World Tour: Al-Shabaab claims twin bombings, and Russians are drinking less alcohol

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

ONIZE OHIKERE, REPORTER: Afghan presidential vote—We start today in Afghanistan.

Violence and claims of fraud marred last weekend’s presidential election. Only about 20 percent of the country’s nearly 10 million registered voters cast ballots.

Those who did vote faced significant risk. An independent monitoring group recorded 400 attacks on polling stations. Five people died and dozens of others were injured.

Despite the problems, one member of the country’s Independent Human Rights Commission celebrated the vote.

AIHRC: This we can say with confidence that yesterday’s elections proved once again that Afghans if they have, if they are given a chance, they would like to have a voice in determining their political leadership.

Officials expect to release preliminary results by October 17th. If none of the 18 presidential candidates has a majority, the top two will enter a runoff.

But incumbent President Ashraf Ghani’s main rival has already declared victory.

AUDIO: [Abdullah Abdullah]

Abdullah Abdullah told reporters he fully expects to form the country’s next government. Whoever gets the job will face a tough road ahead. Taliban attacks continue almost daily. The terror group has vowed to continue its fight against the government.

Christians killed in Nigeria—Next we go to Africa, starting here in Nigeria.

An offshoot of Boko Haram has executed two Christian men abducted from Maiduguri. Lawrence Duna Dacighir and Godfrey Ali Shikagham had traveled to the area to help build shelters for people displaced by violence.

The militant group Islamic State West Africa Province posted a video showing the men being shot to death. One of the militants in the video vows to kill every Christian the group captures.

The same group recently killed one of six aid workers abducted in July. Grace Taku was the only Christian in the group. She worked for the French-based group Action Against Hunger.

Al-Shabaab claims twin bombings—Next to Somalia.

AUDIO: [Mogadishu bombing aftermath]

Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility Monday for twin attacks in the Somali capital, Mogadishu. The first attack targeted a base where U.S. special forces train Somali commandos. The second bombing hit an Italian military convoy.

Analysts say the attack on the heavily guarded U.S. base shows the militant group has a strong intelligence network. It targeted the area of the base that houses U.S. Special Forces.

Russians drinking less alcohol—And finally, we end today with some good news from Russia.

AUDIO: [Moscow bar]

Alcohol consumption in the country has dropped by nearly half since 2003. That’s according to a new report from the World Health Organization.

This man at a bar in Moscow says attitudes toward drinking have changed.

AUDIO: [Russian bar customer]

The Russian government has adopted several measures to curb excessive drinking. Those include limiting the sale of alcohol and promoting healthy lifestyles.

And drinking less is helping people live longer. Life expectancy in Russia reached a historic high in 2018: 78 years for women and 68 years for men.

For WORLD Radio, I’m Onize Ohikere reporting from Abuja, Nigeria.

(Associated Press/Photo by Rahmat Gul) Men line up outside a polling station with their national ID cards in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Saturday. 

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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