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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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Boston, MA 02135

It’s a reversal of yet another Obama administration policy.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service announced Wednesday that it will allow the import of heads of elephants killed in Zimbabwe and Zambia, saying the trophies "will enhance the survival of the species in the wild."

Amal Hussein and Hamdi Mohamed have a lot in common. Both were born in Kenya, where their parents had fled as refugees from Somalia’s civil war, and both came to Boston when they were just a few years old. They’re both in their early 20s now, they’re both poets — and both of their grandmothers are poets.

But there’s one crucial difference in the two women's stories.

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Heidi Shin

When the Khmer Rouge took over Cambodia in 1975, the regime carried out a genocide that killed over 1.5 million people and specifically targeted nearly all of the country’s artists and musicians. Very few survived.  

After the genocide, thousands of Cambodian Americans were resettled in the US as refugees in the city of Lowell, Massachusetts. Three decades later, the public schools in Lowell are teaching kids how to play traditional Cambodian music — which is an art form that was almost once lost.  

Elisabeth Holland's office at the University of the South Pacific in Fiji looks like a museum. There are woven palm leaf fans, wooden canoe replicas, a handmade Fijian cloth with a turtle design — all artifacts from her life here in the Pacific Islands.

But she grew up far from here — in New Mexico.

"I came from the desert," Holland says. "I first saw the ocean when I was 16."

Thirty years ago, Luis Cardona was a Latin Kings gang member serving time for running drugs. Today Cardona, a burly 50-year-old with a gentle voice, is a government bureaucrat.

He spends his days working with community groups in Maryland that try to keep  young people out of trouble. As chief administrator for Montgomery County’s Positive Youth Development Initiative, he decides which groups will get grants and then monitors their work. He pushes paper.

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US Department of Defense

President Robert Mugabe is under house arrest after what appears to be a military coup in Zimbabwe. You can never write off Mugabe completely, but it seems possible that his remarkable 37-year hold on power is coming to an end.

Mugabe rose to prominence in the guerrilla struggle against white minority rule in the 1970s, and outmaneuvered his political rivals to become prime minister in 1980 after Zimbabwe gained independence from Britain. Since then he has survived repeated political challenges, economic disaster and international pressure.

Just outside of Cologne in western Germany, about 40 miles from where UN climate delegates are meeting this week, the 12,000-year-old Hambach Forest is a vast, leafy cathedral of beech and oak. Except for the rustle of dead leaves underfoot and the occasional burst of birdsong, it's pretty quiet. But it turns out it's a great place to get an earful about Germany's vaunted climate leadership.

“Germany is not the greenest country in the world,” says a climate activist who refers to himself as Tom.

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Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

International trips are a ritual for every White House administration. They're supposed to showcase American leadership and influence, and are meant to reassure our allies that America is engaged with the world.

President Donald Trump's 12-day trip to Asia was no doubt meant to do the same. The president told reporters aboard Air Force One that "we've had a tremendously successful trip" that netted the US "at least $300 billion worth of deals."

No doubt a significant portion of Americans agree with him, says The Economist's David Rennie.

Paul Manafort's indictment made headlines in Ukraine too

Nov 15, 2017
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James Lawler Duggan/Reuters

Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, was indicted last month.

It was a big deal here in the US — the charges against Manafort, which included conspiracy and money laundering, were the first criminal allegations to come from the investigation into Russian meddling in US politics.

But it also made headlines in Ukraine. Manafort made millions of dollars as a political consultant to former Ukrainian leader Viktor Yanukovych.

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Courtesy of Spike TV

For the first time in his career, Desmond Chiam, an Australian actor of Chinese-Singaporean descent, is playing a villain. And he’s having a blast.

In a recent episode of “The Shannara Chronicles,” a Spike TV drama, Chiam’s General Riga has captured two heroes. He’s torturing one of them into cooperating by sticking a thick, unhygienic-looking needle in his neck and blood is pumped through a tube into a gigantic rectangular glass container.

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