The World

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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.

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Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters

It was nine years ago — the second or third attempt to quit being a lawyer — that I took a film director’s assistant course in Caracas. I have this image of my first day, arriving late, suited up with jacket and tie, surrounded by a small battalion of long-haired, Converse-wearing communications and film school students.

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finecutstudio.com

Which American heavy metal band is one of the biggest, most influential in the Middle East and Afghanistan? Yup, Metallica. 

And the band's popularity in the region plays a big role in a new feature film called "Radio Dreams."

In it, the members of Metallica are urged to jam with Afghanistan's first rock band, Kabul Dreams, at a radio station in San Francisco. 

Again, just to be clear, "Radio Dreams" is not a documentary. It's a fictional film.

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Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

“They said I’d make a good lampshade,” says Julia Ioffe. Ioffe is a journalist, who happens to be Jewish, and who happened to write a profile of Donald Trump’s wife, Melania, for GQ. She has since been barraged with insults and threats, many of them violent, and many of them anti-Semitic.

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Fadi Abou Hassan, Norway, Courtesy of <a href="https://www.facebook.com/fadi.abouhassan">FadiToOn</a> &nbsp;

Iranian artist Atena Farghadani had been languishing in Evin Prison serving a 12-year-sentence for a 2014 cartoon she posted on Facebook that portrayed Iranian lawmakers as humans with the faces of monkeys and goats. 

The cartoon was mocking the members of Iran's parliament, who at the time were calling for bans on women acquiring birth control as a way to increase the population of Iran. But this week Farghadani's sentence was drasticasally reduced and she'll be eligible to be released in a few weeks.

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Monica Campbell

It’s Friday, so maybe you’ll head out for a drink tonight and check into your favorite bar, see your favorite bartender. For some in the town of Tequila, Mexico, that means stopping by a beloved watering hole and saying hi to one of the oldest bar owners in the country. 

Tequila is located about an hour outside Guadalajara, in the state of Jalisco. Stores line cobblestone streets selling the namesake spirit. It’s pretty touristy (you can ride a vehicle shaped like an oak barrel and drink away).

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Dave Kaup/Reuters

When Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback announced earlier this week that he was ending the state's participation in the federal refugee resettlement program, he likely wasn't thinking of refugees like Sonia Inamugisha.

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Lisa Tang Liu

By day, Ken Liu is a legal consultant who lives in a suburb of Boston. But on nights and weekends, he's a storyteller — and he's inspired by literature from all across the world, not just from his country of birth.

Liu grew up in Lanzhou, China, where he had a childhood ritual. Each day, when school let out for lunch, he'd run home. “I needed to get home in time to hear the new radio broadcast with my grandmother,” he remembers.

Those pingshu broadcasts dramatized classic Chinese literature, and Liu loved them.

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Matthew Bell&nbsp;

Things could have turned out very differently for Shahram Rafizadeh. 

The 44-year-old journalist and poet might have ended up dead, like some of his writer friends back home in Iran. Several of them were murdered in a series of political assassinations that began in the late 1990s.

Instead, Rafizadeh now lives outside of Toronto, where he writes about Iranian politics for the website Iran Wire and for Radio Farda, the US government-funded Farsi language radio station that broadcasts out of Eastern Europe.

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Beena Sarwar

Early Sunday morning in Karachi, a small, eclectic crowd converged at The Second Floor (T2F), the iconic coffee shop and cultural hub founded by my young friend Sabeen Mahmud in 2007.

This time, we weren't there to participate in a cutting-edge arts event, but to join Sabeen’s mother, Mahenaz, in planting a baby amaltas — a yellow-flowering native tree — in the grassy divider near the traffic light where Sabeen was killed last year.

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Andrew Biraj/Reuters

Creating an LGBT magazine in a predominantly Muslim country wasn't easy.

But Xulhaz Mannan went out on a limb. 

With his colleague Tonoy Mahbub, Mannan helped build a vibrant alternative community in a place where homosexuality is illegal and government officials are increasingly preoccupied with appeasing the Islamist radical right.

"[Mannan and Mahbub] were very socially aware of who they were and what they believed in, and they knew that there are many others like them who just live their lives in darkness," says Bangladeshi blogger Ishtiaq Rouf.

What's behind 'vinegar-gate' in Bristol, UK?

Apr 28, 2016
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Ian Smith/Reuters

For Harriet Williams, the moment came one day when she was at a park playing with her 18-month-old son.

"And a guy turns up with a backpack and starts spraying the weeds at the base of the railings," she recalls, "with no warning, very close to where we were sitting."

As soon as Williams got home, she began researching. She found out that the chemical in the spray was likely something called glyphosate — a widely used herbicide. It kills weeds and other unwanted plants.

We’ve heard a lot in the news lately about the massive corruption problems at FIFA, the governing body of world soccer. A few high profile indictments issued by the US Justice Department will do that.

But FIFA has another big problem that deserves as much attention, if not more: human rights abuses linked to its tournaments and activities.

The kid with the stinky lunch

Apr 28, 2016
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Marcelle Hutchins

When my family emigrated from Cameroon to the US in 1997, I was 8 years old and many things were new to me. But lunchtime was a whole new universe of discomfort.

I brought traditional Cameroon food to school — think, peanut sauce with rice — and my classmates would make fun of me and call my meal "stinky."  I quickly learned that children weren’t very forgiving about my “strange” food.

Remembering slain Canadian hostage John Ridsdel

Apr 27, 2016

It's been a devastating time for the family of John Ridsdel. The Canadian man was executed by Islamist militants in the Philippines after the deadline for ransom had passed. 

Ridsdel, 68, was captured on September 21 along with three other tourists by members of the Abu Sayyaf militant group, while on vacation at a resort on a southern island in the Philippines. The group is allied with ISIS.

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Amanda Mustard

On the streets of Bangkok they can be seen in the arms of women, children and some men. They go everywhere a family member would go.

They even have their own menus at restaurants and receive blessings from monks. But these "child angels" aren't human — they are large life-like dolls known in Thai as "luk thep."

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