Bjarke Ingels Group

Here's a story about a mall that has nothing to do with Black Friday: It's the National Mall, the one surrounded by Smithsonian museums.

Some of those museums are as easy for tourists to spot, like the red Smithsonian Castle with its tall, elegant tower. But next to the castle are some underground museums, with entrances that are hard for visitors to find. So the Smithsonian wants to fix with that a $2 billion renovation.

Luke MacGregor/Reuters

It’s official: Black Friday has gone global.

The day after Thanksgiving has historically been the biggest day for shoppers in the United States, but it's now being adopted as a retail extravaganza in other countries, too.

Bargain hunters struggled through store entrances for deals on flat-screen TVs and other consumer electronics at stores across the UK on Friday. 

Oman, the oldest independent state in the Arab world, favors understated, quiet elegance rather than the glitz, glam and high rises of places like Dubai. It's the opera house in Oman’s capitol, Muscat, that attracts tourists instead of Michelin restaurants.

Music heard on the air for November 28, 2014

2 hours ago

The tunes played between segments on The World for November 28, 2014 include:

    SONG: Surf Spaghetti
    ARTIST: B11
    CD TITLE: B11
    LABEL: B11


Mike Hutchings/Reuters

Cricket isn't known for its violence, but tragedy struck the genteel sport this week when a young Australian star died from injuries he sustained during a match.

Phillip Hughes, aged just 25 years old, was a powerful batsman and a rising star of Australia's international teams. He was batting during a match on Wednesday in Australia's domestic cricket league, called the Sheffield Shield competition, when he was struck in the back of the neck by a ball bowled to him at 93 miles per hour.

For people who settle in America, food and music are vital reminders of home. That's exactly what Lebanese singer Sabah meant to a lot of Arab Americans and Arab immigrants.

Sabah, who real name was Jeanette Gergis al-Feghali, was a singer and actress who died earlier this week at her home in Beirut. She was 87 years old.

Amandajm/Wikimedia Commons

The BBC's Daily Politics show recently asked viewers for their opinion on Nigel Farage, the leader of the upstart anti-immigration UK Independence Party that has been gaining ground on the country's traditional parties. What they got in response was Twitter gold.

Giles Dilnot, a reporter for the show, stood outside a grand brick building, asking passers-by if Farage would make a plausible prime minister. A local UKIP affiliate responded what it thought was some snark about the imagery: "Perfect place to hold vote in front of a mosque in London," the account tweeted. 

It's one of the most famous opening lines in the history of literature: "Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice."

Tony Gurdian pretty much looks the part of a hipster bar manager. He shakes up cocktails at Imperial, a restaurant in downtown Portland, Oregon. And one of his most popular drinks features a very old ingredient: switchel.

The search is on to find an alternative to salting the roads in winter. Salt helps melt the ice, but it also builds up in stream beds and drinking water.

Almost two years ago, Paul Salopek set off on a very, very long walk. His goal is to retrace the path taken by early humans as they migrated out of Africa about 60,000 years ago.

Marcus Teply

Vartan Hovnanian, an Iranian Armenian, celebrates Thanksgiving twice a year — once at home on the actual day of the holiday, and once the weekend before at the Armenian Christ Church.

It sounds overboard, but Hovnanian says he has a lot to celebrate. Exactly 28 years ago, he and his family came to the US as refugees from Iran. 

It is a story his daughter, Eliz Hovsepian, has heard since she was a kid. "He always mentions it every single year," she says. "And I just nod and I smile back at him." Eliz was a baby when the family came to the US.

Music heard on air for November 27, 2014

Nov 27, 2014

The songs played on The World between segments for Thursday, November 27, 2014 include:

SONG: Pushed But Not Forgotten 
ARTIST:   High Tide
CD:  Sea Shanties
LABEL:  Esoteric


SONG: Farewell
ARTIST:  Jan Kaczmarek
CD:  Unfaithful
LABEL: Colossium Music 


Poppy Wright

Nothing could be more American than apple pie, right? Well, sort of. But the pie goes back way before the founding of the United States.

It turns out the "American" apple pie dates at least to the Middle Ages in northern Europe, according to food historian Rachel Laudan, who wrote the book, Cuisine & Empire: Cooking in World History.

Veronica Zaragovia

For Beatriz Jaimes, Thanksgiving tradition kicks off with a shopping trip through Austin, Texas.

First, she stops at El Milagro, a national tortilla producer with a store in the state capital. Jaimes buys the powdered corn she needs to make masa dough. She'll fill the dough with meat or other ingredients, and then wrap the package in a corn husk to make a single tamal.