The World

Weekdays, 6:00 p.m.
  • Hosted by Marco Werman

PRI’s The World crosses borders and time zones to bring stories home that matter.  It’s about the things that connect us around the globe. We’re heard on over 300 stations across North America. Hosted by Marco Werman, The World is a co-production of WGBH/Boston, Public Radio International, and the BBC World Service.

The World Home

If you’re among those who feel press coverage of Russia has an unhealthy fascination with all things Vladimir Putin, then enter artist Victoria Lomasko’s “Other Russias” to the rescue. 

That plural is no accident. Lomasko is out to capture Russian stories that most in the West never see.

“It was important to me over the last years to make a portrait of the unofficial face of the country,” Lomasko tells The World. “That part that we almost never hear from in the media.”  

I was fully booked during the Lunar New Year, with back-to-back patients in both Oakland and San Francisco, California.

I work with non- and limited-English speaking Vietnamese patients as a freelance medical interpreter at local hospitals. Outside the time dealing with doctors and nurses about medical conditions and diagnoses, I spend a good part of my time chatting with these patients.

Ana Raquel Minian grew up in Mexico City where, at home, “politics was discussed at the dinner table pretty much every day,” she says.

But to learn more about her own country, she decided to study its ties to the US. She started digging, studying history in the United States, earning her doctorate at Yale University. Now, after a decade of research, she's published her new book, “Undocumented Lives: The Untold Story of Mexican Migration.”

It’s hard to imagine a better time for her work to come out.

When the US Supreme Court hears oral arguments Wednesday in a legal challenge to President Donald Trump’s travel ban, the justices may think back to an infamous decision from 1944.

The young man holds the piece of paper up over his head, facing a crowd on a Chicago sidewalk, his brow furrowed underneath a white headband bearing “ROHINGYA” in bright red letters. On the paper, there are two pictures: one of an elderly man with an orange beard, sitting stoically for the camera in a white robe. The other picture: a charred body.

“This my father,” he screams toward a stream of pedestrians, many of whom don’t look up. His voice cracks and his bottom lip quivers. “They kill him. I have proof.”  

In the summer of 1942, the SS Drottningholm set sail with hundreds of desperate Jewish refugees, en route to New York City from Sweden. Among them was Herbert Karl Friedrich Bahr, a 28-year-old from Germany, who was seeking entry to the United States.

When he arrived, his story was much like his fellow passengers: As a victim of persecution, he wanted asylum from Nazi violence.

Here's an explanation about why there's a backlog of immigration cases

Oct 5, 2018

The recent wave of migrants crossing the US-Mexico border tests any already overwhelmed US judicial system.

There’s a push by Washington to send one clear message to Central American families wanting to migrate here: Don’t come.

Or, at least, don’t believe what all the smugglers promise.

“You will not get papers to allow you to stay, and you are putting yourself and your children in grave danger,” Gil Kerlikowske, head of US Customs and Border Protection, said during a press conference earlier this month.

“My heart shivered,” says Martins Akinbode-Busayo, 35, a Nigerian health worker who fled his country in 2015. His government targeted him for helping gay people access HIV treatments.

In 2014, Nigeria passed a law that criminalized not just homosexuality, but also the organizations that support gay people. He applied for asylum in New York last year, and is awaiting the outcome of his application. But he felt despair after Donald Trump’s presidential victory.

It’s a trope to say America has a long tradition of welcoming immigrants. This is only partially true. It also has a long tradition of treating immigrants with open discrimination and even violent hostility.

The current debate over whether to accept Syrian refugees has echoes of a different time when another wave of people were leaving a Mediterranean country. They were seen by some Americans as being so alien in religion, culture, education, politics and law, that they could never be assimilated. They were even suspected of ties to terrorism. These were the Italians.

It’s been 10 years since Anna Takada was in sixth grade, but she still remembers her history class. The World War II imprisonment of her grandfather and nearly 120,000 others with Japanese heritage merited only a few lines in her textbook. And at school, her teacher skipped over those lines.

“I remember being shocked and hurt how it was glossed over,” Takada, 25, says.

At home, her father, who was born in Chicago where his family resettled after incarceration, told Takada not to ask her grandfather about that time in their family’s history, either. And she didn't. 

This underground railroad took slaves to freedom in Mexico

Oct 4, 2018

Donald Trump said during the presidential campaign that he wanted to keep “bad hombres” out of the country. He told the Mexican president, according to documents obtained by the Associated Press, that he wanted Mexico to stop "bad hombres down there" from coming across the southern border of the US.

In the summer of 1966, hundreds of farm workers in Texas marched from Rio Grande City to Austin — almost 500 miles over 90 days — to demand change.

They weren’t asking for anything fancy. They wanted better wages, restrooms and uncontaminated water for the people cultivating and picking melons and other crops.

Consuelo López de Padilla fits the profile of a doctor with top-of-the-line medical training.

She spent 15 years in her native Venezuela studying medicine and working as a doctor. In 2001, she left the Andean hills of her home country for the frigid flatlands of southern Minnesota to spend three years researching at one of the world’s most prestigious health centers, the Mayo Clinic.

But after starting a family in the US, she never returned to Venezuela. She’s also never been able to work as a doctor.

The private prison company, Management and Training Corporation, uses the slogan “B.I.O.N.I.C.” on its website and job listings. It stands for: “Believe it or not, I care.”

But inmates housed at one of MTC’s facilities in Raymondville, Texas, in the Rio Grande Valley didn’t buy the private prison company’s slogan. In 2015, a protest at the Willacy County Correctional Center turned into a riot. The fighting left the facility uninhabitable and it was shut down.

MTC isn’t alone among private prison companies in its safety problems.

Back in 1988, I was a graduate student in creative writing at San Francisco State University. I took a class called “The Art of the Memoir” — or something along those lines — and for it I had to write three pages to explain why I wanted to become a writer.

There’s a remarkable picture that’s been making the rounds on the web recently.

You may have seen the shot: it’s of a group of medical students and they’re all women.

One’s from Japan, one’s from India and the third from Syria. They’re all wearing traditional clothes from their home countries.

Nothing too remarkable in that, you might say. Until you see the date.

1885.

These women were students at the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania (WMCP).

How amnesty gave a 100-year-old woman a new life in the US

Oct 2, 2018

My great-grandmother became an American citizen at the age of 100.

Before she was here illegally just as an estimated 11 million others live today. Her chance to legalize her status came in 1986 when President Ronald Reagan signed the Immigration Reform and Control Act, or as Spanish speakers know it, "la amnistía."

How do you explain immigration law to a fifth-grader?

Oct 2, 2018

The challenge: Bring immigration law to life for a room of fidgety fifth-graders.

Specifically, I need to bring it to life for fifth-graders who have already heard from a dozen other parents on Career Day in May — including an actual rocket scientist. I am an immigration lawyer and professor. The room is warm, and the kids sit at their desks, sets of four scattered around the room. The looks on their faces are tired and skeptical. My daughter at her desk is alternately hopeful and nervous that I will embarrass her.

My plan? Talk about Pokémon.

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