World Tour – Elections in Burundi, and a Pakistani plane crash


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

ONIZE OHIKERE, REPORTER: Burundi holds presidential election—We start today here in Africa.

People in Burundi headed to the polls last week to vote in a contentious presidential election. The vote was hailed as the first democratic transfer of power in almost 60 years. But the election has been marked by violence and allegations of fraud.

AUDIO: We’ve seen reports of killings, arrests, even disappearances of opposition members in the last few weeks in the run up to the election.

But the government denied claims of problems.

AUDIO: We are so happy to see how the election will be done today. Because…everybody go to votes without problem.

The current president is expected to step down after 15 years in power. But he will retain some influence in a new position he created. It’s called the “supreme guide of patriotism.” And the new president must consult him on issues of national security and unity.

Libyan forces retake airbase—Next, we go to Libya.

AUDIO: [MEN TALKING]

Libya’s military seized a strategic airbase near Tripoli earlier this month. The move is a blow to the Libyan National Army, the rival group trying to claim the capital for more than a year.

Libya has been in chaos since an uprising in 2011. Froeign military influence has exacerbated the conflict. Turkey backs the unity government, while Russia supplies the opposition.

In January, world leaders committed to stop meddling in the conflict, but both sides have continued to receive arms and fighters. A Russian private military contractor sent about 1,200 mercenaries to Libya earlier this year.

The battle for Tripoli has left hundreds dead and displaced more than 200,000 people.

Pakistan plane crash—Next, we go to the Middle East.

AUDIO: [SURVIVOR DESCRIBING CRASH]

A passenger plane crashed in Pakistan last week, killing 97 people. Two passengers survived the crash. The plane was trying to land at an airport in Karachi when its engines failed. The pilot issued a mayday call before the plane crashed into a residential area, damaging 18 homes. Eight people on the ground were injured.

One civil aviation official said the plane may have been unable to lower its landing gear, but the cause of the crash is still unknown. The aircraft had just passed inspection in November.

The crash came just days after Pakistan began allowing commercial flights following the coronavirus lockdown.

Australian researchers test fastest internet ever—Finally, we end today in Australia.

Researchers from two universities say they’ve logged the fastest internet speeds ever recorded. The team replaced about 80 lasers found in existing hardware with a single piece of tech known as a micro-comb. When tested, the data speed hit 44 terabits per second. At that speed, users could download more than 1,000 high-definition movies in less than a second.

Researchers say the new tech could transform self-driving cars, medicine, education, and finance.

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


(AP Photo/Berthier Mugiraneza) Ruling party presidential candidate Evariste Ndayishimiye casts his vote in the presidential election, in Giheta, Gitega province, Burundi Wednesday, May 20, 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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