World Tour

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

MINDY BELZ, REPORTER—Turkish president declares victory—We begin today in Turkey, where opposition party supporters celebrated victory in Sunday’s municipal elections.

AUDIO: [Turkish opposition party celebrating]

According to unofficial results, the secular Republican People’s Party won the mayoral race in Ankara. That dealt a major blow to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling Islamist Justice and Development Party. It has controlled the country’s capital city for 25 years.

A similar story played out in Istanbul, the country’s largest city. The opposition candidate for mayor has a slight lead in preliminary results.

Despite the setbacks, Erdogan declared victory on Monday.

ERDOGAN: [Declaring victory]

His party also filed an official appeal of the results in Istanbul—alleging irregularities and invalid votes.

Russia closes two seminaries—Next we go to Russia. There the government has closed two seminaries run by Pentecostal and Baptist churches.

The closures follow months of harassment. Pentecostal leaders describe them as a systematic attempt to limit the activities of minority religious groups.

Russia has ramped up such harassment in recent years, targeting any groups outside the Orthodox Church. Last month officials detained two Mormon missionaries from the U.S. It held them for three weeks before sending them home.

And in February officials jailed a Danish citizen for leading Jehovah’s Witnesses activities. A Russian court outlawed the group in 2017 after designating it an extremist organization.

Guilty plea in Kim Jong Nam murder—Next we go to Malaysia. On Monday a Vietnamese woman pleaded guilty for her role in the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s half brother.

AUDIO: [Huong answering press questions]

A judge sentenced Doan Thi Huong to more than three years in prison for voluntarily causing injury with a dangerous weapon. She initially faced a murder charge and the death penalty.

Her lawyer said officials will probably release her next month after reducing her sentence for good behavior.

LAWYER: We are happy this morning that it comes to a happy ending that Doan can look forward [to], there’s a date for her that she can go back home and that date is very near.

Huang and another woman smeared a nerve agent on Kim Jong Nam’s face at the Kuala Lumpur airport in 2017. He died a few hours later. Both women claimed they were being paid to take part in a TV show prank.

Some suspect she was part of a plot to eliminate the estranged Kim, once a favorite to succeed his father as North Korea’s leader.

U.S. refugee admissions below target—Next, we arrive here in the U.S., where refugee admissions have dropped to a new low.

In 2016, the State Department set a cap of 85,000. Last fall, the Trump administration announced a ceiling of 30,000.

But now halfway through the fiscal year, it doesn’t look like the U.S. will even reach that low mark.

The numbers are particularly concerning for persecuted Christians in Iran and Iraq. Compared to 2016, the U.S. is on pace to admit 95 percent fewer Christians from those countries.

World Relief CEO Tim Breene said—quote—“Our country is systematically dismantling a program that has proven effective at integrating refugees for decades.”



(Photo/World Relief)

Chess champion’s family gets new home—We end today in New York, where a family of Christian immigrants is celebrating their new home.

The Adewumi family fled Boko Haram extremism in Nigeria in 2017. The parents and their two sons have lived in homeless shelters since then. But that all changed when 8-year-old Tani Adewumi won the state’s chess championship two weeks ago.

Once news of the family’s plight spread, donations poured in. A GoFundMe campaign to raise $50,000 soon topped $250,000.

In an interview with CBS This Morning, Tani said he has big dreams.

TANI: I want to be the youngest grandmaster in the world and beat the world champion’s record…Anything is possible. God, He can do anything for me. He can do anything for my family.

The family has started a foundation to help other African immigrants. But Tani’s dad says the family will first give 10 percent of the money raised to their local church.

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

(Photo/Emrah Gurel, Associated Press) An ruling party supporter with a banner of President Recep Erdogan outside the party’s headquarters in Istanbul on Monday.

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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