Full episode - January 25, 2016
If you live in the French-speaking world, you've probably heard of Gad Elmaleh. He's a Moroccan-French comedian whose sell-out shows fill arena-sized venues. But Elmaleh recently left all that behind to pursue a stand-up career in the US. He tells us about the jokes that got lost in translation. Then: the famed Ringling Brothers circus will be phasing out the use of elephants in its shows. We find out why and hear how the move might reverberate around the globe. Also: a transgender US soldier tells us why her superiors insist she is called ‘Sir’. We learn about a medical breakthrough that could be key to stopping one of the planet’s deadliest infections: cryptococcal meningitis. And, we have look at the alarmingly high rate of infant mortality in the United States. Plus, three Mexican women blazing a trail in the red-hot mezcal industry. Image: The comedian and actor Gad Elmaleh. (Credit: Caroline Lessire)
Full episode - January 16, 2016
The new year has ushered in new fears for unauthorised immigrants in the US, as the Obama administration kicked off 2016 with a new round of deportation raids. The journalist and immigration activist Sonia Nazario tells us why she believes these efforts are counterproductive, and then we hear how some immigrants prepare their children for the day that Mummy and Daddy don’t come home. Plus: how a quirk in US law led to thousands of international adoptees becoming stateless. The wild tale of a US Hellfire missile that wound up in Cuba. The reasons you should think twice before bringing an avocado into the United States. And the massive global effort to supply rock salt to blizzard-prone Boston. Image: A group of Guatemalans deported from the United States arrive at an air force base in Guatemala City on January 6, 2016. (Credit: Orlando Estrada/AFP/Getty Images)
Full episode - January 09, 2016
The guy chosen by the US Library of Congress as the new National Ambassador for Young People's Literature? He writes comic books. The graphic novelist Gene Luen Yang tells us why comics matter and why superheroes are just the beginning. Then: how a man who once fled Nazi Germany wound up discovering Adolf Hitler’s long-forgotten second book. And, a small-town obituary writer in Alaska shares the life lessons she’s learned on the job. Plus: why loosened US marijuana laws have sent Mexican weed prices plunging. The two-country journey one student takes every day to get to school. And a champion of bilingual education remembers her mother's stories of being paddled in school for speaking Spanish. Image: Graphic novelist Gene Luen Yang at the 2015 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards ceremony. (Credit: Kendall Whitehouse)
Full episode - January 02, 2016
The first observant Sikh of his generation to join the US military tells us why he’s campaigning against the Pentagon’s dress code. Then, a World War Two tale of a Jewish couple who survived the Holocaust by hiding behind a church organ. And, a Vietnam War-era love story that starts with nothing more than a discarded scrap of paper and a stranger’s address. (Photo: Army Maj. Kamal Singh Kalsi testifies before the US Commission on Civil Rights in May 2013. Credit: Sikh Coalition)
Full episode - December 26, 2015
A language special for you this week: Yowei Shaw gives herself a radio reporting assignment to try to have a meaningful conversation with her Mandarin-speaking grandparents. Let’s just say, it did not go as planned. Then, we’ll hear what a nineteenth century Scottish adventurer had to do with the birth of Spanglish, the English-Spanish hybrid language now common in parts of Southern California. And, Alina Simone tells us the strange history of Siberians in Hawaii. Plus: Patrick Cox and Nina Porzucki highlight some of their favourite language stories of the year. Image: Yowei Shaw and her grandfather. (Credit: Chris Shaw)
Full episode - December 19, 2015
A pastor and an imam 'programmed to hate one another' tell us how they bridged a religious divide and offer advice for Americans divided by faith and fear. Then we meet Bajhat Abdulwahed, a face familiar to many Iraqis but few Philadelphians. And we hear why Muslim women in America are being advised to ‘keep a baseball cap handy in the car’. Plus, the dual life of a Somali-American teenager. And we ask: will hipsters erase the distinctive street art of Miami's Little Haiti? (Photo: In decades past, Nigerian Imam Muhammad Ashafa (right) and Pastor James Wuye were leaders of militias that battled one another. Credit: PRI’s The World)
Full episode - December 12, 2015
When armed men in camouflage menace worshipers at a Texas mosque, the local community is divided. Then, a look back to the World War Two internment of Japanese-Americans, a move being invoked today in some US political circles. Also, we go inside a halal slaughterhouse where the knives are sharp and tradition endures; we get a personal take on one of the thorniest issues between the US and Cuba right now -- property rights; and, we hear what California can learn from Israel about farming in the middle of a drought. Plus: could ‘climate fiction’ be key to addressing our climate change crisis? Image: Armed protestors gather outside a mosque in Irving, Texas. (Credit: Avi Selk/ The Dallas Morning News)
Full episode - November 28, 2015
To mark Thanksgiving in the US, we go wild mushroom hunting on Cape Cod; learn about an 18th century drink making a 21st century comeback; and hear why the next big thing in protein may make you squirm. Plus: an American home baker goes in search of the perfect French baguette. We meet the pastrami taco king of New York. And we find out how to balance sugar and spice in a Sri Lankan love cake. Image: Paul Sadowski of the New York Mycological Society helps fellow mushroom hunters identify their finds in the woods of Piermont, New York. (Credit: Alina Simone)
Full episode - November 14, 2015
The journalist Gary Younge tells us how his exposure to racism in the US changed his view on the world. Then we hear why activists for India's Dalits are taking cues from the Black Lives Matter movement. And the essayist Deepak Singh recalls the excruciating moments watching TV with his family in India when a condom ad would come on the screen. Also: how a Latina with red hair and a Jewish last name challenges ideas about identity. We ask whether Orthodox Jewish women can become rabbis. And we meet a rising star on the Mexican music scene— El Compa Negro. (Photo: Protesters gather at Union Square in New York City on April 2015. Credit: Getty Images)
Full episode - December 05, 2015
Aida Alami's mother, Khadija Ouannane, was a Moroccan exchange student in the midwestern state of Wisconsin in 1969. It was a life-changing year for Khadija, and she kept in touch with her American family for many years. But that all fell apart after the attacks of September 11th. Aida picks up the story from there, and tries to piece together her mother's past. Then, we check in with a Syrian refugee family who've resettled in California and are feeling a post-Paris chill. Plus: a brief history of America's hostility to a previous generation of Mediterranean migrants— Italians. Also: a father and son find a way to compromise in real life and in the new Pixar short, 'Sanjay's Super Team'. And the story of Vahagni— a Los Angeles-based Armenian flamenco guitarist. Image: A school yearbook photo of Khadija Ouannane and her American host family in Wisconsin. (Courtesy of Aida Alami)