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.

Courtesy Aizzah Fatima 

Azziah Fatima used to worry that the title of her one-woman play, "Dirty Paki Lingerie," would offend her fellow South Asians. But after nearly five years of staging the production from Toronto to Turkmenistan, the Pakistani American actress is less concerned when the ethnic slur raises eyebrows.

"It was a big challenge when I first started doing this play to get the Muslim American community to support it," she says. "That's really changed."

Pentagon's anthrax readiness effort has gone horribly wrong

13 hours ago

An effort to help get the United States ready to handle an anthrax attack appears to have gone horribly wrong. The military has accidentally shipped live spores of the deadly bacteria all over the country, and even overseas. The shipments were part of a program to prepare for a possible terrorist attack.

Anthrax is believed to be the biological weapon most likely to be used by terrorists against US targets.

Courtesy of Subeta Vimalarajah/Facebook

If you want to start a public debate on gender inequality and social injustice there are a number of ways of doing so. But in Australia a surprisingly effective tactic involves dressing up as a giant tampon.

Half the world’s population needs sanitary products every month for much of their adult lives — but they are still not officially considered essential items in many countries. In the United Kingdom, Australia and some states in the US, tampons and sanitary towels are subject to extra taxation in ways that other health products are not.

Navesh Chitrakar/Reuters

It's been a month, and Nepal is still seriously rattled by aftershocks. Five on Wednesday, for example.

"Last night I slept through the first two ones thank God but I was just jolted by the 5:12 a.m. one,” says journalist Donatella Lorch, who lives in Kathmandu. “It came with a big bang and crack. Usually aftershocks are very short in duration these days because it’s already been a month since the original earthquake. But this one lasted many seconds and it became a rolling sensation as well.''

Don't worry, FIFA — Putin has your back

15 hours ago
Dylan Martinez/Reuters

Not everyone agrees that the US has jurisdiction in the corruption case it has brought against FIFA, the organization that runs the World Cup.

Russia — for one.

Russian President Vladimir Putin thinks the US case is an example of American "over-reach."

Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters

All-powerful. Unmoveable. These are some of the common descriptions of Joseph "Sepp" Blatter, a onetime Swiss PR man who has run the beseiged world's governing body for soccer since 1998.

They were two recruits on opposite sides of a bloody 1980s war. One was instructed to kill the other, but he could not. Decades later, that grace would become useful — and is the subject of a new film. 

Photo from Sons of Liberty Facebook page 

Volunteers from dozens of countries around the world have flocked to join the ranks of ISIS in Syria and Iraq. The United Nations says more than 25,000 of these so-called foreign fighters have answered the extremists’ call. But other foreigners — though far fewer in number — have also traveled to the front lines to do battle with ISIS. And that includes an American named Matthew VanDyke.

VanDyke says he has founded a group called the Sons of Liberty in order to, in his words, “provide free consulting and training to Iraqi Christians who are fighting against ISIS.”

photo courtesy of Sumaiya Mahee

(Reader's Note: Sumaiya Mahee wrote this essay "You're Not Who You Say You Are: Beyond the Single Story" for her 8th grade English class in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It was part of a course that taught all students that they each have been stereotyped — and how those stories are generally all wrong.)

The amazing rise and immortal life of Sherlock Holmes

May 27, 2015

When I think of Sherlock Holmes, I think of Benedict Cumberbatch.

He's the Sherlock for my generation.

He has a sense of perfect instability about him. He describes himself as a "high functioning sociopath." He's a walking TED talk, selfish and cocky, and yet alluring.

But he could be something else: immortal.

The BBC's "Sherlock" is yet another reboot of the character Sir Arthur Conan Doyle created some 130 years ago. Yet the character still fits perfectly into modern day, smartphone addicted, London.

Sabah al-Bazee/Reuters

ISIS fighters and pro-goverment forces battled for a year over control of the oil refinery at Baiji, Iraq's largest. The plant was crippled but intact, and would have been a key asset for whomever came to control all of the refinery and the pipelines in and out of it. This weekend, ISIS forces, which had controlled much of the facility since April, suddenly retreated. And torched the place on their way out.

On Sunday, this video attributed to the ISIS news agency Amaq showed the Baiji refinery in flames.

Jeb Sharp

Ghetto. White girl. Terrorist.

These eighth graders have heard it all. And dealt with it. Now their teachers are helping them think through how those stereotypes affect them — and could be turned around.

Ruben Sprich / Reuters 

Soccer, they say, is the world’s game — popular in pretty much every country on the planet. Yes, even here in the United States. We’re not even going to debate that here.

And internationally, the game is run by FIFA, a.k.a. the Fédération Internationale de Football Association. That’s a leftover from the days that soccer was known as “association football.”

So to understand soccer, and the current corruption scandal sweeping the sport, you have to understand FIFA. Here are some key facts:

Russians say 'nyet' to imported wine

May 26, 2015
 REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis

Russian President Vladimir Putin sent a stern message to his administration recently: Don't show off.

In other words, Putin wants politicians to stop spending taxpayers' hard earned rubles on expensive Burgundy and Bordeaux. Rather, he says, they should spend money on Russian-made wines. 

Afolabi Sotunde/Reuters

Getting gasoline is usually not a problem in oil-rich Nigeria. It's Africa's biggest oil exporter. But a fuel distributor's strike this week has meant long lines and chaos at gas stations; grounded flights and shuttered banks in many major cities.  

Abuja resident Hussaini Abdu says he's stopped using his car. "Where you have petrol available in some filling stations, people are on queue for about 10 to 12 hours," Abdu says. "Sometimes people are travelling over a 100 miles out of Abuja to get fuel."