The World | KUOW News and Information

The World

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.

This show no longer airs on our station.

Louise Stevens works two jobs to pay the mortgage and put her daughter Elouise, a DACA recipient, through college in Minneapolis. She didn’t expect that her own immigration status is what would cause the most doubt for their future.

After last month’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida, 16-year-old Sanchi Rohira couldn’t concentrate. She may have been physically present in Mumbai, her home of the past eight years, but her mind was back in the US, where she was born.

Every evening around 5:30 p.m. Ahmed Maher walks into his neighborhood police station at the edge of Cairo’s desert. He hands over his cellphone and urinates for the last time. Sometimes he shares small talk with the police officers, though he says they never look him in the eye. For the past two years, Maher has spent 12 of every 24 hours there, sleeping in a 250-square-foot, toilet-less cell with up to 17 other men.

Sept. 26, 2017, is a day many women in Saudi Arabia will always remember.

It's the day when King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud issued a decree granting women the right to drive. The news was seen as a great victory for women in the kingdom, many of whom had fought for a long time for this change.

Related: Saudi women celebrate end of the driving ban

But this was also major news for the car companies.

Camila Duarte recalls the chaos in her community after the shooting at nearby Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Fifteen years after the US entered Iraq, Baghdad breathes new life

Mar 23, 2018

This month marks 15 years since the US invaded Iraq. The country has declared victory over ISIS and hasn't seen a terrorist attack since the beginning of the year. With elections set for May, it appears Iraq is on a peaceful streak. 

Some Iraqis, such as businessman and economist Hassan Hadad, say their country is starting to turn a corner. Hadad spent much of his life in Canada but returned to Iraq in 2013 to start anew.

Just say the name of the second biggest city in Northern Ireland, and you might also be revealing your sympathies. 

Call it "Londonderry" and people here could suspect that you're on the side of the Protestant loyalists. And if you say "Derry," well, that's what the Catholic nationalists call the city. 

In an attempt at evenhandedness, the dual name of Derry/Londonderry came about.

The main character in "Paris Metro," New Yorker writer Wendell Steavenson's debut novel, is a once-driven journalist who's no longer chasing headlines. 

That's because, for Catherine "Kit" Kittredge, the book's flawed heroine, reporting the news has become all too personal.

A beloved friend is shot and killed in the terror attack on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. Although she's raising the young son of her Iraqi ex-husband, she has little patience for hearing the perspective of her Muslim sources. 

A data analytics firm used by Donald Trump's campaign during the 2016 presidential election continues to face intense criticism for its alleged misuse of the data of tens of millions of Facebook users.

UK-based data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica stands accused of using data it got from Facebook to build sophisticated psychological profiles of US voters, and then deliver content to them that might sway their vote.

Women in the global aid sector are saying #AidToo

Mar 22, 2018

There’s been a flurry of stories lately about sexual misconduct in the international aid community. Oxfam workers paying for sex in Haiti. UN peacekeepers assaulting the people they’re supposed to be helping in Congo. Syrian women trading sex for food and aid.

As far as vacation souvenirs go, we bring back trinkets and T-shirts, but we rarely bring back sound. What sounds remind us of our travels?

At times what we hear when we travel can be as much a passive ambient noise as it can invade an entire memory. The sounds of travel are heavily accompanied by their contexts. Seasickness highlights each gulp of a drifting boat and anxiety picks at the hums and hisses of plane engines. In this A-side B-side, the sounds of travel come through on two tracks.

Boko Haram has released nearly all of the 110 schoolgirls they kidnapped in Nigeria last month.

Early Wednesday morning, militants drove several trucks full of students into the town of Dapchi, where they had originally abducted the girls while posing as soldiers.

Nigerian officials have confirmed that 101 girls have returned home, and say it’s the result of the government’s back-channel negotiations, not the payment of a ransom.

Last fall, French President Emmanuel Macron announced a program to target disproportionately high unemployment among young people in France’s heavily immigrant neighborhoods. Macron said the government will pay bonuses of up to $20,500 to companies that hire people from designated priority areas.

“We are helping people,” Macron said. “We’re helping them to be mobile, to succeed in their neighborhoods or elsewhere, but to access a stable job.”

Sand. Civilizations modern and ancient have been held up by the stuff. It's one of the main building components in construction.

When you look at those mega-cities in sprouting up in China, one could say you're looking at giant sandcastles.

But sand is finite. And people are starting to kill for it.

Vince Beiser explores this for Wired magazine in "The Deadly Global War for Sand." Before you dive into the incredible read, here are seven things Beiser says you should know about sand:

Fourteen-hour shifts on a ranch was grueling work. Yet this man, who requested anonymity, loved his job of tending to sick horses on the outskirts of Los Angeles. He adores the animals — he grew up caring for them in Mexico, his home country. His passion for the job shone through, even as he talked about the long hours and back-breaking work.

But this rancher, who is undocumented, is scared. His hands shook as he told his story. He is terrified of immigration officials finding him and deporting him back to Mexico.

Here's an album for third culture kids

Mar 20, 2018

There's a term for children who were raised in a culture outside of their own parents'. Usually these kids, known as "third culture kids" (or TCKs), spend their formative years in different countries. 

So, it can be a struggle for TCKs to understand their identity. They often feel like they don't fit in anywhere. This is exactly what the artist Sirintip expresses on her debut album, "Tribus." 

Putin wins, surprising no one, but voter turnout rose

Mar 20, 2018

The result came, of course, as no surprise.

Russian President Vladimir Putin overwhelmed his opponents in his country’s elections, taking in just more than three-quarters of the vote to extend his power through 2024.  His closest challenger, Communist millionaire Pavel Grudinin, came in a distant second with 11 percent of cast ballots.  A ultra-nationalist came in third. Pro-Western candidates barely cleared the 1 percent mark. 

Tamara Kruglova, a pensioner who voted in central Moscow, argued support for the Russian leader was simply the natural order of things.

In their labs at the University of Colorado, research scientists Dirk Richter and Petter Weibring were busy building lasers to detect gasses when Richter heard about a contest being held by the Environmental Defense Fund, a nonprofit advocacy group.

“My wife forwarded me a tweet from the EDF saying this is a challenge," Richter said. "We looked at it and said, ‘Well, I think I have an idea. We can do this.’"

In the depths of Bangladesh’s Balukhali refugee camp, a large group of Rohingya men gathers atop a windy hill under the late afternoon sun. They’ve just been dropped off with their families by UNHCR — the UN’s refugee agency — as part of ongoing efforts to bring more of the 1 million-plus Rohingya refugees Bangladesh says are in the country into one massive settlement.

On a recent drive from Dublin to the northern city of Londonderry, the only way I knew I had crossed an international border was because the GPS screen in my rental car told me so. 

"You have entered the United Kingdom," it said. 

The thing to know about the border between Northern Ireland, which is part of Great Britain, and the Republic of Ireland, which will remain part of the European Union after Brexit, is this: there really isn't one. 

Russian voters go the polls on March 18 to choose a president, but there’s not much to truly decide. 

Vladimir Putin will win his fourth term after 18 years in power. But behind the scenes of an election with a foregone conclusion — an event that should be drama-free — a more complicated picture emerges. 

For Putin, the real concern is not winning but the optics of how the race is won.  Turnout — getting enough people out to vote to make this victory feel like a mandate — is key to giving his fourth term a legitimacy the Kremlin clearly craves. 

On hearing the news of a mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, some parents from the remote town of Chibok northeast Nigeria began planning a trip to Abuja, capital city of the country. Almost four years ago, on April 14, 2014, these parents lost more than 200 of their own children when the girls were kidnapped from a school dormitory in Chibok.

The recent departure of a former US Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesperson is putting a spotlight on the agency’s special operations — large, multi-day investigations that identify, arrest and deport people who are deemed a risk to public safety and have committed immigration violations.

Long before Americans heard about Russians using social media as part of a broader interference campaign in the 2016 US presidential elections, the Kremlin was trolling its own citizens.

For years, reports have surfaced of nondescript buildings in St. Petersburg and Moscow that teemed with trolls who produced blog posts, comments and memes designed to influence opinions, sow confusion and sway voters’ opinions.

At first glance, the tactics appear as different as the geography.

In Ukraine, the Kremlin has denied — repeatedly — the presence of Russian armed forces. The war is cast as an internal conflict between a fascist Ukrainian government in Kiev and Russian-speaking separatists in the country’s east. Yet the Kremlin sides with the separatists politically while tacitly endorsing incursions by patriotic Russian “volunteers” to aid the separatists militarily. Many of these “volunteers” were once members of the armed forces. Others, it appears, still are.

Sometime after midnight in mid-May of 2017, 27-year-old JeanCarlo Jimenez Joseph fashioned a noose from a bed sheet and hanged himself in his solitary confinement cell at the Stewart Detention Center, located in the pine woods of southwest Georgia. Stewart’s low-slung complex lies behind two tall chain-linked fences, each crowned with huge spirals of glinting barbed wire. Beginning in 2006, the facility began to house undocumented immigrants detained by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.​

On Tuesday, US President Donald Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and said current CIA Director Mike Pompeo would replace him. Trump then tapped Gina Haspel the CIA's deputy director to take Pompeo's job. 

Related: 'It's like starting over': What Pompeo means for diplomacy

How a soldier gets ready for deployment

Mar 14, 2018

First Lt. Erica MacSwan was just 7 years old when 9/11 happened. Yet, she has vivid memories of it.

Her family lived in New Hampshire at the time. Her dad, who worked for IBM, commuted to New York City for work. On that morning, he was running late for a meeting.

"He didn't get far before a black blanket covered him," MacSwan recalls, "and he just crouched down, and then he couldn't see anything. The city went absolutely silent, which is obviously so unusual for New York City."

Nearly 2 million Muslims take part in the pilgrimage to Mecca each year.  

Egyptian journalist and author Mona Eltahawy first participated in the five-day pilgrimage when she was a teenager and something happened that still haunts her today — she was sexually abused.  

Following the momentum of the #MeToo campaign, Eltahawy set in motion #MosqueMeToo, to tell her story and to encourage other Muslim women to step forward and share their experiences of sexual abuse while on the Muslim pilgrimage.

One of the most visible ways that cultures mingle in America is through food. So it’s no wonder that when PRI's The World asked, as part of our Global Nation coverage, why Filipino cuisine hasn't spread like Thai or Chinese in this country, the reaction was strong.