World Tour – Hong Kong arrests, and Rohingyas rescued

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

ONIZE OHIKERE, REPORTER: Hong Kong arrests—We start today in Asia. 

Police in Hong Kong arrested 15 pro-democracy activists on Saturday. Chinese officials said the activists had organized and participated in unauthorized protests last year. 

The sweeping arrests targeted former and current lawmakers, as well as the founder of an anti-establishment newspaper. Veteran activist Martin Lee was also arrested for speaking at several protests last summer.

AUDIO: This is the time for all the people to take to the streets on the 9th of June. This is make or break for Hong Kong.

The protesters challenged Beijing’s rule of Hong Kong, calling for free elections and a transparent legal system.

Rohingya refugees—Next, we go to Bangladesh.


Hundreds of Rohingya refugees staggered onto a beach Wednesday after 58 days at sea. Over 400 Rohingya had crammed onto a fishing trawler in early February. They set sail for Malaysia, but the country denied them access, citing coronavirus concerns.


One survivor said the refugees quickly ran short on food, water, and fuel. At least 30 died.

The Bangladeshi coast guard got a tip about the boat and searched for three days before locating it. 

Nearly 1 million Rohingya have fled their homes in Myanmar. The ethnic group is the target of a brutal military crackdown that began in 2017.

Hindu nationalists blaming Muslims for the virus—Next, we go to India.


A group of Muslim vegetable sellers in Uttar Pradesh filed a complaint with the government last week. They said a group of men drove away their customers and accused the vendors of spreading the coronavirus.

Other Muslims in India have reported similar incidents. Muslims already faced discrimination in the Hindu-majority country. Now, some accuse them of intentionally spreading COVID-19. In early March, more than 2,000 people attended a Muslim missionary conference in Delhi. Dozens of attendees later tested positive for the disease.

Australia requires Facebook and Google pay for news—And finally, we end today in Australia. 

The government will soon require Google and Facebook to pay for news content. Officials say it’s only fair: If the tech giants want to use journalistic content on their platforms, they should pay the media companies that create that content.

Josh Frydenberg is the country’s treasurer.

AUDIO: We believe this is critical for the future viability of our media sector.

Frydenberg said the government tried to negotiate a voluntary arrangement with Google and Facebook, but couldn’t reach an agreement.

AUDIO: So the government’s taken a decision to move to a mandatory code with a draft mandatory code to be released by the end of July.

The code will require Google and Facebook to negotiate with media outlets on fair compensation. The tech companies will also need to prioritize original reporting in search results, and give the outlets a heads-up before changing algorithms that affect content rankings.

France and Spain have tried similar strategies in the past, but the tech titans simply ended their news services in those countries.

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

(AP Photo/Kin Cheung) Former pro-democracy lawmaker Martin Lee, 81-year-old, second right, leaves a police station in Hong Kong, Saturday, April 18, 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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