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.

It took him 32 years, but scientist Sam Hudson and a team of other researchers have found a way to produce silk without silkworms. 

Unlike fabrics such as polyester or nylon, there’s no petroleum-based plastic. Unlike rayon, there’s no toxic chemicals or deforestation involved. 

It’s a yeast that when you add sugar and vitamins, it grows — secretes, to be precise — a spider silk. 

Paulo Whitaker/Reuters

While Puerto Rico slowly recovers from the destruction of Hurricane Maria in September, hospitals on the mainland are dealing with some of the side effects of that destruction. They're struggling with a shortage of intravenous fluids directly linked the hurricane damage. 

Phillip Bonner, former Special Agent of the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement/PRI

When Rotchana Sussman arrived in Los Angeles in 1994, she thought she was about to start a new, well-paying job as a garment worker.

She had worked in a factory in her native country, Thailand. She’d heard that work in Los Angeles paid three times as much. But when Sussman, then 24, arrived at Los Angeles International airport in early 1994, she was taken directly to the small suburb of El Monte. It’s a low-income community about 22 miles from the Hollywood Hills. The housing complex where Sussman was taken was encircled by barbed wire.

And it had 24-hour armed security.

Brian Snyder/Reuters

The US Supreme Court on Monday handed a victory to President Donald Trump by allowing his latest travel ban targeting people from six Muslim-majority countries to go into full effect even as legal challenges continue in lower courts.

The nine-member court, with two liberal justices dissenting, granted his administration's request to lift two injunctions imposed by lower courts that had partially blocked the ban, which is the third version of a contentious policy that Trump first sought to implement a week after taking office in January.

President Donald Trump told Israeli and Palestinian leaders on Tuesday that he plans to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, upending decades of American policy. 

Senior US officials have said Trump is likely on Wednesday to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital while delaying relocating the embassy from Tel Aviv for another six months, though he is expected to order his aides to begin planning such a move immediately.

Kyle Grillot/Reuters

As the Federal Communications Commission moves closer to dismantling rules created to ensure equal access to the internet, India’s telecommunications regulator is moving in the opposite direction.

A-side B-side is a reoccurring segment on The World as part of a partnership with Smithsonian Folklife Festival. The series compares the sounds and ideas of two songs, albums or artists. On the A-side: a folk or traditional selection; on the B-side: a contemporary selection.

This week’s A-side B-side is a little bit more complicated. 

If there isn't a word for the moments before you forget your nightmare or the pain of a heartbreak, there’s a sound.

Ismael Ferdous/PRI 

Arati Baladas, a 20-year-old Bangladeshi woman, lost her mother and her right foot when Rana Plaza collapsed around her in 2013. For Acree Bell Lassiter, now 89, being a creeler, replacing empty spools in a cotton mill in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, helped her buy her first car and rent a room.

Khaled Abdullah/File Photo/Reuters

A video was rapidly shared across Yemeni social media Monday afternoon, showing a man's body being carried on a blanket. He was identified as the most powerful man in Yemen, the former president, Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Saleh was at the center of Yemeni politics for 50 years. His death on Monday was mourned by many, especially in the country's north.

Her job at the mill bought her a new, better life

Dec 4, 2017
Jasmine Garsd/PRI

In Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, people like to tell a story about how in the middle of the summer, it used to snow. The white flakes would swirl around and stick to your hair and your car and your lawn. It was all over the place.

This wasn’t snow, though. It was cotton, floating out of the town’s seven cotton mills. This was before air conditioning was commonplace, and the factories would open their windows to let a breeze in.

Acree Bell Lassiter, 89, who now lives just outside the town, remembers those days well. “My daddy was a sharecropper,” she explains.

How fair is your fashion? Take the quiz.

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.