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Dec 4, 2017

From PRI's The World ©2017 PRI

On Oct. 21, when wildfires in Northern California were still smoldering, about 150 people gathered at a middle school gymnasium. Thousands more watched the livestream on Facebook. Officials in Sonoma County, the region most devastated by the fires, had put together a Spanish-language community forum to address the concerns of the Latino community — the first of its kind in the county.

When the floor opened for questions, silence filled the air. But soon, hands started flying.

Deepa Fernandes/PRI

In a tranquil lagoon on Florida’s east coast, Harold Wanless and Lynn Bauer catch sight of a manatee swimming just a few feet away from them.

The couple has driven up for the day from their home in South Florida to the small city of Satellite Beach, just south of Cape Canaveral, and watch with delight as the almost motionless manatee is joined by a sea turtle, and then another.

Each week on The World, we feature a unique selection of music. These are the highlights from this week. 

Malian guitarist and the blues

Here's a musical sample from the latest CD by Malian guitarist Boubacar Traoré. It's a magical coming together of the blues with traditional Malian instruments. 

Breaking down musical and gender barriers

Jorge Cabrera/Reuters

Tensions are high in Honduras as the country waits for presidential election results to be announced tonight.

Both candidates have declared victory as vote counting dragged on for nearly a week.

Early on, opposition leader and TV host Salvador Nasralla had a five-point lead, but the election commission stopped updating the public with the tally.

What's it like inside Riyadh's five-star 'prison?'

Dec 1, 2017
Jacquelyn Martin/Reuters 

When you think detention center, a five-star, luxury hotel is probably not what comes to mind.

But that's exactly what the Ritz-Carlton in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, has been turned into these past few weeks.

Related: White House seen to be 'hands off' as Saudi crown prince grabs more power

Stephanie Keith / REUTERS

Dozens of public defenders gathered for an impromptu protest on Tuesday in Brooklyn, after federal agents conducted a courthouse arrest.

Genaro Rojas-Hernandez was charged earlier this month with assaulting his wife. He was waiting in the hallway of the Brooklyn courthouse for a hearing on Tuesday when he was apprehended by ICE agents. The agency is seeking to have him deported to his native Mexico.

Deepa Fernandes/PRI

Magali Torres peers deep into a tiny mouth, trying hard not to laugh. Preschoolers make the funniest faces when they have their teeth checked for cavities, this nursing assistant says. She also gets regaled with exaggerated stories of doctor’s appointments, dental visits and missed appointments. There are a lot of those in this small community.

In 1925 Josephine Baker debuted in an all-black American musical revue (“La Revue Nègre”) in Paris. The 19-year-old singer and dancer from St. Louis became an overnight sensation.

“On that evening, she shattered notions of what a black artist was,” says José-Louis Bocquet, co-author along with his wife, graphic artist Catel Catel Muller, of the graphic biography, "Josephine Baker."

What it's like to be an undocumented Hollywood star

Nov 30, 2017

Marvel’s forthcoming "Black Panther" movie is about the king of a technologically advanced African society — a society that hides itself from the world, pretending to be agrarian and powerless. Bambadjan Bamba was also hiding — until now. 

“There’s definitely a relief,” says Bamba, who plays a military leader in "Black Panther." “Like, OK, I just let the whole world in about who I am. So there’s really nothing to hide.”

Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters

Finding proof of how Russia was involved in the US presidential election is the Holy Grail for many journalists today.

But for foreign correspondents based in Moscow, chasing the story is often an exercise in futility. 

“So much of its original identity is gone because of the Christianization that has happened. If you look around my house, every book that says Choctaw on it, anything about songs … it’s just Christian hymns being sung in the Choctaw language. There were definitely songs my great-grandpa was singing before they started singing whatever Christian hymns were being [sung].”

Jon Nazca/Reuters 

Mosquitoes are, by far, the deadliest animals on Earth. More than 725,000 people die from mosquito-borne illnesses like malaria each year, and millions are affected by mosquito-borne illnesses, according to the World Health Organization.

As a young adult, Reem Kassis left her Palestinian family behind in Jerusalem. She pursued her education and her dreams in business overseas, including in the US.

But the smell of home cooking knows no boundaries. And now Reem Kassis has written a book, "The Palestinian Table," that's as much a memoir as a collection of recipes.

North Korea’s latest long-range missile test comes after a two-month lull in testing that might have had more to do with the country’s harvest than the Trump administration’s approach.

Here are answers to three key questions you might be asking now:

1. Is North Korea more of a threat today than it was Tuesday?