from Manila airport," Abdul Aziz said. "They will leave Manila to Los Angeles in couples of hours. Safe journey guys we will stay in touch. Big love from your brothers on Manus prison camps. Am sure the American people will give guys welcome at the airport."

I was fully booked during the Lunar New Year, with back-to-back patients in both Oakland and San Francisco, California.

I work with non- and limited-English speaking Vietnamese patients as a freelance medical interpreter at local hospitals. Outside the time dealing with doctors and nurses about medical conditions and diagnoses, I spend a good part of my time chatting with these patients.

A comic book hero offers a fresh vision of Africa

Feb 19, 2018

Marvel Comics' blockbuster "Black Panther" has stirred up all sorts of debate.

Hana Baba and Leila Day, hosts of the podcast The Stoop, checked it out this weekend. They tell The World's Marco Werman they were pleasantly surprised, even though they were more than a little worried going in. 

It’s a mystery fit for a Cold War-era spy novel. In late 2016, officials with the US embassy in Havana started hearing strange noises that seemed to be directed right at their homes or hotel rooms.

Most called it a high-pitched sound. Some said it sounded like grinding metal, while others compared it to a kind of hum. Many said they felt pressure changes too, like the feeling of driving down a highway with only one car window open.

No immigration bill as feds ink contract to monitor license plates

Feb 16, 2018

It was a busy week for immigration issues in Washington, DC — but it was also a busy week for immigration agents across the country who are stepping up arrests and finding new ways to track people.

Cherokee playwright Mary Kathryn Nagle is fighting for the rights of Native Americans both onstage and off. 

What can AI learn from non-Western philosophies?

Feb 16, 2018

As autonomous and intelligent systems become more and more ubiquitous and sophisticated, developers and users face an important question: How do we ensure that when these technologies are in a position to make a decision, they make the right decision — the ethically right decision?

It's a complicated question. And there’s not one single right answer. 

But there is one thing that people who work in the budding field of AI ethics seem to agree on.

Yoon Ji-young lays down slabs of fatty pork belly that sizzle and crackle as they touch the burning hot grill atop her kitchen table. Four months into her first pregnancy, the 35-year-old says she’s been caught off guard by the “weird” desires she’s had for meaty dishes that she typically avoids.

“I’ve had strong cravings for junk food, like hamburgers and fried chicken,” she says. “I don’t even like fried chicken at all!” 

How Chinese media covers US gun violence

Feb 16, 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.

I arrived in America on Thanksgiving Day 1981. It seemed to me then that music, like so many aspects of life in America, was racially demarcated: You had soul and R&B for African Americans, you had rock ’n’ roll and country western for white Americans.

So where does a refugee from Vietnam fit in?

The media frenzy around 17-year-old snowboarder Chloe Kim is deserved. She’s the youngest female snowboarder to win gold at the Winter Olympics. During competition on the halfpipe, she earned a near-perfect score while showing off her signature back-to-back 1080s — she’s the first to do the move in competition.

But beyond her athletic feats, the media and general public cannot seem to get enough of her and her family’s immigrant story. Chloe is a snowboarding prodigy who showed talent at a young age. Her father, Jong Jin Kim, nurtured her skills.

Editor's note: This piece's author, Amy Costello, is reporting on aid workers' experiences with sexual harassment and abuse. She would like to hear from you. Call us at 857-285-4157 and leave a confidential message. 

There are many things about the Parkland, Florida, high school massacre that are depressingly familiar. One is the weapon used by the 19-year-old suspect.

It was an AR-15. The same lightweight, semi-automatic rifle used in many other mass shootings, including Newtown in 2013, San Bernardino in 2015, and Las Vegas and Sutherland Springs last year. 

On the deck of the Razorbill, docked in the English port of Ramsgate, Steve Barratt runs thousands of feet of nets through a squeaky pulley, getting ready for another long night of fishing in the North Sea.

It’s a time-worn routine for him, but it has its rewards. As they whiz by, he snags a fish still stuck in one of the nets from the night before and tosses it to the side.

“That’s a Dover sole,” he says. “So that’ll be my dinner later!”

Back in 2010, a pivotal moment arrived for American craft beers at Munich's Oktoberfest.

“They announced, ‘The gold medal for the best Oktoberfest in the world went to — gasp — Samuel Adams' Octoberfest.' The air went out of the room,” said Jim Koch, founder of the Boston Beer Company, which brews Samuel Adams beer.

The governor of Puerto Rico, Ricardo Rossello, is coming to Philadelphia on Friday and will be meeting with local Latino leaders and clergy.

They'll be asking him to help release federal resources for Puerto Ricans who evacuated to the city after Hurricane Maria devastated the island last fall.

More than 800 families have evacuated from Puerto Rico to Philadelphia. And they’re still coming. Many of them have been able to stay temporarily with family and friends or in hotels. But some will have to leave their hotel rooms on Wednesday, and others by the end of March.

In their final Olympic appearance, the joint Korean women’s ice hockey team got off to a bad start, giving up two goals to Japan in just the first few minutes. They went on to lose 4-1, with Korean American Randi Heesoo Griffin scoring the team’s only goal of the Olympics.