World Tour

NICK EICHER, HOST: Coming up next on The World and Everything in It, Mindy Belz has this week’s World Tour.

MINDY BELZ, REPORTER: Nigeria prepares for elections—We begin today in Africa…  

AUDIO: [Sound from campaign rally]

…where Nigerians are preparing for presidential elections on Saturday.

The two main contenders are both Muslims from the country’s north. Both are also in their 70s.

But the ballot features dozens of other candidates, including a record number of young contenders. Last year, lawmakers passed the “Not too Young to Run” law. It reduced the presidential age limit from 40 to 35.

The country’s weak economy and ongoing Boko Haram attacks are both top issues for voters like this woman.

AUDIO: But I pray to God to help us bring somebody that will help us make this country better because Nigeria is really going through a lot and I pray Nigeria gets better some day.

Nigeria’s 2015 election was relatively peaceful, but the country suffered a wave of violence after the 2011 presidential election.

If either candidate disputes Saturday’s results, the country’s judiciary will determine the legitimate winner. Last month, incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari replaced the chief justice with one of his supporters.

Opponents criticized the move as a bid to sway any potential dispute. The previous chief justice was a Christian from the country’s south, while the newly appointed justice is a Muslim from the north.

Hungarian birth incentive—Next we go to Hungary, where Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Sunday delivered his state of the nation address.

ORBAN: [Man speaking Hungarian]

In a bid to improve his country’s flagging birth rate, Orban announced new tax and loan incentives for families to have children.

Orban opposes immigration, and has clashed with his European counterparts on the issue. During Sunday’s speech, he noted that Western nations are trying to make up for declining births by welcoming migrants.

He said Hungary intends to take a different approach, adding, quote—“We do not need numbers. We need Hungarian children.”

Trial of Catalan separatists—Next we go to Spain, where 12 former politicians are standing trial for their role in Catalonia’s 2017 independence referendum. Nine are charged with rebellion and three face charges of disobedience and misuse of public funds.

AUDIO: [Protesters outside courthouse]

Catalonians gathered outside Madrid’s Supreme Court to protest the trial. It has generated so much interest that the government agreed to broadcast the proceedings live on television.

The separatists insist they have a right to decide whether they want to remain a part of Spain. Their leader, former Catalonian President Carles Puigdemont, described the trial as a “stress test for Spanish democracy.”

PUIGDEMONT: [Man speaking in Spanish]

Puigdemont speaking there from Berlin. He fled Spain just days after declaring Catalonian independence in 2017 and did not return to stand trial. Spain does not try defendants in absentia.

Oldest captive elephant dies—And we end today in the southern Indian state of Kerala. There the oldest Asian elephant in captivity died last week. She was 88!

Dakshayani—better known as Elephant Granny—lived at a Hindu temple, where she participated in rituals and processions for decades.

That’s this week’s World Tour. I’m Mindy Belz.

(AP Photo/Ben Curtis) The face of incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari is seen on a campaign poster fixed to the pillars of a highway bridge near Nyanya, on the eastern outskirts of the capital Abuja, Nigeria Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019. 

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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