The World on WLRN

Weekdays at 3:00pm

A one-hour, weekday radio news magazine offering a mix of news, features, interviews, and music from around the globe.

This quiz will make you smarter about the Zika virus

4 hours ago
Leonhard Foeger/Reuters

Zika virus is no stranger to people. It was first identified in Uganda in 1947 and outbreaks have been recorded in countries in Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific.

However, the mosquito-borne virus only caught global attention when the world began seeing images of Brazilian babies with abnormally small heads, a birth defect known as microcephaly — widely attributed, but not conclusively linked, to Zika.

Snow on the roads in Sweden — no problem

4 hours ago

In Boston, it’s been a relatively mild winter. But people here are still having collective nightmares about last year — around nine feet of snow fell in six weeks.

Roads were impassable, the trains stopped running, and cars were buried for weeks under mounds of snow. The city paid tens of millions of dollars in overtime pay. And, according to the firm Planalytics, it cost New England between $3 and $5 billion in lost productivity.

It snows a lot in Stockholm too. But the city keeps on going. Always.

Pope mania hits Mexico

4 hours ago
Alessandro Di Meo/Reuters

In Mexico City, the Basilica of our Lady of Guadalupe is a busy place on a normal day.

It’s one of the most popular pilgrimage spots for Catholics in Latin America, visited by millions every year. But this weekend, it will be taken to a different level, with pope mania. It's where Pope Francis will head during the first leg of his week-long visit to Mexico.

He will pay homage to the basilica’s shrine to the Virgin of Guadalupe, the most ubiquitous Catholic image in Mexico (and in much of Latin America and the United States).

Ceasefire in Syria doesn't hold promise for this professor

5 hours ago
Michael Dalder/Reuters

A ceasefire deal announced for Syria surprised many observers Friday morning. And there are doubts about whether the deal can be implemented, because Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has said he's not bound by the deal.

Amr al-Azm, a professor and opponent of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad doesn't think the deal is cause for celebration.

Up the mountain, down the mountain in Tehran

6 hours ago
Marco Werman

If I were a downhill skiier, I had today planned perfectly. Up at 6, on the slopes by 9. I wasn’t skiing though. I wanted to meet the Tehranis who do ski.

Unfortunately, before I had a chance to get deep into this story, the security at Tochal ski center informed me that my press credentials were not sufficient to let me speak with people on the summit.


Rhitu Chatterjee

On a hilly slope in São Paulo City, a group of sixth graders is busy at work. They’re armed with seeds, soil and a range of gardening tools. Upside-down soda bottles, filled with water, outline a series of rectangular garden plots. A boy named Felipy Pigato tells me they are preparing the soil for planting.

“Yesterday we mixed regular soil with coconut fiber,” he says. “The coconut fiber holds the seeds in the soil.”  

Diana Gameros, 33, sings about the struggles of her hometown in Mexico and about life as undocumented immigrant. Her debut album, Eterno Retorno, was released in 2014 and Mother Jones called her one of five female singers to watch

Now, after 13 years in the US, she has a visa that puts her on the path to citizenship. And she's working on her second album. Here’s her story, in her own words.

Maggy Donaldson

After a 50-year civil war, Colombia is close to signing a peace deal with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the main rebel group in the country. That treaty could radically change Colombia’s prospects.

But for millions of indigenous, Afro-Colombian and peasant women, it’ll be hard to recover. The war has displaced them from rural areas to cities, where they’re basically stuck — as maids.

Left: Alexandre Meneghini/Reuters; right: Alexandre Meneghini/Reuters

Cuba was the setting for what could be a reconciliation nearly a millennium in the making: Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church and Pope Francis of the Roman Catholic Church met in Havana's Jose Martí Airport Friday morning.

It's the first time leaders from both Christian sects met since the Great Schism of 1054.

Emtithal Mahmoud and the poetry of resilience

7 hours ago

Emtithal Mahmoud is having quite the senior year at Yale.

In October, she won the International World Poetry Slam Championship in Washington, DC.  In November she was named one of the BBC’s 100 Women of 2015. Last week she met with President Barack Obama on his visit to the Islamic Society of Baltimore.