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.

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Bryce Vickmark

When the Nobel Prize in physics is awarded next Tuesday, many in the world of science will be surprised if Rainer Weiss, an MIT professor emeritus, is not among those honored.

Weiss dreamed up the idea behind the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory or LIGO. It's a sort of massive antenna so sensitive it detected faint invisible ripples in space from 1.3 billion years ago, a discovery made secretly last fall and revealed in September.

Check out this bhangra by the beach, Nova Scotia style

18 hours ago
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Facebook Screenshot

Bhangra is a style of both music and dance that's popular in the Punjab region of India.

But a new bhangra video that went viral has a distinctly different backdrop: Peggy's Cove, in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia. 

Israeli ex-president and Nobel Peace Prize winner Shimon Peres died on Wednesday, some two weeks after suffering a major stroke, triggering an outpouring of grief for the historic figure and beloved statesman.

Peres, who was 93, held nearly every major office in the country, serving twice as prime minister and also as president, a mostly ceremonial role, from 2007 to 2014.

“This one just got here in March. She wasn’t enrolled,” says Carlnis Jerry, lifting an eyebrow and nodding her head toward a third-grader who is speaking in Marshallese.

It’s a Wednesday, and Viona Koniske is sitting with her classmate during a “lunch bunch” gathering in a converted supply closet at Parson Hills Elementary in Springdale, Arkansas.

In Elizabethan England, words counted. Particularly the most insulting, offensive and hurtful words. Words like ninnycock, rotten hornibus, jackanapes and (whisper it) ninnyhammer.

A painstakingly detailed new study of the records of English slander trials from the 16th and 17th centuries has uncovered an incredibly rich vocabulary of lost British insults. Todd Gray of the University of Exeter studied more than 40,000 ancient court documents to rediscover the abusive language used by real people.

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Brian Snyder/Reuters

Monday night's Trump-Clinton showdown remains a hot topic of conversation in Nigeria — where the election has captured their interest for a while.

And not just for the country's intelligensia. 

Nigerian security guards and secretaries alike are up-to-date on the US presidential hopefuls' latest jabs and barbs, says Nigerian author Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani.

For many, the US election is primarily a source of entertainment, Nwaubani says, because the issues are often far from Nigerians' reality. 

In the US, televised debates can change the direction of a campaign.

That’s been the case since the first-ever presidential debate in US history, between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon, exactly 56 years to the day before Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump squared off in New York Monday night.

But in Britain, political debates have a different history. In fact, the first televised debate between party leaders in Britain was only in 2010.

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Adeline Sire

The hills in this part of Burgundy are postcard-perfect. Around the villages of Chablis and Irancy, you see beautifully combed, lush green vineyards.

As winemaker Christophe Ferrari drives up his estate, he remarks that all the fine qualities of a wine are made in the vineyard itself. “If you can’t produce good grapes,” he says, “you can’t create good wine.”

There’s a stunning 360-degree view at the top, and plenty of healthy-looking leaves around. But underneath this greenery is a painful truth. It's something Ferrari hasn't seen in his 30 years of winemaking.

Families are divided over Colombia's peace vote

Sep 27, 2016
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Felipe Caicedo/Reuters

Colombia is on the threshold of a new era: a peaceful one.

For 52 years, there's been violence between the government and rebels who see themselves as defenders of the poor.

The main rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, the FARC, formally signed a peace deal with the government Monday in a solemn ceremony in the coastal city of Cartagena.

But there's a hitch. Colombians have to approve the deal in a referendum this weekend. And there is a powerful "no" campaign.

The vote is dividing families.

Nearly every cyclist has had to, at times, quickly swerve out of the way to avoid drivers opening their car doors. Doing so is dangerous, and it recently claimed the life of a young woman from Somerville, Massachusetts

There’s even a term for it: dooring. Or getting doored.

But doctor Michael Charney wants to make the road safer for cyclists by following Amsterdam’s lead. 

Miami mourns a baseball star

Sep 26, 2016
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Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Baseball is mourning the tragic loss of a star player.

Pitcher Jose Fernandez of the Miami Marlins died over the weekend in a boating accident.

The 24-year-old Fernandez was beloved by the team, and by the wider Miami community.

“He was one of us,” writes Miami Herald columnist Fabiola Santiago.

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Abdalrhman Ismail/Reuters

Even by the grim standards of Syria’s five-year-old civil war, the news from Aleppo has been particularly shocking in recent days. 

Syrian military forces and their Russian allies appear to be trying to wipe out whatever remains of the opposition in the northern city with an intense bombing campaign. 

We talk about war and human violence every day on the news program I host, The World. But, as experimental psychologist Steven Pinker reminded me recently, "You don't say where things are going right. What about all the parts of the world that used to be in flames, just consumed by war, but which are now at peace?"

The search is still on in Mexico for answers in a human rights case that's divided the nation for the past two years.

Monday is the second anniversary of the disappearance of 43 students in the Mexican state of Guerrero.

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