PRI's The World

Weekdays 7-8p.m.

PRI's The World® is your world revealed. It's about the events, trends, and personal tales that connect us around the globe. ~Marco Werman hosts an hour of surprising angles, unexpected insights, and engaging voices to illuminate what's going on in the world, and why it matters to you.

You need chemicals to fight cancer, and chemists have spent decades working on molecules they hope will fight everything from breast cancer to prostate cancer. But all the chemists in the world are no match for Mother Nature.

David Newman, who heads the Natural Products branch at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in Frederick, Maryland, says Mother Nature “has been doing her chemistry for three billion years," while chemists have been at work for less than 300.

Research Expedition Captures Stunning Images of Plankton

Jul 2, 2015

The World's environment editor Peter Thomson talks with host Aaron Schachter about new pictures of plankton, the tiny organisms that float around in the world's oceans.

From PRI's The World ©2015 Public Radio International

What's an ecosystem worth — a swamp, a meadow, a bunch of trees? It can be hard to put a value on these kinds of places, which is why so many of them have been bulldozed and turned into things that have more obvious economic value.

But the residents of General MacArthur, a small Philippine community in the path of Super Typhoon Haiyan, probably wouldn't trade their mangrove trees for anything.

“The ice is melting! The ice is melting!”

You might remember the cries from a year or so ago—the widely-reported record drop in Arctic ice cover at the end of the 2012 Arctic melt season in October. It was a huge decline, alarming to some scientists and many climate activists, and like many other news outlets we here atThe World reported on the science and reflected the alarm with which it was being received.

So now that the data is in on the 2013 Arctic melt season, how do things look?

If you want to learn how to smuggle shark fins into Costa Rica, ask Captain Jose Calderon in the Pacific port of Puntarenas.

“When the inspector came to check the freezers,” Calderon says with a chuckle, “they’d never check the engine room. So we’d hide all the fins in the engine room.”

Shark finning — the notorious practice of catching a shark, cutting off its fins and throwing the rest of the body, alive, back into the water has been illegal in Costa Rica since 2005.

A needle in a haystack is a metaphor that's been used a lot to describe the challenge of finding Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. On Tuesday, Air Marshal Mark Binskin, Australia's deputy defense chief, told reporters at a military base in Perth that they're still trying to determine where the haystack is.

Meanwhile, planes sat idle behind him, grounded because of bad weather over a wide swath of the Indian Ocean about 1500 miles from Perth.

This story is not about the opening scene from the movie "The Day After Tomorrow," when a giant chunk of Antarctica suddenly slides into the ocean, triggering a global climate catastrophe.

But the fact that the massive West Antarctic ice sheet is starting to collapse is sobering, to say the very least. Two new studies out this week say the collapse may be slow, but it's unstoppable now, and will contribute to rising sea levels.

Conservationists are working to create more national parks at sea

Jul 2, 2015

In 2006, filmmaker Jean-Michel Cousteau, son of the explorer Jacques Cousteau, screened his documentary, Voyage to Kure, about the waters northwest of Hawaii. The theater was the White House and his audience was President George W. Bush. 

Sen. Al Franken has “serious concerns” about Uber’s commitment to riders’ privacy, for which company executives have, in his estimation, shown “troubling disregard.”

The on-demand car booking service, Franken further asserted in a letter to the company, has used customers’ information for “questionable purposes,” such as tracking the travels of journalists and businesspeople.

He's the father of Protestantism. He's the creator of the German language as we know it. And he's even a best-selling toy.

When Playmobil came out with a Martin Luther figurine earlier this year, the German manufacturer couldn't keep the new toy on the shelves. The little plastic version of the man who launched the Protestant Reformation in 1517 was reportedly the fastest-selling Playmobil toy ever.

On Thursday, the Justice Department filed an appeal to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to remove the block against President Obama's immigration action, citing the policy as a matter of public interest and national security.

The block by a Texas judge of Obama action has meant that hundreds of thousands of people could be deported. That stop to deportations is a key part of Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents.

According to the appeal:

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

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

Seeing The News: There was a spark of optimism when the US and China decided to strike a deal on carbon emissions. Every time one of these pictures of pollution in China surfaces, it's a reminder that for some countries, action on climate change can't come soon enough.

Ocean trash

Music heard on the air for February 4, 2015

Feb 4, 2015

SONG: All Who Pass By
ARTIST: Shaolin Afronauts
CD: Ojo Abameta
LABEL: Freestyle



SONG: Snake Pit 
ARTIST: Jungle Fire
CD TITLE: Tropicoso
LABEL: Nacional Records


Presenting the new sound of PRI's The World

Feb 2, 2015

Back in 1995, a panel of producers from WGBH and the BBC, led by executive producer Neil Curry, were auditioning composers to create a signature theme for an innovative new radio program called The World. I got the gig! 

As a young aspiring composer, this was truly an incredible opportunity and a notable moment in my career. The World's debut on January 1, 1996 was a first in history: a global radio, audio and multiplatform news program, co-produced by WGBH, PRI and the BBC.

Seeing The News: Remember when Kobane was all over the news a few months ago? The smart money wasn't on the Kurds being able to stave off the ISIS siege of the northern Syrian town. But now it's celebrations, face painting and the sharing of delicious-looking treats after the Kurds pushed out ISIS militants.

Magnum's Emergency Fund

How the Kouachi brothers fell through the cracks

Jan 10, 2015

The Charlie Hebdo massacre has raised serious questions about how the French government handled the attack’s two main suspects, Said and Cherif Kouachi.

“[French officials] knew that the Kouachi brothers were involved with jihadi activities,” says Steven Erlanger, a reporter for the New York Times and former Paris bureau chief.

Has the European multiculturalism experiment failed?

Jan 9, 2015

Norway has been vigorously defending its multicultural model, after the twin attacks last month. The confessed attacker, Anders Behring Breivik, said he killed to stop what he called “the Muslimization” of Europe.

The concept of multiculturalism means different things in different places. And it has been under scrutiny in many of them, especially around Europe.

For countries like the UK, Germany and the Netherlands multiculturalism has meant allowing different cultures to co-exist and flourish within the national framework.