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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Joe Skipper/Reuters 

One of the most chilling symbols of the Cold War has to be the black-and-yellow aluminum sign, indicating a nuclear fallout shelter.

The man responsible for the sign, Robert Blakeley, died on Oct. 25, at the age of 95.

The signs — long out of use — can still be found across the country at schools and other buildings designated as public shelters by the government, in the event of a Soviet nuclear strike.

Back in 1961, Blakeley was asked by the US Army Corps of Engineers to come up with a design for the new fallout shelter program.

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Daniel Hernandez

The historic Ex-Convent of San Guillermo Abad in the town of Totolapan, Mexico, was founded by Augustan monks in 1534.

It was the same time Spanish forces overwhelmed the Aztec empire and established convents and monasteries to spread Christianity. In doing so, missionaries practically eradicated Mesoamerican religious thought.

The building lasted some 483 years, but on Sept. 19 the Baroque stone church was destroyed in the 7.1-magnitude earthquake that shook most of southern Mexico and killed 369 people.

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World Meteorological Organization

Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere hit a new record in 2016. The concentration of the heat-trapping gas is higher than it’s been in at least 800,000 years, including all of human history.

That's the word from the United Nations’ World Meteorological Organization.

The WMO says last year's CO2 spike was 50 percent greater than the average increase over the past decade, which Petteri Taalas, the organization’s secretary-general, says is very bad news.

Here are some of the stories RT says it promoted on Twitter

Oct 30, 2017
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Regis Duvignau/Reuters 

Days after being banned from advertising on Twitter, Kremlin-backed media outlet RT has shared details about the content of its advertisements in the run-up to the 2016 US presidential election.

On a sultry summer morning, Central American migrants huddled together in the courtyard of the Hermanos en el Camino migrant shelter in Ixtepec, Oaxaca, discussing the complexities of checkers.

The family that helped start the opioid crisis

Oct 27, 2017
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George Frey/Reuters

When President Donald Trump declared the opioid epidemic a public health emergency, he pointed a finger directly at Mexico.

“An astonishing 90 percent of the heroin in America comes from south of the border,” he said, “where we will be building a wall which will greatly help with this problem.''

But the truth is that the opioid epidemic started here in the US. Back in 1995, a family owned-company called Purdue Pharma in Stamford, Connecticut, invented a pain-killer called OxyContin.

After 40 years, 'Never Mind the Bollocks'

Oct 27, 2017
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Andrew Winning/Reuters

Oct. 28 marks the 40th anniversary of the release of "Never Mind the Bollocks" by British punk band the Sex Pistols, undoubtedly one of the most iconic — and controversial— albums ever made.

In early September, Hurricane Irma was barreling toward Miami. Veteran meteorologist John Morales was giving his forecast on South Florida’s local NBC affiliate, in front of angry red weather graphics.

“You are about to witness one of the worst hurricanes in the history of this country,” Morales told viewers. But in delivering such serious news, there was no hysteria. No hype. In his pinstripe suit and neat gray hair, Morales calmly told viewers to expect storm surges, heavy winds and the risk of tornadoes.

New security measures have gone into effect for all flights traveling to the US.

Airlines will be interviewing passengers at check-in and boarding gates all over the world to comply with new government requirements from the Transportation Security Administration, or TSA.

The new rules are expected to affect about 180 different airline companies — and the approximately 325,000 passengers that arrive in the US each day.

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Swoan Parker / REUTERS

In 1809, when the Haitian Revolution ended and Haiti became indpendent, thousands of white, free black and enslaved people fled to New Orleans, doubling the city's population in just a few months. Today, many New Orleanians, black and white, trace their ancestral roots to Haiti. 

There’s no shortage of glam at a yearly Michigan fashion show where men, women and children glide down a runway while music booms in the background. But what sets this catwalk apart is the celebration of modest and “fly” looks. The models, wearing colorful headwraps or headscarves, are showcasing sleek and stylish clothes without showing skin. Near the runway, there’s a cacophony of color as vendors display fabrics, art and jewelry from around the world.

At dusk on Oct. 17, a helicopter hovers above a candle-dotted landscape at the convergence of two of Barcelona’s central arteries. A pair of bespectacled women in their 70s, their furrowed brows illuminated by their votives’ flickering flames, tilt their heads skyward and brandish their middle fingers at the craft, joining a chorus of some 200,000 protesters as they intone, “Fora les forces d'ocupació” (“Out with the occupation forces”).

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Jasmine Garsd/PRI

It was a cool, fall morning in southern Texas, a day not so different from any other in the small border city of McAllen. Jane Doe arrived at the abortion clinic early, with little fanfare, as if she was just another teenager — not someone who had quietly sparked an uproar across America.

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Lenora Chu

Securing a spot in an elite Shanghai kindergarten for their 3-year-old boy wasn't going to be easy. But Lenora Chu and her husband were determined. Besides, the school was just down the street from where the two American journalists lived in the world's biggest city.

Why the opioid crisis is an American problem

Oct 26, 2017
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George Frey/Reuters

In a speech on Thursday at the White House, President Donald Trump declared the opioid crisis a national health emergency. "The fact is, this is a worldwide problem," he said.

That might be so, but the crisis is much worse in the United States than in other countries.

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