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.

Baz Ratner/Reuters

It seems the conflict in Ukraine is finally on pause. A ceasefire to which Russia and Ukraine agreed two weeks ago is now largely holding, with only occasional skirmishes. But how long will it last?

President Obama's director of national intelligence, James Clapper, told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday that American intelligence thinks Russia will likely launch a new operation by pro-Russian rebels in the spring. The goal would be to take the seaport city of Mariupol, hoping to open a land corridor to Russian-annexed Crimea.

Mexican police have nabbed one of the world's most-wanted drug lords, and without a shot fired.

Servando "La Tuta" Gomez was arrested in a house in the city of Morelia, the capital of the western state of Michoacan, after a carefully planned operation based on months of cooperation between Mexican intelligence and the US Drug Enforcement Agency.

Courtesy of Omar Solis

Omar Solis was born in Chihuahua, Mexico, and moved to Denver with his family when he was two years old. He's now 21 and back in Mexico, studying international relations at the Technical Institute of Monterrey. He's also openly gay.

He says it's not easy being a gay man in Mexico, but things are progressing — slowly. Here are some of his thoughts on the challenges facing gay Mexicans who opt live open lives: 

Star Mexican singer Ariel Camacho died in a car accident on Wednesday. He was just 22.

Camacho, the lead singer of Los Plebes del Rancho — "The Plebians from the Ranch" —  came from a town named Guasabe in the state of Sinaloa, the heart of drug country. He had gained a large following for singing narcocorridos, songs glorifying Mexican drug cartels, and was scheduled to perform in the US over the weekend.

An atheist blogger in Bangladesh is hacked to death by religious fanatics

19 hours ago

Blogger and author Avijit Roy had a growing list of enemies in Bangladesh, and was familiar with death threats.

"He carried this huge target on his back. People were actually posting, ‘We cannot kill him now because he’s in America, but when he comes back we will kill him,'" said Ishtiaq Rouf, a friend of Roy’s and fellow Bangladeshi blogger.

Tdevries/Wikicommons

It’s a community soon to be divided.

The crossing between Stewart, British Columbia and Hyder, Alaska is a common route used by residents on both sides of the US-Canada border. The two towns have lived next to each other for more than 100 years and have shared everything from emergency services to a common area code.

Currently, the border crossing is manned at all hours, with visitors and residents checking in with Canadian border services agents on their way to Stewart.

For many, especially historians and archaeologists, it was terribly heartbreaking to watch.

Pieces of art dating back thousands of years were smashed and hammered into pieces. And that's exactly what Augustan McMahon, professor of archaeology at University of Cambridge, watched on Thursday.

Jonathan Nimerfroh

You've arrived in Nantucket for your big international surfing adventure in New England. Okay, it's no Hawaii, but the waves are good.

Except, of course, when it's February, freezing and the waves have turn into slush.

"When I pulled up to the beach I could see the horizon just look strange," photographer Jonathan Nimerfroh, who lives on Nantucket, wrote me in an email. "When I got to the top of the dunes I saw that about 300 yards out from the shoreline the ocean was starting to freeze."

Donatella Lorch

Bakhit wasn’t the Bedouin I expected. At 54, his beard grizzled-white, he needed to recline his car seat to accommodate his prominent stomach. He wore a brownish Dishdasha and a matching turban that had seen better days. But Bakhit was the first Bedouin I had ever met. Until I shook his large, roughened hand, I had always relied on the image of a dashing, flowing-turbaned Bedouin, part of yarns I had dreamed up as a 10-year-old in love with the “Black Stallion” book series.

Here are three words to strike fear into your heart: Human. Powered. Helicopter.

And by “powered,” I don’t mean a foot on the gas pedal. I mean if you stop pedaling, it falls. The only "power" in this helicopter is the Power Bar you eat before you climb inside. And you better eat a lot of them. 

“It is extremely difficult because the faster you go, the more power it takes,” says Cameron Robertson, co-founder of AeroVelo, a company in Canada dedicated to human-powered engineering.

Leonard Nimoy, 'Star Trek''s Spock, dies at 83

23 hours ago
Fred Prouser/Reuters

Leonard Nimoy, the man who made "live long and prosper" famous across the world, is dead at the age of 83. His family confirmed his death to multiple media outlets on Friday morning.

Mansur Mirovalev

There's new drug showing up on the streets in Moscow that's as dangerous as it is cheap.

It's called spice, mix, or killer spice. It can be smoked like a cigarette, snorted or injected to produce an intense high — but it also can cause panic attacks, hallucinations, spasms, cardiovascular problems and lung disease, according to health experts.

'She fought the best way she knew how'

Feb 27, 2015
Anja Niedringhaus/AP

(EDITOR'S NOTE: Legendary Associated Press photographer Anja Niedringhaus was slain in April 2014 while reporting in Afghanistan.)

Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

Nineteen-year-old Akhror Saidakhmetov was born in Kazakhstan. He worked at a cell phone repair kiosk, making between $1500 and $2000 a month, and shared an apartment with his friend, 24-year-old Abdurasul Juraboev. Juraboev, a citizen of Uzbekistan, worked at a restaurant called Gyro King in Brooklyn's Flatbush neighborhood.

Those might be typical stories for young immigrant men trying to make it in the United States, except for what happened this week: Saidakhmetov and Juraboaev were arrested, along with a third man, for allegedly attempting to travel to Syria to join ISIS.

In many ways, he is the personification of ISIS terror. The black-clad man with the British accent, seen in multiple ISIS beheading videos. He’s been dubbed ‘Jihadi John.’ But who is he?

The Washington Post has now identified him as a British citizen named Mohammed Emwazi. Adam Goldman was lead reporter on the story for the Post.

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