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.

Morteza Nikoubazl/Reuters

Iran is a country where, according to Islamic law, men and women who aren't related can't even legally shake hands. Yet many young Iranian couples are opting to living together without tying the knot.

Rana Rahimpour, a reporter for the BBC's Persian-language service, says official statistics are hard to come by. But the trend is on the radar of religious officials.

"The fact that the office of the Supreme Leader has issued a statement and has expressed his concerns about this means that the numbers are growing fast," Rahimpour says.

A survivor of Pakistan's school massacre tells how his teacher saved his life

15 hours ago
Zohra Bensemra/Reuters

It’s almost a cliché to talk about a terrorist attack as a massacre of innocents, but Tuesday’s attack by the Pakistani Taliban on a school in the city of Peshawar can hardly be described in any other way.

Seven militants broke into the school and went from room to room, killing students and teachers. Some 132 boys and girls, most between 12 and 16, were killed in all, along with nine teachers. Security forces eventually managed to kill all seven of the attackers.

Yiu Photography

After her son Rhys was born, Annie Cok adopted a special diet and didn’t leave her apartment in Queens for a whole month — but she couldn’t give up bathing.

“I had to wash my hair right the next day after birth,” she says. “I just couldn’t [skip bathing].”

According to traditional Chinese “confinement” practices — also known as “the sitting month” — new mothers must rest for a full month after giving birth. During that time, anything thought to diminish warmth — certain foods, cold beverages, and bathing — is forbidden.

In Havana, Cubans are already welcoming a new era with the US

16 hours ago
Doug Mills/Pool/Reuters

Cubans are wasting no time in welcoming a new era in US-Cuba relations, which followed an intense amount of back-channel negotiations, author Peter Kornbluh says from Havana.

"There's a palpable excitement here," Kornbluh says. "This is a new dawn in US-Cuban relations and I think everybody here has realized that almost immediately."

In this Latvian animated film, depression is a family affair

16 hours ago

For Latvian animator Signe Baumane, escaping her often morbid thoughts is nearly impossible: “My life in a nutshell is thoughts about sex every nine seconds and being depressed every 12 seconds.”

But Baumane is an artist, and she has a keen sense of humor. So she did what came naturally: She began writing a film, the now-Oscar-nominated "Rocks in my Pockets," about her long battle with mental illness.

Remember the time Japan invaded the US? Yes, really

21 hours ago

It’s one of the least likely pieces of land you can imagine anyone fighting over: an uninhabited, treeless, sub-Arctic island 1,100 miles away from the Alaskan mainland. But according to Canadian military historian Brendan Coyle, the Japanese couldn’t afford to ignore Kiska or its sister island, Attu, during World War II.

“One of the concerns was that the Americans would 'island hop' all the way to Kiska and Attu and use them as bases from which to hit Japan,” Coyle says.

The Americans were equally concerned about what would happen should Kiska fall into Japanese hands.

Alexander Demianchuk/Reuters 

How would you feel waking up in the morning to discover that your country's interest rates nearly doubled overnight and the currency lost one-fifth of its value? 

Pretty scary scenario.  That was exactly Russia's situation Tuesday, awakening to discover the Russian Central bank raised its interest rates from 10.5 percent to 17 percent.  That move was taken to try to stabilize the ruble free fall but even that didn't stop the slide.

The ruble dove to its lowest level against the US dollar.  

Stefano Rellandini/Reuters

It's been only two years since the Vatican released a highly critical report on American nuns that caused years of tension and distrust. But Catholic cardinals offered the same nuns praise on Tuesday as part of a report on women's religious orders in the United States.

REUTERS/Suhaib Salem

The world has been shocked by the massacre of more than 130 children at a school in Peshawar, Pakistan. The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility.

Among those stunned by the news were delegates from some three dozen nations at a meeting in Geneva. That meeting was being held specifically to discuss new guidelines for protecting schools and students in conflict zones.

6 incredible pilgrimages around the world

Dec 16, 2014
Jon Wood

It's the time of the year for reflection, an apt season to see what draws people to religious pilgrimages across the globe. What do they get from the experience?

Below are brief summations from reports by author Bruce Feiler in his six-part TV series "Sacred Journeys,'' covering holy places from Nigeria to France to Saudi Arabia to Japan. 


Rhitu Chatterjee 

I showed up at Jantar Mantar around noon today. It’s a popular demonstration site in New Delhi. As I walked toward the narrow, dead-end street that is designated for demonstrators, I could hear their demands being broadcast over loudspeakers.

A mumps outbreak benches some of the NHL's top players

Dec 16, 2014
NHL YouTube

The mumps is mostly known as a childhood disease, and one that has generally been eradicated in the developed world, but it's currently sidelining a growing list of hockey stars that includes big names like Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby.

James Giahyue/Reuters

In the Liberian capital of Monrovia, millions of dollars have been invested in new health facilities to fight the Ebola epidemic. But some of the most basic tasks are still difficult to fund, including the visits of "contact tracers," whose job it is to decide who should be quarantined as a health precaution. 

Sharon McDonnell, an American epidemiologist who is working in Monrovia, has spent time with the contact tracers and other frontline staff. The World has been following her progress as she helps to design strategies to fight the disease.

A Pakistani girl survives a Taliban attack on her school by playing dead

Dec 16, 2014
Akhtar Soomro/Reuters

There's something about the attack on a school in Pakistan this morning that stung many of us particularly hard. Perhaps it's that it involved scores of children dying in a violent assault. It's every parent's nightmare, anywhere.

The number of dead and wounded has grown well past 100 — the exact number is still not known precisely. But we already know this was one of the deadliest attacks ever carried out by the Pakistani Taliban, who's claiming responsibility for the assault.

Every soccer club in England has at least one thing in common: an area of its stadium that's home to its loudest, most dedicated fans, who chant and sing throughout the 90 minutes of every game. Bristol City, a club in England’s third tier of professional soccer, isn't any different — or at least it wasn't.

That's because the East End stand of Bristol City's Ashton Gate stadium is missing. The club tore it down so it could build a new one, part of a piece-by-piece redevelopment project that aims to turn the stadium into a modern venue, luxury boxes and all.