September 30, 2022
In Moscow, inside the halls of the Kremlin, Russian officials, led by President Vladimir Putin, celebrated the annexation of four Ukrainian regions. The move is being justified based on referendum votes staged this month by Russia. Across the globe, nations are not recognizing the land grab and they're condemning it as a violation of Ukraine's sovereign rights. And a recent census report shows that Catholicism has emerged as the top identified religion in Northern Ireland, a Protestant-formed and Britain-aligned country, for the first time in its 101-year history. With this new declaration, some worry about the possibility of a referendum that would determine if Northern Ireland would stay aligned with Britain or join the Republic of Ireland as one Ireland. Also, Yemen's eight year civil war has been on pause since April. The truce expires this weekend, but many people want the ceasefire extended. Plus, Brazil’s election system is a model for the rest of the world.
September 29, 2022
In 2014, after pro-Russian forces took control of the Crimea peninsula, Kremlin-backed officials there oversaw a chaotic referendum without credible international observers. This week, we’re seeing a page from that same playbook in Russian-occupied parts of Ukraine. And Democratic Sen. Chris Van Hollen from Maryland has been leading an effort for accountability on the death of Palestinian American journalist Shireen Abu-Akleh, who was shot by Israeli security forces while reporting in the West Bank. Also, in Iran, a mapping app called Gershad allows users, mostly women, to mark the location of the country’s morality police, so others can avoid them. Now, the app has been updated to include the location of riot police and tens of thousands of people have downloaded it. Plus, Kolkata’s biggest religious festival, Durga Puja, gets reframed as an international art experience.
September 28, 2022
Both Nord Stream pipelines connecting Russia to Germany are leaking, after a pair of explosions went off in the Baltic Sea on Monday off the coast of Denmark. Blame remains unclear, but many European leaders are pointing the finger at Russia. And, the Biden administration is trying to aid suppressed protesters in Iran, at the same time that it’s attempting to cut a deal with Iranian officials to revive the 2015 nuclear accord. Some see this as a contradiction in US foreign policy. Also, when about 50 migrants were flown to Martha's Vineyard from Texas and Florida, they realized they’d been part of a publicity stunt. Now, their lawyers argue that the migrants may qualify for visas reserved for crime victims, which will allow them to stay in the US. Plus, we hear a musical flashback to an undemocratic Brazil with Caetano Veloso.
September 27, 2022
Today marks the final day of voting in the so-called referendums taking place in parts of Ukraine that are occupied by Russian forces. These votes are taking place under military occupation — and they’re also illegal under international law. Meanwhile, a call by Russia for more men to help fight its war in Ukraine has sent many people fleeing the country to avoid conscription. And in Lebanon, bank heists have become so common that the government has ordered banks to be shut. Customers have been trying to retrieve their own savings that are stuck in the banking system. Also, over the past seven days, the British pound has dropped to a record low against the US dollar. Plus, we hear from three violinists of the Scandinavian group Lodestar Trio, who take their music from baroque to folk.
September 26, 2022
The Brothers of Italy party is set to form a far-right government. We look at the implications for Italy of this neo-fascist party rising to power. Also, protests in Iran — triggered by the death of a 22-year-old woman detained by the nation's morality police — continue, leading to an internet blackout in the country. And, as the energy crunch caused by the Ukraine war looms over Europe, its shockwaves reverberate as far away as Bangladesh.
September 23, 2022
Many world leaders took to the stage at the UN General Assembly this week to speak about devastating losses their countries have experienced due to climate-fueled natural disasters. Low-emitting countries are calling on historic polluters to help pay for the damage. And polls opened on Friday in the four Russian-occupied regions of Ukraine. People in Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia were told to vote on whether to join Russia. Also, this summer’s travel chaos led to cancellations, delayed flights and lost luggage. In Spain, airlines and airports are trying to make the most of it with a chain of nonprofit shops where shoppers can buy what other travelers have lost. Plus, a photography exhibit honors those who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust.
September 22, 2022
On Wednesday, after Russian authorities announced plans to draft an additional 300,000 troops to join the war in Ukraine, some people are protesting or making hasty plans to leave, while others are lining up to join. And El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele recently announced plans to seek reelection despite a constitutional ban. We hear from a news director who says his leadership is “one step away” from a dictatorship. Also, in Cambodia on Thursday, a United Nations-backed tribunal charged with prosecuting the crimes of the Khmer Rouge regime held its final hearing. After 16 years and $337 million, the tribunal convicted just three men of crimes committed by a regime that caused the deaths of millions. Plus, a molecular biologist brings cultural rehabilitation through ice cream flavors in Cape Town, South Africa.
September 21, 2022
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced plans Wednesday morning to call up to 300,000 reservists to join the fight in Ukraine and threatened to deploy nuclear weapons if Russian territory is threatened. And President Joe Biden was in New York on Wednesday to address the United Nations General Assembly. Biden used the opportunity to condemn Russia's invasion of Ukraine and reiterate the US commitment to Ukraine's defense. Also, about a half a million foreign students — mostly from Africa and parts of Asia — were shut out of their universities in China due to COVID-19. Chinese authorities are not making it easy to return anytime soon. Plus, the quadrillions of ants on planet Earth matter immensely to life.
September 20, 2022
Leaders from around the world are gathering in New York this week for the UN General Assembly. It's the first time leaders gather together since the start of the pandemic in 2020. And in Puerto Rico, residents are facing the collapse of the electrical grid and a lack of clean water in the aftermath of Hurricane Fiona. Also, on Tuesday night in Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin is to speak to the nation about Ukraine. The last time he did this was on the eve of the Russian invasion in February. Plus, the lead singer of Ukrainian band Antytila is on the front lines.
September 19, 2022
Britain said goodbye to Queen Elizabeth II in a televised ceremony witnessed by billions. In attendance was US President Joe Biden among hundreds of heads of state. Early Monday morning, the last members of the waiting mourners were admitted to walk past the queen's coffin, marking the end of her relationship with the British public. And Hurricane Fiona pummeled Puerto Rico Sunday night, leaving the island without power and wiping out roads and bridges. Residents worry that it feels like 2017 again, when Hurricane Maria pummeled the island. Also, protests in Iran have grown since last Friday when the news of the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini became public. Amini was arrested three days earlier by the so-called morality police for not following the appropriate dress codes. Plus, Biden declared the COVID-19 pandemic over, but infectious disease specialist Dr. Anthony Fauci says not so much.