The World

Weekdays at 8 PM
  • Hosted by Lisa Mullins

PRI’s The World is a one-hour, weekday radio news magazine offering a mix of news, features, interviews, and music from around the globe. Hosted by Lisa Mullins in Boston, it is the first global radio news program developed specifically for an American audience.

Ways to Connect

On the evening of Aug. 24, 2016, as the sound of explosions and gunfire filled the air on campus at the American University of Afghanistan, freshman Zakira Rasooli had only one thought: What would become of her mother if she died in the attack?

"My mother would not live," she says, "because everyone in the family will blame her because she sent me [here]. She wanted me to reach my dreams."

Doug Ford had been premier of Ontario for less than a month when he fulfilled a campaign promise in mid-July. Ford rolled back an updated sex ed curriculum that had been hailed as more inclusive. As it was just a few weeks into summer, the response was delayed.

“My friend called me and he was like, ‘Hey no one's doing a protest, we should do a protest,’” says Rayne Fisher-Quann, 17. “And then I was like ‘OK, sure, that sounds great.’”

Feroza Mushtari shudders as she remembers when the Taliban took power in Afghanistan.

She was a teenager living in Kabul when the group gained control there in 1996. One day out of the blue, her parents told her she must wear a burqa — a long, loose garment that conceals the shape of women's bodies. They also told her she could no longer go to school. The Taliban had banned education for girls.

C.J. Chivers' new book grapples with the human toll of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

In "In The Fighters: Americans in Combat in Afghanistan and Iraq," the New York Times journalist and former Marine infantry officer tells the story of six combatants, including Spc. Robert Soto, a soldier who initially impressed Chivers with his optimism.

After Hurricane Maria cause widespread destruction in the Caribbean last September, colleges and universities from New York to Florida offered free or discounted tuition to Puerto Rican students whose home institutions were closed after the storm.

One of the first students to take advantage of the offer was Rosamari Palerm, who enrolled at Miami’s St. Thomas University at the end of September and moved into her new dorm room just a few days later.

It’s 5 a.m. and light is just beginning to show behind the brown desert hills that surround the Yakima Valley. Patricia and Javier just arrived to work at Sonrise Orchards. They’re placing their ladders among the thick green leaves of the cherry trees. 

In Michigan, the North American Free Trade Agreement has been a source of controversy for more than 25 years. Many argue that NAFTA has allowed American car companies to compete in a hyper-competitive global market. Others say the trade deal, which took effect in 1994, bled auto jobs from the US to Mexico.

There’s a dimly lit convenience store in the mountains of western Puerto Rico where an 82-year-old man sits behind the counter ringing up snacks and sodas.

Luis Ruiz, who has watery blue eyes and a white beard, wishes he were somewhere else: outside in the sun, tending the coffee plants he farmed for decades.

“I’ve been here for 55 years. But now I can’t continue because of Maria,” Ruiz said. “I lost everything: the coffee, bananas, the oranges. I lost everything.”

Siberian war games send a signal to the West

Aug 31, 2018

It was a hot September day. We were dug in to a potato field on the edge of a village somewhere in West Germany, waiting for the next attack.  

I distinctly remember Corporal Olding wandering over and saying, “I feel like a potato.”   

After two weeks on the exercise — two weeks of being tired, dirty and hungry — it seemed like the funniest thing ever.   

Before Santa Fe High School started its school year in August, school officials fortified the building with new metal detectors and panic buttons in every classroom. That’s because in May, an armed student killed eight classmates and two teachers.

Some parents are calling for even more security at the school near Houston, Texas, but one of the family members of the victims wants a different kind of change.

Joy walks along an overgrown path winding through a village on the rural outskirts of Lagos, Nigeria. She points out a few shops that have closed and a big house on an overgrown plot owned by somebody who has left for a job overseas. The neighborhood landmarks serve as constant reminders of the problem Joy grapples with daily: There is no work here. And she wants out.

“See I’m where I’m living?” she asked, sounding exasperated. “I can’t cope. I can’t cope at all. I don’t like it.”

The humanitarian crisis at Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, where nearly 1 million Rohingya refugees have fled to, is also a communication crisis. With an array of Southeast Asian languages spoken in the camps, hundreds of thousands of Rohingya are having a tough time talking to aid workers. Even with the assistance of translators, it's hard to sort out all the languages and dialects.

Scotland became the first country in the world to give out free sanitary napkins to students this past Friday.

Victoria Heaney, who led the charge to provide free sanitary napkins, conducted a survey on period poverty last year for Women for Independence, a grassroots group in Scotland. She found that nearly one in five respondents had difficulty affording period products each month.

The border between North and South Korea is one of the most heavily guarded in the world. Separating the nations is the Demilitarized Zone — the DMZ. It’s a 150-mile-long, and 2.5-mile-wide swath of land that neither side occupies. It’s both a potential conflict zone and a tourist destination.

As relations thaw between North Korea and South Korea, visitors are flocking to the DMZ for a glimpse of what may soon be a relic of the past.

An official South Korean tourism site notes more than a million people visit the DMZ every year.

Nina is worried about her potato field.

She’s standing in the middle of a two-lane road in the village of Karpylivka, Ukraine, showing me the bugs she’s just pulled off her plants in the field nearby. The insects squirm inside a small, tin bucket.

In Japan, working mothers battle overwork culture

Aug 25, 2018

Kumi Matsumoto has a problem. She has a full-time job. But she’s Japanese and working full-time in Japan can mean something different than in other places, like the US.

“I think in Japan, working full-time means working 24 hours. I mean full time, 100 percent warrior,” she says. “We call it business warriors.” 

José Saldaña is one of the very last of Puerto Rico’s 3.3 million residents to get power back after last fall’s hurricanes.

It was finally restored Friday morning, more than 11.5 months after it first went out and more than a week after the island’s power authority announced electricity had been fully restored across the island. 

When The World visited his home and business in El Yunque National Forest in mid-August, Saldaña, who everyone calls Tonty, was clearly agitated about having lived without power for almost a year.  

Last year marked a deadly turn for both Mexico and the United States. Mexico suffered record levels of homicides due largely to cartel-related violence. Across the border in the United States, driven by the deadly opioid epidemic, drug overdoses reached an all-time high.

Now the US and Mexico have joined forces on a new initiative to try and dismantle the financial infrastructure of drug kingpins in Mexico, an effort they hope will stem the tide of violence in Mexico and curtail the flow of heroin and illicit fentanyl flowing into the US.

Samir Constantini would have been born in France, but his Syrian mother insisted on traveling back home to Damascus just to give birth.

Even though Constantini grew up in France, he never lost his affinity for his parents’ culture, including a love for an ancient household staple — Aleppo soap.

Con ‘zonas de refugio’, pescadores de Baja California restauran el ecosistema marino

Aug 24, 2018

Read this story in English: With no-fishing zones, Mexican fishermen restored the marine ecosystem

Parece inverosímil que el océano pudiera quedarse sin peces. Sin embargo, si le preguntas a Jesús Enrique León Lara, eso es exactamente lo que ha estado sucediendo durante la última década en su pequeño pedazo de paraíso, un pueblo llamado Agua Verde al sur del estado mexicano Baja California.