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.

There’s some good news for monarch butterflies this winter.

The iconic black and orange-yellow migratory butterflies have been dying off over the past several years due to habitat loss.

But this winter, the number of monarchs hibernating in southern Mexico has rebounded, according to a December survey. Winter colonies covered about 10 acres of forest this winter, up from around three last winter.  

When Rio de Janeiro beat out Chicago, Tokyo and Madrid to host the 2016 Olympic Games, it was a huge morale-booster for Brazil. It was October 2009 and the Brazilian seaside city erupted in celebration when it became the first to host the Olympics in South America.

In making its bid, the Brazilian Olympic committee promised to create a city worthy of the Olympic torch. It promised to tackle Rio's clogged streets, upgrade up the favelas, and clean up Rio's polluted bays and waterways which are full of sewage and other filth.

The US helped lead nearly 200 countries to an international climate change agreement in Paris this past December.

The upcoming election could determine if the US continues that leadership role, or if it reneges on its commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions. 

Climate policy falls along party lines

If former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton or Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders wins the White House, US climate policy would, in broad strokes, stay the current course.  

The satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo is well-versed in the art of sarcasm and dark humor, to the point of upsetting many with controversial covers.

In their first issue this year, the weekly opens up about the trials of maintaining a publication that has been the target of deadly attacks and wonders how long they will be able to keep the lights on.

Less than two weeks from now, the federal government could shut down unless Congress can pass a spending bill. But the status of undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children has once again become a point of contention.

In Iceland, a new law that works to ensure that men and women get paid equally went into effect this month.

It requires all companies with at least 25 employees to obtain government certification of their equal pay policies. Those that fail to receive this certification will be fined and publicly outed.

California legalized marijuana on New Year’s Day.

But pot possession and use could still have dire effects for noncitizens and undocumented immigrants.

Marijuana is still illegal federally. And federal law controls immigration. 

“It’s really unfortunate,” says Alameda County Public Defender Brendon Woods. “For immigrants, anyone who is convicted of possession of over 30 grams of marijuana, whether here legally or not, will be deportable.”   

A-side B-side is a reoccurring segment on The World as part of a partnership with Smithsonian Folklife Festival. The series compares the sounds and ideas of two songs, albums or artists. On the A-side: a folk or traditional selection; on the B-side: a contemporary selection.

"Stambul Naturil" and "Beatriz" are both folk songs, but they are not one and the same simply because of the genre.

A billionaire who is known throughout the financial world has been held in detention — for two months — by Saudi Arabian authorities. But like the billionaire, the story has disappeared. 

The 'Truce Village' between North and South Korea

Jan 5, 2018

Next week, top officials from both South Korea and North Korea will be going to a village in the demilitarized zone called Panmunjom to discuss the Winter Olympics.

Panmunjom is historic.

It's where the armistice was signed in 1953 that brought fighting in the Korean War to an end.

Now, it’s become a tourist destination — although a dangerous one — known to some as ''the most tense place on the planet.''

It’s one of the only places where soldiers from the North and South stand face-to-face.

Washington accuses Pakistan of playing a dangerous double game of accepting billions in US aid while supporting militants who attack US forces in Afghanistan, including the Taliban. 

The dramatic freeze in deliveries of military equipment and security funding comes after President Donald Trump lambasted Pakistan for its alleged support for militant safe havens, including in a furious New Year tweet. 

Each week on The World, we feature a unique selection of musicians, and we compile some of them for you here. 

 

Mosquitos - The Band!

Mosquitos are back with their first album in 10 years. Singer Juju Stullbach is originally from Brazil, but she and fellow band member Chris Root both call New York City and Oaxaca, Mexico home. The third member of the group, Jon Marshall, found a place in the mountains of North Carolina. Bits of the album were recorded and mixed in all three locations. 

In the Telemundo telenovela "Reina de Corazones," Pablo Azar plays a revenge-seeking son who poses as a valet driver to get even for his mother’s death. 

“The murderer is always the nice guy, the innocent one,” he said in one of the scenes, as he brandishes a gun in an immaculate South Florida living room. But Azar, with a self-described “good guy face” who usually is cast as a heart-throb or good-guy-turned-bad, is now playing a role he’s never been cast for on TV — union organizer.

This time of year Moscow's onion domes are supposed to be covered in snow, but so far this winter has been a bust. 

Through Christmas and New Year's there were no flakes at all. That hasn't been great news for Russian landscape photographer Ivan Boiko. "It is indeed very untypical for this time of year and for this geography. It's quite a rare thing, I would say."

It hasn't even been that cold. Temperatures have averaged a relatively balmy 30 degrees Fahrenheit. Boiko's frustrated because he loves shooting winter scenes that show the texture of the snow and cold. 

Bomb cyclone. Weather bomb. Snow bomb.

What’s with all the weapons analogies for the storm dumping snow on the East Coast today? 

The bomb references may seem to have popped up out of nowhere this week, but the word has actually been used to describe powerful, rapidly intensifying winter storms for decades. 

Venezuela was once Latin America’s richest economy, with the largest proven oil reserves in the world. Now, the oil infrastructure is crumbling and oil production has plummeted, severely limiting the amount of money the government can spend importing food and medicine.

How did Venezuela get here?

Related: Photos: A year of protests and crisis in volatile Venezuela

More than three months after Hurricanes Maria and Irma slammed their island, over a million Puerto Ricans are still without reliable power. But one recent day, Rosa López and José Quiñones finally left those ranks.

Oil is king in Iran's economy. 

So when unrest broke out in recent days in the country's key western oil-producing areas — including Khuzestan province — it sent a deep shudder through the Iranian regime. More than 80 percent of Iran's oil and gas reserves originate in Khuzestan.

The first thing Neha Mahajan did when she received her authorization to work in the United States was apply for a social security number. Then, she opened up her own bank account.

“I will no longer be my husband’s wife, only,” she declared to PRI’s The World in an interview at the time. Her voice was clear and crisp, groomed from years of working as a broadcast journalist in her native New Delhi.

Not long ago, Saveur Magazine dubbed New Jersey the most “edible state” in the country, with a food culture more rich and diverse than California or New York. A nice feather in the cap for the state. But going beyond accolades for dishes served up in restaurants, New Jersey is also working to distinguish itself as the nation’s center for the import and export of food.

On Tuesday night, President Donald Trump tauntingly tweeted a response to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's recent speech where Kim warned the US that he has a "nuclear button" on his desk at all times. Trump tweeted that his button is "much bigger" and "more powerful" than Kim's.

Migrants stuck in Serbia play a desperate 'game' to reach the EU

Jan 3, 2018

The town of Sid, in western Serbia, is surrounded by vast acres of farmland that stretch for miles in all directions and into neighboring Croatia.

At the height of the migrant crisis in the summer of 2015, hundreds of thousands filed through tall cornfields and crossed the border, sometimes without knowing exactly when.  

Reaching the other side marked the beginning of the end of their journey — no more hard borders, just a few buses and trains between them and western Europe.

The United States on Tuesday urged Iran to stop blocking online social media and advised its citizens to set up virtual private networks, or VPNs, to circumvent censorship.

Since the protests erupted, Iran has restricted some social media services like Instagram and Telegram that authorities fear will be used to spread news about the unrest.

With just a month to go before the start of the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics in South Korea, there’s still no decision from North Korea if it will send its athletes to the games.

After months of giving South Korea the cold shoulder, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said in his New Year's speech that he was willing to send a delegation to the 2018 Olympics in the south.

In a dark, abandoned warehouse on the edge of Europe, a group of young men are gathered around a fire with a nervous eye on the exit.

They came here to the Greek island of Lesbos from Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco in the hopes of pressing on to mainland Europe and to a better life, but they are stuck.

Their claims for asylum have either been rejected or placed at the bottom of the pile. Some have been waiting for more than a year.  

After you collect your cans, bottles and paper, then put them out by the curb, do you ever think about where everything goes after the truck picks things up? Largely, it goes to China.

Every day, nearly 4,000 shipping containers full of recyclables leave US ports bound for China. China sends the US toys, clothes and electronics; in return, some of America’s largest exports back are paper, plastic and aluminum.

Yes, it's freezing. But climate change is still real.

Dec 29, 2017

It’s cold this week. Really cold.

Firefighters saw water freezing in their hoses as they fought a blaze south of Montreal Thursday night, and farmers in the upper Midwest are worried about the fate of their winter wheat crop.   

The bone-chilling temperatures that have settled over the central and eastern US and much of Canada this week will likely last into 2018.   

The National Weather Service forecasts wind chills around – 40 degrees Fahrenheit  for much of the upper Midwest on New Year’s Eve.

The risks of war with North Korea in 2018

Dec 29, 2017

One of the most serious issues of 2017 has been what to do about North Korea.

In September, the regime of Kim Jong-un tested a large nuclear weapon underground, claiming it was a hydrogen bomb.

North Korea has also demonstrated this year that it has the missile technology to deliver its warheads pretty much anywhere in the world.

How my grandparents celebrated the New Year in Russia

Dec 29, 2017

Last year, for the first time in my life, I purchased a Christmas tree.

I was 21, back home from college on break, happy to be done with another semester. Whenever I’m home, I visit my maternal grandparents, Nataliya and Mikhail Malkes, and they enjoy treating me with tea, sweets and pleasant conversations.

Nolvin García had never before received regular amounts of money from his relatives in the United States. That was not a problem for him. The 22-year-old and his family got along just fine, living in a small town in Guatemala’s western highlands. His undocumented relatives might send gifts for a birthday. But never large amounts of money, sent at regular intervals.

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