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.

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Brendan McDermid/Reuters

The gruesome killing of a 17-year-old girl in Virginia this week has become fuel for political narratives on either side of the US spectrum.

Nabra Hassanen was with friends outside her mosque, the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) Center, when a driver rode over the curb and scattered the crowd of teens. He then took Hassanen in his car and beat her to death with a bat.

A top US ally runs secret torture prisons in Yemen

Jun 23, 2017

The list of abuses being faced by people in secret prisons across Yemen is long — electric shocks, beatings with metal objects, forced nudity, sexual harassment, threats, sleep deprivation and sensory deprivation.

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Kyodo via Reuters

The latest edition of Politico Magazine asks the question: "Who Killed Otto Warmbier?" Warmbier was the American student who died shortly after being released from imprisonment by North Korea, where he'd fallen into a coma after serving 17 months of a 15 year prison sentence on allegations he tried to steal a propaganda poster during a December 2015 trip to the authoritarian nation.

There’s a running joke in the cybersecurity industry that squirrels pose a greater threat to the power grid than hackers. 

But that’s changing. 

Russia has been able to shut off parts of the power grid to cause massive blackouts in Ukraine on two separate occasions. 

And the technology they’ve developed is highly sophisticated and adaptable, which means that any country could be the next target of Russian hackers.

It’s a typical country wedding in Mexico, this one taking place in the town of Poza Redonda, in the state of San Luis Potosí. The bride and groom exchange vows and then things get rowdy with a traditional dance, clapping and flashing lights.

There are some 320 million people in the US. Forty-three million of them were born abroad. More than 20 million immigrants are US citizens. About 11 million people are undocumented and more than 5.1 million children have one or more undocumented parents. Roughly 860,000 people have applied for temporary legal status because they were brought to the US as children without proper documentation. More than 500,000 people are waiting for their cases to be heard in immigration courts. Some 270,000 people in the US came as refugees.

Brazil's federal police, who have a role analogous to the FBI, reported to the Supreme Court this week they found evidence that President Michel Temer participated in corruption and recommended he be investigated.

If such an investigation is opened, Temer would have to step down.

The battle is still raging in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.

ISIS militants are cornered in the Old City. Iraqi and coalition forces are advancing slowly, capturing as little as one city block per day — if that. And ISIS fighters continue to strike back. On Wednesday, they seemed to detonate explosives at Mosul's 12th-century mosque. That iconic structure — with its famous leaning minaret — is now in ruins.

Nabih Bulos, a special correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, left Mosul on Tuesday. He says ISIS is using everything it has to hold on.

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Edgar Su/Reuters

After weeks of closed-door meetings, Senate Republicans on Thursday unveiled a draft of their plan to overhaul the US health system.

Haifa Jabara moved her family to Tulsa, Oklahoma, to escape a civil war. She thought she’d find peace in the United States. But last summer, her son was shot and killed

Prosecutors are calling the killing a hate crime. But the Jabara family isn’t sure the designation will make much of a difference.

“We escaped a country of violence,” says Haifa’s adult daughter, Victoria Jabara, who goes by Vicky. “And then, 30 years later, it ended in violence.”

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Jason Margolis

Last December, then-President-elect Donald Trump came to the Carrier factory in Indianapolis to deliver the big news: 1,100 jobs weren’t going to Mexico. Trump had used the bully pulpit and $7 million in state tax breaks to help accomplish this.

Cuba's Daymé Arocena found her religion through music

Jun 22, 2017

Daymé Arocena strolls onstage barefoot, beaming as her band primes an audience in Boston for 90 minutes of Cuban jazz.

Her head is wrapped in a white turban and she wears a white dress — the color of Santería, the Afro-Cuban religion born out of European Catholicism and West African Yoruba rituals brought to Cuba by slaves.

Arocena says all of Cuban music is shaped by the rhythms of Santería.

Mexican women lead initiatives to rescue native tongues

Jun 21, 2017

When Gabriela Badillo traveled to Mérida, Yucatán, more than a decade ago, she encountered children who were timid about speaking the Mayan language. As she later came to understand, fear and discrimination were factors that affected the home teaching and use of the region’s native tongue.

“Children were a bit embarrassed to speak Mayan. ... Some mothers opted to not teach them the native tongue to avoid discrimination,” Badillo recalled.

When Waldo Martínez left Sensuntepeque in the early '90s, escaping El Salvador's civil war, he never thought he'd be back 25 years later with an American wife and four Las Vegas-born kids.

Sensuntepeque is a picturesque town about two hours from San Salvador. Cobbled streets weave around the mountain; old stone buildings dot the bustling town center. Yet, despite the quaint charm, Sensuntepeque is also fraught with gang rivalries and tensions. 

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Ka Paw Say/Free Burma Rangers

David Eubank is at home in war — so is his family.

Eubank spent 10 years in the Army Special Forces. These days he's an aid worker with a relief group he founded called the Free Burma Rangers.

With his three young kids in tow, he has assisted countless civilians in conflict zones from Myanmar to Afghanistan.

Most recently, Eubank's work has taken him to the besieged city of Mosul, Iraq. That's where Iraqi forces are battling to push ISIS out of the western part of the city. It's a house-by-house fight.

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