World Tour

NICK EICHER, HOST: Coming up next on The World and Everything in It: World Tour with Onize Ohikere.

ONIZE OHIKERE, REPORTER: Goodluck Jonathan memoir—We begin today here in Nigeria. In a new memoir, former President Goodluck Jonathan blames former U.S. President Barack Obama of direct interference in Nigeria’s 2015 presidential election.

JONATHAN: There were certain issues of government that were used against me during the election. The issue of Boko Haram and Chibok girls.

Jonathan lost that election to Muhammadu Buhari, the country’s current president. Buhari’s All Progressives Congress Party hired Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod to help with his campaign.

Jonathan’s claims are part of a larger picture detailing ties between the Obama administration and Nigerian businessmen. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had especially close relationships with several Nigerians who donated to her presidential campaigns and the Clinton Foundation.

JONATHAN: For all the countries where I have gone to observe elections…

The former Nigerian leader said Obama opposed his efforts to combat Boko Haram’s reign of terror.

Gas attack in Syria—Next we go to the Middle East. The UN chemical weapons watchdog could soon send a team to Syria to investigate government claims of a gas attack on Aleppo. The latest attack comes as the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, or OPCW, debates how to implement its new authority to assign blame in its investigations.

ARIAS: We have this responsibility for attribution and we are setting up the team for Syria and we will see what is the way we carry out this new mandate.

That’s OPCW Director-General Fernando Arias. The Syrian government has asked the OPCW to investigate the attack it blames on rebel groups. The rebel alliance in Idlib denies any involvement.

French fuel protests—And now to France, where police in Paris clashed with protesters angry over new gas taxes. President Emmanuel Macron has so far refused to back away from the taxes he says are necessary to wean the country from fossil fuels.

In a speech at the presidential palace on Tuesday…

MACRON: [Sound of Macron speaking in French]

Macron said, “We must therefore hear the cries of alarm from society, but we must not do so by renouncing our responsibilities for today and tomorrow, because there is also an environmental alarm.”

Macron promised protesters the government would review the gas taxes every three months. But that has done little to quell the anger. Macron also unveiled a plan to shut down 14 of the country’s 58 nuclear reactors in a push for more renewable energy sources.

Taiwan backs Biblical marriage—And finally to Taiwan, where voters overwhelmingly supported Biblical marriage in a weekend referendum. More than 7 million people voted to continue defining marriage in the country’s Civil Code as between one man and one woman. Nearly 3 million voted to change the language.

AUDIO: [Sound of pro-family rally]

Voters also approved a referendum preventing Taiwan’s Education Mininstory from requiring LGBT lessons in elementary and middle schools. But they approved a measure that would create civil unions for same-sex couples.

Taiwan would have become the first Asian country to approve gay marriage after its high court struck down the Civil Code’s previous definition of marriage.

That’s this week’s World Tour. I’m Onize Ohikere reporting from Abuja, Nigeria.

(SANA via AP) In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows medical staff treating a boy following a suspected chemical attack on his town of al-Khalidiya, in Aleppo, Syria, Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018. 

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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