World Tour: Protests in Egypt and Hong Kong

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

MINDY BELZ, REPORTER: Protests in Egypt—We start today in the Middle East.

AUDIO: [Anti-Sisi protests]

Protests broke out in Egypt calling for the removal of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. Such street unrest has been rare since the Arab Spring uprisings of 2011 led to the government’s overthrow.

This time, police moved quickly to shut down the rallies, with security forces arresting at least 400 people in Cairo and other cities. The government blocked news outlets covering the unrest, including the U.S.-government funded Al-Hurra television station.

Amnesty International called for the release of protesters. It also urged world leaders to confront el-Sisi about his human rights record at this week’s U-N General Assembly.

When reporters asked President Donald Trump about the unrest in Egypt, he said he wasn’t concerned.

TRUMP: Egypt has a great leader. Highly respected. He’s brought order. Before he was here, there was very little order. There was chaos.

Ongoing claims of military and government corruption sparked the protests. El-Sisi says he did nothing wrong.

Efforts to break Israel’s election deadlock—Next we go to Israel.

AUDIO: [Israeli president meets Netanyahu Gantz]

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his main opponent Benny Gantz may form a unity government. The two rivals met Monday for the first time since last week’s election.

President Reuven Rivlin arranged the meeting. He told both men the country expected them to come together to prevent a third election. Voters have already been to the polls twice in less than a year.

Neither man’s party won enough seats during last week’s vote to form a government on their own. A unity government with rotating leadership may be the only way out of the impasse.

Protests continue in Hong Kong—Next to Asia. Pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong continued for the 16th straight weekend.

AUDIO: [Hong Kong protesters] 

Thousands of people filled a shopping mall on Sunday for a peaceful rally. The activists made origami cranes and sang protest songs.

AUDIO: [Hong Kong clashes]

Later, a smaller group of protesters clashed with police outside the mall. Officers fired tear gas and rubber bullets while some activists broke into ticket machines at a nearby train station.

During a visit to Washington last week, three protest movement leaders described worsening conditions for Hong Kong residents. Denise Ho blamed the government for the ongoing violence.

HO: We do think that Hong Kong has become a police state where the government is hiding behind the police force and refusing to find solutions to the present crisis in Hong Kong right now.

The activists met with U.S. lawmakers and urged them to more closely monitor what’s happening. Joshua Wong said police have targeted people of all ages.

WONG: The oldest arrested person [is] at the age of 63 and the youngest one at the age of 12. Who can imagine a primary school kid at the age of 12 would be arrested by Hong Kong police? But that’s why we describe [how] Hong Kong transformed from a modern, global city to a police state with police violence.

China condemned U.S. support for protesters, calling them radical and violent separatists.

World Vision changes child selection process—And finally, we end today here in the United States.

World Vision is turning its child sponsorship program upside down. Last week the Christian aid group launched a dramatic change in the way it pairs children in developing countries with sponsors in the West.

Now, it’s the needy children who get to do the choosing—selecting their sponsors from a lineup of photographs in a new campaign called “Be Chosen.”

That’s this week’s World Tour. Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Mindy Belz.

(AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty) Protesters chant slogans against the regime in Cairo, Egypt, early Saturday, Sept. 21, 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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