World Tour – Terror in France, and rolling wards in India


NICK EICHER, HOST: Up next, World Tour with Africa reporter Onize Ohikere.

ONIZE OHIKERE, REPORTER: France knife attack—We start today in Europe. 

A Sudanese man attacked residents of a small French village on Saturday, killing two and injuring five others. The man attacked several people on the street and in a tobacco store, then entered a butcher shop.

AUDIO: [SPEAKING FRENCH]

The owner of the store says the man climbed over the counter, grabbed a knife, and started assaulting customers. Police arrested the man near the scene of the attack as he knelt on the sidewalk praying in Arabic. When they searched the suspect’s home, authorities found handwritten papers that included a complaint about living in a “country of unbelievers.”

Ukraine forest fires—Next, we go to Ukraine. 

AUDIO: [GEIGER COUNTER BEEPING]

Radiation levels near Chernobyl spiked as firefighters battled to contain two blazes in the area. 

The fires broke out Saturday afternoon near the site of the 1986 nuclear disaster. By Monday, responders were able to put out one of the fires, but the second continued to spread.

Authorities said radiation levels near the fire spiked to nearly five times the maximum natural amount.

Ukrainian police said they tracked down a person suspected of starting the blaze. They also beefed up patrols in the area to prevent new fires.

Human rights lawyer released—Next, to Asia.

AUDIO: [PROTESTERS YELLING]

A prominent Chinese human rights lawyer was released after five years in prison. Wang Quanzhang was arrested in 2015 after defending the rights of religious minorities. 

Authorities released him Sunday but didn’t allow him to rejoin his family in Beijing. Instead, they placed him in quarantine for 14 days as a precaution against COVID-19. 

His wife worries that authorities are using the pandemic as an excuse to keep him under house arrest indefinitely. She said she doesn’t trust the government and she’ll continue to fight until they are reunited.

India turning trains into hospitals—We end today in India.

AUDIO: [ELECTRICAL WORK, SPARKS]

India’s railway network is converting old train carriages into isolation rooms for coronavirus patients. When the country’s prime minister declared a nationwide lockdown at the end of March, Indian Railways suspended the operation of all passenger trains. That left thousands of trains sitting idle. 

Now, the network is remodeling those train cars and turning them into mobile hospital rooms. Each repurposed car is designed to accommodate up to 16 patients. The trains could then be sent to any location facing a shortage of hospital beds. The first 5,000 isolation wards should be ready within the next few weeks.

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


(AP Photo/Yaroslav Yemelianenko) A forest fire burning near the village of Volodymyrivka, in the exclusion zone around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, Ukraine, Sunday April 5, 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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