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.

http://www.theworld.org/

You could say the people living along the banks of the Thondwe River in southern Malawi were lucky. At least they’d been warned of the flash flood in early January that would burst through an earthen dike, wash away their homes and crops, and leave more than 4,000 of them homeless.

Amazingly, no one in the dense cluster of villages called Makawa died in the flood. But they’ve been living in pretty desperate conditions here since.

Imagine a Hawaiian island rising up out of a huge lake and you’ve got something like Nicaragua’s Ometepe. It’s the largest island in Central America’s largest lake, Lake Nicaragua. It’s where Luvys and Dayton Guzman grow plantains in the dark soil nutured by the volcano Concepción and water their cows on a black sand beach.

It’s a pretty sleepy place, which is why Luvys Guzman was surprised when a team of surveyors showed up a few months ago.

“They measured everything,” she says, “including our water tanks, laundry, houses and sheds.”

Just off the coast of tiny Guindacpan island in the central Philippines, a half dozen men in torn T-shirts and homemade flippers hold their breath and dive off a wooden boat to the sea floor 20 feet below.

Bill McKibben is never one to praise official goings-on. But as the latest marathon UN climate talks closed with the most substantial global agreement ever on fighting climate change, even he could barely contain himself.

“This agreement won't save the planet,” McKibben tweeted late Saturday. “(But) it may have saved the chance to save the planet (if we all fight like hell in the years ahead).”

'I can't control my gender'

May 25, 2018

Stephanie Labbé played on the biggest stage in the soccer world: the Olympics.

She won a bronze medal two years ago in Rio as the starting goalie for Canada's national women's team. Now, she wants to add to her list of accomplishments by planning for the Calgary Foothills men's soccer team.

Despite qualifying, the Premier Development League, which oversees the Foothills won't allow Labbé to play because of her gender. Labbé recently told The World's Marco Werman about her disappointment.  

After days of growing uncertainty, President Donald Trump on Thursday canceled a much-hyped summit with North Korea, writing in a letter to its leader, Kim Jong-un, that the world “has lost a great opportunity for lasting peace.”

But in televised remarks shortly afterward, Trump said “it’s possible” the meeting, which was scheduled to take place June 12 in Singapore, “could take place, or a summit at some later date."

“Nobody should be anxious,” he added. “We have to get it right.”

It’s never been a tough question for her.

Irish podcaster Ciara O’Connor Walsh, 37, says she has always been a supporter of abortion rights. But as she was parking her car one day, O’Connor Walsh was suddenly confronted by one of her own prejudices.

There was a bumper sticker on the car next to hers with a picture of a smiling fetus on it saying, “When I grow up, I’m going to play for Ireland.” The sticker also said, “Love both,” a motto used by anti-abortion activists in Ireland.

Cypress Creek Renewables builds and manages large-scale solar farms across the US, which supply power to utilities. The company’s CEO Matt McGovern said “it’s very difficult, if not impossible” to find all of the solar equipment it needs from US manufacturers.

So, McGovern says he has to turn to Asia to import equipment: “Malaysia, Vietnam, South Korea, some out of China.”

Rollin Virgile walks through his store amid dozens of weddings dresses, white floral crowns, men’s tuxedo vests and baptism gowns. He greets customers in Creole: "Bonswa, koman nou ye?" (Good afternoon, how are you all?) Virgile has been in the same location, at Northeast 82nd street and Second Avenue — the heart of Miami's Little Haiti neighborhood — for 32 years. His store, Virgile's Tuxedo & Formal Wear, is a go-to for Miami's Haitian community, where customers can rent a tuxedo, robe bridesmaids or find first communion accoutrements.

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg left some European Parliament lawmakers and observers feeling displeased Tuesday after he failed to answer several questions during a Brussels meeting called in the wake of a user data privacy scandal involving his company and British data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica.

This month is the holy month of Ramadan and for many Muslims, that means fasting between sunrise and sunset. If you are a Muslim living with an eating disorder, however, Ramadan can pose a whole set of challenges. Adeline Hocine wrote about her experience with battling the illness during the holy month for Teen Vogue.

Mohammed al-Khatib was just was 6 months old when his parents carried him across the border to Lebanon. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians like them were fleeing their homes and villages, taking only what they could carry.

On May 14, 1948, Israel declared its independence. The next day, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq and Syria declared war on Israel. Many Palestinians fled, believing they would return within days or week.

Most still haven't returned, 70 years later.

The date is set for June 12. And there’s already an advance team on the ground in Singapore making final preparations for a historic summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un. That is, if the meeting actually takes place. The World spoke on Monday with Victor Cha, a former top adviser on North Korea to President George W. Bush, about some of the difficulties ahead of next month’s planned summit. 

It was the middle of April when they showed up at the border, covered in mud. Ana, eight months pregnant, accompanied by her 4-year-old daughter, had just crossed the Rio Grande into Texas.

“We didn’t have shoes on, we stood there in our socks,” she says.

There are 28 other monarchies in the world

May 18, 2018

The world has been consumed by royal wedding fever, as is customary when the British royals do, well, anything. Prince Harry, sixth in line to the throne, is set to marry American actress Meghan Markle on Saturday in a lavish ceremony at Windsor Castle. 

With so much attention on them, one could be forgiven for not realizing there are actually many other royal families around the world. They’re in charge of 28 monarchies overseeing 29 countries, from absolute monarchies, such as Vatican City and Brunei, to constitutional democracies like those in most of Europe.  

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