World Tour: Unity follows Indonesia election, and mummies found in Egypt

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

ONIZE OHIKERE, REPORTER: Calls for a new government in Lebanon—We start today in the Middle East.

AUDIO: [Protesters in Lebanon]

Protesters in Lebanon demanded a new government on Monday despite promises of change from the current prime minister.

AUDIO: [Prime Minister Saad Hariri]

During a televised address, Prime Minister Saad Hariri said planned reforms were not merely an attempt to pacify protesters. Hariri abandoned the plan to raise taxes that started the protests five days ago.

Anger over the new taxes quickly turned into calls for the government to resign. 

Political power in Lebanon was once evenly divided between Christians and Muslims. But the influence of Hezbollah and its Shiite supporters has grown in recent years. So has discontent over corruption and the economy.

Unity follows Indonesia election—Next we go to Indonesia.

AUDIO: [Widodo inauguration] 

President Joko Widodo began his second term in office on Sunday when he took the oath of office. He urged Indonesians to unite after a bitter election season.

At least one person heeded that call. Opposition leader Prabowo Subianto announced Monday that he would join his rival’s cabinet. Subianto will focus on strengthening the country’s defense.

The former special forces general initially refused to accept the election results. He blamed his loss on fraud. Nine people died in post-election riots after officials declared Widodo the winner.

Subianto conceded after he lost a court challenge to overturn the election result.

Exhuming Franco’s remains—Next we go to Spain.

The socialist government will exhume the remains of former dictator General Francisco Franco on Thursday. He will be reburied in his family’s crypt in a cemetery close to the capital.

A court cleared the way for the move last month. The initiative started in 2007 when lawmakers passed a bill seeking redress for thousands of Franco victims buried in unmarked graves.

CALVO: [Carmen Calvo]

Deputy Prime Minister Carmen Calvo said moving Franco’s remains would ensure no one will exalt a dictator in Spain’s current democracy.

Franco came to power in 1939 after leading a rebellion against Spain’s democratic government. His brutal dictatorship lasted until 1975.

Mummies discovered in Egypt—And finally, we end today in Egypt.

AUDIO: [Sound of crowd, camera shutters]

Archaeologists there have discovered 30 well-preserved coffins that date back to the 10th century B-C. The ornately decorated sarcophagi were buried about 3 feet underground near the Valley of the Kings in Luxor. They contain the bodies of men, women, and children believed to belong to a family of high priests.

AUDIO: [Egyptian minister of Antiquities]

The Egyptian minister of Antiquities hailed the find as one of the most significant discoveries since the 20-11 Arab Spring uprising. The unrest and insecurity caused a delay in excavation projects. But more than 250 new projects are now underway.

That’s this week’s World Tour. Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Onize Ohikere.

(Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities via AP, File) This Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019 file photo provided by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities shows Egyptian Minister of Antiquities Khaled el-Anany looking at recently discovered ancient colored coffins with inscriptions and paintings, in the southern city of Luxor, Egypt. 

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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