The World

Monday - Friday, 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. on KUOW2

The World brings you award-winning coverage of breaking news, in-depth features, hard-hitting commentaries, and thought-provoking interviews found nowhere else in US news coverage.

Why did we start using fireworks to celebrate the Fourth of July?

9 hours ago

Fireworks have been a part of the Fourth of July since the very first anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.

The cities of Boston and Philadelphia both included fireworks displays as part of the celebrations of Independence Day in 1777.

One of the Founding Fathers, John Adams, predicted that Independence Day would become America’s greatest holiday. This is what he wrote to his wife Abigail on July 3rd 1776:

US Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Thomas Trower

This year's 4th of July won't be the same for the people of Feltwell, England.

There won't be any fireworks or any of the celebrations that normally are put on by the US Air Force base there. Royal Air Force Feltwell in Norfolk, Britain is used by the US Air Force.

Officials have announced that "due to local threat assessments," all celebrations are canceled.

REUTERS/John Vizcaino

Until recently, Colombia — a country once rife with violence — seemed relatively calm. But this summer has changed that, with a string of bombings targeting oil pipelines and now two offices in the capital of Bogota.

The most recent bombings took place Thursday, and targeted a private pension firm called Porvenir. At least seven people were hurt, though none of the injuries were severe.

Camila Kerwin

She was kidnapped by leftist guerrillas at age 11 and held for nearly a year.

Now, 13 years later, she's helping former guerrillas get reintegrated into society.

Adapted from Solar Impulse

Now that a solar-powered plane has set an amazing record, we're ready with the next question: Will there soon be a fleet of solar-powered planes?

Not quite, but airlines are moving in that direction.

What does Independence Day mean for a new citizen?

14 hours ago

July 4 is the day when America became independent, and July 4 is the day when I became an American citizen. It’s a big day for America. It’s a huge day for me.

I’m going to celebrate this day with a bunch of people who are from all around the globe: Colombia, Brazil, Slovakia, Mexico, Taiwan, China, Sweden and of course, the United States.

This Fourth of July, a tip from a Japanese grill

18 hours ago
Steve Dolinsky

This Fourth of July, why not go Japanese?

Any holiday BBQ'er could get a few tips from the first powerful whiffs of char-grilled chicken meat and skin wafting through the dining room of Robata JINYA, in Los Angeles, particularly around the perimeter of its square-shaped robata bar.

Who's winning the war in Yemen?

21 hours ago

The Saudis are not winning in Yemen, nor are their Yemeni adversaries, the Houthis. 

And after 100 days of the Saudi-led bombing offensive, we know who is losing: Yemeni civilians. And even Saudi allies like the United States are getting queasy.


Jeff Mitchell/Reuters

Who Is Burning Black Churches? This week's hashtag is, unfortunately, not asking a new question.

The flaming destruction Tuesday of Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church in Greeleyville, South Carolina inspired imagery on social media from the civil rights movement.

Erich Schlegel/USA TODAY Sports

In soccer, they call an "own goal" a dagger through the heart.

It's when you kick the ball into your own net. And that's exactly what England's Laura Bassett did yesterday.

In the final seconds of the match, with the game tied 1-1, she kicked the ball into her own goal.

It was an accident of course.

But it sent Japan to the final and Bassett to the ground in tears. Cynics call it a quintessential English soccer moment.

Zoe Sullivan

Journalist Zoe Sullivan spent months documenting a small community of marisqueiras living south of Recife on the eastern coast of Brazil.

Marisqueiras are women who harvest mollusks, crabs and other shellfish from the waters of Brazil's coastal mangrove swamps. It's an occupation they've pursued for generations. But the steady expansion of a nearby port and industrial complex is threatening their livelihoods and their health. We asked Zoe about these women and the challenges they're facing. 

By definition, international adoption is a transaction between unequals. It takes desperation to relinquish a baby, and privilege to adopt one. Those disparities led to abuses in Guatemala’s adoption system that resulted in its shutdown in 2008. Unless you’re Guatemalan, you can’t adopt a Guatemalan baby now.

Before the shutdown, US families adopted about 30,000 Guatemala-born children. One of them is my son, Diego.  We met his birth family when I went to get him in 1999. He was five-and-a-half months old.

Mass youth protests in Armenia target corruption

Jul 2, 2015
Hrant Khachatryan/Reuters/PAN Photo 

Mass protests have gripped Armenia since late June. Many of the protesters are young. They’re all angry at a proposed hike in the cost of electricity.

But the wave of unrest is about much more than that.

“The protests,” says activist Babken DerGrigorian, “are really about a growing frustration with a lack of accountability and transparency within the Armenian government.”

Global Forecast: Stormy Weather

Jul 2, 2015

When you do what I do, the news about climate change comes rather like snowflakes in a blizzard–from all directions at once, and accumulating in such overwhelming amounts and impact that it can be hard to know where to start digging out.   But as global negotiators pack their bags for the latest UN climate summit in Durban, South Africa later this month, here are a few of the more sobering bits of recent news:

Japan's Tsunami-Stricken Fishermen Chart New Course

Jul 2, 2015

Last year's tsunami virtually destroyed many northern Japanese fishing communities. A year later, residents are struggling to rebuild, but as Sam Eaton reports, some are finding that the disaster has given them the opportunity to chart a new course.