August 4, 2020
A massive explosion rocked downtown Beirut on Tuesday, flattening much of the port, damaging buildings and blowing out windows and doors as a giant mushroom cloud rose above the capital. And UN Secretary-General António Guterres warned Tuesday that school closures as a result of COVID-19 “could waste untold human potential, undermine decades of progress, and exacerbate entrenched inequalities." Plus, the French Chilean singer Ana Tijoux has managed to draw inspiration from at least one aspect of these trying times and has just released a new single, “Pa Qué?”
August 3, 2020
Monday marks the one-year anniversary of a mass shooting at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, resulting in the deaths of 23 people, with dozens more wounded. The World looks at how the local community is remembering those who died. And, ISIS carried out a brazen attack on a prison in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, Sunday night. The attack, which went on for about 20 hours, raises questions about security and peace talks. Plus, there's a debate in Canada over outdoor drinking. It's mostly banned because of the coronavirus pandemic — but some cities are now allowing alcoholic beverages to be consumed outdoors to encourage socially distant drinking.
July 31, 2020
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam announced Friday that the legislative election planned for early September will be delayed for one year because of the coronavirus pandemic. But the opposition isn’t convinced that’s the real reason for the delay. Also, the pandemic has upended long-established strategies for protecting people and property from the dangers of hurricanes, raising widespread concerns for the Bahamas as Hurricane Isaias tracks through the Caribbean. Plus, sports teams, leagues and broadcasters around the world are taking different approaches to providing crowd noise for games taking place with no fans in attendance.
July 31, 2020
From The World and PRX, this is The Number in the News. Today’s number: 90.
Since early 2019, Glen Powell has been sharing recipes from vintage cookbooks, including many from the Depression era, on his YouTube channel, "Glen & Friends Cooking." But as the coronavirus crisis has forced home cooks to get creative in the kitchen, some of these 90-year-old recipes have gone viral recently.
The Number in the News is a daily flash briefing for your smart speaker that we’re featuring as a special here in The World’s podcast feed. Listen to the Number in the News every morning to hear a shareable story in just two minutes. It’s one number you won’t forget, plus why it’s in the news today. Click here to add The Number in the News to your smart speaker news briefing on an Amazon or Google smart speaker. Produced by The World’s Bianca Hillier.
July 30, 2020
Vietnam has not recorded a single death from the coronavirus thanks to an aggressive lockdown. But, a small spike of infections recently has people there looking at the possibility of more emergency lockdown measures. And, retired US Marine Trevor Reed was convicted on Thursday in a Russian court on charges of endangering police and sentenced to nine years in prison. Plus, a video game design company in Germany has created a virtual hajj experience for the millions of would-be pilgrims unable to attend this year because of COVID-19.
July 30, 2020
Disinformation and misinformation have been blurring the line between fantasy and reality since the start of communication itself. But over the last decade, they’ve posed an increasing threat to democracy in the United States, with the 2016 presidential election becoming a major flashpoint in Americans’ understanding of the consequences of fake news. In episode six of the third season of "Things That Go Boom," our partner podcast from PRX, host Laicie Heeley looks into how false information flooding the internet and spreading like wildfire on social media poses risks not just to national and election security, but to our health and safety.
Mike Mazarr, senior political scientist at RAND Corporation
Cindy Otis, author, former CIA analyst and disinformation investigations manager
Camille Stewart, head of security policy for Google Play and Android
Russell Jeung, professor of Asian American studies at San Francisco State University
"Vote and die: Covering voter suppression during the coronavirus pandemic," Nieman Foundation
"Combating disinformation and foreign interference in democracies: Lessons from Europe," Margaret L. Taylor
July 29, 2020
COVID-19 is considered a novel coronavirus because it is a new, undefined coronavirus identified in humans. However, a new study suggests that other similar viruses capable of infecting humans have been circulating in bats for decades. And, only a few years ago, Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to visit Great Britain for a lavish official state visit. Now, UK-British relations are decidedly more chilly. Plus, Chinese hip-hop has exploded recently, but a number of stars ignore the African American roots in their music. For some rappers, however, the police killing of George Floyd has led them to speak out against racism.
July 28, 2020
Cuban officials haven’t reported any new COVID-19 deaths for two weeks. At the same time — and not unlike in the US — Cuba is also seeing a grassroots movement to combat police brutality, which is more complicated amid the coronavirus. And, earlier this month, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said social media companies are immoral and unfit for the Turkish nation. Now, Turkey’s Parliament has taken up legislation to crack down on the tech companies. Plus, an online project, Window Swap, lets you toggle through views out windows all around the world, from Egypt to Greece to Australia.
July 27, 2020
In the US, it's largely been up to individuals to figure out how to get tested for the coronavirus. The situation is very different in other countries. Meanwhile, South Africa had in place some of the world's strictest coronavirus lockdown measures. But now, COVID-19 cases are accelerating, and the country poses a threat to the entire African continent. Also, 30 years ago this week, US President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act, barring discrimination against people with disabilities. South Korea took much longer to pass similar legislation, and advocates are pushing the country to do more.
July 27, 2020
The coronavirus pandemic has exposed entrenched health inequities for communities of color in the US and around the globe. As part of our regular series discussing the pandemic and as a special podcast in The World's feed, reporter Elana Gordon moderated a conversation with Nancy Krieger from Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Krieger recently co-authored an analysis confirming the extent of such disparities.