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.

At least 30 children were among the people killed Thursday when their bus was struck by a missile fired from a warplane in northern Yemen. While authorities vow to investigate, Yemenis are drawing their own conclusions.

The bus, parked at a busy market in Saada in northern Yemen, was filled with boys returning to school following a picnic outing. Yemeni social media lit up with reports of civilian deaths.

On a hot August morning, tour guide Carsten Dedert leads a group of tourists to the entrance of a German anti-aircraft fortress known as a Flak Tower. When this building stood intact during World War II, each of its four towers was mounted with a 27-ton gun to shoot down Allied aircraft. Civilians also used the building as a shelter during air raids.

“This is the main reason the ceiling above your head was built quite thick,” Dedert tells visitors. “Nearly 12 feet.”

A new symbol of women’s rights is turning up at protests from Latin America to the British Isles and across the US. The scarlet cloak and white bonnet outfit from “The Handmaid’s Tale” is being worn by women rallying for abortion rights and fighting against policies and politicians seeking to restrict those rights.

Why taking a sunflower selfie this year might cost you

Aug 8, 2018

If you're a fan of Instagram, you’ve probably seen the shot — a person stands waist deep in sunflowers, with a wistful look on their face. Maybe they include some inspirational words in the caption about enjoying the moment or living in the light.

It’s called a sunflower selfie.

President Donald Trump sent off a barrage of tweets this weekend, questioning, among other things, the Russia collusion investigation and the intelligence of Lebron James. In other words, it was a typical weekend. But lost in the mix were two tweets about economics.

Trump said his tariffs will allow us to pay down “large amounts” of the $21 trillion debt. Is that possible? Could tariffs raise enough revenue to substantially reduce the debt?

You’ve probably seen Shigeaki Mori. A photo of him hugging President Barack Obama was published around the world after Obama visited Hiroshima in 2016. 

Mori, now 81, is a Hiroshima survivor.

In a 2016 speech at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, Obama said atomic bomb survivors have stories that make war less likely and cruelty less easily accepted. He mentioned Mori that day, highlighting him as “the man who sought out families of Americans killed here because he believed their loss was equal to his own.” 

It's an obscure ocean current in a remote part of the world. But what happens to it as the planet and the oceans warm up could affect the lives of people everywhere.

That’s why Bob Pickart, a physical oceanographer from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution on Cape Cod, traveled to Ísafjörður, Iceland, in the middle of the harsh North Atlantic winter, planning to head into the teeth of some of the worst weather imaginable.

On a quiet street in Worcester, Massachusetts, there’s a little white clapboard church with a steeple called Hadwen Park Congregational Church. Over the past decade, this classic-looking, century-old New England church has become a destination for migrants who were persecuted for their gender or sexual orientation and had to flee their homes. Some find the church online: If you google words like “asylum-seeker,” “LGBT” and  “looking for help,” this church comes up. Others hear about it through word of mouth.

What do the United States, Nigeria, Iraq, Sierra Leone and France all have in common? 

They all have remixed version of Childish Gambino's “This is America” music video specific to their individual countries. The original video is a social and political critique of America that has generated conversation and controversy in the US and, as of publication, more than 350 million views.

President Donald Trump was in southwest Illinois last week touting the re-opening of a steel mill. He credited tariffs for bringing back steel jobs.

But Illinois is also soy country — it’s America’s No. 1 soy-producing state — and soy and corn farmers there are worried about tariffs, retaliatory ones from China.

Speaking in Granite City, Illinois, Trump said American farmers would act like patriots to help him win a trade war.

Here's the next smooth step in Tash Sultana's flow state

Jul 30, 2018

Tash Sultana is making a smooth evolution with her latest single, "Salvation."

With her new track, the Australian native is giving her growing legion of fans a taste from her upcoming full-length album, which is expected to be released in August.

On July 26, 2016, a young girl stepped up to the mic at a meeting of the San Diego Unified School District Board of Education

“Good evening. My name is Sohaila Gebaly,” she said. “I’m going to 6th grade. I love school and science.” 

Gebaly went on to tell board members that the year before, three boys in school started calling her names. When no one stopped them, they hit her, kicked her and pushed her. 

When Esther Hugenholtz stepped forward to give the final sermon at the B’nai Jacob synagogue in Ottumwa, Iowa, in May, she felt a rush of bittersweet emotions.

“It runs against every fiber of my being to sunset a synagogue,” says Hugenholtz, a 40-year-old rabbi in Iowa City. “I felt incredibly honored as a young rabbi to sit by the bedside of this community and pour my love into them, and bless them with this final blessing.”

When author Jean Guerrero was just a child growing up in southern California, her Mexican father introduced her to the power of fantasy.

Their bond began to fray when he started to be overwhelmed by paranoid thoughts and suffered a breakdown. Guerrero, the Fronteras reporter for KPBS in San Diego, tries to untangle what happened to their relationship in "Crux: A Cross-Border Memoir." She spoke about her book with The World’s Marco Werman. 

On the 65th anniversary of the signing of the armistice agreement that ended the Korean War, the American president had some warm words for North Korea’s dictator, Kim Jong-un. 

“I want to thank Chairman Kim for keeping his word,” President Donald Trump said Friday, praising Kim for relinquishing the suspected remains of 50 American servicemen. Trump also announced that Vice President Mike Pence would meet families of US soldiers killed in Korea when the remains arrive home

Thousands of fans will gather in Otsu, Japan, on Monday to watch a sumo match, part of an annual summer tour. 

Normally, the mayor would give a welcome speech from inside the ring. But that can’t happen in Otsu because its mayor, Naomi Koshi, is a woman and women are forbidden from entering the sumo ring. 

“The Sumo Association is approved by the government, so it should follow the constitution, which says men and women should be treated equally,” said Koshi, who with another female mayor, has launched an effort to change the rules. 

Herberth Cortez Gaitan waited 16 years for his asylum application to be processed and rejected. It took nine more years for the courts to decide to deport him.

But, as it turned out, four months later, a US federal appeals court found that the government made a mistake.

Herberth Cortez Gaitan waited 16 years for his asylum application to be processed and rejected. It took nine more years for the courts to decide to deport him.

But, as it turned out, four months later, a US federal appeals court found that the government made a mistake.

How does an industrial city reinvent itself when its main industry disappears? That’s a problem that dozens of American cities have confronted over the past generation.

Consider Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, population 75,000. The city was once synonymous with the company Bethlehem Steel Corp. Iron and steel had been produced in Bethlehem since just before the Civil War. 

When Elyse Dinh first saw the rack of clothes that had been brought in for her character, Mrs. Phan in the OWN television show “Queen Sugar,” she thought the costume department had made a mistake.

She saw shades of coral, yellow and purple. There were pretty blouses with birds and elephants on them. There were even bright orange capris.

When US Attorney General Jeff Sessions warned sanctuary cities and counties in a press conference on Monday that they could lose federal grants, he cited a new immigration report about immigrants who were not detained by immigration officials:

“The charges and convictions against these aliens include drug trafficking, hit and run, rape, sex offenses against a child and even murder,” he said.

When Ehab al-Hurriaya fled to Lebanon from Syria four years ago, it wasn’t just the fighting he was fleeing, but the fear he would have to join it. He had just turned 18 and would be forced to serve in the Syrian army.

“If I stayed, I needed to go to the military,” Hurriaya says.

Men between 18 and 42 are required to serve in the military, according to Syria’s constitution. They face a difficult decision: They must be conscripted into the army, or leave the country.

Marc Alain Boucicault has a vision for Haiti. It’s one that comes from experience at home and in the US, and one he hopes other Haitians who return to the island can get on board with.

No one really hears about Yosemite National Park's immigrant history.

Or at least Yenyen Chan hadn't. A park ranger at the famed national park, she grew up in Los Angeles with her Chinese parents. When she landed the job at Yosemite, she realized how little she knew about the park's immigrant past.

So she dug in and stories spilled out about the critical role Chinese workers played in shaping Yosemite during the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Anger and fury led Jiim Siin to embrace political satire.

“Every time I get into a conversation or any discussion about the situation in Syria, I get very angry,” he says.  

Jiim Siin is a Syrian who’s emotionally battered by what’s happened to his country. 

AP world history covered about 10,000 years when 16-year-old Paige Becker took it last year in Lady Lake, Florida.

“For me, it wasn’t too much because I love the course,” she says, “but I know not everybody’s a history lover.”

Concrete has built our modern world. It makes our homes, offices, sidewalks, roads and bridges. But its production also spews carbon dioxide into the air. And as developing countries urbanize, global markets for the sand used in concrete are being stressed

Scientists around the world are developing more sustainable versions of the all-important material. 

Joan Baez reflects on these 'ghastly' times

Jul 19, 2018

The 1960s was a turbulent decade in American history. There were political assassinations, the US was embroiled in the Vietnam War and marchers for civil rights occupied the country's streets. One of the voices who defined the music of that decade was Joan Baez, who debuted her first album when she was just 19 years old. 

Deep in rural Cambodia, Chan Vanna pushes his longtail boat through the calm waters of the Koh Kong estuary. Until about 10 years ago, Vanna made a living fishing here, providing for his wife, Wid, and their seven children. Then one day, he says, giant machines showed up at their small inlet and started dredging sand from the bottom of the river.

“They never discussed with our community,” Vanna says. “They came to dredge and the land fell down. And the water became deep.”

The land “fell down” because the dredging caused the riverbanks to wash away.

In the early days of American democracy, you could always count on Benjamin Franklin for a good political joke to put things into perspective. In the early days of Egypt's democracy, you've got Bassem Youssef. He's been called the "Egyptian Jon Stewart." The former heart surgeon, shot to fame during Egypt's revolution in 2011 after he posted videos on YouTube lampooning political figures. And those videos paved the way for a TV show with millions of viewers. But over the weekend Bassem Youssef saw what happens when he thinks he's funny, but the Egyptian government does not.

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