Host Marco Werman and his team of producers bring you the world's most interesting stories that remind us just how small our planet really is.
Israeli prime minister takes his first trip to Russia
Over the past decade, the Israeli government has been cozying up to Moscow. On Friday, new Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett traveled to Russia for the first time and met with President Vladimir Putin at a resort in Sochi, Russia, to discuss Israel and Russia's “special relationship.” Also, the Netflix series “Squid Game” is a dark comedy about a competition that emerges from Korean culture, but has widespread appeal. We speak to a psychiatrist who explains why the new show resonates so far and wide beyond South Korea. And, since the summer, Belarus strongman Alexander Lukashenko has been sending Syrian and Iraqi migrants across its borders into EU countries such as Lithuania, Latvia and Poland. The Lukashenko regime has also continued to clamp down on political dissent, this week raiding one of the few independent news outlets, Novy Chas.
Controversial TV pundit shakes up French politics
So far, many have considered France's presidential election next April a close race between President Emmanuel Macron and far-right candidate Marine Le Pen. But recently, far-right columnist and TV commentator Eric Zemmour has been soaring in opinion polls, throwing the race wide open. And, court battles are keeping the Biden administration from completely undoing the Trump-era "Remain in Mexico" policy. It's kept thousands of asylum-seekers waiting in Mexican border towns while their asylum petitions move through US courts. Plus, blues-rock musician Pascal Danaë and his trio, "Delgrès," has a new album called “4 a.m.” Danaë tells us about how his ancestors in Guadeloupe, and seeing his great-great-grandmother's affidavit of her freedom from slavery in 1841, influenced the trio's new album.
Bolsonaro accused of crimes against humanity for COVID negligence
A Brazilian Senate Commission investigating President Jair Bolsonaro's handling of the COVID-19 crisis in Brazil issued its final report on Wednesday, accusing him of crimes against humanity. The 1,200-page report details malfeasance, the blocking of needed health measures, and the illegal use of public funds. And in Syria, two roadside bombs that detonated under a bridge hit a bus in Damascus on Wednesday, killing 14 people. It’s a sign that despite the Assad government’s recent efforts to normalize relations abroad, Syria’s civil war still rages. Also, after days of speculation, North Korea says it had test-fired a ballistic missile from a submarine in order to enhance its undersea capabilities. It's the first such launch since 2016, and it comes as the US, South Korea and Japan meet to discuss restarting talks with Pyongyang.
US envoy to Afghanistan resigns
Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad spearheaded the Trump administration’s negotiations with the Taliban that forged an agreement for the withdrawal of US forces. Critics say the talks were a fig leaf, offering cover for a quick US withdrawal. And Russia is ending its diplomatic engagement with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The move by Moscow is in retaliation for NATO's expulsion of Russian diplomats from its Brussels office earlier this month. Plus, filmmakers Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin tell us about "The Rescue," their documentary about the massive effort to save 12 boys and their soccer coach trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand.
American missionaries held hostage in Haiti
One of the most notorious gangs in Haiti is holding hostage a group of American missionaries, including children. The country has the highest kidnapping rate in the world. The threat of being taken hostage is one that Haitians— rich and poor alike — face every day. And when people in the US and the UK donate clothes they don't want anymore, those clothes end up for sale in a massive secondhand market in Accra, Ghana. But the boom in quickly made, inexpensive clothing around the world has led to an environmental crisis in countries like Ghana. Plus, TikTok has come a long way from its lip-syncing days for Generation Z. Now, innovators are using the app to help teach and spread the word on Indigenous languages across the globe.
British MP murdered while meeting with constituents
In the United Kingdom, Conservative Party Member of Parliament David Amess was stabbed to death on Friday in his constituency of Leigh-on-Sea, England. The 69-year-old father of five had served in Parliament since 1983 and was known politically as a social conservative and prominent campaigner against abortion. Also, in the last chaotic days of US operations in Afghanistan, Najibullah Quraishi was there reporting as the Taliban took over the country. Quraishi, whose documentary, “Taliban Takeover,” just premiered on Frontline, gives us an unvarnished view of the new Afghanistan. Plus, The Wizard of New Zealand, Ian Brackenbury Channell, is out of a job. The Christchurch City Council has decided to stop paying him to provide public acts of wizardry.