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.

Mali's Songhoy Blues are making music in exile

20 hours ago

Life is filled with happy accidents.

Just last week, I experienced one in the backseat of a minivan driving through a suburb in Austin, Texas.

Through a comedy of errors with a phone app I'm not familiar with, I accidentally booked a taxi cab pool service to get me across town.

When the driver arrived, he explained that we would be picking up more passengers heading my direction.

Ugh. This was bad news. I was in a hurry. Actually, to be honest, I was already late.

But hey, it was my mistake so I had only myself to blame.

So who are the Houthis? Right now they control all of Yemen's major cities. They are also under attack by the Saudi air force and a coalition of Gulf states, reportedly with US assistance. How they swept to power is a study in Yemeni politics — and did not include, at least at first, the Sunni-Shiite split that world media has focused on.

How returning home after years in the US gets complicated

Mar 25, 2015

Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula juts into the Caribbean like a defiant fist and, 3,000 miles away, the San Francisco Bay Area looks like a miniature version of it.

The two may be separated by distance, but they depend on each other. The Yucatán needs the work and San Francisco needs the workers. Their decades-long relationship has developed into something of a love affair, which returning migrants find hard to forget.

But for the migrants' relatives who've stayed behind, the benefits of immigration have begun to lose their luster.

A crash in Europe lays bare some of aviation's myths

Mar 25, 2015
Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters

Officials are still trying to figure out why an Airbus A320 flown by discount airline Germanwings slammed into the French Alps on Tuesday, killing all 150 passengers on board.

One possible explanation for the crash is that something went wrong with the highly automated jet's computers, but not everyone thinks that's the key to unlocking this mystery. 

"Computers are not flying your plane," says airline pilot Patrick Smith. "Pilots are flying your plane through the automation, and the automation is only as good as the pilots controlling it."  

Before Barack Obama: The young Michelle Obama

Mar 25, 2015
Obama campaign photo

Before she met Barack Obama, the future first lady had enjoyed a close family life and strong schooling, showing a competitive streak and a summer where she had a cursing problem. The then-Michelle Robinson also faced brushes with tight budgets and racial discrimination, according to her biographer, Peter Slevin. Here are seven details on her early years from Slevin's just-published "Michelle Obama: A Life.''

1. Four people, one bathroom

Wrestling superstar Perro Aguayo, Jr. was part of the sport's royalty in Mexico, the son of another superstar wrestler from the 1970s. Both men were known for "La Lanza," a double-footed stomp that devastated opponents. But we'll never see La Lanza again.

Aguayo died early Saturday morning, after a match on Friday night, sending shockwaves through Mexico.

"It was something very, very tragic," says fellow wrestler Marco Corleone of Mexico City. "The whole world watched him die in front of our eyes. That's the weirdest part of it all."

California's gardens tell an immigrant story

Mar 25, 2015
Saul Gonzalez

The people who run California's ever-buzzing leaf blowers, weed whackers and lawnmowers are almost always Latino immigrant men. They call themselves jardineros, Spanish for gardeners, and it’s their labor that gives curb appeal to so many homes, keeping lawns neatly trimmed, hedges pruned and weeds at bay.

Paul Greenberg's guide to eating seafood ethically

Mar 25, 2015
Marko Djurica/Reuters

Here's yet another food dilemma for the 21st century: Ethically speaking, what's left that you can actually eat from the ocean?

Given how hard it is to know the backstory of the fish on your plate, is there any effort being made to draw down demand for seafood in this country?

Five centuries after his death, Richard III finally gets a royal send-off

Mar 25, 2015
Darren Staples/Reuters

There’s been an outpouring of emotion in normally staid Britain in recent days: Thousands of individuals paid their respects to the late King Richard III after the long-dead ruler's remains were rescued from under a parking lot.

Yes, that's the same Richard III portrayed as an evil hunchback in Shakespeare’s play. His back problems even help archaeologists confirm his identity

DJ Edu searches for Africa's best nightclub

Mar 25, 2015
Leo Hornak

Edwin Ochienowho, known as DJ Edu to his fans, recently went on a continental search for Africa's best nightclub. But it wasn't just for the music: He was on a mission to learn how a new generation of Africans is spending its money, and whether improving economic conditions in parts of Africa are reflected in its club scene.

We all know that George Washington is America’s founding father. But did you know he was also the founding father of mass immunization in America?

If Washington had lost the Revolutionary War, there would be no Washington Monument, no Washington, DC, — and, by the way, no United States of America. And he very easily could have lost — but not so much because of British troops.

Israel's Gaza offensive during the summer of 2014 left the small territory shattered: more than 2,000 people dead, and UN officials estimate that 96,000 homes were damaged or destroyed.

Bradley Campbell

It's tough to imagine a canal system in Back Bay when you watch a cement truck roll past you. But that's exactly what you should do. Imagine your feet dangling over the water, tourists floating by taking in the historic brick buildings by boat. And, of course, a gentleman in a striped shirt is piloting that gondola.

"So the canals would run where the alleys are, between the buildings and the back. And then in the north south direction on alternating streets," says Dennis Carlberg, director of sustainability at Boston University.

A playwright turns drones into drama

Mar 24, 2015
Courtesy of A.R. Sinclair Photography

A play from George Brant, called "Grounded," has struck a nerve with audiences from Australia to Israel. 

The drama revolves around a female F-16 fighter pilot who finds herself pregnant. She's reassigned to duty as a military drone operator, but she has difficulty rediscovering her old fighter pilot swagger from an air-conditioned trailer in Las Vegas. Then it slowly dawns on her that although she's an "eye in the sky," she's also being watched. 

Courtesy of Tulip Mazumdar

There may be some good news coming from the Ebola-stricken countries of West Africa — the number of new cases is way down and some schools have even re-opened — but the crisis is far from over.