The World on KAZU

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  • Hosted by Lisa Mullins and Marco Werman

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PRI’s The World is a one-hour, weekday radio news magazine offering a mix of news, features, interviews, and music from around the globe. Launched in 1996, PRI’s The World, a co-production of WGBH/Boston, PRI, and the BBC World Service, airs weekdays on over 300 stations across the country.

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The World
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What do the North Koreans want?

Jan 9, 2018

They met, they talked, they issued a joint statement. And they will meet again. 

This is no small matter for North and South Korea, two countries that remain technically at war and whose peninsula in northeast Asia has been cause for global anxiety in recent months. 

The war of words between the North’s baby-faced dictator Kim Jong-un and the US's quick-tweeting President Donald Trump has raised the specter of a possible military confrontation that could conceivably include the use of nuclear weapons. 

Social media and other technology companies operating in Germany could now face massive fines — up to 50 million euros ($60 million) — if they fail to promptly remove hate speech and other content from their platforms.

The German law — Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz, or NetzDG for short — went into full effect on the first day of 2018 and applies to large companies with more than 2 million users, according to Bloomberg.

The official announcement landed early Monday morning. Vanessa Velasco received a 7 a.m. text from a friend, also from El Salvador. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will end a program that has allowed Velasco and her husband, her friend, and more than 200,000 Salvadoran immigrants to work and live in the US without fear of deportation.

Velasco was not surprised. Neither was her husband.

Mexico City residents are forced to cope with bad air

Jan 9, 2018

Mexico City is in the grips of a pollution crisis.

Authorities have issued the first smog alerts for the city in more than a decade and recently implemented restrictions on when cars can be on the road. On Wednesday, for example, two-in-five cars were ordered off the road, because the pollution reached such high levels.

In the next few months, you may see a new phrase on the labels of some foods at the grocery story: “produced with genetic engineering.”

These disclaimers have been mandated in dozens of countries for years, but until now they’ve been voluntary in the US.

Now, a state law in tiny Vermont is causing many large food companies to label GMO-containing products nationwide.

Local law pushed through by grassroots support

The Vermont GMO labeling law was pushed through thanks, in large part, to grassroots activism by people like Will Allen.

Mosul Dam could be scarier than ISIS

Jan 9, 2018

Amina Mohammed has lived in the village of Wana on the banks of the Tigris River her whole life. She was here during the years of Saddam Hussein and the US war. She’s even lived under ISIS.

“They surprised us one afternoon,” she says, recalling the day ISIS swept into Wana in 2014. “They just entered the village.”

Early last year, Kurdish Peshmerga fighters pushed ISIS out of Wana with the help of US airstrikes.

But a potentially bigger threat looms just six miles upstream — the deteriorating Mosul Dam, which is holding back billions of cubic meters of water.

Five years ago, a massive tsunami hit the coast of Japan, killing nearly 16,000 people and leading to the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.

Tens of thousands of people are still displaced from homes near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, and workers are using shovels and rakes to remove radioactive topsoil from towns that may never rebound from the devastation.  

Crews at the nuclear facility are building tanks to hold the tons of water that needs to be piped into the damaged reactors every day to keep nuclear material cool.

Humans for the very first time have an idea of what the deep sea sounds like, far away from the world of people and machines.

And it’s not at all what scientists expected.

“I expected it to be very, very quiet,” said Robert Dziak, a research oceanographer with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Last July, Dziak led a NOAA team that sunk a hydrophone into the deepest place in the ocean: the bottom of the Mariana Trench, near Guam, seven miles down in the Pacific.

The US helped lead nearly 200 countries to an international climate change agreement in Paris this past December.

The upcoming election could determine if the US continues that leadership role, or if it reneges on its commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions. 

Climate policy falls along party lines

If former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton or Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders wins the White House, US climate policy would, in broad strokes, stay the current course.  

The satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo is well-versed in the art of sarcasm and dark humor, to the point of upsetting many with controversial covers.

In their first issue this year, the weekly opens up about the trials of maintaining a publication that has been the target of deadly attacks and wonders how long they will be able to keep the lights on.

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