World Tour – Protests in Montenegro and elections in Taiwan

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Coming up next on The World and Everything in It: WORLD Tour with our correspondent in Africa, Onize Ohikere.

ONIZE OHIKERE, REPORTER: Historic flooding in Jakarta—We start today in Indonesia.

AUDIO: [Sound of rushing water, voices]

Jakarta residents are bracing for more rain after historic flooding struck the capital over the New Year’s holiday.

At least 66 people have died, and tens of thousands of people remain in shelters. It was the worst flooding to hit the city since 2007.

Mudslides and power blackouts have hampered the search for those still missing. And health workers now fear the unsanitary conditions could spark an outbreak of disease. More than a thousand soldiers and health workers sprayed disinfectant on hard-hit areas.

Low-lying Jakarta has been prone to flooding for a long time. Unregulated development and poor infrastructure has only made it worse. Last year, the government proposed a plan to build a new capital on the island of Borneo.

Attack on university in India—Next we go to India.

AUDIO: [Sound of police entering university, sirens]

Police restored order at a elite university in New Delhi after a mob attacked students and professors. At least 23 people were hurt.

Officials blamed the clashes on rival student groups. But witnesses said the attackers belonged to a student organization linked to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

This student said the attackers used hammers, shovels, and long sticks to smash anything that got in their way—including students.

STUDENT: They targeted Muslim students specifically.

The latest violence follows a string of protests over a new citizenship law passed in December. The law grants citizenship to refugees from three neighboring Muslim-majority countries. But it excludes Muslims, something critics say fits into Modi’s attempt to turn secular India into a Hindu nation.

At least two dozen people have died in protests against the law.

Protests over church law in Montenegro—Next to Eastern Europe.

Members of rival Orthodox churches in Montenegro celebrated a tense Christmas Eve on Monday. Dozens of police officers looked on as members of the Serbian Orthodox Church and the Montenegrin Orthodox Church lit Yule logs.

Tensions have been high in the tiny Balkan country after the government passed a law the Serbian church says will strip it of its property.

AUDIO: [Sounds of chanting during protests]

Protesters in Serbia gathered outside Montenegro’s embassy in Belgrade last week. Thousands of ethnic Serbs who live in Montenegro have protested daily since the law passed last month.

Montenegro lost its independence in 1918 when it joined a Serb-led Balkan kingdom. It finally split from the much-larger Serbia in 2006. But about one-third of Montenegro’s citizens consider themselves Serbs and want closer ties with Belgrade.

Taiwan prepares for elections—And finally, we end today in Taiwan.

AUDIO: [Sound of chanting at political rally]

Supporters of President Tsai Ing-wen gathered for a political rally ahead of Saturday’s election. Tsai is seeking a second term in a contest dominated by fears over Chinese influence in the country.

Taiwan has been a de facto sovereign nation since 1949. But China still views the island as its territory and has vowed to reunite it, by force if necessary.

Tsai supports her country’s continued independence and points to Hong Kong as evidence of what Beijing would do with more influence in Taiwan. Her opponent wants stronger ties with China—although he denies claims he supports giving up Taiwan’s sovereignty.

That’s this week’s World Tour. For WORLD Radio, I’m Onize Ohikere reporting from Abuja, Nigeria.

(AP Photo/Dita Alangkara) A woman reacts as she wades flood water in Jakarta, Indonesia, Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020. 

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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