The World on WLRN

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

Why is ISIS attacking Turkey, a Muslim country?

5 hours ago
Osman Orsal/Reuters

Turkey, for a long time, was a beacon of stability between Europe and the Middle East.

Now, the country is caught in a vortex of high tension and overlapping security crises.

Turkey has taken in a huge number of Syrian refugees — approximately 3 million. It’s also under severe pressure from Europe to stem the flow of migrants and jihadists, and yet more pressure from the US to battle ISIS.

If you have been following the Brexit debate, there are probably a couple of names that you've heard a lot.

Two people arguably had the biggest influence in pulling off Britain’s decision to leave the European Union. One is Nigel Farage. The other is Boris Johnson.

Farage started the serious conversation about Brexit by gradually turning it into a big issue with the British public. Johnson pretty much put it to rest last week by effectively leading the campaign that has finally secured it.

Reuters/Osman Orsal

Before Tuesday's attack on the Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul, Turkey was making headlines for a recent diplomatic blitz, extending olive branches to Israel and Russia while continuing its pursuit for membership in the European Union.

Then came the attack.

Three suicide bombers left 42 people dead, more than 230 injured and a nation in mourning.

If you’re from, say, California or Michigan, would you say you’re a Californian or Michigander first, or an American? You probably haven’t spent all that much time pondering this. But ask a Puerto Rican that question — are you a Puerto Rican or an American first — and the responses can get pretty involved.

At a summer leadership session in San Juan for university students, with the group Puerto Rican Minds in Action, a few college students talked about their identities as Puerto Rican Americans.

They've been called Toronto's Bonnie and Clyde. Except they are rodents — giant rodents.

Two capybaras made an audacious escape from Toronto’s High Park Zoo on May 24. And the pair was spotted repeatedly by pedestrians in the park.

From Brussels, Brexit looks a lot like Kabuki theater

14 hours ago
Eric Vidal/Reuters

Regret is just one feeling in the Brexit vote. The other could be illusion — as in, the whole Brexit vote was one giant hoax. Britain will never actually leave Europe.

That's the take Andrew Moravcsik has on Britain. He's a professor or politics at Princeton and his subject is the European Union.

To him, you should call the whole Brexit drama what it actually is: "Kabuki theater."

Osman Orsal/Reuters

The death toll in the trio of suicide attacks at Ataturk International Airport on Tuesday climbed to 42 — and more than 230 people were wounded.

Jon Nazca/Reuters

Meriden is traditionally considered to be the center of England, both geographically and as a place that represents the heartbeat of the British people. Most villages and towns demographically similar to Meriden ― white areas with relatively few immigrants ― voted to leave the European Union.

In the days after the EU referendum vote in the UK, some voters in these areas are experiencing self-doubt and even regret. This sentiment is evident on social media, where terms like "Bregret" and "Regrexit" are trending.

Matthew Engel Brexit Meriden

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. 

High school graduation can be a milestone for many first-generation college students and their families.

As part of our Global Nation reporting on education, KUT's Kate McGee met with students who participated in Breakthrough Austin, a non-profit that supports first-generation students to get their high school degree. 


Nearly 100 students enter the gym at Texas A&M International University in Laredo, near the US-Mexico border. They are practicing for their graduation and, as they enter, "Pomp and Circumstance" fills the gymnasium.  

"You’re going to be shaking hands and then you have three seconds with the picture," says Principal Israel Castilla, who takes the students through the ceremony.

Neil Hall/Reuters

A study from earlier this year found that the UK passport was among the top three "most powerful" in the world.

It could get you into 175 countries without having to apply for an advance visa. 

But after the Brexit vote, there's a fair chance this won't be the case for much longer. It is unclear whether people from the UK will be able to continue traveling freely around the 27 remaining countries of the EU.

Iceland hands England an (embarrassing) exit

Jun 28, 2016
Michael Dalder/Reuters/Livepic

The head scratching in England reached another layer Monday night. Iceland took on England in the Euro 2016 soccer tournament Monday and the nation ranked 34th in the world handed the Brits an "embarrassing" 2-1 defeat.

It's Britain's second exit from a European affair in the past week after UK voters chose to leave the European Union — a result that seemed to catch many by surprise.

Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

Google searches in the UK to push for a second referendum have spiked some 24 hours after the historic polls to leave the European Union.

A check on Google Trends, a tool that measures the interest of Google search engine users in specific words or phrases, showed that the sudden jump in searches of phrases like "what is EU?" and "what is Brexit?" was followed by another huge spike in the searches of phrases "second referendum" and "second referendum petition."

Is globalization the real culprit behind Brits' anti-Polish hate crimes?

Jun 27, 2016
Neil Hall/Reuters

So here Britain sits, having voted itself out of the European Union. Its two most powerful political parties are imploding. A currency plummeting. And its cool-headed exports, celebrity chefs, are losing their mind with all-caps instagram posts.

What could possibly help? Is there a model the UK should follow?

Jean Guerrero

Amira Matti, 11, remembers the day her little brother was almost kidnapped near their home in Guatemala City. “My little brother comes running to us and he says, ‘Someone tried to get me,’” she said. “It looked like he’d seen a ghost.” A passing driver had rescued him from the kidnappers.

So Amira's family decided it was time to get out of Guatemala, with its rising gang violence, and head for the United States. On the way, Mexican officials stopped the family and put them in a detention center for more than five months. Amira said it was a nightmare.