The World | Michigan Radio

The World

Weekday evenings at 7:00 p.m.
  • Hosted by Marco Werman

The World Hosted by Marco Werman Each weekday, host Marco Werman and his team of producers bring you the world's most interesting stories in an hour of radio that reminds us just how small our planet really is.

These Mexican sisters give Metallica a run for their money

Jun 22, 2015

Dany (15), Paulina (13) and Alejandra (9) have given metal a makeover. The three sisters from Monterrey play guitar, drums and bass respectively. They call their band The Warning, and their covers of Metallica and Ozzy Ozbourne have found a huge audience online.

My name is Kasiva Mutua — I’m a percussionist, a drummer. Where I come from, it was a taboo for a woman to play drums or percussion. It was so serious that a woman could not even go near the space where these drumming sessions were happening.

Angélique Kidjo has won a lot more than the Grammy (twice): she was named by The Guardian as one of the 100 most inspiring women in the world, and the BBC listed her as one of 50 African icons. She has served as a UNICEF International Goodwill ambassador since 2002.

But that doesn't mean it's been easy to get where she is today. 

How a religious outcry against the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus’s show in Turkey backfired

Jun 22, 2015
Coutsey of the The Boston Gay Men's Chorus.

When the the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus announced a concert date in Istanbul as part of the city’s gay pride celebrations, Yıldız Tar, the 25-year-old editor for a local LGBTQI news site, thought his team should do a story on the show. What he didn’t foresee is that what seemed like a routine Q&A with the group would end up helping stir an international controversy.

REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

This month the first-ever European Games kicked off with a $95 million opening ceremony at a newly constructed 68,000-seat Olympic stadium. Hosting the event is energy-rich Azerbaijan, a former Soviet republic wedged between Russia and Iran, whose outlay of billions of dollars has garnered a lot of positive and negative publicity.

Yet questions remain whether these European Games are the beginning of a new international tradition or a flash in the pan as so far no other country has said it’ll carry the torch to host again in four years.

Jerry Huddleston/Creative Commons

It's a familiar one: burgers. The big juicy burger purveyor Five Guys is about to open its first restaurant in Paris. 

Five Guys was launched by a bunch of brothers outside of Washington, DC in 1986 and now has 1,000 locations across the US and Canada. Another 1,500 are in development and one of them is slated for France.

Burgers have been around in France for about 40 years. That's when McDonalds and Burger King entered the picture. But a renewed appetite for burgers seems to be hitting the country. 

Susan Landmann

The dozens of women piling into roller coasters together at Six Flags amusement park in New Jersey one recent spring day didn't all speak the same language. But they shared another bond — each one had found the courage to escape an arranged marriage. The women were celebrating their independence and their new community with the local group that had made their leap possible, a legal services non-profit called Unchained At Last. 

Tony Hisgett/<a href="">Wikimedia Commons</a>

If you are a British civil servant it may behoove you to review your grammar books.

Michael Gove, the new UK Justice Secretary, has issued a memo with specific grammatical and style instructions for correspondence within the department. Gove has declared that contractions are never to be used, hyphenated phrases are not preferred, "impact" is a noun but not a verb, and the word "ensure" is always to be replaced with 'make sure.'

Paulo Whitaker/REUTERS

The push to remove the confederate flag from the grounds of South Carolina's state capitol gained steam today. Some of the state's top politicians, including Gov. Nikki Haley, have jumped on board.

So far, more than 500,000 people have signed a petition asking for the flag to be taken down. But the South isn't the only place in the world you'll find the Confederate flag still flying.

Texas Muslims open doors for the start of Ramadan

Jun 22, 2015
Matthew Bell&nbsp;

In the days before the start of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, members of the biggest mosque in Austin, Texas, did what they’ve been doing for five years now. They opened their doors to the public to host a traditional iftar meal, the evening feast for Muslims to break the fast. But with so many negative stories about Muslims and the Islamic world in the news media lately, the open house event felt more important than ever.

REUTERS/Yuya Shino

If you spend a lot of time in Japan, there’s a certain song you realize you hear a lot. One of my local grocery stores is a case in point.

About 15 minutes before closing they start playing the song Auld Lang Syne on repeat.

Now, if you're an American used to hearing this song only on New Year’s Eve, you might be confused. Why would this store and so many others across Japan use this song to signal closing time?

It turns out Mexico isn't crazy about Donald Trump, either

Jun 22, 2015
Dalton Javier Avalos Ramirez/Facebook

If you’ve ever wanted to take a swing at presidential candidate Donald Trump, one Mexican artist will give you that chance — in the form of a piñata.

King Salmon (Creative Commons)

Japan has one of the lowest rates of working women in the developed world.  Economists forecast that the country’s lackluster GDP could jump by 12.5 percent if more women joined the workforce. So the government now officially cares about fixing the gender gap.

Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs: 'Play what you want to hear'

Jun 22, 2015

For the past six years, Merrill Garbus has been making her genre-defying music under the name tUnE-yArDs.

The darker side of Thailand's sex industry: trafficking underage girls

Jun 22, 2015

The word "trafficking" is tricky. Both in the US and abroad, it's become a catch all for the buying and selling of sex, whether forced or voluntary. The reality is that the majority of women working in the sex industry at home and abroad are not trafficked (i.e. led into their line of work by force, fraud or coercion). They choose to work in the sex industry as the best financial option for themselves and their families.

Chris Keane/Reuters

A conservative South Carolina lawmaker lost his buddy last week. He watched as his state kept flying the Confederate flag high outside the statehouse, the same symbol that has inspired so many hate crimes in America.

Norman Brannon had enough. He wishes his GOP colleagues running for president would step up and lead on this issue, too.

But will they, or are they fearful of alienating the very small percentage of Americans who have a positive view of the South's pro-slavery banner during the 1861-65 Civil War?


There’s a battle afoot over sex education in the Canadian province of Ontario. The government says it’s overhauling its sex ed curriculum — which it hasn’t done since 1998 — to prepare kids for issues like tolerance and consent. Some parents say they’ll pull their children out of class rather than expose them to what they call harmful material. But two teen activists are not only welcoming the changes: they helped make them.

How Norway threw away the term 'lone wolf'

Jun 20, 2015
Reuters/Heiko Junge/Pool

Norwegians watching news out of Charleston, South Carolina are reminded of another mass shooting four years ago. And they knew exactly what to call it. 

On July 22, 2011, after Anders Behring Breivik detonated a fertilizer bomb in front of a government building in Oslo, he gunned down scores of young people at a political summer camp on nearby Utøya island. Newspaper columnist Helene Skjeggestad was reminded of the attack when she saw social media about the Charleston church shooting.

Thomas Peter / Reuters

Sometimes I can't take your perfect life anymore. Logging into Facebook makes me want to vomit. Your exciting new job, the beautiful kids, the throwback Thursday photos of your beach wedding that I wasn't invited to.

So I go over to Instagram. There it's the sunlight streaming onto your granite countertop where the beautiful cake you baked sits. There are the photographs from your week in the French countryside and the selfies from your Sunday drive in your gleaming new sportscar.