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PRI: Latest Stories

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Updated 2019-03-21 19:23
This Kenyan musician followed his love for Dylan to a new life and career
Kenyan musician J.S. Ondara left his home in Nairobi, Kenya, for Minneapolis five years ago — to pursue a music career. He's about to tour for his debut album, "Tales of America."
A major deadline in the US-China trade war just came and went. Can Trump make a deal?
March 1 was supposed to be the deadline for the Trump administration to impose higher tariffs on more than 6,000 Chinese goods. But President Donald Trump is delaying that because he says “substantial progress” is being made.
‘This Is Spinal Tap’ at 35
Behind one of the best documentaries ever made about a band — even if the band wasn’t real.
American Icons: ‘Cross Road Blues’
How the myth of a pact with the devil and a phenomenal guitar technique turned Robert Johnson's 1936 song into a hit.
N.K. Jemisin and the unspoken politics of speculative fiction
Hugo Award-winning author N.K. Jemisin shares her thoughts on writing, politics and her new book “How Long 'til Black Future Month?”
Cracking up or cracking down? For Saudi comedians, the red lines are a ‘moving target.’
Stand-up comedy, and public entertainment, in general, has always been very limited in Saudi Arabia, but the kingdom is trying to capitalize on the scene. It's part of a larger plan to move away from oil.
Antarctica Dispatch 6: First sight of Thwaites — mapping uncharted seafloor
The Nathaniel B. Palmer arrived at Thwaites Glacier on Feb. 26, roughly a month after leaving Punta Arenas, Chile. During its first day in front of the glacier, the Palmer traced a roughly 100-mile path around the edge of Thwaites mapping portions of the sea floor that were previously uncharted.
Saudi cyclist says it takes a ‘brave heart’ to normalize the sport for women
In Saudi Arabia, women have only been allowed to cycle since 2013. Even with that freedom, they are still restricted to beaches and parks, must have a male guardian on hand and be dressed modestly.
In search of refuge during the American Revolution, this enslaved black man joined the British army
The American Revolution was a war for independence, but many enslaved black people found liberty by joining the British. New research documents the story of one South Carolina teenager who became a hero in the British army.
Antarctica Dispatch 5: Detour, with scenery
A medical emergency aboard the Nathaniel B. Palmer sends the ship and reporter Carolyn Beeler back north just as they’re about to reach the Thwaites Glacier.
North Korea could be the big winner from a formal peace agreement with the South
As President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un arrive in Hanoi for a second summit, there is a chance that there could be a formal declaration of the end of the Korean War. But that kind of announcement would give North Korea leverage over South Korea, argues a Tufts professor.
What's the best (and worst) possible outcome for Venezuela?
Currently, there's a standoff about whether or not international aid should enter the country. The World speaks with Oliver Stuenkel, a professor of international relations at the Vargas Foundation in Brazil who's been closely following the situation in Venezuela, about what's next for the Latin American country, including the possibility of an American military intervention there.
How to step away from the screen
A computer science professor at Georgetown University says people should be more thoughtful about how they use technology. Cal Newport says users should delete random apps and rebuild their digital lives from scratch 'with real intention.'
Twitter and Cocoa Puffs: The surprising life of a student at North Korea’s top university
Alek Sigley, 29, studies at Kim Il-sung University — the alma mater of Kim Jong-un. He opened a Twitter account just a few months ago and it's become a rare keyhole through which to view a fast-changing Pyongyang, North Korea.
Massachusetts gets its first hair salon that’s exclusively for women who wear hijab
In a neighborhood peppered with beauty shops, what makes Shamso Hair Studio and Spa unique is not the silver and black décor — or even the henna body art or the hammam steam spa — it is who is allowed in and who is not.
Some South Koreans say Trump-Kim summit is ‘all political theater’
The Vietnam summit on Feb. 27 and 28 is expected to yield key moves regarding denuclearization, international sanctions against Pyongyang and a possible declaration ending the Korean War. Yet, many South Koreans seem apathetic at best.
In new book, Lebanese Satirist Karl reMarks skewers Middle East pundits
Karl reMarks talks about his upcoming book, "And Then God Created the Middle East and Said 'Let There Be Breaking News'" and tells us his views on Western media covering the Middle East.
The death of a black man in Brazil parallels Eric Garner, sparking BLM protests
Vidas Negras Importam echoes America’s “Black Lives Matter” movement in Brazil as protests mount over a recent death and ongoing police brutality.
This tour group takes you beyond the border to Nogales’ culinary scene
The Border Community Alliance takes hundreds of Americans each year to see what’s really on the other side of the border. The Arizona-based nonprofit offers multiple travel itineraries, including overnight tours and day-trips, all of them meant to counteract fears about the border region.
Trump's wall will harm wildlife along the US southern border, say environmental experts
President Donald Trump’s push for a wall on the US-Mexico border has stirred up strong feelings on the immigration issue. But the wall would also have an environmental impact, which many experts say would be quite substantial.
'Why don't you don't rise to the occasion?' clergy sex abuse advocate asks of Vatican conference
The Vatican is in day two of a four-day long conference on sex abuse. One survivor and now advocate says there are some promising signs — but says the summit should be the beginning of many conversations about new regulations.
'Free Solo’s’ directors climb their way to Oscar nomination
Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin, directors of the Oscar-nominated film "Free Solo" speak about how they look at personal risk for themselves and their film subjects.
Radio waves connect Mexicans in remote Tlaxiaco with family in the US
Tlaxiaco has been inundated with international attention in recent months because it’s the hometown of Yalitza Aparicio, the star of the movie Roma, who emerged from obscurity to become an Oscar nominee. But Tlaxiaco is already well known in Fresno, California, and other cities throughout the US because of decades of migration from this region of Mexico. Those ties are fortified by La Hora Mixteca, or The Mixtec Hour, a bi-national radio program.
When an American flees to join ISIS,should they be allowed to come home?
Jesse Morton, a former jihadi recruiter who now runs the group "Parallel Networks" to rehabilitate other radicalized individuals says, "Foreign fighters with ISIS can sometimes be the most credible voices in deterring others."
The best actors in bad films
Three movies with great leads, but not much else.
Looking Marvel-ous: Designing costumes for 'Black Panther'
How Ruth E. Carter created the Oscar-nominated costumes for “Black Panther.”
Behind the ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ moves
The woman who helped Rami Malek embody Freddie Mercury.
Richard E. Grant on Withnail & Jack Hock
Oscar nominee Richard E. Grant on playing drunks and wastrels and shooting the ending of “Withnail & I.”
This Saudi tour guide wants you to come to his hometown, Jeddah
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman al-Saud laid out in his Vision 2030, his blueprint for the next decade, a plan to transform Saudi Arabia into a popular tourist destination.
Are trans athletes ‘cheating’? Tennis legend Navratilova's controversial comments provoke debate.
There’s a debate going on among athletes sparked by the controversial comments of tennis legend Martina Navratilova. She says it’s cheating when transgender women compete in women’s sports.
Antarctica Dispatch 4: Fieldwork begins, cue the seals
​​​​​​​How quickly will Antarctica’s massive Thwaites Glacier melt, and what will that mean for global sea levels and coastal cities? Researchers are sailing toward Thwaites this month on the first leg of a five-year, international effort to try to answer that pressing question, and along the way they’re enlisting local seals as research assistants.
As ‘fed up’ women in Turkey leave marriages, domestic violence and divorce rates rise
Divorce in Turkey is on the rise, even as President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's government offers tax-breaks and incentives to women to get married and start a family. Despite those efforts, women are getting married older and the rate of marriage is declining.
Despite Trump's promises, the US trade deficit with China continues to grow
One of President Donald Trump’s signature promises has been to shrink our trade deficit, especially with China. So, how’s he doing there? The World’s Jason Margolis reports.
At the Riyadh mall, Saudi women sell everything from lingerie to popcorn. Meet the kingdom’s new workforce.
At the Riyadh mall, it's evident that work culture is evolving in Saudi Arabia. Today, more young people — especially women — are doing nontraditional jobs once eschewed by the kingdom’s residents.
Yalitza Aparicio: 'I grew up always proud of who I am'
Yalitza Aparicio is the first Indigenous woman to be nominated for an Oscar. The first-time actress talks to The World about her lead role in Alfonso Cuaron's "Roma."
Saudi women can drive. But gender equality isn’t yet ‘mainstream.’
Until last summer, Saudi Arabia was the only country in the world where women weren't allowed to drive, a policy that had been in place since 1957.
Readers mourn author Andrea Levy who pushed for a more ‘inclusive’ version of Britain’s history
Andrea Levy’s books explored the lives of the Windrush generation — nearly half million people who moved from the Caribbean to Britain to fill labor shortages after WWII.
Security reformers in Bolsonaro’s Brazil look to America’s pro-gun campaigners
Brazil’s academic research community overwhelmingly predicts new measures will lead to more violence in Brazil — a country with around 43,000 gun deaths per year. But in the Bolsonaro era, their arguments are losing to a political bloc that is resolutely opposed to empirical research and that takes many of its cues from pro-gun campaigners in the United States.
Duterte’s wild proposal: Changing the name of the Philippines
Rodrigo Duterte, president of the Philippines and no stranger to startling proposals, already has a preferred new name: The Republic of Maharlika.
LOL League harassment restarts #MeToo conversation in France
​​​​​​​The private Facebook group was was made up of prominent French journalists — mostly men — who were behind a wave of online insults aimed at women, the LGBTQIA+ community, people of color, and other minority groups.
Antarctica Dispatch 3: The ship's first encounters with icebergs
The World’s Carolyn Beeler is on a ship bound for Antarctica on an expedition looking into the fate of one of the frozen continent's biggest glaciers. What they learn could tell us a lot about how quickly sea levels around the world will rise.
FBI is dismantling its war crimes unit
The special unit has its roots in federal efforts to hunt Nazis living in the United States after World War II.
Dispatch 1: Gearing up and shipping out
The World’s Carolyn Beeler's first dispatch from onboard the icebreaker comes from the port of Punta Arenas, in Chile’s Tierra del Fuego.
Controversial Saudi app that allows male guardians to track their wives may actually help some women escape
In 2015, the Saudi government launched an app called Abhser — which roughly translates to “yes sir” — that allows men to grant some of those permissions through clicks and swipes. But the app is also helping some Saudi women escape the country.
A Marine remembers Tehran
Many Americans remember the Iranian Revolution in 1979 for the storming of the US embassy and the hostage crisis that followed. That, however, was not the first time the embassy in Tehran was breached by protesters. The first time was on Valentine's Day in 1979. Marco Werman speaks with Ken Kraus, a sergeant in the Marine detachment protecting the embassy that day, about what he witnessed.
First-times in film: The good, the bad and the excruciatingly awkward
From the post-virginity era to the sex-quest movie and, thankfully, beyond.
Desiree Akhavan on why TV always gets bisexuality wrong
The star, director and co-writer of “The Bisexual” confronts the stigma of her sexuality.
‘Reality Bites’ at 25
Looking back on the Gen-X classic.
A day in the life of an ‘intimacy coach’
Alicia Rodis makes sure sex scenes are shot believably — and safely.
Children of TPS join marchers in Washington by staging urgent play: ‘Will somebody please help me?’
The Trump administration has canceled Temporary Protected Status for more than 300,000 immigrants, some of whom who have lived in the US for two decades. They are mobilizing for a path to residency, and with them, their US-born children are picking up the fight.