The World on WCAI

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A one-hour, weekday radio news magazine offering a mix of news, features, interviews, and music from around the globe.

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Mexican women lead initiatives to rescue native tongues

18 hours ago

When Gabriela Badillo traveled to Mérida, Yucatán, more than a decade ago, she encountered children who were timid about speaking the Mayan language. As she later came to understand, fear and discrimination were factors that affected the home teaching and use of the region’s native tongue.

“Children were a bit embarrassed to speak Mayan. ... Some mothers opted to not teach them the native tongue to avoid discrimination,” Badillo recalled.

When Waldo Martínez left Sensuntepeque in the early '90s, escaping El Salvador's civil war, he never thought he'd be back 25 years later with an American wife and four Las Vegas-born kids.

Sensuntepeque is a picturesque town about two hours from San Salvador. Cobbled streets weave around the mountain; old stone buildings dot the bustling town center. Yet, despite the quaint charm, Sensuntepeque is also fraught with gang rivalries and tensions. 

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Ka Paw Say/Free Burma Rangers

David Eubank is at home in war — so is his family.

Eubank spent 10 years in the Army Special Forces. These days he's an aid worker with a relief group he founded called the Free Burma Rangers.

With his three young kids in tow, he has assisted countless civilians in conflict zones from Myanmar to Afghanistan.

Most recently, Eubank's work has taken him to the besieged city of Mosul, Iraq. That's where Iraqi forces are battling to push ISIS out of the western part of the city. It's a house-by-house fight.

Meet the Coast Guard protecting America's East Coast

Jun 21, 2017

Recent attacks abroad — in London, Manchester and Tehran— as well as attacks at home, make us think of the ways in which we're all vulnerable.

Today, we suffer under the constant threat of terrorism. At this point, we're used to heightened security at the airport or at tourist destinations. But what about the threats that come on ships, over our waterways and through our ports? 

The US and North America have two large oceans. And obviously, that's a significant layer of defense from anyone who wants to get here, but it's not an impossible barrier. 

Antarctica is getting greener

Jun 20, 2017

Antarctica is changing.

The typical image is that of a pristine, white wilderness of ice and snow. “The white of the snow, the brown of the rocks, and the blue of the sky is a perfect day on the Antarctic Peninsula,” says researcher Dominic Hodgson of the British Antarctic Survey.     

But Hodgson says there is increasingly a new color: green.

The US shares the blame for a massacre in Mexico

Jun 20, 2017

The "war on drugs" has been part of American policy for so long that it's sometimes difficult to remember that the DEA wages that war every day, on both sides of the border with Mexico.

But it's incredibly difficult to counter the power cartels can hold over the Mexican government, and when things wrong, there are deadly reprecussions. 

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Carlos Barria/Reuters 

In normal times, the Islamic holy month of Ramadan is a time for fasting, prayer and contemplation. But after this week’s murder of a 17-year-old high school girl in Sterling, Virginia, it’s also a time for mourning. 

Her name was Nabra Hassanen. 

Four months after the desecration of Jewish graves in St. Louis, the historic Chesed Shel Emeth cemetery looks better than ever. But the Jewish community is still grappling with what the incident means.

In February, almost two hundred headstones were found cracked or toppled. Karen Aroesty, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League, remembers rushing to the the cemetery as soon as she heard the news. “I didn’t expect to be as sad as I was,” she said.

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Franc Contreras

Their faces appear etched on Mexican pesos and mannequins in their likeness stand behind polished glass in Mexico City’s world famous Museum of Anthropology. But despite the frequent use of their images as cultural symbols, the voices of Mexico’s millions of indigenous people are largely absent from their nation’s mainstream political life.

Mexico’s government appears to have been using advanced spyware created for criminal investigations to target some of the country’s most prominent journalists, lawyers and anti-corruption activists.

The software — called Pegasus — was reportedly created by Israeli cyberarms manufacturer NSO Group and sold to Mexican federal agencies under the condition that it be used to track terrorists and investigate criminals.

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