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Europe sees widespread protests against COVID-19 restrictions

“MuiTypography-root-228 MuiTypography-h1-233″>Europe sees widespread protests against COVID-19 restrictionsThe WorldNovember 22, 2021 · 11:15 AM EST

Protestors clash with riot police during a demonstration against the reinforced measures of the Belgium government to counter the latest spike of the coronavirus in Brussels, Belgium, Nov. 21, 2021.

Olivier Matthys/AP

Top of The World — our morning news roundup written by editors at The World. Subscribe here.

Europe
It’s been a weekend of protests against COVID-19 restrictions across Europe, a continent that is seeing a surge in cases and is now the epicenter of the pandemic. In Belgium, where, starting Wednesday of last week, there’s been a wider mandate in masking and working from home, nearly 35,000 people took to the streets in peaceful protests that broke out into violence. Several cities across the Netherlands saw violent protests on Friday and Saturday, with Dutch authorities deploying a water cannon, mounted officers and dogs to disperse the crowds. Austria, Denmark, and the French overseas territory of Guadeloupe had similar protests. The French government is sending police special forces to Guadeloupe after three days of protests against COVID-19 restrictions that turned into rioting and looting. The rallies were initially called by workers’ unions to denounce France’s health pass, a necessary requirement to access restaurants, sports events and other places, and mandatory vaccinations for health care workers.

Sudan
Nearly four weeks after Sudan’s military took control of the country’s government in a coup that saw Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok deposed and placed under house arrest, Hamdok has signed a deal with Sudan’s top army commander that will see him reinstated as interim prime minister until new elections are held. Thousands of Sudanese took to the streets to protest the deal, calling it a betrayal to the democratic cause. The agreement also includes the release of political prisoners who were jailed following the military coup. The number of people killed during rallies in the past month has been raised to 41, according to a report by a coalition of medical workers. The report also stated that security forces have targeted hospitals and blocked injured protesters from receiving treatment.

Haiti
Two of the 17 missionaries that were kidnapped this past October in Haiti by the 400 Mawozo gang have been released. The hostages were part of an American missionary group that includes women and children. They were visiting an orphanage just outside the capital, Port-au-Prince. The Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministries said it would not announce the names of the two people who were freed, but that they are “safe, in good spirits, and being cared for.” The missionaries are all from Amish, Mennonite and other conservative Anabaptist communities across six US states, plus one person from Canada.

From The WorldArmenia-Azerbaijan conflict stifles critical transport development in the region, analyst says

A forest burns in the mountains after shelling by Azerbaijan's artillery during a military conflict outside Stepanakert, the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, Oct. 31, 2020.

Credit:

AP Photo/File photo

As tensions flare up again between Armenia and Azerbaijan, Thomas de Wall, a senior fellow with Carnegie Europe with a specialty in Eastern Europe, speaks to The World's host Marco Werman about the regional players invested in the fight and how their interests are influencing the conflict.

‘I’m still not free’: Aid workers who helped refugees in Greece face months of legal limbo

Irish German Seán Binder stands outside a court in Mytilene port, on the northeastern Aegean island of Lesbos, Greece, Nov. 18, 2021. A group of 24 volunteers who took part in migrant rescue operations are on trial on the Greek island of Lesbos on smuggling-related charges in a case that has been strongly criticized by international human rights groups. 

Credit:

Panagiotis Balaskas/AP

Last week, Irishman Seán Binder and 23 other aid workers stood trial in Greece, accused of espionage, forgery and supporting a criminal organization. The judge ultimately ruled to refer the case to a higher court.

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Double Take

Sacré bleu!

The French flag saw a change this past summer that's gone largely unnoticed until recently. President Emmanuel Macron’s office darkened the blue in the flags flying around the Élysée Palace to align them with with the hue seen after the French Revolution. The switch took place in July. Presidential aides say the change is not in “opposition to the blue used by the European [Union] flag.”

In case you missed itListen: IOC announces plans for trans and intersex inclusion in sport

The Olympic symbol is reinstalled after it was taken down for maintenance ahead of the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Dec. 1, 2020.

Credit:

Eugene Hoshiko/AP/File photo

The International Olympic Committee has announced a new framework for transgender and intersex athletes this week. In part, the guidelines say no athlete has an inherent advantage just because of physical appearance, gender or intersex identities. The guidelines also move away from using testosterone levels alone to determine eligibility. And we hear the personal story of Sofie Lovern, a Mexican American standup comedian from Oakland, California, who converted to Islam as a young adult. Plus, Shohei Ohtani has been called the Japanese Babe Ruth. Now, the Los Angeles Angels’ player has won the American League’s MVP award, making him the second Japanese-born player to score the big win.

Don't forget to subscribe to The World's Latest Edition podcast using your favorite podcast player: RadioPublicApple PodcastsStitcherSoundcloudRSS.

India repeals controversial farm laws after a year of protests

“MuiTypography-root-228 MuiTypography-h1-233″>India repeals controversial farm laws after a year of protestsThe WorldNovember 19, 2021 · 12:30 PM EST

Protesting farmers ride tractors and shout slogans as they march to the capital, breaking police barricades, during India's Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi, India, Jan. 26, 2021.

Altaf Qadri/AP/File photo

Top of The World — our morning news roundup written by editors at The World. Subscribe here.

India
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced that his government will withdraw controversial farm laws that have been met with massive protests over the past year. Farmers have been protesting government overhauls that they say would ruin their livelihoods. They’re now celebrating the move as a hard-fought victory. Modi timed his announcement for the Sikh holiday Guru Nanak Jayanti to acknowledge India’s minority Sikh community that’s made up the base of the protests. Farmers are also one of India’s most influential voting blocs, and Modi’s reversal comes ahead of next year’s election.

Austria
As Austria faces a fourth wave of COVID-19 cases, the country is set to go into a nationwide lockdown, beginning on Monday and lasting for at least 10 days. The government is also planning to make vaccination mandatory — a first of its kind policy for Europe. Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg plans to impose the vaccine mandate beginning Feb. 1 of next year. Austria had one of the lowest vaccination rates in Europe, at just under 66%. It also has one of the highest national infection rates of the coronavirus on the continent, registering 14,212 new cases in just 24 hours on Thursday.

Brazil
Deforestation of Brazil’s Amazon rainforest is at a 15-year high, surging by 22% in the past year, according to a government report. The statistics undercut President Jair Bolsonaro's assurances that the country has been curbing illegal logging. Brazil’s space research agency (INPE) showed that the country had recorded 5,110 square miles of deforestation. Brazil recently pledged at the COP26 UN climate summit in Glasgow to end illegal deforestation by 2028.

From The WorldBrazil’s COVID vaccination campaign picks up thanks to a 1980s public health mascot

Olympic athletes, from left, archer Marcus Vinicius D'Almeida, Paralympic rower Michel Pessanha, swimmer Marcela Cunha and swimmer Larissa Oliveira pose for a photo with the mascot of the vaccination campaign, named "Zé Gotinha," or "Droplet Joe," after they got shots of the Pfizer vaccine at Urca military base in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, May 14, 2021. 

Credit:

Silvia Izquierdo/AP

Three generations of Brazilians have grown up with Zé Gotinha, roughly translated as Droplet Joe, and many say the little guy is responsible for the country's overwhelming vaccine acceptance.

The mascot is shaped like a drop of liquid, because that's how the polio vaccine was administered in Brazil back in the 1980s. He's been a huge part of the country's world-renowned vaccination program.

Only 1 in 7 households in Ghana has a toilet. Communities are fighting to ensure sanitation for all.

A bustling street scene in Ghana, where only 1 in 7 households has a toilet. 

Credit:

Ridwan Karim Dini-Osman/The World 

Thousands of Ghanaians resort to open defecation due to a lack of access to clean toilets. Some young people in Ghana are leading the movement to change the narrative around this dangerous practice.

Go behind the scenes with one of our correspondents.

Shirin Jaafari, a correspondent with The World since 2015, traveled to Afghanistan in July 2021 to report on the quickly evolving situation as the US withdrawal process was underway.

Take a behind-the-scenes look at her reporting from Herat days before the Taliban overtook the city.

Putting together stories in hostile environments is time- and resource-intensive. Make a gift today to support the work of Shirin and others here at The World. Thank you!

Bright Spot

Snoopy, complete with a NASA space suit, is heading to the moon and back aboard Artemis I, an unmanned mission scheduled to circle the moon and return to Earth in February. NASA uses stuffed animals on flights becuase when they start floating, it indicates the point of zero gravity. Snoopy's role on this mission is to ensure that all systems are working for future crews.

In case you missed itListen: North America leaders’ summit convenes

Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador addresses the United Nations Security Council, Nov. 9, 2021. 

Credit:

Richard Drew/AP

Leaders from the US, Canada and Mexico are holding their first in-person meeting on Thursday in the first summit of its kind in five years. Each brings conflicting interests in issues of migration, trade and the pandemic. And capitol rioter Evan Neumann is wanted by the FBI for his involvement in the Jan. 6 insurrection. Neumann recently turned up in Belarus hoping to seek asylum there. Plus, climate change and environmental degradation are two ways that China is paying a price for its fast-paced economic growth over the past 20 years. In Shanghai, a Chinese performance artist has some unusual ways of raising awareness about pollution.

Don't forget to subscribe to The World's Latest Edition podcast using your favorite podcast player: RadioPublicApple PodcastsStitcherSoundcloudRSS.

US, Canada and Mexico to hold talks at the White House

“MuiTypography-root-228 MuiTypography-h1-233″>US, Canada and Mexico to hold talks at the White HouseThe WorldNovember 18, 2021 · 10:45 AM EST

President Joe Biden waves towards the White House balcony in Washington, Nov. 17, 2021.

Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

Top of The World — our morning news roundup written by editors at The World. Subscribe here.

US-Canada-Mexico
US President Joe Biden will host trilateral talks with Canada and Mexico on Thursday at the White House. While the neighboring allies have to discuss their significant differences on migration, climate and trade issues, the summit will have a strong focus on furthering economic cooperation. The US is a top trade partner for Mexico and Canada and both countries are concerned by the US’ “Buy American” provision, central to the US president’s agenda, and a proposed tax credit for the purchase of electric vehicles in the US that will favor US-based car makers. Protectionist policies could keep Canadian and Mexican companies from lucrative contracts and the countries plan to argue for a level playing field to lure EV supply chain manufacturers.

Greece
A trial for a group of 24 volunteers who took part in search-and-rescue operations of migrants at sea on the Greek island of Lesbos has been adjourned shortly after opening, after a judge ruled that the local court was not competent to hear the case. The defendants, made up of Greek and foreign nationals, including Syrian competitive swimmer Sara Mardini, are facing a myriad of charges ranging from espionage and assisting criminal activity. Aid groups and human rights organizations have criticized the trial as being politically motivated and have called for all charges to be dropped.

Belarus
Hundreds of Iraqis have flown home from Belarus after nearly two weeks of tensions at the Poland-Belarus border. Some 2,000 people, mainly of Middle Eastern origin, were stranded at the border with security forces of both nations facing off. Belarusian state media reported that there were no more migrants at the makeshift camp along the border. At least 12 people died in the area. There were 430 Iraqis who registered for the repatriation flights, according to Iraq’s Consulate in Russia.

From The WorldMeet the 11-year-old on a mission to clean up the Seine

Alexandre de Fages de Latour and his son, Raphael, 10, are pictured near the Seine in Paris, where they fish out treasures — and junk.

Credit:

Rebecca Rosman/The World

Raphael has dedicated his free time to fishing waste out of the Seine in Paris using a magnetic rod. He's already managed to pull out 7 tons of waste including electric bikes, scooters, scrap metal and cellphones.

Go behind the scenes with one of our correspondents.

Shirin Jaafari, a correspondent with The World since 2015, traveled to Afghanistan in July 2021 to report on the quickly evolving situation as the US withdrawal process was underway.

Take a behind-the-scenes look at her reporting from Herat days before the Taliban overtook the city.

Putting together stories in hostile environments is time- and resource-intensive. Make a gift today to support the work of Shirin and others here at The World. Thank you!

Double Take

You've heard of online colleges, but what about an embassy on the metaverse?

Barbados says it will be the world's first country to establish a digital embassy in a 3D digital world hosted by Decentraland. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade struck the deal for the virtual embassy set to open in January 2022. 

In case you missed itListen: New Delhi struggles with smothering smog

Morning haze and smog envelops the skyline after air quality fell to hazardous levels in New Delhi, India, Nov. 5, 2021.

Credit:

Altaf Qadri/AP

Soaring pollution levels in New Delhi, India, have prompted officials to indefinitely close schools and some coal-based power plants. We hear from a climate analyst about the health implications and causes of the smothering smog. And, the Biden administration has announced a major new investment in vaccine manufacturing, with an aim to help address global inequalities. But critics say it doesn’t get to the root of the problem. Plus, since the 1950s, Mexican painter and intellectual Frida Kahlo has been revered as a feminist icon. One of her famous self-portraits just sold for nearly $35 million — more than any other work of art from Latin America.

Don't forget to subscribe to The World's Latest Edition podcast using your favorite podcast player: RadioPublicApple PodcastsStitcherSoundcloudRSS.

Heavy smog shuts down schools in India’s capital

“MuiTypography-root-228 MuiTypography-h1-233″>Heavy smog shuts down schools in India’s capitalThe WorldNovember 17, 2021 · 9:30 AM EST

Commuters drive amidst morning haze and toxic smog as schools and some coal-based power plants close down in New Delhi, India, Nov. 17, 2021.

Manish Swarup/AP

Top of The World — our morning news roundup written by editors at The World. Subscribe here.

India
Schools and colleges have shut down indefinitely in the Indian capital, New Delhi, and several neighboring provinces due to high levels of air pollution that have continued to worsen. Some coal power plants and construction sites have also been closed as the levels of the fine particulate matter PM2.5 are far higher than those considered safe by the WHO. People venturing outside have reported difficulty breathing, nausea and stinging in the eyes, and doctors have seen a sharp increase in hospital admissions due to respiratory problems. Officials are mulling over whether to impose a lockdown, similar to those used to control the spread of the coronavirus. If it goes into effect, the lockdown could be the first of its kind to curb pollution. High levels of air pollution are common there, especially during the winter months, making New Delhi one of the most polluted capital cities in the world.

Canada
Thousands of homes in the Canadian province of British Columbia have been evacuated after what officials are calling the “worst weather storm in a century.” It’s also affected areas of the US Pacific Northwest. The flood waters have severely damaged roads and train routes around the city of  Vancouver and have cut access to Canada’s largest port. Canada’s Minister of Public Safety Mike Farnworth said he had no doubt that the storm was linked to climate change. Moisture that originates in tropical regions and is moved across the atmosphere by an "atmospheric river" has dumped an amount of water equivalent to the region’s monthly precipitation average in just 24 hours.

Kenya
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken is in Kenya, a key US partner in East Africa. In a private meeting with President Uhuru Kenyatta and top country officials, Blinken focused on regional security issues, such as Kenya’s role in easing the conflict in Ethiopia, democracy in Sudan and combating the threat of terrorism in the region.

From The WorldMigrants restricted from entering the US due to Title 42 see double standard

Psychologist Sebastián Farías speaks with asylum-seekers inside a migrant encampment on Nov. 6, 2021. 

 

Credit:

Max Rivlin-Nadler/The World

The US has reopened its land borders to vaccinated travelers, but not to many asylum-seekers, even if they are vaccinated. This reality is leaving migrants in Tijuana, Mexico, increasingly desperate for their chance to seek asylum in the US.

Cuban govt supporters resorted to tactics they haven't used in decades to suppress political dissidents, professor says

Soldiers patrol along the Malecón seawall in Havana, Cuba, Nov. 15, 2021.

Credit:

Ramon Espinosa/AP

Nationwide protests planned for Monday in Cuba were curtailed by security forces. Lillian Guerra, a professor of Cuban history and the director of the Cuba Program at the University of Florida, described the culture of repudiation in the country to The World's host Marco Werman.

Go behind the scenes with one of our correspondents.

Shirin Jaafari, a correspondent with The World since 2015, traveled to Afghanistan in July 2021 to report on the quickly evolving situation as the US withdrawal process was underway.

Take a behind-the-scenes look at her reporting from Herat days before the Taliban overtook the city.

Putting together stories in hostile environments is time- and resource-intensive. Make a gift today to support the work of Shirin and others here at The World. Thank you!

Double Take

After selling for $34.9 million at auction in New York, a Frida Kahlo painting has now become the highest-selling work of Latin American art. The record was previously held by her husband Diego Rivera, and the painting itself expresses the decadeslong tumultuous relationship the couple shared.

In case you missed itListen: Poland-Belarus border tensions escalate

A Polish army vehicle drives past a checkpoint close to the border with Belarus in Kuznica, Poland, Nov. 16, 2021.

Credit:

Matthias Schrader/AP

Migrants remain stranded at the Poland-Belarus border, attempting to cross into the EU and seek asylum. What does the escalating tension mean for Europe? And the virtual meeting between US President Joe Biden and China’s Premier Xi Jinping was big news in China, with state media calling it a success. We hear reactions from China. Plus, archaeologists in Israel say an amethyst ring they uncovered recently was likely used as a hangover cure in the third century. We hear about a few other hangover remedies that have gathered faith over time.

Don't forget to subscribe to The World's Latest Edition podcast using your favorite podcast player: RadioPublicApple PodcastsStitcherSoundcloudRSS.

US and Chinese presidents strike conciliatory tone during hourslong meeting

“MuiTypography-root-228 MuiTypography-h1-233″>US and Chinese presidents strike conciliatory tone during hourslong meetingThe WorldNovember 16, 2021 · 10:00 AM EST

President Joe Biden meets virtually with Chinese President Xi Jinping from the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, Nov. 15, 2021.

Susan Walsh/AP

Top of The World — our morning news roundup written by editors at The World. Subscribe here.

US-China
US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping held a virtual meeting on Monday in an effort to repair relations between the two largest world superpowers. The two leaders struck a conciliatory tone during the meeting, calling for cooperation from both sides. But the 3 1/2-hour meeting ended without tangible results. In follow-up statements, both sides aired their respective grievances. Biden mentioned human rights abuses in China and “unfair trade and economic policies,” while Xi said that US support for Taiwan was “playing with fire.”

Ecuador
The head of Ecuador's prison system has resigned, along with the country's armed forces chief, following fresh gang violence that left another 68 inmates dead in a prison in the city of Guayaquil. The violence happened at the same prison where 119 inmates were killed in September in what authorities called the worst riots in the country’s history. The most recent incident happened during a 60-day state of emergency that President Guillermo Lasso had declared inside the prison system to allow for extra funds to be allocated to fight violence inside the jails. Lasso has announced a plan to allow for military involvement to deal with the ongoing violence.

Uganda
Twin blasts in Uganda’s capital have left at least three people dead and dozens more injured. It’s the latest in a string of attacks over the past month in the East African country. A suicide bomber detonated the first bomb near the central police station, followed by two attackers on motorbikes blowing themselves up near parliament. Who is behind the attacks is still under investigation, and authorities have urged the public to close businesses and leave the blast areas.

From The WorldCOP26 made incremental progress but failed to deliver on ‘transformational’ change, negotiators say

Climate activists hold a demonstration through the venue of the COP26 UN Climate Summit in Glasgow, Scotland, Nov. 12, 2021. Negotiators from almost 200 nations were making a fresh push to reach agreements on a series of key issues that would allow them to call this year's UN climate talks a success.

Credit:

Alastair Grant/AP

The UN climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, wrapped up this past weekend, issuing a set of agreements that use the strongest language yet to convey the gravity of the climate crisis.

Leaders also pledged more funding for adaptation and finalized long-awaited rules for carbon markets within the UN system.

But nearly every climate envoy or minister at the meeting left Glasgow saying more needs to be done — and fast.

'If you can avoid a crash, you can avoid an ambush,' tactical driving expert says

Ronnie Bucknum of the US, driving Honda #12, leads Joakim Bonnier of Sweden, in a Bragham-Climax #15, and Bob Bondurant of the US, during the running of the US Grand Prix at Watkins Glen, New York, Oct. 3, 1965.

Credit:

AP/File photo

Legendary race car driver and driving instructor Bob Bondurant died on Sunday at the age of 88.

Bondurant decided many years ago to become a driving instructor after crashing his car and flipping it eight times and breaking some bones in the process. He taught Hollywood celebrities like James Coburn, Paul Newman, Clint Eastwood, and Christian Bale.

What's less known is that Bondurant also taught tactical driving to security teams for heads of state from around the world. 

Anthony Ricci, who runs Advanced Driving and Security, Inc., took The World's host Marco Werman into the world of tactical driving and how it's used to protect important people.

Go behind the scenes with one of our correspondents.

Shirin Jaafari, a correspondent with The World since 2015, traveled to Afghanistan in July 2021 to report on the quickly evolving situation as the US withdrawal process was underway.

Take a behind-the-scenes look at her reporting from Herat days before the Taliban overtook the city.

Putting together stories in hostile environments is time- and resource-intensive. Make a gift today to support the work of Shirin and others here at The World. Thank you!

Global Hit

"The Hands of Time" is Weedie Braimah's new album — and his debut recording as a bandleader. This is also the album where the Ghanaian American artist puts the djembe drum at the forefront of his band.

The goblet-shaped hand drum, which originated in present-day Mali more than four centuries ago, has become an international symbol of African music.

As a djembefola — one who speaks through the drum — Braimah works to expand the boundaries of his instrument without sacrificing its identity and heritage. Enjoy some music from Braimah and other artists who we've featured on the show on this Spotify playlist. 🎶

Weedie Braimah's "The Hands of Time" features the power and range of the djembe. 

Credit:

Courtesy of Weedie Braimah

In case you missed itListen: COP26: Gaps between ambition and action

A thermometer records just below 100 degrees in a north Seattle neighborhood, July 29, 2009, approaching record highs. While world leaders hail the 2021 Glasgow climate pact as a good compromise that keeps a key temperature limit alive, scientists are much more skeptical. 

Credit:

Elaine Thompson/AP/file

The UN climate summit wrapped up this past weekend, issuing a set of agreements that use the strongest language yet to convey the gravity of the climate crisis. But nearly every climate envoy or minister at the meeting left Glasgow saying more still needs to be done — and fast. And Britain's terror threat level has been raised from "substantial" to "severe" following an explosion outside a hospital in Liverpool on Sunday morning. One man died at the scene and four men have since been arrested. Plus, master djembe player Weedie Braimah has a new album, “The Hands of Time,” where he shows off the djembe's range and power.

Don't forget to subscribe to The World's Latest Edition podcast using your favorite podcast player: RadioPublicApple PodcastsStitcherSoundcloudRSS.

EU places new sanctions on entities facilitating migration to Belarus

“MuiTypography-root-228 MuiTypography-h1-233″>EU places new sanctions on entities facilitating migration to BelarusThe WorldNovember 15, 2021 · 1:00 PM EST

Migrants make their way to the checkpoint "Kuznitsa" at the Belarus-Poland border near Grodno, Belarus, on Nov. 15, 2021.

Oksana Manchuk/BelTA pool photo via AP

Top of The World — our morning news roundup written by editors at The World. Subscribe here.

Belarus
The EU has agreed to slap new sanctions on airlines, travel agents and others accused of facilitating the transport of migrants from Middle Eastern countries to Belarus, as the border crisis in Poland and Lithuania deepens. Nearly 4,000 migrants are living in makeshift camps on the Poland-Belarus border with Poland stepping up border security and accusing Belarusian authorities of leading groups of migrants to cross the border. With this wider scope of sanctions, the bloc will now target individuals and entities organizing or contributing to what the EU says is an organized plan by President Lukashenko to lure immigrants and destabilize Europe. In 2015, a refugee crisis that saw 1 million people entering European countries created deep divisions within the bloc over the management of migrants.

Myanmar
American journalist Danny Fenster has been released from a Myanmar prison and is on his way back to the US, via Qatar, after spending nearly six months in jail. Fenster, the managing editor of the online magazine Frontier Myanmar, was handed an 11-year sentence by a military court last week on charges of spreading false or inflammatory information, contacting illegal organizations and violating visa regulations. His release has been reportedly brokered by US ambassador and former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson, who is in Myanmar. Six other journalists have also been convicted in Myanmar since February this year, when the country’s military ousted the democratically elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi.

Austria
In a new measure to control the COVID-19 surge, Austria has imposed a lockdown for those who have not been fully vaccinated against the virus, which consists of nearly 2 million people. With this new regulation that took effect at midnight on Sunday, initially for 10 days, those over 12 years of age who cannot prove they are fully vaccinated or who have recovered from COVID-19 will only be allowed to leave home for essential activities, such as going to the doctor, grocery shopping or going to get vaccinated. Increased police patrols will enforce the rules and hand over fines of $1,600 for noncompliance. Unvaccinated people had already been banned from visiting restaurants, hair salons and cinemas, but will now be expected to stay at home. In Austria, 65% of the population of 8.9 million people have been vaccinated, but the country, like several other European nations, is seeing an uptick in cases.

From The World'Born in Blackness': A new book centers Africa in the expansive history of slavery

São Sebastião Fort and Museum with statues of conquistadors São Tomé. 

Credit:

Courtesy of Howard French

Major aspects of the trans-Atlantic slave trade from an African perspective have gotten erased throughout time. Howard French set out to illuminate a more expansive understanding in a new book called "Born in Blackness: Africa, Africans, and the Making of the Modern World, 1471 to the Second World War."

Elections in Libya should be part of a larger process toward peace, analyst says

From left head of the Presidential Council of Libya Mohamed al-Manfi, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and Libyan Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah attend a press conference following a conference on Libya in Paris, Nov. 12, 2021.

Credit:

Yoan Valat/Pool Photo via AP

A summit in Paris on Libya's future is focused on ensuring that the country stays on track for planned elections in December. Emadeddin Badi, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, tells The World's host Marco Werman that pushing for these elections at any cost is problematic.

Go behind the scenes with one of our correspondents

Shirin Jaafari, a correspondent with The World since 2015, travelled to Afghanistan in July 2021 to report on the quickly-evolving situation as the US withdrawal process was underway.

Take a behind-the-scenes look at her reporting from Herat days before the Taliban overtook the city.

Putting together stories in hostile environments is time and resource-intensive. Make a gift today to support the work of Shirin and others here at The World. Thank you!

Bright Spot

Sesame Street has a new star! 🌟

Ji-Young will make history as the first Asian American muppet on the popular children's show. She is Korean American and has two passions: rocking out on her electric guitar and skateboarding. 🎸 She will formally be introduced on a Thanksgiving Day special.

Ernie, a muppet from "Sesame Street," appears with new character Ji-Young, the first Asian American muppet, on the set of the long-running children's program in New York on Nov. 1, 2021.

Credit:

Noreen Nasir/AP/File photo

In case you missed itListen: COP26: What’s next?

Patricia Espinosa, UNFCCC Executive-Secretary, second right, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, second left, and Alok Sharma President of the COP26 summit, third left, attend a meeting at the COP26 UN Climate Summit in Glasgow, Scotland, Nov. 11, 2021.

Credit:

Alberto Pezzali/AP

COP26 President Alok Sharma has said that the summit will be a success only if it keeps the target of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius alive. But it’s extremely unlikely that countries will commit to those kinds of carbon cuts at the summit. Also, Nov. 13 marks the sixth anniversary of the coordinated terrorist attacks at the Bataclan concert hall and six other sites in Paris. This year, it comes amid a major trial against the 10-man group that carried out the attacks. Plus, ever wonder what happens if a large asteroid goes on a trajectory to hit planet Earth? NASA is now testing a solution called the Double Asteroid Redirection Test — or DART — and they say it’s the world’s first planetary defense mission.

Don't forget to subscribe to The World's Latest Edition podcast using your favorite podcast player: RadioPublicApple PodcastsStitcherSoundcloudRSS.

Turkey halts flights for some Arab citizens traveling to Belarus

“MuiTypography-root-228 MuiTypography-h1-233″>Turkey halts flights for some Arab citizens traveling to BelarusThe WorldNovember 12, 2021 · 10:00 AM EST

A Belavia plane lands at the International Airport outside Vilnius, Lithuania, May 23, 2021.

Mindaugas Kulbis/AP/File photo

Top of The World — our morning news roundup written by editors at The World. Subscribe here.

Turkey
Turkey is halting the sale of airline tickets to Iraqi, Syrian and Yemeni citizens traveling to Belarus, in a bid to stop migrants and refugees from trying to enter the European Union. In a statement, Belarusian state-owned airline Belavia said it would stop allowing the travelers from boarding flights at the request of the Turkish authorities. EU leaders have been pressuring airlines to stop allowing travelers from the Middle East from entering Belarus. Thousands of people have managed to cross illegally into Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia since the summer, while others have been pushed back at border crossings.

Libya
France is hosting a peace conference of nearly 30 countries and organizations to discuss the situation in Libya in an attempt to ensure that planned elections are held in December and avoid further violence. The meeting is being co-hosted by Germany, France, Italy and the United Nations. Libya has been mired in a civil war since the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. Ahead of the Paris meeting, forces loyal to Gen. Khalifa Haftar said that about 300 of his mercenaries will be leaving the country at France’s request.

Myanmar
Myanmar has sentenced American journalist Danny Fenster to 11 years in prison. Fenster has been detained since May and was convicted on three charges: breaching immigration law, unlawful association and encouraging dissent against the military. The ruling was made during a closed hearing in the city of Yangon, and his lawyer said it was the toughest possible sentence. Fenster was the managing editor of the online site Frontier Myanmar, which stated that he had previously worked for Myanmar Now, an independent news site that was critical of the military since its coup in February.

From The World‘I had to burn a lot of my stuff’: Two Afghan women on what they left behind when they fled the Taliban

Hundreds of people gather near a US Air Force C-17 transport plane at the perimeter of the international airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 16, 2021.

Credit:

Shekib Rahmani/AP

Thousands of Afghans rushed to leave Afghanistan when the Taliban retook control of the country. Many had to make split-second decisions about what to pack in a small bag or backpack.

'Everything I am would not be the same without being a veteran,' says soldier who served in Afghanistan

Color guard retires the colors during a Veterans Day commemoration ceremony at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, Nov. 11, 2021.

Credit:

Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

Yesterday was the first Veterans Day in 20 years with no US troops on the ground in Afghanistan.

The US lost 2,325 service members during that war. Afghan soldiers killed in action number about 100,000. That's the human cost. The monetary cost of the US: about $2 trillion spent on the war in Afghanistan, a conflict that ended with the Taliban regaining control of the country this past August.

Matt Farwell, a veteran of Afghanistan who's written extensively on the war, including his book, "American Cipher: Bowe Bergdahl and the US Tragedy in Afghanistan," reflected on his career and the US pullout from the country with The World's host Marco Werman.

It takes a village to run The World

Have you ever wondered how an idea becomes a story on The World?

It starts with our reporters and producers, who pitch their ideas for stories or interviews during the morning meeting. Editors ask questions like, “why this story?” And “why now?” Once a pitch is greenlit, reporters chase down the story and producers look for a compelling interview guest. Then, together with editors and engineers, they bring it to life on air.

But our work isn’t possible without the generosity of listeners like you. Make your gift before Nov. 30 to support our nonprofit newsroom and help us unlock a $67,000 match!

Global Hit

Say hello to the weekend and to good music! 

Here is a playlist curated by our team with The World's Global Hits from artists featured on the show: Nearly five hours of music. 🎶

The World's Global Hits

In case you missed itListen: EU countries consider border walls to deter migrants

Polish police officers check cars near the border to Belarus, that was closed because of a large group of migrants camping in the area on the Belarus side who had tried to push their way into Poland and into the European Union, in Kuznica, Poland, Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021. 

Credit:

Matthias Schrader/AP

The crisis along Poland's border with Belarus has escalated over the last few days with thousands of migrants stranded there in near-freezing conditions. Barbed wire separates the two countries. Polish authorities are now planning to build an 18-foot wall along its border, and 12 other EU countries are also considering border walls. And, we take a look at a day in the life of a climate negotiator from the island nation of Palau, as he fights for his country’s future at the UN climate summit in Glasgow. Also, the US marks its first Veterans Day following the war in Afghanistan. We hear reflections from one US veteran who fought in the war there.

Don't forget to subscribe to The World's Latest Edition podcast using your favorite podcast player: RadioPublicApple PodcastsStitcherSoundcloudRSS.

Chinese Communist Party cements Xi Jinping’s rule

“MuiTypography-root-228 MuiTypography-h1-233″>Chinese Communist Party cements Xi Jinping’s ruleThe WorldNovember 11, 2021 · 11:00 AM EST

Portraits of China's former top leaders from left Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin, Hu Jintao and including the current President Xi Jinping are seen at a military camp in Beijing, China, after Chinese leaders approve a resolution on the history of the ruling Communist Party, Nov. 11, 2021.

Ng Han Guan/AP

Top of The World — our morning news roundup written by editors at The World. Subscribe here.

China
After a four-day, closed-door session of Chinese Communist Party senior officials, the country’s top leadership passed a resolution enshrining President Xi Jinping’s status in the country’s political history, while securing his political future. In only the third of such resolutions since the party’s founding, Central Committee members declared Xi’s ideology the “essence of Chinese culture,” establishing Xi as an equal to party founder Mao Zedong and his successor Deng Xiaoping. In 2018, the party removed Xi’s term limits. Then, officials told reporters Xi might need more time to assure economic and other reforms. Leadership changes will be announced at the Communist Party congress, likely to be held in 2022 when Xi is on track to secure a third five-year term, with no apparent rival.

South Africa
F.W. de Klerk, South Africa's last president of the apartheid era, has died after battling cancer at the age of 85. In 1990, de Klerk announced the release of Nelson Mandela from prison, which led to historic elections. He shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Mandela for helping to negotiate an end to apartheid. Opinions on de Klerk’s legacy are divided in South Africa. Many also blame him for violence against Black South Africans and anti-apartheid activists during his presidency.

Germany
COVID-19 cases have soared in Germany as the country battles its fourth wave of the virus, registering just over 50,000 cases a day, the highest since the pandemic began almost two years ago. Germany was once seen as an example of how to deal with the coronavirus, but current data has officials worried as the cold weather sets in. Reportedly, Chancellor Angela Merkel has called for an urgent meeting to discuss the country’s response to the crisis. Christian Drosten, a leading German virologist, has joined the call for action, warning that the country could see as many as 100,000 more deaths if nothing is done.

From The WorldDearborn's first Arab American mayor-elect: 'You need not change who you are' to run for public office

Abdullah Hammoud, mayor-elect of Dearborn, Michigan

Credit:

Abdullah H. Hammoud Facebook page

Dearborn, Michigan, has been a center for Arabic language, food and culture for decades. And last week, the city elected its first Arab American Muslim mayor, State Representative Abdullah Hammoud. "You're seeing minority populations and residents begin to really get involved in the political process," Hammoud told The World's host Marco Werman.

At COP26, island nations push hard for countries to meet goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius

Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed signs a document underwater calling on all countries to cut down their carbon dioxide emissions in Girifushi, about 20 minutes by speedboat from the capital Male, Maldives, Oct. 17, 2009.

Credit:

Mohammed Seeneen/AP

The speaker of parliament of the Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed, has been an outspoken advocate for action on climate change since he was the country's president. He spoke with The World's environment editor Carolyn Beeler in Glasgow, Scotland, about the dire consequenses of not meeting climate goals.

It takes a village to run The World

Have you ever wondered how an idea becomes a story on The World?

It starts with our reporters and producers, who pitch their ideas for stories or interviews during the morning meeting. Editors ask questions like, “why this story?” And “why now?” Once a pitch is greenlit, reporters chase down the story and producers look for a compelling interview guest. Then, together with editors and engineers, they bring it to life on air.

But our work isn’t possible without the generosity of listeners like you. Make your gift before Nov. 30 to support our nonprofit newsroom and help us unlock a $67,000 match!

Double Take

Vietnam's Minister of Public Security has faced criticism back home for dining on a nearly $2,000 gold-plated steak. He was hand-fed a bite of the delicacy by the famous chef known as Salt Bae himself at a high-end London restaurant. What's more, To Lam's fancy dinner came just a day after he laid flowers at Karl Marx’s grave.

In case you missed itListen: Who pays for damages due to climate change?

Kenyan Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani, left, and Mark Carney, the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Finance Adviser for COP26 and the UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance sit on stage at the COP26 UN Climate Summit in Glasgow, Scotland, Nov. 3, 2021. 

Credit:

Alberto Pezzali/AP

For years, developing countries have been lobbying for money through the United Nations system to pay for damages and losses from climate change. Where does the finance issue stand now? And, Dearborn, Michigan is home to many immigrant populations, but especially Arab Americans. Last week, the city elected its first Arab American Muslim mayor, Abdullah Hammoud. Plus, forced migration can be the most painful experience of one's life. Thousands of Afghans have experienced this since last August, when the Taliban took over. They all made last-minute decisions about what to leave behind or take with them. We hear from two women and their final decision.

Don't forget to subscribe to The World's Latest Edition podcast using your favorite podcast player: RadioPublicApple PodcastsStitcherSoundcloudRSS.

EU officials accuse Belarus of creating a new migrant crisis

“MuiTypography-root-228 MuiTypography-h1-233″>EU officials accuse Belarus of creating a new migrant crisisThe WorldNovember 10, 2021 · 12:30 PM EST

A view of a tent camp set by migrants from the Middle East and elsewhere gathering at the Belarus-Poland border near Grodno, Belarus, Nov. 10, 2021.

State Border Committee of the Republic of Belarus via AP

Top of The World — our morning news roundup written by editors at The World. Subscribe here.

Poland-Belarus
Western officials are accusing Belarus of intentionally trying to create a new migrant crisis in Europe. Poland has now amassed thousands of troops on its border with Belarus to keep out migrants who recently tried to push across the border, repeatedly attempting to tear down the razor-wire fence erected on Poland's eastern border. At least 2,000 people are now camped out there in freezing temperatures, caught in the middle of an international row. EU officials say Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko is letting asylum-seekers from the Middle East into his country, and then funneling them toward the EU, an allegation Lukashenko has denied.

Ethiopia
Ethiopian authorities have detained more than 70 drivers working with the United Nations in aid delivery, according to a UN spokesperson. It follows the detention of 16 UN staffers and their families on Tuesday, all of whom were ethnic Tigrayans. Government spokesman Legesse Tulu said they were detained because of “participation in terror" unrelated to their work, but didn’t provide further details. Ethiopian officials say they’re detaining people suspected of supporting the Tigray People Liberation Front.

COP26
A draft of the Glasgow agreement was published on Wednesday at the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland. The document includes language that says the world should be aiming to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, and acknowledging the role of fossil fuels in the climate crisis. Consensus on the draft is required, and nearly 200 countries will now negotiate its details over the next few days. It urges countries to strengthen their climate plans by the end of next year, while calling for the phasing out of coal and fossil fuel subsidies. Back in 2015, a group of the most climate-vulnerable island nations succeeded in getting the target of limiting 1.5 degrees Celsius written into the Paris agreement. They're back in Glasgow for COP26 to make sure the world stays on target. The World's Carolyn Beeler is in Glasgow and spoke to Mohamed Nasheed, former president and current speaker of parliament for the Indian Ocean nation of the Maldives about what's at stake.

From The WorldOngoing drought devastates parts of Kenya

Ruchi Wario, 60, shepherds livestock at one of the few functioning boreholes in Marsabit County, Kenya, Nov. 3, 2021.

 

Credit:

Halima Gikandi/The World

A monthslong drought in parts of Kenya is endangering the livelihoods of millions of people who rely on livestock. Humanitarian organizations are warning that countless people could be at risk of hunger if the rains don't come soon.

Canada promised to resettle 40,000 Afghans. Many are still waiting for answers.

People walk while vehicles move through the historical Khyber Pass in Jamrud, the main town of Pakistan's Khyber district bordering Afghanistan, Oct. 11, 2021.

Credit:

Muhammad Sajjad/AP

Earlier this year, the Canadian government pledged to resettle 40,000 Afghans, but advocates, and those with loved ones in Afghanistan, say the process must become faster and more transparent.

It takes a village to run The World

Have you ever wondered how an idea becomes a story on The World?

It starts with our reporters and producers, who pitch their ideas for stories or interviews during the morning meeting. Editors ask questions like, “why this story?” And “why now?” Once a pitch is greenlit, reporters chase down the story and producers look for a compelling interview guest. Then, together with editors and engineers, they bring it to life on air.

But our work isn’t possible without the generosity of listeners like you. Make your gift before Nov. 30 to support our nonprofit newsroom and help us unlock a $67,000 match!

Bright spot

Surprise! Yes, that is what happened to the Sotelo family in Lima, Peru, after buying what they thought was a purebred husky for about $13. Neighbors started complaining about "Run Run" chasing and eating guinea pigs, chickens and other domestic animals in the neighborhood. It turns out the beloved pet had a mistaken identity. Run Run was a trafficked Andean fox. 🦊

In case you missed itListen: Migrant crisis continues on Belarus-Poland border

A Polish police car and a military truck are parked at a makeshift check point at the perimeter of the emergency state that covers a 1.9 mile-wide strip along the border with Belarus, Chreptowce near Kuznica, Poland, Nov. 9, 2021.

Credit:

Czarek Sokolowski/AP

On the border between Belarus and Poland, there's been an ongoing standoff between thousands of migrants — mostly from Africa and the Middle East — and Polish border guards. EU countries like Poland have been steadfast in their attempts to deny entry. And, this week, many foreign travelers were finally allowed to enter the US, after a year and a half of intense travel restrictions. But New Zealand remains one of the most closed-off places in the world — even for citizens to reenter — proving most challenging for separated families. Also, the Biden administration has approved the sale of 280 air-to-air missiles for the Saudi air force. Bomb sales to Saudi Arabia are still on hold, but the US is reluctant to block all weapons sales as leverage to encourage Riyadh to improve its human rights record or end its war with the Houthis in Yemen.

Don't forget to subscribe to The World's Latest Edition podcast using your favorite podcast player: RadioPublicApple PodcastsStitcherSoundcloudRSS.

Polish border police push back migrants at Belarus border

“MuiTypography-root-228 MuiTypography-h1-233″>Polish border police push back migrants at Belarus borderThe WorldNovember 9, 2021 · 11:15 AM EST

Migrants from the Middle East and elsewhere rest on the ground as they gather at the Belarus-Poland border near Grodno, Belarus, Nov. 8, 2021.

Leonid Shcheglov/BelTA via AP

Top of The World — our morning news roundup written by editors at The World. Subscribe here.

Poland
Polish riot police faced off against hundreds of migrants who were trying to storm through from the Belarus side of the border. They cut through razor wire defenses and used branches to try and climb over them. The Polish Defense Ministry posted a video showing an armed Polish officer using a chemical spray through a fence at men who were trying to cut the razor wire, with some migrants throwing objects at police.The migrants, including families with young children, are camped out at the border in freezing temperatures and huddled around campfires as Polish border guards block their entry into the European Union.

COP26
A major point of contention in climate talks at the COP26 conference in Glasgow is the divide between rich and poor countries. On one side are nations that developed and became rich from the Industrial Revolution fueled by coal, oil and gas that started in the UK. On the other side are developing nations being told those fuels are too dangerous for the planet. Meanwhile, poorer countries are the ones feeling the most impact from climate change, with wealthy nations unwilling to foot the bill as compensation. These dynamics play out on week two of COP26 as national delegations discuss how to meet ambitious goals for greenhouse gas reductions. The World's environment editor and correspondent Carolyn Beeler 🎧 ​​reports from Glasgow.

Malawi
Overstone Kondowe has made history after being elected as Malawi’s first member of parliament with albinism, the hereditary lack of pigmentation in the skin, hair and eyes. It’s a significant milestone in a place where the condition still garners intense stigma, discrimination and even physical attacks. It’s also surrounded by superstition, and people with albinism often become the victims of a murderous trade in body parts, which are then used in witchcraft, forcing many children with albinism to refrain from attending school. Kondowe says he plans to work for legislation to protect all people with disabilities.

From The WorldBosnia faces the most serious crisis since the Balkans War, analyst says

Bosnian Serb member of the tripartite Presidency of Bosnia Milorad Dodik holds a speech during the 4th Budapest Demographic Summit in Budapest, Hungary, Sept. 23, 2021.

Credit:

Laszlo Balogh/AP/File photo

Bosnia and Herzegovina has lived in relative peace for the past couple of decades, after ethnic conflict tore through the Balkans in the 1990s. 

Today, fresh tensions are bringing up painful reminders of Bosnia's not-so-distant past. High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina Christian Schmidt warned that the country could face the biggest “existential threat of the post-war period” if the international community doesn't curb separatist threats by Bosnian Serbs.

Jasmin Mujanović, a Bosnian political analyst and the author of "Hunger and Fury: The Crisis of Democracy in the Balkans," joined The World's host Marco Werman to break down the situation.

Haitians deported from the US face a stark reality back home. Some are making plans to migrate again.

In Pestel, Haiti, on the country's southern peninsula, Jean-Robert Leger, left, brings in a boat that is a bit smaller than the one he has attempted in to sail to the United States, along with many other migrants aboard. He has yet to succeed in touch US soil. 

Credit:

Monica Campbell/The World

It’s been less than two months since thousands of Haitians were encamped under a bridge in Del Rio, Texas, just at the Mexico border. Some migrants were eventually let into the US. But most were deported to Haiti — often having lived away from the country for years.

In Haiti, many people are having to start all over again, without anything back at home, while others are still trying to figure out how to reach the US. The World's Monica Campbell reports from Haiti.

It takes a village to run The World

Have you ever wondered how an idea becomes a story on The World?

It starts with our reporters and producers, who pitch their ideas for stories or interviews during the morning meeting. Editors ask questions like, “why this story?” And “why now?” Once a pitch is greenlit, reporters chase down the story and producers look for a compelling interview guest. Then, together with editors and engineers, they bring it to life on air.

But our work isn’t possible without the generosity of listeners like you. Make your gift before Nov. 30 to support our nonprofit newsroom and help us unlock a $67,000 match!

Double Take

A 45-year-old computer has gone on auction today and could fetch up to $600,000. But it is not just any old computer, it is one of the few remaining Apple-1 computers that Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs designed. A possible treasure for collectors. So, forget about your latest generation iPhone. Any bidders?

In case you missed itListen: EU climate chief calls for reaching headline Paris agreement goal

A panel depicting Planet Earth and a message reading 'While you were Talking,’ regarding the COP26 Summit is displayed on St John's Church, in Edinburgh, Scotland, Nov. 7, 2021.

Credit:

Alberto Pezzali/AP

The European Union’s climate chief said during the ongoing COP 26 conference in Glasgow that talks must focus on meeting the headline goal of the Paris agreement. Former US President Barack Obama spoke on the sidelines of the conference on Monday, saying President Joe Biden's climate package will be “historic,” while welcoming the efforts of bipartisan US support in working toward slowing down global warming. Also, pressure is building for more Haitians to migrate by sea, as The World’s Monica Campbell shares first-hand accounts of the latest. And, an app at a Swiss university tries to use augmented reality to help people overcome arachnophobia.

Don't forget to subscribe to The World's Latest Edition podcast using your favorite podcast player: RadioPublicApple PodcastsStitcherSoundcloudRSS.

US opens borders to fully vaccinated travelers from a list of countries

“MuiTypography-root-228 MuiTypography-h1-233″>US opens borders to fully vaccinated travelers from a list of countriesThe WorldNovember 8, 2021 · 11:30 AM EST

Passengers wait to board a plane for New York at the Charles de Gaulle airport, north of Paris, after the US lifted travel restrictions from a long list of countries, Nov. 8, 2021.

Christophe Ena/AP

Top of The World — our morning news roundup written by editors at The World. Subscribe here.

United States
Starting today, country-specific travel bans to the United States, prompted 20 months ago by COVID-19 concerns, are ending. The US is now allowing fully vaccinated foreign travelers into the country, including those from Brazil, China, India, several European countries, South Africa and the UK. But as a large part of the world population remains unvaccinated — in part due to lack of access to the shots — the US will permit unvaccinated international travelers, including those from 50 countries where less than 10% of people have been vaccinated, to enter the country only for humanitarian or emergency reasons. The US is also reopening land borders with Mexico and Canada for those who have been vaccinated.

Nicaragua
Preliminary results of the Nicaraguan general elections suggest that President Daniel Ortega is ahead and leading by a wide margin, obtaining 75% of the total vote, according to the president of the Supreme Electoral Council. In a vote that has been called a “pantomime” by US president Joe Biden, little-known candidates trailed behind. Potential opponents were jailed in the months leading up to the election. Ortega’s party, the Sandinista Front, and its allies control Congress and all government institutions.

Iraq
Mustafa al-Kadhimi, Iraq’s prime minister, survived a drone assasination attempt targeting his residence in the Baghdad Green Zone, with at least six members of Kadhimi’s security team left wounded. The attack is raising fears of wider instability in the country after disputed results in the October parliamentary elections. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but Kadhimi has vowed to find those responsible. A top Iranian general visited Baghdad after the assassination attempt, saying Tehran and its allies had nothing to do with the attack.

From The WorldCricket fans around the globe rejoice as competition heats up in T20 World Cup

Pakistan's captain Babar Azam, right, and teammate Shadab Khan leave the field after their win in the Cricket Twenty20 World Cup match against Scotland in Sharjah, UAE, Nov. 7, 2021.

Credit:

Aijaz Rahi/AP

Of the estimated 2.5 billion people around the world who follow cricket, many have been tuned into the men’s cricket T20 World Cup for the past few weeks. The matches are making headlines both on and off the field, including the Afghan team playing for the first time since the Taliban takeover back home. "People were crying," said Bashir Ahmad Gwakh, who reports on Pakistan for Radio Free Europe. "Even the Afghan cricket team captain was crying when the national anthem was played." Listen to the story by The World's Bianca Hillier. 🎧

It takes a village to run The World

Have you  ever wondered how an idea becomes a story on The World?

It starts with our reporters and producers, who pitch their ideas for stories or interviews during the morning meeting. Editors ask questions like, “why this story?” And “why now?” Once a pitch is greenlit, reporters chase down the story and producers look for a compelling interview guest. Then, together with editors and engineers, they bring it to life on air.

But our work isn’t possible without the generosity of listeners like you. Make your gift before Nov. 30 to support our nonprofit newsroom and help us unlock a $67,000 match!

Double Take

A human face to the cocaine industry.

That's not something you hear about every day. But viral TikTok videos are doing just that, with people from the Catatumbo region of Colombia posting videos of their everyday lives. A BBC report shows that they're not kingpins of powerful cartels, but farmers just trying to escape poverty.

In case you missed itListen: Chinese tennis star silenced after #MeToo accusations

China's Shuai Peng serves the ball to France's Caroline Garcia during their second-round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium, May 31, 2018, in Paris. 

Credit:

Michel Euler/AP/File

The latest high-profile #MeToo case in China involves a tennis star making accusations against a former high-level Communist Party official. The Chinese government has attempted to silence the tennis star, but activists within China and the diaspora continue to share the story. And, a monthslong drought in parts of Kenya is endangering the livelihoods of millions of people who rely on livestock. Scientists say drought occurs more often due to climate change. Kenya, like many African countries, is requesting more climate finance to help communities at the COP26 conference in Glasgow, Scotland. Plus, we get a taste of the first-ever Habibi Festival of contemporary Arab music, with a special song by Alsarah and the Nubatones, written in 2019 in solidarity with fellow Sudanese protesters.

Don't forget to subscribe to The World's Latest Edition podcast using your favorite podcast player: RadioPublicApple PodcastsStitcherSoundcloudRSS.

Pfizer announces ‘highly effective’ pill to combat COVID

“MuiTypography-root-228 MuiTypography-h1-233″>Pfizer announces ‘highly effective’ pill to combat COVIDThe WorldNovember 5, 2021 · 1:30 PM EDT

The exterior of Pfizer in Groton, Conn. Pfizer Inc., March 2, 2012.

Elise Amendola/AP/File photo

Top of The World — our morning news roundup written by editors at The World. Subscribe here.

COVID-19
Pfizer has announced that its antiviral pill Paxlovid is highly effective at preventing severe illness among at-risk people who take the drug soon after exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms. It’s the second of its kind, and could be even more effective than a similar pill offered by Merck, which is still awaiting authorization in the United States. Pfizer says Paxlovid cuts the risk of hospitalization or death by 89% when taken within three days of the start of symptoms, and that the treatment could become available in the next few months.

Saudi Arabia
The US State Department approved its first major arms sale to Saudi Arabia under the Biden administration. The Pentagon plans to send 280 air-to-air missiles valued at up to $650 million. Congress has been critical of the war in Yemen, and has refused to approve many military sales for the kingdom without assurances that the equipment wouldn’t be used to kill civilians. Biden had promised to make Saudi Arabia a "pariah" state during his campaign, and has been criticized for not holding Riyadh accountable for the death of US-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi and other human rights abuses.

Ethiopia
Ethiopia’s Tigray forces say they’re joining with other armed and opposition groups in an alliance against Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to seek a political transition in the country, following a year of devastating war. The alliance of nine groups, including Tigray forces and the Oromo Liberation Army, was signed in Washington on Friday, and comes as US special envoy Jeffrey Feltman is meeting with senior government officials in the capital Addis Ababa. Meanwhile, allied forces fighting against the central government have said they're "weeks to months'' away from entering the capital, claiming they’re now in control of a town just 99 miles away.

From The WorldThis teen climate activist is blazing a new path to raise environmental awareness in China

Chinese environmental activist Howey Ou in St-Laurent, Lausanne, Switzerland.

Credit:

Jedleb/Wikimedia

Teen climate activist Howey Ou is considered China’s Greta Thunberg, taking to the streets to speak out about climate change. But in a country where speaking up comes with big risks, Ou’s path is often a lonely one.

Professional tree planting: 'It's a combination between industrial labor and high-intensity sport'

An image of a professional tree planter hard at work in British Colombia.

Credit:

Courtesy of Rita Leistner/"Forest for the Trees"

Filmmaker and photographer Rita Leistner, who started planting trees professionally more than 20 years ago, says the work is "brutal." Her latest project brings her back to tree planting in the form of a book and documentary called "Forest for the Trees." She explained the rigors of tree planting to The World's host Marco Werman. 

"An average tree planter burns about 8,000 calories a day. So, that's about the equivalent of running 2 1/2 marathons in terms of caloric output. And you're doing this day in and day out. And that is because you're carrying this heavy weight, you're climbing up and down," Leistner said.

It takes a village to run The World

We are powered by a group of talented and curious reporters, producers and editors who are dedicated to bringing you human-centered stories every day. We’re also buoyed by the community and financial support we receive from you, our listeners.

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When you donate today, you support reporting from our nonprofit newsroom.

Bright Spot

We say "hanging in there" quite often, especially when we've been asked, "how are you doing?" during the pandmic. Have you wondered how people around the world express the state of being OK, but not great? Host Marco Werman called up some of our foreign correspondents to find out. 🎧

The World Instagram post

Credit:

The World

 

 

 

        In case you missed itListen: US diplomat and hostage negotiator heads to Myanmar

In this photo issued by the Myanmar Military True News Information Team, former US ambassador and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (left) meets with State Administration Council Chairman, Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, Nov. 2, 2021.

Credit:

Myanmar Military True News Information Team/AP

Veteran US diplomat and hostage negotiator Bill Richardson traveled to Myanmar this week, raising hopes for the release of American journalist Danny Fenster, who's been detained by the military junta for five months. And thousands of Afghans are still trying to flee Afghanistan or are somewhere en route to a new home. The US and Canada have historically been the world's two leading countries for refugee resettlement, but they've struggled to meet the needs of this group. Also, in Russia, the number of daily COVID-19 cases and deaths have increased across the country, with new record highs in both categories. Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a nationwide nonworking period to curb the spread of the virus.

Don't forget to subscribe to The World's Latest Edition podcast using your favorite podcast player: RadioPublicApple PodcastsStitcherSoundcloudRSS.

Investigation into Ethiopian conflict reports human rights violations by all sides

“MuiTypography-root-228 MuiTypography-h1-233″>Investigation into Ethiopian conflict reports human rights violations by all sidesThe WorldNovember 3, 2021 · 10:15 AM EDT

UN Human Rights Officer Charles Kwemoi, OHCHR regional representative Marcel Akpovo, EHRC Chief Commissioner Daniel Bekele and Director at the EHRC Albab Tesfaye, give a joint press conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Nov. 3, 2021.

AP

Top of The World — our morning news roundup written by editors at The World. Subscribe here.

Ethiopia
An investigation by the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission and the United Nations Human Rights Office released a day ahead of the first anniversary of the Ethiopian conflict has revealed that all sides have violated human rights, and that some of the violence could amount to crimes against humanity. The inquiry, which has been hampered by restrictions imposed by authorities and the impossibility of being able to visit some of the areas most affected by the conflict, has documented cases of rape, attacks against refugees and internally displaced people, torture and other violations linked to Ethiopian and Eritrean forces.

Nicaragua
Nicaragua is gearing up for a presidential election on Sunday, but there is not much suspense about who's likely to win. The incumbent, Daniel Ortega, is all but guaranteed to remain as president for a fourth consecutive term. Nicaragua's national police forces 🎧 have jailed many of Ortega's opponents in the past months, including  seven of the most likely presidential hopefuls. The most vocal dissidents in Nicaragua are either behind bars or outside of the country. The opposition to Ortega’s government is calling for a boycott of the election.

Eswatini
King Mswati III of the African Kingdom of Eswatini and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa have come to an agreement to establish a national dialogue that could bring the unrest in the country to an end. Two weeks ago, after a flare-up in pro-democracy protests in Eswatini, the last absolute monarchy in Africa, security forces clashed with demonstrators and internet connectivity was shut down.

From The WorldMeet the trusted guide to Port-au-Prince’s streets

Mackenson Rémy, a popular reporter, is a fixture in Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital. All sorts of people call him, from business executives to politicians, interested in hearing about the traffic situation as the city wakes up. 

Credit:

Monica Campbell/The World 

Many Haitians rely on Mackenson Rémy, a popular reporter, to get around the country’s capital safely. He drives a 2004 beige Pathfinder or sometimes a motorcycle — to be the eyes and ears for the many Haitians who rely on his broadcast on the popular Radio Caraibes network to get around the city’s streets safely.

New restrictive regulations in Egypt will shut down access to independent information, legal director says

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi holds a news conference at the Presidential Palace in Khartoum, Sudan, March. 6, 2021.

Credit:

Presidency of Sudan via AP/File photo

Egypt's new amendments to its national terrorism law will reinstate military powers that curtail human rights and free speech. Mai El-Sadany, the legal director at the Tahrir Institute of Middle East Policy in Washington, discusses the development with The World's host Marco Werman.

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Bright Spot

Say cheese!

A traffic cam in Brazil had an unexpected visitor when a curious parrot appeared on screen. Captured in Curitiba in the state of Paraná, the video shows the bird repeatedly peering into the lens of the CCTV camera as it monitored traffic conditions.

In case you missed itListen: France and UK's fish dispute

French fisherman Herman Outrequin, left, who does not have a license to fish in the UK waters, works the port of Granville, Normandy, Nov. 2, 2021. The French and British governments accuse each other of contravening the trade deal in the dispute over fishing licenses in the English Channel. 

Credit:

Jeremias Gonzalez/AP

France and the UK have been caught up in a bitter dispute — about fish. Each government accuses the other of contravening the trade deal on fishing licenses in the English Channel. The French are threatening to block British fishing boats disembarking into the country unless the UK does something to resolve the matter. And, Saudi Arabia says it will plant millions of trees and capture carbon to combat climate change. As one of the world’s top oil producers, the country has also pledged to cut down its greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2060.  Plus, Russian, Chinese and European tourism agencies are planning on bringing tourists back to Syria next year. But how ethical is it to visit a country still officially in a state of civil war?

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Top US oil executives to testify before Congress

Top US oil executives to testify before Congress

By
The World staff

The logo for ExxonMobil appears above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, April 23, 2018.

Credit:

Richard Drew/AP/File photo

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United States
Top oil executives are testifying before Congress on Thursday in a landmark hearing before the US House Oversight Committee. Democratic legislators say they’re investigating a decadeslong, industrywide campaign to spread disinformation about the role of fossil fuels in causing global warming. Officials from Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron, BP America and Shell will speak before the committee, along with leaders of the industry’s top lobbying group and the US Chamber of Commerce. They’re also expected to renew their commitment to fighting climate change. Rep. Ro Khanna, who is behind the hearing, is a leading critic of the industry. The companies have dodged previous requests to testify on these issues.

Sudan
The African Union has suspended Sudan over this week’s military coup. The group said in a communique that the decision would remain in place until “the effective restoration” of the transitional authority that was leading the country toward democratic elections, which the military overthrew. The World Bank also halted its disbursements to Sudan on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Sudan’s top military official, Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, fired at least six ambassadors including the envoys to the United States, the European Union, Qatar, China and France, after some of them condemned the coup. Burhan also fired Adlan Ibrahim, head of the country’s Civil Aviation Authority, after the resumption of flights in and out of Khartoum’s international airport on Wednesday.

Myanmar
A new report has revealed that Myanmar’s junta tortures detainees in a systematic way. The Associated Press conducted interviews with 28 people imprisoned and released in recent months, and concluded that since its takeover of the government in February, Myanmar’s military has been torturing detainees in a methodical and systemic way across the country. The investigation based its findings on photographic evidence, sketches, and letters along with testimony from two military captains and an aide to a high-ranking commander; it’s the most comprehensive look since the takeover. The country’s secretive detention system has held more than 9,000 people. Some of them had been detained for protesting against the military, while others were not given clear reasons for their arrests. Since February, security forces have killed more than 1,200 people, including an estimated 131 or more who were tortured to death.

From The WorldHaiti’s rival gangs hold a firm grip on fuel supply, testing life at every level

A man balances his motorbike tank on his head as he waits outside a gas station in hopes of filling his tank, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Oct. 23, 2021. The ongoing fuel shortage has worsened, with demonstrators blocking roads and burning tires in Haiti’s capital to decry the severe shortage and a spike in insecurity.

Credit:

Matias Delacroix/AP

Haiti is running out of gas — which is being called “liquid gold.”
And the capital has been brought to the brink of exhaustion due to fuel shortages.

Gangs, a powerful force in Haiti, are blockading fuel supplies at the ports, which are located in areas they control, driving residents of Port-au-Prince to a desperate search for gasoline and diesel. The World’s Monica Campbell reports from the capital.

A new law in France aims to protect indie bookshops against outsized Amazon competition

Sylvia Whitman, the proprietor of the English and American literature Shakespeare and Co. bookstore, checks her messages on her phone in Paris, Nov. 5, 2020.

Credit:

Francois Mori/AP

Amazon often offers cheap books with fast and free delivery options, making it hard for independent bookstores to compete. The new law regulating delivery fees will put a bit more power back into the hands of indie shops.

Bright Spot?

🚀 Would you hop on a hoverbike — a $680,000 one? If your answer is yes, you might want to check ALI Technologies’ XTurismo Limited Edition electric hoverbike now available to order in Japan. It can fly for 40 minutes at up to 60 miles per hour on a single charge! It’s just perfect for a short commute. But here is the catch: Current traffic regulations in Japan do not allow hoverbikes to fly over roads. The makers of the vehicle hope this can be of use for rescue teams when needing to reach areas difficult to access.

A Japanese startup company has launched a hoverbike for a whopping 77.7 million yen, or about $680,000. The XTurismo Limited Edition can fly for roughly 40 minutes with a top speed over 60 mph. pic.twitter.com/fMJOFTE58l

— CBS News (@CBSNews) October 27, 2021In case you missed itListen: Haiti fuel shortage intensifies

People push and shove as they try to get their tanks filled at a gas station in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Sept. 22, 2021. In addition to kidnappings, gangs are blamed for blocking gas distribution terminals and hijacking supply trucks, which officials say has led to a shortage of fuel. 

Credit:

Rodrigo Abd/AP

Haiti is running out of fuel. The severe fuel shortage has intensified because gangs are blockading fuel supplies at ports located in areas controlled by them. And we hear from Osama, who grew up in the West Bank during the first and second intifadas. A chance encounter with a group of Jewish people made him question his own prejudices and he now works for peace. Plus, a court in Madrid has ruled that a couple, now separated, will have joint custody of their dog. The ruling recognized the people as “co-carers” so that Panda, the dog, will now alternate between two homes.

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Israel approves nearly 3,000 new Jewish settlement homes in the West Bank

Israel approves nearly 3,000 new Jewish settlement homes in the West Bank

By
The World staff

Palestinian laborers work building new houses in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Bruchin near the Palestinian town of Nablus, Oct. 25, 2021.

Credit:

Ariel Schalit/AP

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Israel
A day after the Biden administration issued its strongest condemnation yet of Israeli settlement construction, an Israeli committee approved 2,800 new settlement homes in the West Bank. More than half of the housing units got final approval by the Defense Ministry’s higher planning council before building starts. The US State Department on Tuesday said that it was “deeply concerned” about Israel’s plans to advance the new settlement homes, including many deep inside the West Bank. Protests erupted in May when the Israeli government tried to evict families from the East Jerusalem Palestinian neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah. Israeli settlements are prohibited under the fourth Geneva Conventions and remain an obstacle to a two-state solution to the conflict.

India
India’s Supreme Court has ordered an independent probe into spying claims revealed in the Pegasus Papers in July. The country’s top court appointed an independent committee to look into the allegations that the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi used the Israeli military-grade spyware Pegasus to snoop on sitting members of Parliament, judges, journalists and activists. The move came in response to multiple petitions filed by those who were targeted. The ruling says that the state does not get a free pass every time national security is raised.

Brazil
A commission in Brazil has voted in favor of recommending criminal charges against President Jair Bolsonaro. The group was investigating the government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the majority of senators voted in support of a 1,288-page report looking into the crisis. The senate panel backed the call for charges against Bolsonaro that include crimes against humanity, after the deaths of 600,000 from coronavirus, the second-highest number of deaths after the United States. The findings will be sent to the chief prosecutor, who is a Bolsonaro appointee. The president maintains that he is not guilty of the accusations. And there is still no guarantee that the vote will lead to actual criminal charges.

From The WorldAn upcoming vaccine drive in Afghanistan is an ‘unprecedented opportunity’ to eradicate polio, UN official says

A health worker administers a vaccination to a child during a polio campaign in the old part of Kabul, Afghanistan, June 15, 2021. UN agencies are gearing up to vaccinate all of Afghanistan’s children under 5 against polio after the Taliban agreed to the campaign, the World Health Organization said on Oct. 19, 2021.

Credit:

Rahmat Gul/Ap

Next month, UN agencies in Afghanistan will restart a nationwide vaccination drive that’s been on hold for more than three years, due to conflict and security threats.

UNICEF and the World Health Organization recently reached an agreement with the Taliban, allowing the vaccinations to resume and permitting Afghan women vaccine workers to take part in the drives, as well.

Sudanese protester to military: ‘Our numbers are too big to be ignored’

A pro-democracy protester flashes the victory sign as thousands take to the streets to condemn a takeover by military officials, in Khartoum, Sudan, Oct. 25, 2021.

Credit:

Ashraf Idris/AP

On Tuesday in Khartoum, the Sudanese capital, calls for civil disobedience came blaring from a loudspeaker attached to a mosque. One voice urged citizens not to go to work to punish the military for betraying the revolution.

Dalia Abdel-Moneim, a Khartoum resident, joined The World’s host Carol Hills to discuss the situation in the nation’s capital as people took to the streets after the military seized power. She said the city is tense after all businesses and shops closed. 

“It’s literally a major strike,” Abdel-Moneim said. “Anyone who’s out on the street is either going to try and get supplies or just trying to get to family or something. But the city is pretty much dead, and that’s, I think, the case throughout the whole country.”

Double Take

In a rare ruling, a Spanish judge has granted joint custody of a dog.  Panda will now alternate between both parties of a separated couple for a month at a time. The lawyer who brought the case to court called this a “pioneer ruling,” since her client was recognized by the court as “co-carer” of Panda instead of a “co-owner.” The judge said the evidence, which included the dog’s adoption contract, veterinary bills and photographs, revealed an affective relationship worthy of legal guardianship.

Spain grants joint custody of dog in rare ruling https://t.co/SqZFzsI9uZ

— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) October 27, 2021In case you missed itListen: Protesters defy military coup in Sudan

Pro-democracy protesters flash the victory sign as they take to the streets to condemn a takeover by military officials, in Khartoum, Sudan, Oct. 25, 2021.

Credit:

Ashraf Idris/AP/File 

Demonstrators have taken to the streets of Khartoum, Sudan, in an attempt to bring down the top military generals who seized power Monday. And, we hear from Dean Issacharoff, who could hardly wait to join the Israeli army at age 18. The beatings of Palestinians made him question his allegiances, but when he spoke out against the attacks, the military turned against him. Also, later this month, the United States will challenge a UK judge’s ruling on Julian Assange’s extradition to the US. The judge originally rejected the extradition over concern for Assange’s mental health.

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Iran faces widespread gas station outage, believed to be a cyberattack.

Iran faces widespread gas station outage, believed to be a cyberattack.

By
The World staff

A gas station is empty because the gas pumps are out of service in Tehran, Iran, after a widespread outage of a system that allows consumers to buy fuel with a government-issued card, Oct. 26, 2021.

Credit:

Vahid Salemi/AP

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Iran
A widespread network outage, believed to be caused by a cyberattack, has affected gas stations across Iran, shutting down a government system that manages fuel subsidies, and leaving angry motorists stranded in long lines at shuttered stations. No group has claimed responsibility for the outage. The semiofficial ISNA news agency reported that  those trying to buy fuel with a government-issued card through machines received a message reading “cyberattack 64411.” Most Iranians rely on the subsidies to fuel their vehicles, particularly amid the country’s economic problems, and an economy that’s been buckling under US sanctions. The use of the number “64411” mirrors an cyberattack in July targeting Iran’s railroad system that also saw the number displayed. Israeli cybersecurity firm Check Point later attributed the train attack to a group of hackers that called themselves Indra, after the Hindu god of war.

Sudan
A day after a military coup in Sudan, protesters burned tires and blocked roads with makeshift barricades in the capital Khartoum. The takeover came after weeks of mounting tensions between military and civilian leaders over the course and pace of Sudan’s transition to a democratic system, which has made slow progress since the ousting of former President Omar al-Bashir in 2019. Sudan’s top general Abdel Fattah al-Burhan maintains that the military ousted the government to avoid civil war. The US had removed Khartoum from a list of state sponsors of terrorism last year, and recently voiced support for civilian rule sending in the top regional envoy, Jeffrey Feltman, to dissuade the military leadership from seizing power, but the generals made their move three hours after Feltman’s departure.

Egypt
Egypt has ended its state of emergency for the first time since 2017, saying that it’s no longer needed. Since the assassination of President Anwar Sadat in 1981, Egypt has been under a continuous state of emergency with the exception of a few years following the 2011 revolution that ousted Hosni Mubarak. It was reinstated after the bombings of two Coptic churches by an ISIS affiliate that killed more than 40 people and wounded dozens more in April 2017. The state of emergency had granted the government sweeping authority to quash protests, detain dissidents and control everyday life in the most populous Arab country. Prominent Egyptian activist Hossam Bahgat said the decision would stop the use of emergency state security courts, though it would not apply to some high-profile cases already referred to such courts.

From The WorldIsraeli designation of 6 NGOs as terrorist organizations ‘criminalizes’ civil society work, media consultant says

Shawan Jabarin, director of the al-Haq human rights group, at the organization’s offices in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Oct. 23, 2021.

Credit:

Majdi Mohammed/AP

Israel’s defense minister has designated six Palestinian rights groups — al-Haq, Addameer, the Bisan Center for Research and Development, the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees, Defense for Children International-Palestine and the Union of Agricultural Work Committees — as terrorist organizations. Israel says the groups are connected to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which has been behind attacks in the past.

The announcement brought swift condemnation. The US State Department said it was never notified of the decision, and human rights campaigners say the terror designations are baseless. Activists called on the international community on Saturday to help reverse Israel’s unprecedented decision.

Nour Odeh, a media consultant based in Ramallah, who is a former spokesperson for the Palestinian Prime Minister’s Office, discussed the move with The World’s Carol Hills.

In China, jump roping is a popular competitive sport. Skill level also affects kids’ grades.

A man and woman twirl a jump rope for a girl at a park in Beijing, Oct. 31, 2015.

Credit:

Mark Schiefelbein/AP

In China, where classrooms can have upwards of 40 students, jump rope is a relatively inexpensive sport. It doesn’t take up much space so it’s become a popular measure of student fitness. And it’s not just a requirement — it impacts your final grade.

Double Take

A “long-awaited victory.” That’s what Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called a decision by a Dutch court which ruled that a collection of archeological objects from the disputed Crimean Peninsula should be returned to Ukraine, as they are “part of the cultural heritage of the Ukrainian state.” Crimea loaned the artifacts to the Allard Pierson museum in Amsterdam before Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014. Russian officials and lawmakers have vowed to appeal.

🇳🇱🇺🇦 In what Kyiv hailed as a “victory”, a Dutch court ruled a trove of cultural treasures from Crimea should be handed to the Ukrainian government. https://t.co/IkrKLmeJm2

— euronews (@euronews) October 26, 2021In case you missed itListen: Sudan’s military takes power in coup

In this frame taken from video, the head of the military, Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, announced in a televised address that he was dissolving the country’s ruling Sovereign Council, as well as the government led by Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, in Khartoum, Sudan, Oct. 25, 2021. 

Credit:

Sudan TV via AP

Sudan TV/AP

The armed forces in Sudan have detained the country’s prime minister along with other top officials and dissolved the joint civilian-military government that was steering the country toward democratic reform in an apparent military coup. And Afghanistan will restart nationwide polio vaccinations after more than three years. The new Taliban government agreed to assist the campaign and will allow women to participate as front-line workers. Also, jump-rope contests are popular entertainment on Chinese TV. Now, parents are sending their kids to jump-rope cramming schools for another reason — gaining an edge on their test scores.

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Sudan’s military seizes power, dissolves transitional government

Sudan’s military seizes power, dissolves transitional government

By
The World staff

Thousands of pro-democracy protesters take to the streets to condemn a takeover by military officials in Khartoum, Sudan, Oct. 25, 2021.

Credit:

Ashraf Idris/AP

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Sudan
After dissolving Sudan’s transitional government and placing acting Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok under house arrest, the military seized power in Sudan. Thousands took to the streets in Khartoum, and at least 12 protesters were wounded in demonstrations, according to the Sudanese Doctors Committee. The head of the ruling council, military officer Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, announced a state of emergency across the country and said that the military needed to protect the country’s safety and security, which the 2019 transitional government failed to do. In just a few weeks, Sudan’s military was expected to hand leadership of the Sudan’s ruling council to civilians. The military takeover comes two years after countrywide protests forced Omar al-Bashir,  who ruled Sudan for 30 years, to step down.

UN greenhouse gas report
Just days before the start of the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland, the United Nations’ World Meteorological Organization released a report that says that climate-heating gas levels in the atmosphere hit record highs in 2020, despite the coronavirus-related lockdowns, and that greenhouse gas concentrations increased at the fastest rate in the past 10 years. In a worrisome development, the report also points out that parts of the Amazon are no longer a carbon sink due to deforestation and low humidity levels in the region. The UN climate conference, running from Oct. 31 to Nov. 12, marks an important opportunity for concrete commitments to reach targets set out in the 2015 Paris climate accord.

China
China is expanding its COVID-19 vaccination program to include children between the ages of 3 and 11. About 76% of China’s population has been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. Authorities maintain a zero-tolerance policy toward outbreaks and continue with mass testing of residents and targeted lockdowns. On Monday, the National Health Commission reported 35 new cases of local transmission detected over the past 24 hours, four of them in Gansu province, leading to the shutdown of all tourist sites. The Beijing marathon, with an expected attendance of 30,000 people this upcoming weekend, has been postponed until further notice as the country seeks to control localized outbreaks ahead of the February Winter Olympics.

From The WorldNetflix hit ‘Squid Game’ exposes the growing resentment between rich and poor, psychiatrist says

Members of the South Korean Confederation of Trade Unions wearing masks and costumes inspired by the Netflix original Korean series “Squid Game” attend a rally demanding job security in Seoul, South Korea, Oct. 20, 2021.

Credit:

Ahn Young-joon/AP

The new Netflix psychological thriller series “Squid Game” is intense and brutal — but it’s also fiction. Why does it have such far-reaching impact around the world? Psychiatrist Jean Kim discusses the history of the Koreas and how it affects today’s popular culture with The World’s host Marco Werman.

Foragers in Catalonia embrace a new mushroom-hunting season after last year’s strict lockdown

Pep González, a longtime mushroom forager, on a hunt for mushrooms in the forest.

Credit:

Lucía Benavides/The World

This year, mushroom-hunting season is more anticipated than ever after last year’s strict quarantine measures kept most people in their own municipalities for the entire winter. The tradition is particularly strong in the northeast region of Catalonia.

Double Take

A rare coin that was worth just pennies in the 17th century when it was minted in New England could now sell for around $300,000. The coin, found in Boston, is set to go on auction in London next month. It’s been called the “star of the collection” by the auctioneer’s coin specialist James Morton. 💰

Rare silver coin made in Colonial New England could fetch $300,000 at auction https://t.co/TrqAql6Qz9

— The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) October 21, 2021In case you missed itListen: Israeli prime minister takes his first trip to Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett speak during their meeting in Sochi, Russia, Oct. 22, 2021. Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett Friday for their first meeting, hailing friendly ties between the two countries. 

Credit:

Evgeny Biyatov/Sputnik/Kremlin Pool Photo/AP

Over the past decade, the Israeli government has been cozying up to Moscow. On Friday, new Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett traveled to Russia for the first time and met with President Vladimir Putin at a resort in Sochi, Russia, to discuss Israel and Russia’s “special relationship.” Also, the Netflix series “Squid Game” is a dark comedy about a competition that emerges from Korean culture, but has widespread appeal. We speak to a psychiatrist who explains why the new show resonates so far and wide beyond South Korea. And, since the summer, Belarus strongman Alexander Lukashenko has been sending Syrian and Iraqi migrants across its borders into EU countries such as Lithuania, Latvia and Poland. The Lukashenko regime has also continued to clamp down on political dissent, this week raiding one of the few independent news outlets, Novy Chas.

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Flooding and mudslides kill about 200 people in Nepal

Flooding and mudslides kill about 200 people in Nepal

By
The World staff

People wade past a flooded area in Dipayal Silgadhi, Nepal, Oct. 21, 2021.

Credit:

Laxmi Prasad Ngakhusi/AP

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Nepal
More than 200 people are reported dead following flooding and mudslides in Nepal. Around 40 others have been injured and authorities are searching for dozens of people who remain missing. Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba visited the flood-stricken areas in the western parts of the country on Thursday, promising a government relief package, but residents say they’re still waiting for assistance. Heavy rains destroyed crops, bridges and homes. The unseasonably strong downpours have also caused havoc in neighboring India.

Ethiopia
Ethiopian forces have conducted airstrikes on the regional capital of Tigray for a fourth day this week. The raids forced a United Nations humanitarian flight to abandon its landing in Mekelle, the capital of the Tigray region. Government spokesman Legesse Tulu said the strikes targeted a former military training center that is now being used as a hub by rival Tigray forces. The region has seen nearly a year of fighting between government forces and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front. Thousands of people have been killed, and 2 million have been displaced by the fighting since last November. About 6 million people face a government blockade and humanitarian groups fear widespread starvation.

Belarus
Popular Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda has had to shut down its branch in Belarus after authorities arrested a member of its local staff there. The paper came under pressure after it ran a story about a shootout in Minsk that left an opposition supporter and a KGB officer dead. The Belarusian Ministry of Information blocked access to the paper’s website in the country last week ahead of the arrest. The Committee to Protect Journalists released a statement on Thursday saying, “Belarusian authorities should stop harassing independent journalists and refrain from charging or imprisoning members of the press over their work.”

From The WorldDelgrès founder pays tribute to his family’s Guadeloupean roots through music

Screenshot from the “4 a.m.” music video by Delgrés. 

Credit:

Delgrés/YouTube

Pascal Danaë, who founded the band Delgrès, often draws inspiration from his Guadeloupean roots and his parents’ immigrant and working-class background. The group’s latest album is “4 a.m.,” the time when most factory workers, like his father, wake up to start their long day. Danaë spoke to The World’s Marco Werman about his new album and from where he draws his inspiration.

The Global Hits Spotify playlist with music from Delgrès and other artists we have featured in the show is here — over 4 hours of global music. 🎶
 

Haiti’s compounding crisis

The World Monica Campbell during an interview in Haiti, Oct. 2021.

Credit:

Courtesy of Monica Campbell

It’s fair to say that Haiti has had a brutal year. In July, the nation’s president was assassinated. A month later, a massive 7.2 earthquake rocked the country, killing more than 2,000 people. The country is now plagued by a transportation strike and shortages of gas and water. The World’s Monica Campbell is in Haiti reporting from the Pestel region to give us an on-the-ground look at the deep problems plaguing the Caribbean nation.

Double Take

Concerns over “security” led to the detention of a robot in Egypt. British-built artist robot Ai-Da 🤖 and her sculpture were held in Egyptian customs for 10 days before being released on Wednesday, sparking a diplomatic fracas. There were worries that the robot was part of a wider espionage plot. “The British ambassador has been working through the night to get Ai-Da released, but we’re right up to the wire now,” said Aidan Meller, the human force behind Ai-Da, shortly before her release. “It’s really stressful.”

Robot artist Ai-Da released by Egyptian border guards https://t.co/7uTuwhS1Yl

— BBC North America (@BBCNorthAmerica) October 21, 2021In case you missed itListen: Controversial TV pundit shakes up French politics

So far, many have considered France’s presidential election next April a close race between President Emmanuel Macron and far-right candidate Marine Le Pen. But recently, far-right columnist and TV commentator Eric Zemmour has been soaring in opinion polls, throwing the race wide open. And, court battles are keeping the Biden administration from completely undoing the Trump-era “Remain in Mexico” policy. It’s kept thousands of asylum-seekers waiting in Mexican border towns while their asylum petitions move through US courts. Plus, blues-rock musician Pascal Danaë and his trio, “Delgrès,” has a new album called “4 a.m.” Danaë tells us about how his ancestors in Guadeloupe, and seeing his great-great-grandmother’s affidavit of her freedom from slavery in 1841, influenced the trio’s new album.

Don’t forget to subscribe to The World’s Latest Edition podcast using your favorite podcast player: RadioPublicApple PodcastsStitcherSoundcloudRSS.

A milestone for India: 1 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses administered.

A milestone for India: 1 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses administered.

By
The World staff

A health worker inoculates a man next to a banner thanking Prime Minister Narendra Modi for 1 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccine at a government hospital in New Delhi, India, Oct. 21, 2021.

Credit:

Manish Swarup/AP

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India – Russia
India has reached a milestone in its COVID-19 vaccination campaign: 1 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered. Now, half of the country’s nearly 1.4 billion people have received at least one dose of the vaccine, and many of those shots have come in the past few months, following a slow initial roll out. Still, millions of Indians are yet to receive a single dose of the jab. Meanwhile in Russia, Moscow announced a new set of restrictions that will shut down restaurants, cinemas and non-food stores, as the country hit a new record in the daily numbers of new coronavirus infections and deaths since the start of the pandemic. About 45 million Russians are fully vaccinated in a country with a population of 146 million.

Eswatini
After a flare-up in protests against King Mswati III over the past two weeks, the kingdom of Eswatini’s communication commission directed mobile operators to suspend Facebook and its messenger app until further notice. This happened on Wednesday, after students, civil servants and union workers took to the streets in protest. The internet also went offline, making it difficult for protesters to share information about the gatherings. Since June, Eswatini, formerly known as Swaziland, has seen a growing wave of unrest, with demonstrations against King Mswati III, the last absolute monarch in Africa, who has ruled the landlocked nation since 1986. Pro-democracy protesters are demanding a modern political system in which the prime minister can be elected through a vote and not be appointed by the king. He has also been criticized for living a lavish lifestyle in one of the world’s poorest countries.

United Nations
Countries including Saudi Arabia, Japan and Australia, have asked the United Nations to play down the need to rapidly move away from dependence on fossil fuels, according to leaked documents obtained and analyzed by BBC news. The documents, a set of more than 32,000 memos by different governments, companies and other parties to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, reveal how nations are pushing back on UN recommendations for actions that could mitigate climate change.

From The WorldTensions rise over Beirut blast investigation

Lebanese teachers react to the sounds from nearby armed clashes as they flee their school under the protection of Lebanese soldiers after a clash erupted along a former 1975-90 civil war front line between Muslim Shiite and Christian areas at Ain el-Rumaneh neighborhood, in Beirut, Lebanon, Oct. 14, 2021. 

Credit:

Hussein Malla/AP

A rally against Tarek Bitar, the Lebanese judge in charge of investigating the Beirut port blast, have turned parts of the capital into a war zone. Clashes have left at least seven people dead. Now, the question is, can the investigation move forward?

The US farmworker shortage spurs farmers to lobby for immigration reform

Farmworkers, who declined to give their names, break up earth near St. Paul, Oregon, July 1, 2021.

Credit:

Nathan Howard/AP/File photo

The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened a farmworker shortage in the United States, and now more farm owners are applying to hire foreign workers to meet demands.

Double Take

And the award goes to — three men disguised as a woman!

The Planeta prize, a Spanish literary award, was meant for the acclaimed female thriller writer “Carmen Mola.” But television scriptwriters Agustín Martínez, Jorge Díaz and Antonio Mercero proceeded to the stage to claim the prize. Astonished guests included Spain’s King Felipe and Queen Letizia. The trio had previously presented Mola as a female university professor who lived in Madrid with her husband and children. Mola’s stories are centered around an intriguing detective named Elena Blanco.

Female Spanish thriller writer Carmen Mola revealed to be three men https://t.co/WEqV909wBW

— The Guardian (@guardian) October 16, 2021In case you missed itListen: Bolsonaro accused of crimes against humanity for COVID negligence

A plaque reads in Portuguese “603,324 lives lost to COVID-19” in front of Sen. Renan Calheiros during the session by a Senate committee investigating the handling of the pandemic by the administration of President Jair Bolsonaro in Brasilia, Brazil, Oct. 18, 2021. The committee is taking testimony from people who have lost relatives to the coronavirus. 

Credit:

Eraldo Peres/AP

A Brazilian Senate Commission investigating President Jair Bolsonaro’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis in Brazil issued its final report on Wednesday, accusing him of crimes against humanity. The 1,200-page report details malfeasance, the blocking of needed health measures, and the illegal use of public funds. And in Syria, two roadside bombs that detonated under a bridge hit a bus in Damascus on Wednesday, killing 14 people. It’s a sign that despite the Assad government’s recent efforts to normalize relations abroad, Syria’s civil war still rages. Also, after days of speculation, North Korea says it had test-fired a ballistic missile from a submarine in order to enhance its undersea capabilities. It’s the first such launch since 2016, and it comes as the US, South Korea and Japan meet to discuss restarting talks with Pyongyang.

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Former US Secretary of State Colin Powell dies at 84

Former US Secretary of State Colin Powell dies at 84

By
The World staff

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell is seen at the State Department in Washington, Jan. 19, 2011.

Credit:

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP/File photo

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Colin Powell
Former US Secretary of State and top military commander Colin Powell, who served Democratic and Republican presidents, has died at the age of 84 from COVID-19 complications, his family announced. Powell — who, during his four decades of public service rose to become the first African American national security adviser, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and secretary of state, serving under President George W. Bush — had his reputation stained after making faulty claims before the UN Security Council to justify the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq. In a speech, he cited false information claiming that then-Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had secretly stockpiled weapons of mass destruction. At the end of the Cold War, as national security adviser to President Ronald Reagan, Powell helped negotiate arms treaties and cooperation agreements with Soviet then-President Mikhail Gorbachev. Powell was born in Harlem to Jamaican parents and grew up in the South Bronx in New York City.

Venezuela
Nicolas Maduro’s government has said that it is halting ongoing negotiations with the Venezuelan opposition in Mexico City after businessman Alex Saab, a close ally of Maduro, was extradited to the United States. Saab, who could be a significant witness in corruption cases in Venezuela, according to US prosecutors, was flown to the US from the African island nation of Cape Verde on Friday and is expected to appear in a Miami court on Monday. In 2019, Saab was indicted on money-laundering charges linked to an alleged bribery scheme that embezzled over $350 million from a low-income housing project for the Venezuelan government. Saab has also been subject to sanctions by the Trump administration for allegedly using shell companies around the world to hide huge profits from food contracts obtained through bribes and kickbacks.

Haiti
Haitian authorities are working with US officials to secure the release of 17 people from the Ohio-based missionary group Christian Aid Ministries. Twelve adults and five children were kidnapped by the notorious 400 Mawozo gang east of the capital Port-au-Prince over the weekend. Haiti is struggling with a precarious security situation and gang-related abductions are on the rise. The Caribbean nation has one of the highest rates of kidnapping in the world, with 600 such crimes reported so far in 2021.

From The WorldIn France, intensive crash courses for immigrants on French values leave many feeling like outsiders

A training session via France’s Office of Immigration and Integration. 

Credit:

Rebecca Rosman/The World 

New residents in France must take mandatory classes to learn how to integrate into French society. But immigration and integration are hot-button issues in upcoming elections, and not everyone agrees on what it means to be French.

From Congo to Chile, small labs are playing a growing role in global understanding of COVID

A lab assistant looks at an assay plate to prepare sequencing at the Wellcome Sanger Institute that is operated by Genome Research in Cambridge, March 4, 2021. Cambridge University microbiologist Sharon Peacock understood that genomic sequencing would be crucial in tracking the coronavirus, controlling outbreaks and developing vaccines, so she began working with colleagues around the country to put together a plan when there were just 84 confirmed cases in the country. 

Credit:

Frank Augstein/AP

Scientists are tracking the evolution and spread of SARS-CoV-2 and developing critical responses to it. Efforts have ramped up a lot this year — thanks to a growing global network.

Bright Spot

The Nebra Sky Disc is set to go on display at the British Museum. It was unearthed in Germany in 1999, and is believed to be 3,600 years old — dating back to the Bronze Age. The disc is about 12 inches with a blue-green patina and gold symbols representing the sun, moon, stars, solstices and other cosmic phenomena. 💫 But some scholars have also disputed its authenticity.

The Nebra Sky Disc, pictured here, dates back almost 4,000 years and is the world’s oldest representation of a specific astronomical phenomenon. #TBT https://t.co/Ajkv5XomOT pic.twitter.com/sEL4wYWBpK

— Archaeology Magazine (@archaeologymag) May 20, 2021In case you missed itListen: British MP murdered while meeting with constituents

An image of murdered British Conservative lawmaker David Amess is displayed near the altar in St. Peters Catholic Church before a vigil in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, England, Oct. 15, 2021.

Credit:

Alberto Pezzali/AP

In the United Kingdom, Conservative Party Member of Parliament David Amess was stabbed to death on Friday in his constituency of Leigh-on-Sea, England. The 69-year-old father of five had served in Parliament since 1983 and was known politically as a social conservative and prominent campaigner against abortion. Also, in the last chaotic days of US operations in Afghanistan, Najibullah Quraishi was there reporting as the Taliban took over the country. Quraishi, whose documentary, “Taliban Takeover,” just premiered on Frontline, gives us an unvarnished view of the new Afghanistan. Plus, The Wizard of New Zealand, Ian Brackenbury Channell, is out of a job. The Christchurch City Council has decided to stop paying him to provide public acts of wizardry.

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Suicide bombings kill at least 37 at a mosque in Afghanistan

Suicide bombings kill at least 37 at a mosque in Afghanistan

By
The World staff

The scene after a bomb blast hits Shia community mosque in Afghanistan’s southern Kandahar province on Oct. 15, 2021.

Credit:

Murteza Khaliqi/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

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Afghanistan
A group of suicide bombers have attacked another Shiite mosque in Afghanistan — killing at least 37 people and injuring dozens of others — during Friday prayers in Kandahar in the south of the country. No one has yet claimed responsibility for the blasts, but a similar attack just last week on a mosque in the northern city of Kunduz was claimed by the ISIS-Khorasan group. Witnesses say a suicide bomber attacked  the entrance of the mosque, followed by two others inside the building. Journalists have posted photos and mobile phone footage on social media of the bloodied floor of the Bibi Fatima mosque.

Lebanon
The Lebanese government has called for a national day of mourning on Friday after heavy gun battles in Beirut left at least seven people dead as protests were taking place on the streets. Schools, banks and government offices were closed. Heavily armed militias had used automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades on the streets of the capital, reminiscent of the country’s 15-year civil war. Lebanon has been reeling from a humanitarian and  economic crisis exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the massive Beirut port blast in August of last year.

Mexico
The Biden administration is planning to reinstate the controversial  “Remain in Mexico” policy in November, which was implemented during the Trump administration. The US Supreme Court upheld a decision made in August by the US District Court in Texas requiring the government to restore the policy, known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP). Under the agreement, the Mexican government would have to accept the return of asylum seekers to its territory. “Mexico is a sovereign nation that must make an independent decision to accept the return of individuals without status in Mexico as part of any reimplementation of MPP,” the Department of Homeland Security said in a statement. The Trump administration returned more than 60,000 asylum seekers under the policy, requiring them to wait outside US territory as their claims were processed in US courts.

From The WorldNovelist Abdulrazak Gurnah: ‘Colonialism and its consequences are still with us’

Zanzibar-born writer Abdulrazak Gurnah, winner of the 2021 Nobel Prize for literature, smiles ahead of a press conference in London, Oct. 8, 2021. 

Credit:

Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP

Last week was an adrenaline rush for novelist Abdulrazak Gurnah. Since his phone rang with the news that he’d been awarded the Nobel Prize for literature, he’s had a few quiet moments.

Gurnah joined The World’s host Marco Werman to talk about what motivates him to continue exploring the ongoing consequences of colonialism in his literary works, and the power of literature to help us understand the plight of the other.

UN court favors Somalia in maritime border dispute judgment

Fishermen set out for their day’s work in the Indian Ocean shortly after dawn in the former pirate village of Eyl, in Somalia’s semiautonomous northeastern state of Puntland, March 7, 2017.

Credit:

Ben Curtis/AP

The UN International Court of Justice ruled to split the disputed triangular maritime area — believed to be rich in oil, natural gas and valuable fisheries — in half. But Kenya has been clear that it would not recognize any judgment by the court.

Double Take

If you thought your alarm clock was startling, how about waking up to a meteorite crashing down onto your pillow?! Ruth Hamilton in Golden, British Columbia, woke up recently to the sounds of dogs barking. And, it was a good thing she did, because moments later, a charcoal-grey meteorite about the size of a melon crashed through her roof and struck her pillow … where she had just been sleeping.

A chunk of rock plummeted from space, tearing through a B.C. woman’s roof before coming to rest on her floral pillowcase, inches from where her head had been moments earlier. https://t.co/E4CzdW8lEg

— CBC News (@CBCNews) October 12, 2021In case you missed itListen: Violent clashes in Beirut over blast investigation

A Lebanese special forces soldier takes his position, as he points to his comrades to a position of a Shiite group sniper who was sniping at the Christian neighborhood of Ain el-Remaneh, in Beirut, Lebanon, Oct. 14, 2021. 

Credit:

Hussein Malla/AP

Gunfire erupted on the streets of Beirut on Thursday, killing six people. The violence erupted when armed supporters of Shiite militant and political groups, Hezbollah and Amal, marched through a Christian neighborhood in protests against the judge presiding over the August blast investigation. And police say a bow-and-arrow attack in Norway Wednesday night in which a man is suspected of killing five people appears to be an “act of terror.” It’s the worst attack in Norway since Anders Breivik, the far-right extremist who killed 77 people in 2011. Plus, The World remembers Irish musician Paddy Moloney, master of the uilleann pipes, slide whistle and penny whistle, and co-founder of the Chieftains.

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Bow-and-arrow suspect arrested in attack that killed 5 in Norway

Bow-and-arrow suspect arrested in attack that killed 5 in Norway

By
The World staff

Police search for evidence outside the Coop store in after a man killed several people, in Kongsberg, Norway, Oct. 14, 2021.

Credit:

Terje Pedersen/NTB via AP

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Norway
Police in Norway on Thursday have arrested and charged a 37-year-old Danish man suspected of a bow-and-arrow attack that killed five people in the town of Kongsberg, southwest of the capital Oslo. Authorities are now considering the deadly rampage an act of terrorism. Police chief Ole B. Saeverud said that authorities had previous concerns that the man may have been radicalized, but a motive was still unknown. A large investigation is underway.

Lebanon
At least six people were left dead on Thursday in Beirut after armed clashes broke out during a protest over a judge conducting a probe of last year’s devastating blast in the city’s port. The armed exchanges, which also injured dozens, included automatic rifles and rocket-propelled grenades and were reminiscent of Lebanon’s deadly 1975-90 civil war. Lebanon is once again suffering a humanitarian crisis and economic collapse. Protesters, organized by the Iran-backed militant group Hezbollah, were calling for the removal of Tarek Bitar, the judge leading the port investigation, accusing him of bias.

Taiwan
A fire in a 13-story building that raged out of control for hours overnight in the city of Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan has left 46 people dead and at least 41 others injured. Fire department officials said that multiple floors of the commercial-residential building were destroyed in an “extremely fierce” blaze. Piles of debris that blocked access to many of the affected areas complicated the search and rescue efforts. Authorities are investigating the cause of the blaze.

From The WorldHenrietta Lacks’ biographer: ‘So much of science started with her cells

Descendants of Henrietta Lacks, whose cells, known as HeLa cells, have been used in medical research without her permission, say a prayer with attorneys outside the federal courthouse in Baltimore, Oct. 4, 2021. 

Credit:

Steve Ruark/AP/File photo

Henrietta Lacks was a poor African American tobacco farmer in Virginia. In 1951, at the age of 31, the mother of five died of cervical cancer only eight months after diagnosis.

But the story does not end there. In an odd way, she lived on. Cancer cells that had been taken from her body without her consent during a 1951 visit to the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore provided the first human cells to be successfully cloned.

The so-called HeLa cells have been reproduced billions of times for medical research around the world, contributing to tens of thousands of studies and disease treatments. Rebecca Skloot, author of “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” spoke to The World’s host Marco Werman about Lacks’ legacy.

DR Congo faces criticism over plans to open Congo rainforest to commercial logging

Shafts of sunlight filtering through the forest canopy strike smoke from fires burning outside family huts at an Mbuti pygmy hunting camp in the Okapi Wildlife Reserve outside the town of Epulu, Congo, March 21, 2010.

Credit:

Rebecca Blackwell/AP/File photo

Debate ensues over environmental issues and the need for economic advancement as Democratic Republic of Congo lifts a moratorium on logging in the Congo rainforest. 

“We believe that this decision is a threat to both people and nature,” said Serge Sabin Ngwato, a Greenpeace Africa campaigner based in the capital Kinshasa.

Global Hit

Musician Sorie Kondi (🎧) is from Sierra Leone and lived through the civil war that ravaged his country in the 1990s. He was born blind in Freetown and taught himself to play the thumb piano. Through a series of chance encounters, he came to the attention of LA-based producer Chief Boima, himself a Sierra Leonean American. Together, they created the Kondi Band. One more chance encounter brought London producer Will Horrocks into the band. Now as a trio, the Kondi Band is out with a new album, “We Famous.” 
 

Check out Global Hits from from Kondi Band and other global artists we have featured on the show. 🎶

In case you missed itListen: US-Mexico border reopening will boost business

Digital signs signal closed at an international bridge checkpoint at the US-Mexico border that joins Ciudad Juárez and El Paso, March 21, 2020. The Biden administration has announced that it will lift travel restrictions at Canadian and Mexican borders to visitors who can show proof of vaccination.

Credit:

Christian Chavez/AP

The Biden administration announced on Wednesday that it will lift travel restrictions at Canadian and Mexican borders to tourists, shoppers and casual visitors who can show proof of vaccination. This will boost business on the Mexican side of the border, as people are free again to drive into Mexico from the US. And, the European Union pledged 1 billion euros in aid to Afghanistan on Tuesday, earmarked for humanitarian assistance and stabilization efforts for Afghanistan and its neighbors. Also, we speak to Nobel Prize-winning author Abdulrazak Gurnah about his commitment to telling migrants stories of injustice and cruelty. Gurnah says the ongoing trauma of colonialism and themes of exile and belonging continues to inform his literary work.

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US to reopen land borders next month to fully vaccinated people

US to reopen land borders next month to fully vaccinated people

By
The World staff

A family visits across the U.S.-Canada border at the Peace Arch Historical State Park as a cyclist rides past on the Canadian side, in Blaine, Wash., Aug. 9, 2021.

Credit:

Elaine Thompson/AP/File photo

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United States
The US is set to reopen its land borders to nonessential travel in November for people who are fully vaccinated. It comes after 19 months of travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Canada and Mexico have been pushing the US to ease its land border restrictions, which have separated some families. “We are pleased to be taking steps to resume regular travel in a safe and sustainable manner,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said. The CDC says travelers with any World Health Organization-approved vaccines will be allowed to enter, including the AstraZeneca shot widely used in Canada.

Afghanistan
European Union nations pledged $1.15 billion in assistance to Afghanistan during a G-20 emergency meeting on Tuesday. “We must do all we can to avert a major humanitarian and socioeconomic collapse in Afghanistan,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyent said. The international community has been looking for ways to help Afghans financially while circumventing the Taliban government. Global aid to Afghanistan was disrupted when nations cut diplomatic ties with the country after the Taliban takeover in August. During a conference in Doha on Monday, acting foreign minister for the Taliban, Amir Khan Muttaqi, called on the international community to cooperate with the new government to address insecurity in the country.

Iran-Saudi Arabia
Arch-foes Iran and Saudi Arabia have been holding talks brokered by Iraq. Iran has asked Saudi Arabia to reestablish diplomatic ties and reopen consulates as a prelude to ending the devastating war in Yemen that both countries are invested in, though on opposing sides. The two regional rivals have quietly held four rounds of discussions, the last one taking place on Sept. 21. They come as Riyadh looks for regional support to boost its own security after the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, and while international talks over Tehran’s nuclear program have stalled since the election of hardline cleric Ebrahim Raisi. The two countries officially cut ties in 2016 after protesters attacked Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran, following the execution of a revered Shia cleric in Saudi Arabia.

From The WorldA rusting oil tanker off Yemen’s coast is at risk of exploding. It could cut off humanitarian aid to millions.

A cargo ship and oil tanker ship sit idle while docked at the port of Hodeida, Yemen, Sept. 29, 2018.

Credit:

Hani Mohammed/AP/File photo

Five miles off the coast of Yemen in the Red Sea, there’s a rusting oil tanker. It’s been compared to a ticking time bomb. That’s because its cargo is 1 million barrels of crude oil waiting to explode or pour out into a spill that could potentially be four times the size of the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster off the coast of Alaska. 

Ben Huynh, a researcher at Stanford University, joined The World’s host Marco Werman to discuss the potential disaster an oil spill could cause on the Red Sea coasts. 

Chinese blockbuster war film salutes China’s military might and heroism

Screenshot of a soldier from the war epic “Battle at Lake Changjin.”

Credit:

Screenshot/YouTube

The “Battle at Lake Changjin” is a Hollywood-style war movie with A-list actors, cutting-edge special effects and some pretty gruesome fight scenes. It’s about a brutal battle of the Korean War. In China, people often refer to it as “the war to resist US aggression and help Korea.” The three-hour long film has set box-office records. The film glorifies the Chinese troops that defeated the Americans — a fact disputed by historians — in a decisive battle.

Global Hit

Musician Sorie Kondi is from Sierra Leone and lived through the civil war that ravaged his country in the 1990s. He was born blind in Freetown and taught himself to play the thumb piano. Through a series of chance encounters, he came to the attention of LA-based producer Chief Boima, himself a Sierra Leonean American. Together, they created the Kondi Band. One more chance encounter brought London producer Will Horrocks into the band. Now, the Kondi Band as a trio is out with a new album, “We Famous.” 

Check out global hits from from Kondi Band and other global artists we have featured on the show. 🎶

Screen shot of Global Hits playlist from Spotify

Credit:

Screen shot from Spotify

 

 

 

 

  In case you missed itListen: UN biodiversity summit kicks off in China

In this image taken from video released by Convention on Biological Diversity, Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks at a video conference of the UN Biodiversity Conference (COP 15) in Kunming in southwestern China’s Yunnan province, Oct 12, 2021. 

Credit:

Convention on Biological Diversity/AP

Delegates from around the world are meeting this week in Kunming, China, in the first part of a high-stakes UN biodiversity summit. The goal is to create a kind of Paris Agreement to protect the globe’s plants and animals over the next decade. And, a harsh new bill is being proposed in Ghana that would punish members of the LGBTQ community as well as their supporters and advocates. Also, dozens of State Department nominees are being stalled in the US Senate. Only about a quarter of national security positions have been filled to date.

Don’t forget to subscribe to The World’s Latest Edition podcast using your favorite podcast player: RadioPublicApple PodcastsStitcherSoundcloudRSS.

Moqtada al-Sadr wins Iraq election

Moqtada al-Sadr wins Iraq election

By
The World staff

Followers of Muqtada al-Sadr celebrate holding his posters, after the announcement of the results of the parliamentary elections in Tahrir Square, Baghdad, Iraq, Oct. 11, 2021.

Credit:

Khalid Mohammed/AP

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Iraq
Moqtada al-Sadr’s party has won the most seats in Iraq’s parliamentary elections. The firebrand cleric is known for his resistance to US-led forces during the 2003 invasion. Sadr and his aides have refused to meet with American officials. He welcomed all embassies into the country on Monday “as long as they do not interfere in Iraqi affairs or the formation of a government.” His nationalist views also put him at odds with Iran. And pro-Iranian groups have questioned the legitimacy of the results. Sunday’s election was marked by a record low voter turnout of 41%. The election, set for 2022, was held early in response to anti-government protests that started in 2019.

Nigeria
Six women and nine children abducted by Boko Haram in Nigeria have managed to escape from captivity. They met with Borno Gov. Babagana Zulum in the state’s capital, Maiduguri. The former hostages had been kidnapped in two separate incidents last October. The women and children hiked for six days through the forest and were finally discovered and taken to safety by security forces. The UN says that the Boko Haram extremist group has abducted more than 1,000 children since 2013.

Ethiopia
Rebels say they’re holding their ground as the Ethiopian army launches coordinated attacks on all fronts against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front. The TPLF says the army is using artillery, tanks, jets and drones, though the Ethiopian government has not yet confirmed the fighting. The offensive ends a ceasefire that was declared in June. The 11-month conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region has left thousands of people dead and another 2 million displaced, sparking a humanitarian crisis that’s created faminelike conditions, according to the United Nations.

From The WorldIndia will soon roll out a DNA vaccine for the coronavirus. It’s the latest example of how COVID-19 is transforming vaccines.

A health worker inoculates a man during a vaccination drive against COVID-19 in Delhi, India, Sept. 29, 2021. India will soon roll out a DNA vaccine for the coronavirus.

Credit:

Altaf Qadri/AP

The pandemic has shown how a tiny virus can turn the world upside down, but it’s also ushering in a new era of science that many hope will help combat other deadly infectious diseases.

One kind of genetic technology that has been in the works for decades — DNA vaccines, which use engineered DNA to induce an immunologic response — is finally making its debut for widespread use on people in India this fall.

Not all youth soccer players have the same opportunities. These Iowa clubs try to shrink that gap.

Girls on the Genesis Youth Foundation soccer team show off their skills with the ball at their practice in Des Moines. Most players on the club are African refugees or their parents are.

Credit:

Kassidy Arena/IPR

Sam Gabriel, director of the Genesis Youth Foundation club, who came to Iowa as a refugee from Liberia, created a program so kids could have a level playing field, both in soccer and in life.

Double take

We’ve all heard about Neanderthals, our shorter, stockier humanoid cousins who died out roughly 40,000 years ago. Lots of Neanderthal bones have been found in Europe, as a chilly climate there helps preserve fossils. There are also plenty of well-financed European institutions to study those bones. But scientists are starting to realize that when it comes to ancient species of humans, Southeast Asia might actually be a much more interesting place. 🎧

A reconstructed Neanderthal skeleton, right, and a modern human skeleton on display at the Museum of Natural History in New York, Jan. 8, 2003.

Credit:

Frank Franklin II/AP/File photo

In case you missed itListen: Columbus Day or Indigenous Peoples’ Day?

People ride on a float with a large bust of Christopher Columbus during the Columbus Day parade in New York, Oct. 8, 2012. The Oct. 12 federal holiday dedicated to Christopher Columbus continues to divide those who view the explorer as a representative of Italian Americans’ history and those horrified by an annual tribute that ignores the native people whose lives and culture were forever changed by colonialism.

Credit:

Seth Wenig/AP

The US is grappling with its identity today. Is it Columbus Day or Indigenous Peoples’ Day? Or neither? Depends on where you live. In Spain, there’s little doubt — Columbus Day is a massive celebration, referred to as the National Day of Spain. This year in Madrid, the right-wing government is spending more than $1 million on a two-week long festivity with dozens of events. Also, Poland has ruled that its constitution takes precedence over EU Law. That has raised the possibility of Poland leaving the 27-nation bloc. Or, more likely, a standoff over whose law reigns supreme. And, whether it’s called soccer or fútbol, the sport unites immigrant children in the US from diverse backgrounds. Yet, it doesn’t always provide equal opportunities for all of the kids.

Don’t forget to subscribe to The World’s Latest Edition podcast using your favorite podcast player: RadioPublicApple PodcastsStitcherSoundcloudRSS.

Border talks between India and China fail

Border talks between India and China fail

By
The World staff

An Indian army convoy moves on the Srinagar- Ladakh highway at Gagangeer, northeast of Srinagar, Indian-controlled Kashmir, Sept. 9, 2020.

Credit:

Dar Yasin/AP/File photo

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India-China
Talks between Indian and Chinese military officials aiming to diffuse border tensions have ended in a stalemate, leading to the continuation of a 17-month standoff that’s led to some deadly clashes. The two countries will now keep troops through the winter at areas along the de facto border known as the Line of Actual Control (LAC) that separates Chinese- and Indian-held territories from Ladakh, a territory that China claims in its entirety. Both countries have positioned tens of thousands of soldiers, artillery, tanks and fighter jets along the LAC. Both sides are blaming each other for the breakdown in talks.

‘Polexit?’
Large pro-EU protests were held in cities across Poland on Sunday, sparked by fears of the country’s possible exit from the European Union. This comes after Poland’s highest court ruled that the Polish constitution overrides EU law when they conflict with each other. The ruling, in a case initiated by Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, is being seen as a rejection of European principles. The European Commission and Warsaw’s conservartive government have been at odds for several years, with the EU accusing Poland of undermining the independence of the body’s judicial system. The EU is also holding back on deciding over the disbursement of postpandemic funds.

China
Severe flooding in China’s northern Shanxi province has affected more than 1.76 million people. Torrential rain over the past week — which in some cases was four times the usual monthly precipitation average — caused landslides, a dam collapse and inundations in 70 cities and districts across the province. Continued rain is also hampering rescue efforts, with some villages being left underwater, trapping residents. More than 120,000 people have been urgently transferred and resettled, according to local news agencies.

From The WorldSister of imprisoned Saudi aid worker: ‘They are already calling me a terrorist’

In this photo provided by the family of Abdulrahman al-Sadhan, Abdulrahman al-Sadhan poses with his sister Areej Al Sadhan for a graduation photo, at Notre Dame de Namur University, a private Catholic university, in Belmont, California, May 4, 2013. A court in Saudi Arabia has upheld a verdict that sentences the Saudi aid worker who criticized the government on Twitter to 20 years in prison and an additional 20-year travel ban after his release, drawing criticism from the Biden administration on Oct. 6, 2021.

Credit:

Family of Abdulrahman al-Sadhan via AP

A court in Saudi Arabia upheld a 20-year prison term imposed on Abdulrahman al-Sadhan, a Saudi aid worker who had criticized the government on Twitter, drawing a rare public rebuke from the US in another sign of tension between the Biden administration and the kingdom. Abdulrahman al-Sadhan’s sister Areej al-Sadhan, a dual Saudi-US citizen, talked to The World’s host Marco Werman about the situation.

Nobel winner Abdulrazak Gurnah brings dignity to stories of colonial dispossession, colleague says

Zanzibar-born, British-based novelist Abdulrazak Gurnah poses for a photo at his home in Canterbury, England, Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021.

Credit:

Frank Augstein/AP

The Nobel Prize in literature was awarded to writer Abdulrazak Gurnah, a Zanzibar-born, British-based writer of 10 novels and numerous short stories. The world has discovered the magic that lies at the heart of Abdulrazak Gurnah’s project, says Bashir Abu-Manneh, head of the English department at the University of Kent, where he and Gurnah have taught together for many years.

Bright Spot

Now, you can listen to Beethoven’s once unfinished 10th Symphony — thanks to a team of sicentist and musicians and artificial inteligence (AI). 🎧

AI might seem untouchable to those who don’t understand its inner workings, but it can predict music notes just like a phone or email tries to predict text as a person types.

Combo photo from The World’s Instagram post

Credit:

Wikimedia commons/Beethoven Museum

In case you missed itListen: Nobel Peace Prize shines a light on freedom of expression

Maria Ressa, center, the award-winning head of a Philippine online news site Rappler, is escorted into the courtroom to post bail at a Regional Trial Court following an overnight arrest by National Bureau of Investigation agents on a libel case, Feb. 14, 2019, in the Philippines. 

Credit:

Bullit Marquez/AP

For the first time since 1935, the Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to journalists: Maria Ressa of the Philippines, and Russian independent journalist Dmitry Muratov. The award honors their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression against the growing threats against it. And it’s election time in Iraq, where a high-stakes parliamentary vote will take place on Sunday. The election was called a year early in response to major protests in 2019. Plus, for nearly two centuries since Ludwig van Beethoven’s death, his 10th Symphony sat unfinished and largely untouched. But with a little help from modern technology — that’s about to change.

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Journalists Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov awarded Nobel Peace Prize

Journalists Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov awarded Nobel Peace Prize

By
The World staff

A combo of file images of Novaya Gazeta editor Dmitry Muratov, left, and of Rappler CEO and Executive Editor Maria Ressa, who were awarded the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize, Oct. 8, 2021.

Credit:

Mikhail Metzel and Aaron Favila/AP/File photos

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Nobel Prize
Journalists Maria Ressa of the Philippines and Dmitry Muratov of Russia have been awarded this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. “Free, independent and fact-based journalism serves to protect against abuse of power, lies and war propaganda,” said Berit Reiss-Andersen of the Norwegian Nobel Committee. Ressa co-founded Rappler in 2012, a news website critical of President Rodrigo Duterte’s controversial war on drugs campaign. And Muratov was one of the founders of the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta in 1993, which the Nobel committee described as “the most independent newspaper in Russia today, with a fundamentally critical attitude towards power.” It’s the same newspaper where journalist Anna Politkovskaya worked, covering the bloody conflict in Chechnya, before she was killed in 2006.

Afghanistan
Another explosion at a mosque in Afghanistan has killed at least 20 people and injured more than 90 others. The blast went off during Friday prayers at a Shia mosque in Kunduz in northern Afghanistan. No group has yet claimed responsibility, but Taliban chief spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said Taliban special forces at the scene were investigating the incident. The bombing comes days after an attack at the Eidgah mosque in Kabul — which the ISIS-K group took responsibility for — during funeral services for Mujahid’s mother.

Iraq
Iraqis will head to the polls this Sunday for parliamentary elections. Some have already begun early voting, including security personnel. It’s the first vote since protests broke out against the government in 2019, and since Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard general Qasem Soleimani was assassinated in Baghdad in 2020. The vote was set to take place in 2022, but was moved forward as a concession to the protesters. There are more than 25 million eligible voters in Iraq, but many say they won’t vote because they don’t trust the established political parties. Corruption and mismanagement have left many people without work, proper health care, education or electricity.

From The WorldCanada tries to boost immigration by fast-tracking applications

A vehicle in Canada waits for a gate to rise while crossing into Derby Line, Vt. from Stanstead, Quebec, July 11, 2018. Before the pandemic, Canada’s population was growing faster than any other G-7 country. Nearly all of that growth came from immigration. But last year, the pandemic got in the way. Because of border restrictions and a slowdown in services, immigration fell by half. 

Credit:

Charles Krupa/AP/File photo

The number of immigrants coming to Canada dropped dramatically last year because of the pandemic. Now, the country is trying to boost immigration numbers by reducing the criteria to become a permanent Canadian resident.

Sen. Tammy Duckworth calls for a ‘real, cold-hard facts look’ at US’ failed 20-year war in Afghanistan

Democratic Senator Tammy Duckworth from Illinois speaks during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the conclusion of military operations in Afghanistan and plans for future counterterrorism operations on Capitol Hill in Washington, Sept. 28, 2021.

Credit:

Patrick Semansky/AP Pool/File photo

Sen. Duckworth has called her proposal the Afghanistan War Study Commission. “I hope that it will achieve a comprehensive look at the various errors that have been made by all the different folks involved and gives us the lessons learned so that we don’t enter into another quagmire like the one we’ve been in for 20 years in Afghanistan,” Sen. Duckworth told The World’s Marco Werman

Bright Spot

Car horns, ambulances, police cars and auto rickshaws: Traffic can be chaotic in India and Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari hates those chaotic sounds. He is working on a new law that will replace them with the sounds of Indian musical instruments — tablas, violins, flutes, the mouth organ and the harmonium. 🎧 Can you imagiine how traffic might sound if the law is passed? 🚗🚓

Vehicles move slowly through a traffic intersection after the end of a two-week experiment to reduce the number of cars to fight pollution in in New Delhi, India, Jan. 16, 2016

Credit:

Altaf Qadri/AP/File photo

In case you missed itListen: Abdulrazak Gurnah wins 2021 Nobel Prize for literature

Tanzanian writer Abdulrazak Gurnah poses for a photo at his home in Canterbury, England, Oct. 7, 2021. 

Credit:

Frank Augstein/AP

The Swedish Academy awarded the Nobel Prize for literature to novelist Abdulrazak Gurnah. The author of numerous novels who grew up in Zanzibar, Gurnah was selected for his “uncompromising and compassionate penetration of the effects of colonialism.” And, many in the US are asking what went wrong in Afghanistan after two decades of war ended with Taliban rule. Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth is calling for a 9/11-style commission to look at the past 20 years of US involvement in Afghanistan.  Also, traffic in Indian cities can get really noisy with car horns and sirens blaring nonstop. Now, India’s transport minister is working on a new law that would replace them with the soothing sounds of tablas and other Indian instruments.

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Moderna to build manufacturing plant in Africa

Moderna to build manufacturing plant in Africa

By
The World staff

Vials of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines in Jackson, Miss., Sept. 21, 2021.

Credit:

Rogelio V. Solis/AP/File photo

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Moderna Africa
Biotechnology company Moderna announced its plans to build a manufacturing plant in Africa, capable of producing up to 500 million doses of mRNA vaccines per year, including those for COVID-19 and other diseases. The plant, which still has no specific location in the African continent, will take two to four years to build. The Massachusetts-based company has been under pressure from African countries and the World Health Organization to make vaccines on the continent, which has the lowest COVID-19 immunization rate. Pfizer and partner BioNTech also announced a deal in July to start producing shots in Cape Town, South Africa.

Germany-Denmark
Germany and Denmark have repatriated 11 women and 37 children who were living in the Roj prison camp in northeastern Syria, a camp under Kurdish control where suspected ISIS members have been held since the group’s fall in 2019. In a statement, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said the children are not responsible for their situation, but the mothers “will have to answer to criminal justice for their actions.” Three of the eight women were arrested upon arrival at Frankfurt airport under multiple charges, including membership in a foreign terror organization and violations of their duties of care and education for their children. At arrival in Denmark, the three women were also arrested on preliminary charges, including promoting terrorism.

Nobel Prize in Literature
Tanzanian novelist Abdulrazak Gurnah has been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature for his “uncompromising and compassionate penetration of the effects of colonialism and the fate of the refugee in the gulf between cultures and continents,” the Swedish Academy said. Gurnah, who has published 10 novels and other short stories, grew up in the East African archipelago of Zanzibar. He arrived in England as a refugee in the 1960s and recently retired as a professor of postcolonial literature at the University of Kent. Gurnah is the first Black African winner of the coveted Literature prize since Nigerian novelist and playwright Wole Soyinka won in 1986.

From The WorldFirst WHO-backed malaria vaccine is a ‘dream for the community,’ health expert says

In this Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019, file photo, a woman waits outside the Migowi Health Clinic to be injected with the world’s first vaccine against malaria in a pilot program, in Migowi, Malawi. 

Credit:

Jerome Delay/AP/File 

The head of the World Health Organization announced a “historic” malaria vaccine that’s safe for children. Regina Rabinovich, the director of the Malaria Elimination Initiative at ISGlobal and a visiting scholar at Harvard University, joined The World’s host Marco Werman to discuss the advancement.

Behind in polls, Bolsonaro bolsters his base with far-right rhetoric from the US

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro stands in front of a US flag during a news conference at Itamaraty Palace in Brasilia, Brazil, Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020.

Credit:

Eraldo Peres/AP/File photo

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s ties with America’s far-right movement deepen as Brazilian conservative groups expand their global connections. He hosted a conference last month backed by American conservatives known as CPAC-Brazil.

Bright Spot

Betting on peace!

As the world waits for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize announcement on Friday, there are people around the world making bets on who could win. They follow clues leaked to the press or big news stories of the year to increase their odds. “Currently, the World Health Organization are the favorites in the betting,” Rachael Kane of Paddy Power, a gambling site in the UK and Ireland, told The World. ( 🎧) “Other favorites include Reporters Without Borders, the jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny and climate activist Greta Thunberg.”

Photo of a Nobel medal displayed during a ceremony in New York, Oct. 7, 2021.

Credit:

 Angela Weiss/Pool Photo via AP/File

In case you missed itListen: ‘Historic’ malaria vaccine proven safe for kids

The World Health Organization announced on Wednesday that a vaccine against malaria has been found to be safe and effective — including for kids, who account for the vast majority of malaria deaths. And for decades, an international network of clergy sexual abuse survivors and their advocates have been pushing for more accountability within the Catholic Church. We hear from accountability experts about how an inquiry in France may reverberate worldwide. Also, 14% of endangered coral reefs were lost between 2008 and 2019. But one oceanic expert says there’s still room for hope in conservation.

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Why China’s air force is provoking Taiwan

Why China’s air force is provoking Taiwan

By
The World staff

Visitors look at the Chinese military’s KJ-500 airborne early warning and control aircraft during 13th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition, also known as Airshow China 2021, in Zhuhai in southern China’s Guangdong province, Sept. 29, 2021.

Credit:

Ng Han Guan/AP/File photo

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China-Taiwan
Over the last four days, the Chinese military has sent dozens of fighter jets and bombers hurtling toward Taiwan in a provocative daily show of force. China’s People’s Liberation Army flew a record 149 flights over international airspace, prompting Taiwanese defense forces to scramble in response. The move has raised fears of a misstep that could provoke an unintended escalation. The US has also stepped up naval maneuvers in the Indo-Pacific with its allies, challenging Beijing’s territorial claims in critical waterways. Taiwan is a self-ruled democracy with its own military forces. China, however, sees Taiwan as a breakaway province that must one day come under its control. Taiwan’s leaders are warning of “catastrophic” consequences if the island is allowed to fall under the control of China’s authoritarian, one-party state. Why is China taking these actions now? The World’s Patrick Winn explains. 🎧

Australia-Papua New Guinea
Australia has announced that it will stop sending asylum-seekers to Papua New Guinea for processing by the end of the year, ending an eight-year controversial policy. Papua New Guinea is one of two countries paid by the Australian government to hold asylum-seekers and refugees attempting to reach Australia by boat. About 1,000 men were detained in PNG’s Manus Island at its peak. Now, nearly 120 people remain at the country’s capital of Port Moresby. Some had their asylum application refused or are awaiting resettlement in a third country, including the United States. The closing of the detention center in PNG will leave the Micronesian country of Nauru as Australia’s sole regional processing center.

Germany
The New York-based group that handles claims on behalf of Jewish people who suffered under the Nazi regime, the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, announced that Germany agreed to extend compensation to survivors who have not yet received compensation, including 4,500 Jews who survived the World War II siege of Leningrad. The survivors, who are primarily in Israel, but also in North America, the former Soviet Union and Western Europe, will start receiving a lifelong monthly pension of $435 retroactively from July onward. These coompensations are part of $767 million in benefits for Holocaust survivors secured by the Claims conference.

From The World‘Why don’t you have mercy?’: Afghanistan’s Hazara people increasingly face eviction, violence under Taliban rule

Afghan men pray near the grave of their relatives killed in bombings near Syed Al-Shahada School last month at a cemetery on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan, June 2, 2021.

Credit:

Rahmat Gul/AP

Members of the Hazara ethnic group in Afghanistan have faced discrimination and violent attacks for a long time. Under the new reality of Taliban rule, things appear to be getting worse.

US credibility on climate on the line in Washington

President Joe Biden delivers remarks on his “Build Back Better” agenda during a visit to the International Union Of Operating Engineers Local 324, Oct. 5, 2021, in Howell, Michigan.

Credit:

Evan Vucci/AP

The biggest climate change legislation ever proposed in the US is now in limbo. It’s designed to help the US meet its targets set under the Paris climate accord to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by the end of the decade.

Bright Spot

Here’s a heart-warming tale of a man who taught people to read. 📚

Brazilian philosopher and educator Paulo Freire had an idea about 60 years ago: teach 300 people in a poor, remote town in Brazil to read in just 40 hours of classes. His experiment went on to become hugely influential around the world in understanding education as a tool for transformation. Now a new documentary called “A is for Angicos” by Catherine Murphy takes a look back at Freire’s pioneering social justice work.

People wear masks of Paulo Freire during a protest against a massive cut in the education budget imposed by the administration of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro at Cinelandia square, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, May 30, 2019.

Credit:

Silvia Izquierdo/AP

In case you missed itListen: French victims of childhood sex abuse in Catholic Church speak out

Catholic Bishop Eric de Moulins-Beaufort, president of the Bishops’ Conference of France, attends the publishing of a report by an independent commission into sexual abuse by church officials, Oct. 5, 2021, in Paris.

Credit:

Thomas Coex/AP

The Bishops’ Conference of France has released a report documenting more than 300,000 cases of child sexual abuse within the French Catholic Church. The independent commission is the first of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, El Salvador’s citizens have faced multiple traumas in the past decades: war, gang violence, natural disasters and now, COVID-19. We hear from a group of ambulance workers in El Salvador about how they cope with daily tragedies with few mental health providers in the country. And the recent Facebook outage impacted small businesses around the world. Hear about how the outage disrupted a grocery delivery business in Accra, Ghana, and what is being done to prepare for future outages.

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Report reveals more than 200,000 children abused by clergy in France

Report reveals more than 200,000 children abused by clergy in France

By
The World staff

Commission president Jean-Marc Sauve, left, hands copies of the report to Catholic Bishop Eric de Moulins-Beaufort, president of the Bishops’ Conference of France, during the publishing of a report by an independant commission into sexual abuse by church officials, Oct. 5, 2021.

Credit:

Thomas Coex, Pool via AP

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France
A new probe has revealed that Roman Catholic clergy in France had sexually abused more than 200,000 children since 1950. The head of the commission that compiled the report said the Catholic Church had shown “deep, total and even cruel indifference for years,” protecting itself instead of the victims in what became systemic abuse. Most of the victims were boys, many of them between the ages of 10 and 13. The damning report also revealed that the abuse was more widespread in France than previously thought, and the number of victims could be as high as 330,000 when including those committed by lay members of the Church, such as teachers at Catholic schools. Pope Francis said he “felt pain” over the findings in a statement released by the Vatican.

Facebook
Facebook and its associated apps, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger, went down for about six hours on Monday around the world. The company has apologized for the global outage, but the cause is still unknown. Many parts of the world  have become completely dependent on these technology platforms. In addition to not being able to chat with family and friends and post photos, the outage also disrupted critical connections including conducting business, providing medical care and holding virtual classes. The outage comes as the Federal Trade Commission in the US has filed an antitrust lawsuit against the company, accusing it of being a monopolist. According to Facebook’s own statistics, 2.76 billion people on average used at least one Facebook product each day just during the month of June.

Russia
Russia has reported a record number of COVID-19 deaths and infections for the fifth time in a week as it grapples with another surge caused by the highly infectious delta variant. The country has a vaccination rate below 30%, and health workers have blamed the resurgence on young people refusing to get vaccinated. Independent polls have shown that many remain skeptical of the Russian-made vaccines. Last month, President Vladimir Putin was forced to go into self-isolation after “several dozen people” in the president’s inner circle tested positive for the coronavirus.

From The WorldLebanon’s political class ‘ripped off’ the country’s potential, ‘Pandora’ investigator says

Parliament meets to confirm Lebanon’s new government at a Beirut theater known as the UNESCO palace so that parliament members could observe social distancing measures imposed over the coronavirus pandemic, Lebanon, Sept. 20, 2021.

Credit:

Bilal Hussein/AP/File photo

The “Pandora Papers” exposed offshore accounts of the rich and powerful around the globe, including members of Lebanon’s elite. Alia Ibrahim, founder of Daraj Media, a team that helped bring the investigation to light, told The World’s Marco Werman that they have been investigating the head of Lebanon’s central bank, who “since the ’90s has been taking his own money outside, while telling the Lebanese depositors and Arab depositors and others that the currency is very safe and that they can keep their money inside the banks,” Ibrahim said.

“His own money is well-kept in safe havens, in real estate, etc., while the money of the depositors and the average citizen is locked in the bank and they can have no access to it whatsoever.”

Spain vows to help rebuild La Palma after devastating volcano eruption

A worker cleans the ash from the tables of a restaurant as lava flows from a volcano on the Canary island of La Palma, Spain, Oct. 4, 2021. 

Credit:

Daniel Roca/AP

It’s been more than two weeks since a volcano began erupting on the Spanish Canary Island of La Palma, leaving residents there worried about the coming weeks and months. The damage done to La Palma’s infrastructure alone is estimated to be at more than $20 million, according to local authorities.

Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced approval for a $239 million recovery plan for La Palma during his third visit to the island since the volcano erupted.

Double Take

If you’ve been putting off getting your Master’s degree, here’s a new option. 🎓 The University of Liverpool is launching a Master’s program on one of the most popular bands of all time: the Beatles. The program will focus on how attitudes toward the ever-popular group have changed in the decades since their founding. 🎧

Brb, moving to Liverpool to get my masters in The Beatles https://t.co/GjfklW8t0n

— Jesus Jiménez (@jesus_jimz) October 2, 2021In case you missed itListen: The hidden riches of Lebanon’s leaders

Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati speaks during a joint press conference with his Jordanian counterpart Bisher Khasawneh, at the Government House in downtown Beirut, Lebanon, Sept. 30, 2021. 

Credit:

Bilal Hussein/AP

The “Pandora Papers” are being called the greatest-ever leak of secret deals and hidden assets. Top Lebanese officials are among the powerful whose secrets are revealed in the leak. And, confidence in British police has been shaken following the sentencing of a serving police officer for the kidnap, rape and murder of Sarah Everard in London last March. Advice to women on how to handle their fears of male police officers has proven “laughable” by some women’s rights groups. Plus, The University of Liverpool is launching a master’s program on one of the most popular bands of all time: the Beatles. The program will focus on how attitudes toward the ever-popular group have changed over the decades.

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‘Pandora Papers’ expose hidden wealth of global elite

‘Pandora Papers’ expose hidden wealth of global elite

By
The World staff

Jordan’s King Abdullah II speaks during a media conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels, May 2021.

Credit:

Johanna Geron/Pool via AP/File photo

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‘Pandora Papers’
A trove of leaked documents, referred to as the Pandora Papers, has revealed the secret assets of hundreds of world leaders, including Jordan’s King Abdullah II, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and associates of both Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The documents, reported on Sunday by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists involving 150 media outlets, shed light on the previously hidden dealings of the elite, who used offshore accounts to keep assets collectively worth trillions of dollars, secret from public view. Of the leaders exposed in the papers, King Abdullah was part of a major investigation and was shown to have had $100 million in hidden properties in southeast England, Washington and cliff-top mansions in Malibu, Calif.

New Zealand and Israel
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced plans to walk back her government’s zero-tolerance strategy to the coronavirus pandemic, acknowledging that health authorities can no longer completely get rid of COVID-19. The elimination strategy had largely worked with the country of 5 million reporting just 27 deaths from the virus since the beginning of the pandemic. Despite New Zealand imposing some of the toughest lockdown restrictions, the highly contagious delta variant has forced officials to reconsider their approach. Elsewhere, Israeli officials announced new restrictions Sunday on the country’s COVID Green Pass, making a booster shot a requirement to access indoor venues, which prompted immediate backlash.

Nobel Prize for medicine
American scientists David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian have been awarded the Nobel Prize in medicine for their discoveries into how the human body perceives temperature and touch. The award recognized the revelations of Julius and Patapoutian’s discoveries and how they could lead to new ways of treating pain, or even heart disease. The physicians’ studies underscore how much there is still to learn about how humans perceive the external world.

From The WorldBiden administration takes step to ‘bulletproof’ DACA

An immigrant family joins members of Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, CHIRLA, on a vehicle caravan rally to support the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA), around MacArthur Park in Los Angeles, June 18, 2020. On Sept. 27, 2021, the Biden administration renewed efforts to shield hundreds of thousands of immigrants who came to the United States as young children from deportation, the latest maneuver in a long-running drama over the policy’s legality.

Credit:

Damian Dovarganes/AP

The Biden administration filed a DACA rule in the Federal Register. This step allows the public to submit comments about the program during a 60-day period, followed by a vetting process before it becomes a federal regulation. Advocates hope to see the rule expanded.

Chinese govt cracks down on online gaming, TikTok — claiming that tech has outsize influence on society

A child plays with a toy gun during a promotion for online games in Beijing on Aug. 29, 2020. China is banning children from playing online games for more than three hours a week, the harshest restriction so far on the game industry as Chinese regulators continue cracking down on the technology sector.

Credit:

Ng Han Guan/AP

Minors in China can only play games between 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Fridays, weekends and on public holidays, according to a notice that was effective starting last month. The new regulation affects some of China’s largest technology companies, including gaming giant Tencent, whose Honor of Kings online multiplayer game is hugely popular globally, as well as gaming company NetEase.

Bright Spot

If you are a fan of “Winnie the Pooh,” you might remember the bridge in the books and series (🎧). The bridge was inspired by a real wooden bridge where Pooh Bear creator A. A. Milne often played with his son, Christopher Robin. Now that bridge in southern England is up for auction on Tuesday. The real wooden bridge was dismantled and stored after being worn out by curious visitors. After a full restoration, some lucky bidder will make this iconic — honey-loving — bridge his own.

The bridge made famous in the Winnie the Pooh books — where the bear and his friends played “pooh sticks” — is up for sale by a British auction house https://t.co/5cfwTwjiTO

— CNN International (@cnni) October 2, 2021In case you missed itListen: Haitian migrants in Mexico caught in legal limbo

A Haitian migrant, holding his country’s national flag, pleads with Mexican National guardsmen not to detain migrants making their way to the US-Mexico border, in Escuintla, Chiapas state, Mexico, Sept. 2, 2021. 

Credit:

Marco Ugarte/AP

In the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, tens of thousands of migrants hope to reach the United States, but are caught in legal limbo. They hail from different countries in Central and South America, but many are from Haiti. Also, when a massive earthquake and tsunami hit eastern Japan 10 years ago, with a subsequent nuclear disaster, nearly 20,000 people died. Some found healing in sashiko, a traditional art form that helped ease the pain among survivors. And, Spain’s flamenco guitar legend, the late Paco de Lucía, is receiving an homage this week in his hometown. Capping off the honors is a decree to play his famous song, “Entre Dos Aguas,” or “Between Two Waters,” from the town hall carillon twice a day.

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