The World and Everything in It — July 8, 2020


MEGAN BASHAM, HOST: Good morning!

Russia is reportedly offering bounties for killing U.S. troops in Afghanistan. If that’s true, what should we do about it?

NICK EICHER, HOST: That’s ahead on Washington Wednesday.

Also today: World Tour.

Plus, a visit to a small family-run restaurant reopened for business and leaning even more than ever on tradition.

And Janie B. Cheaney on the limits God places on dictators.

BASHAM: It’s Wednesday, July 8th. This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Megan Basham.

EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. Good morning!

BASHAM: Up next, Kent Covington has the news.


KENT COVINGTON, NEWS ANCHOR: Trump launches push to reopen schools in fall » President Trump on Tuesday launched an all-out effort to reopen schools this fall. 

At a White House event, the president said we must get students back in class for both academic and mental health reasons. 

TRUMP: We are very much going to put pressure on governors and everybody else to open the schools.

The president did not explain how he would pressure governors, but he repeated an earlier claim that Democrats want to keep schools closed for political rather than health reasons. 

Colorado’s Democratic Governor Jared Polis Tuesday said his state is planning to reopen classrooms for the start of the new school year. 

POLIS: We all want kids to be back in school in as normal a way as possible. My kids are 8 and 6. I certainly hope that they’re back in school. Denver Public Schools, our biggest school district, is moving that way. But they all know that it’s with a caveat that they might have to go online if there’s an outbreak at a particular school. 

The CDC put out guidance for schools last month, including staggering schedules, spreading out desks, and having meals in classrooms instead of the cafeteria.

Trump administration announces withdrawal from WHO » The Trump administration has formally notified the United Nations that it is pulling out of the World Health Organization. But the pullout won’t take effect until July of next year. 

That means the White House could still rescind the move if circumstances change. And a new administration could change course if President Trump doesn’t win reelection. Former Vice President Joe Biden has said he supports the WHO.

The Trump administration and numerous other countries have sharply criticized the WHO for bowing to Chinese influence and for its response to the coronavirus crisis. 

U.S. government places big bet on vaccine maker » As the push to find a vaccine continues, the U.S. government has granted more than a billion dollars to one of the companies racing to develop one. WORLD’s Anna Johansen reports. 

ANNA JOHANSEN, REPORTER: The federal government has chosen vaccine development company Novavax to participate in Operation Warp Speed. That’s the government program aimed at delivering millions of doses of a safe, effective vaccine by the end of the year.  

The $1.6 billion grant is the largest deal the Trump administration has made with any company under the program. 

Novavax received the funds to complete a Phase 3 clinical trial; establish large-scale manufacturing; and deliver 100 million doses of its vaccine. 

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said the government does not want to have all of its eggs in one basket. He said Novavax adds one more candidate to a “diverse portfolio” of vaccines—increasing the odds of finding “a safe effective vaccine as soon as the end of this year.”

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Anna Johansen. 

Brazilian president tests positive for COVID-19 » Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro announced Tuesday he has tested positive for COVID-19.

BOLSONARO: [Speaking in Portuguese]

Bolsonaro said Tuesday that he feels “normal.” He added—quote—“I even want to take a walk around here, but I can’t due to medical recommendations.”

Critics have blasted Bolsonaro for downplaying the coronavirus’s severity as infections and deaths mounted rapidly in the country.

He has also repeatedly said that shutdowns would ultimately cause more hardship than allowing the virus to run its course.

Brazil is the world’s sixth-biggest nation with more than 200 million people. More than 65,000 Brazilians have died from COVID-19.

Georgia Governor declares emergency, authorizes National Guard to halt violence in Atlanta » Georgia Governor Brian Kemp on Monday declared a state of emergency and authorized the activation of up to 1,000 National Guard troops. That after a weekend of violence in Atlanta left five people dead, including an 8-year-old girl.

The Republican governor said the troops will provide support at certain locations including the Capitol and governor’s mansion—freeing up law enforcement to patrol other areas.

In an emotional news conference with the girl’s grief-stricken mother, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms called for an end to the violence. 

BOTTOMS: We are shooting each other up on our streets in the city, and you shot and killed a baby! And it wasn’t one shooter. There were at least two shooters. 

Bottoms, who is Black, said “you can’t blame this on a police officer” and “enough is enough.” 

In a statement, Governor Kemp said “Peaceful protests were hijacked by criminals with a dangerous, destructive agenda. Now, innocent Georgians are being targeted, shot, and left for dead. This lawlessness must be stopped and order restored in our capital city.”

Chiefs quarterback inks richest deal in pro sports history » The NFL’s reigning Super Bowl MVP is staying put in Kansas City after signing the richest contract in the history of professional sports.

GAME SOUND: Mahomes looking to flip, takes it in for the touchdown!

Twenty-four-year-old Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes agreed to a 10-year extension worth up to $503 million, according to his agent. The deal signed this week also includes no-trade and opt-out clauses.

Just a few seasons into his pro career, Mahomes already has an MVP award, a Super Bowl MVP and is a two-time Pro Bowler. 

Mahomes’ contract extension begins in 2022. And with that deal, he’ll be the world’s highest paid athlete, surpassing baseball superstar Mike Trout’s $426 million dollar deal with the L.A. Angels.

I’m Kent Covington. Straight ahead: Russian bounties on U.S troops.

Plus, Janie B. Cheaney on the limited lives of dictators.

This is The World and Everything in It.


NICK EICHER: It’s Wednesday, the 8th of July, 2020. Glad to have you along for today’s edition of The World and Everything in It. Good morning, I’m Nick Eicher.

MEGAN BASHAM: And I’m Megan Basham. First up: Washington’s latest clash with Moscow.

EICHER: Late last month, The New York Times reported that Russia is offering bounties to Taliban fighters who kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan. The Times based its report on leaked intelligence assessments. Reaction to the news has mostly focused on when President Trump first learned about the bounties and how he has—or hasn’t—responded to Russian aggression.

BASHAM: The president insists he first learned about the bounties when The Times broke the story. But officials—all of them unnamed—have confirmed to multiple news outlets that intelligence reports about the bounties were included in at least one of the president’s written daily briefings.

Democrats claim the president ignored the reports because he’s “soft” on Russia. And lawmakers from both parties are demanding more information from U.S. intelligence officials. Republican Senator Pat Toomey said if Russia is offering bounties, “a firm American response is required in short order.”

EICHER: It’s Washington Wednesday, and joining us now to talk about this is Bradley Bowman. He’s a former U.S. Army officer and Blackhawk pilot who served in Afghanistan. He also served as a defense and national security adviser in the Senate. He’s now senior director of the Center on Military and Political Power at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Good morning!

BOWMAN: Good morning, sir. Thanks for the opportunity. 

EICHER: Attacks against U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan are not uncommon, as you well know. Are the Taliban not sufficiently motivated to kill U.S. troops? Would a financial incentive from Russia have any effect?

BOWMAN: Oh, no. Thank you for the question. Sadly, the Taliban is motivated to not only kill Americans but kill our Afghan partners and more than 2,300 American service members have paid the ultimate price in Afghanistan to protect us. And so every time one of our fellow citizens is killed, that’s a husband or wife, a dad or mom, a son or daughter does not return home to their families. 

So a large majority of these deaths—I know from my time there and from studying these issues over time both at my current think tank and the Senate—most of the deaths, these tragic deaths of Americans are due to the actions of the Taliban or the Haqqani network or similar groups. I’ve had access to classified information most of my adult life. I don’t currently, so I have not seen the intelligence in this case. 

If Moscow did engage in such activity, I would want to know it. I can think—to get directly to your question—I can think of a few incidents where money from Moscow might incentivize the Taliban to do something they wouldn’t already be doing. Certainly the motives might be aligned in some cases. But, for example, during the ongoing peace agreement, maybe some parts of the Taliban wanted to reduce violence. Moscow could, with incentives, try to push them to do more or attack a particular target or, hey, could you focus more on the Americans rather than the Afghan forces. So, there’s all kinds of nuance and detail here where I could see some Russian money making a difference. But I take the larger point of the Taliban has killed and wants to kill as many Americans as they can. 

EICHER: Part of the debate over this intelligence involves how credible it is. The White House says the president wasn’t briefed because intelligence officials disagree about whether it was substantial enough to be actionable. 

From your experience, how likely is it that the intelligence community will be able to say with certainty whether the Russians are doing this?

BOWMAN: Yeah, for understandable reasons, detailed information about sources and methods, where the intelligence comes from and how we obtained it, are usually shielded in intelligence reports except at the various highest levels of classification. But the Russians and their Soviet predecessors have long been very effective at their trade craft, which is a way to say they’ve been very effective in covering their tracks and doing bad things or things contrary to the U.S. interest and hiding it. 

So, I would assume that detecting any potential Russian support to the Taliban would be difficult, certainly, because of their effectiveness at doing these things and their long practice, but not impossible. 

As you cited, according to public reporting, there was some disagreement within the intelligence community regarding that, but I don’t dismiss the fact that some elements of the IC may have reason to believe this was happening and serious enough concern that they would elevate it up the chain of command. 

EICHER: Because these reports are surfacing now, it makes it seem like the bounties are a relatively recent thing. But we’ve been in Afghanistan for 18 years. Is it possible this started during the previous administration, when Washington began peace negotiations with the Taliban?

BOWMAN: You know, it’s possible but to me it’s not the most important question. We don’t know the details of whether if this is happening or how long it’s been happening. But I for one—I’m not saying you’re necessarily implying this with the question, but I would encourage your listeners to really avoid falling prey to the partisan politics here on either side of the debate, falling prey to “what-about-ism” or what about the Obama administration or how long has this been going on? That’s exactly what America’s adversaries—including Moscow—would want. 

Let’s not forget why we’re in Afghanistan. We’re in Afghanistan because almost 3,000 Americans were murdered on 9/11 and when al-Qaeda did that, they didn’t care whether the people they were murdering were Republicans or Democrats. So, frankly, I don’t give a darn how long it’s been happening. If it’s happening, we need to make Russia pay for it and knock it off. 

EICHER: What price, do you think? We have to assume for sake of argument it is happening, I’ve seen response options ranging from sanctions on the low end to “eye for an eye” on the high end. What do you think we ought to do? 

BOWMAN: Yeah, no, if we accept the premise, which you and I don’t know to be the case, but if we accept the premise that Moscow is in fact paying bounties for the Taliban or others to kill Americans, then I have a hard time thinking of anything more grave than that. 

And so I think the first thing I would like to see is our commander in chief speaking clearly about that. I don’t care whether it’s Trump or Biden or anyone else. He’s the—under our Constitution, article II of our Constitution, he is the commander in chief and we have a foreign power deliberately trying to kill our troops. I would like to hear the commander in chief speak with clarity. 

Did he get briefed? Did he not get briefed? Was it in the PDB? What are you doing right now? Not only what are you doing, what are you saying? And I think the president’s speaking clearly that this is unacceptable, knock it off now is the first step.

Or how about just a warning to Putin that this better not happen. So, I’d love to start there. If it continues, then I think you have—I’m sure the inner agency can produce a range of actions that we could take. 

I would recommend that we start with the presidential statement and then we can go on from there and calibrate up further and further. And you may get to the point in this world where we live in, sadly, we may have to start taking asymmetrical action against Russian forces if Moscow continues to do this. 

EICHER: You say I want to hear the president say at least hey, this better not be true. Is it important that we hear it? Or is it important that Putin hear it? Or does it have to be both?

BOWMAN: You know, one thing I learned in my nine years of working in the U.S. Senate is that you can never have just one audience. That’s why I’m sympathetic to people who testify before Congress or public leaders who, every time they speak, they’re speaking—all kinds of groups are hearing them. Our enemies are hearing them. Our rivals, our competitors, our allies. Congress is hearing them. Voters are hearing them. There’s all different kinds of audiences. 

And I think each of those audiences in some way need to hear their president on this. I think our adversaries hear it so they knock it off, to the degree that they’re doing it or if they’re contemplating it, they need to know that there will be consequences. 

I think those American citizens who have their sons, daughters, husbands, wives in the U.S. military want to hear their commander in chief say, you know what, I’m going to do what’s necessary to protect your loved one. So almost every audience group that I listed there I think it would be good to hear unambiguously from our commander in chief on this. 

EICHER: Russia has as much history in Afghanistan as the United States does. What do you think is Putin’s goal now?

BOWMAN: It’s a good question. There’s a lot of people that spend most of their professional lives trying to figure out Putin’s motives, which are sometimes notoriously opaque. My assessment is first and foremost that Putin looks for every opportunity to counter and undermine the United States. He resents the American victory in the Cold War. He regrets the fall of the Soviet Union. He views that as a great disaster, catastrophe. I think he wants to establish kind of an 18th or 19th century neo-imperialist or czarist sphere of influence where he bullies and controls his neighbors. And so I think he and his operatives look for every opportunity to undermine, hurt, and counter the U.S. So that makes me a little bit inclined to think that they could do something like this. But at the same time, Russia also has serious concerns about Islamist terrorism and the last thing they want, I would assume, is a return of the Taliban to power that creates a safe haven for international terrorism that can target a variety of countries and cities, including those in Russia. So, there’s a mix of potential motives there, but I put at the top of that list any opportunity to hurt the United States. 

EICHER: Bradley Bowman is a former U.S. Army officer who also spent nearly a decade advising Republicans in the Senate on security and national defense. He’s now with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Thank you, first, for your service, and, second, for your time this morning.

BOWMAN: Thank you very much. I enjoyed it. Thank you.


MEGAN BASHAM: Coming up next on The World and Everything in It: World Tour with Africa reporter Onize Ohikere.

ONIZE OHIKERE, REPORTER: Flooding devastates Japan–We start today in Asia.

AUDIO: [Sound of sloshing footsteps]

Rescue workers in southwest Japan are racing to save people stranded by record flooding over the weekend. The rains started Saturday and are expected to continue through this week.

More than 50 people have died so far, including 14 wheelchair-bound residents in a nursing home. Swollen rivers swept away bridges, forcing rescuers to use boats and helicopters to ferry people out of isolated villages.

U.S. sends aircraft carriers to South China Sea—Next to the South China Sea.

Two U.S. aircraft carriers sailed near the disputed Paracel Island over the weekend. China, Vietnam, and Taiwan all claim a right to the islands. It is the first time in six years the U.S. Navy has sent ships to the area.

AUDIO: [Man speaking Mandarin]

The U.S. show of force follows similar exercises by China’s military. A spokesman for the Chinese foreign ministry defended his country’s action in areas it claims as its sovereign territory.

But the Pentagon warned the United States would continue to defend what it considers international waters.

Iran confirms damage at nuclear site—Next we go to the Middle East.

AUDIO: [Man speaking farsi]

Iranian officials admitted on Sunday that a fire at the country’s Natanz nuclear facility last week caused “significant” damage. Natanz is Iran’s largest uranium enrichment site.

Officials say they have identified the cause of the fire but do not plan to make it public for security reasons. But analysts have speculated sabotage may be involved. The fire was one of several unusual incidents that have taken place across Iran in recent weeks, including explosions near a military base and at a power plant.

Israeli officials have downplayed suggestions they ordered the attacks.

Handover of power in Malawi—Next we go to Africa.

AUDIO: [Band playing]

Malawi inaugurated a new president on Monday after a court-ordered second election. Lazarus Chakwera lost the first election to incumbent President Peter Mutharika last year. But a court threw out the result, citing “widespread and systematic” irregularities.

Chakwera won the second election with 58 percent of the vote. It was the first time in African history that a challenger claimed victory over an incumbent in a re-run election.

During his inauguration speech, Chakwera vowed to fight corruption and end the country’s dependence on foreign aid.

CHAKWERA: So long as I am president I will insist that no new Malawi must be built except that which is built by Malawians. That’s us.

Ballet in Nigeria—And finally, we end today here in Nigeria.

AUDIO: [Sounds from dance class]

Dancer Daniel Ajala has opened a ballet studio in Lagos to teach poor children to dance.

Olamide Olawole is one of his 12 students.

OLAWOLE: My dream is to make children around the world to be able to share the same dance experience. The ones that are interested in learning dance, I want them to be able to express their feelings through dance. And maybe one day I will become a dance teacher too, and I’ll be able to teach children how to dance.

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


NICK EICHER: The founder of Tesla and Space X—the irrepressible Elon Musk found a creative way to poke fun at his doubters.

Some vocal investors have long maintained that his company’s stock is overpriced. And to make good on the belief, many of them have shorted Tesla stock. This is a highly sophisticated maneuver that is basically a bet that the stock will lose value and the short-seller profits when it does. 

Should say, if it does. If it doesn’t, you lose your shorts, so to speak.

But this week, Tesla’s market cap surpassed that of Toyota. So to celebrate, Musk decided to razz those who dared to short Tesla stock and he did it by selling shorts. Literally.

On Tesla’s accessories page, the company listed “Tesla short shorts” and offered them for about $70 a pair.

And the response was so overwhelming, it crashed the website perhaps to make the point that even Elon Musk had undervalued them!

For his part, Musk says he plans to send a few pair to the SEC—as he put it—“the Shortseller Enrichment Commission to comfort them in these difficult times.”

It’s The World and Everything in It.


NICK EICHER: Today is Wednesday, July 8th. Thank you for turning to WORLD Radio to help start your day. Good morning. I’m Nick Eicher.

MEGAN BASHAM: And I’m Megan Basham. Coming next on The World and Everything in It: A family enterprise. 

Many family-owned and operated restaurants took a hard hit during the coronavirus closedown. According to the National Restaurant Association, spending at our favorite eateries fell to the lowest level in 35 years.

WORLD correspondent Kim Henderson takes us now to meet some restaurateurs who are depending on their family traditions to find a way forward.

AUDIO: [BUSY RESTAURANT]

KIM HENDERSON, CORRESPONDENT: The Family Fish House is like a thousand other eateries found along country highways criss-crossing the South. A road sign beckons with a catfish image and promises of “all you can eat.” There’s a big gravel parking lot that fills up on Friday nights. Inside, framed bass and a full-mount bobcat round out the rustic decor.   

AUDIO: [CUSTOMERS PLACING ORDER]

Customers line benches beside long, naturally distressed wood tables. Ceiling fans whir above the heads of kids wearing ball caps and families talking rodeo. 

But the thing that sets this fish house apart is the staff. Everyone here is related to the Granger Family, from the short order cook to the matriarch manning the cash register.

Waitress Britney Guillory was 8 years old when her grandparents opened for business in 19-95.

GUILLORY: We named it the Family Fish House not only because all family works here, but the environment that we wanted to have is everybody that comes in is part of the family. 

And the place has that sort of feel. It’s a community meeting spot, and customers like 84-year-old Doyle Byrd really missed coming during the pandemic. 

BYRD: I’ve been waiting two months. I had a whetted appetite. I was ready to eat.

Command central at Family Fish House is a four-foot counter in the middle of the building. Its worn formica juts out from the kitchen into an area where waitresses like 18-year-old Julia Rose Ferguson fill orders.  

JULIA ROSE: I am waiting on a 3-piece fillet and a 3-piece whole…

In the kitchen, things are hopping. Or, rather, frying. Catfish from the Delta. Oysters from Louisiana. French fries and hushpuppies, too. In a foodie culture that thrives on the avant garde, fish houses stand apart. They bank on a predictable menu of consistent favorites. 

Ferguson’s cousin, Justin Curtis, says it’s really hot in the kitchen, but he manages. 

CURTIS: You stay so busy you stay psyched—makes the night go fast. 

Before COVID’s half-occupancy rules took effect, they could serve as many as 300 a night, according to co-owner and great-grandmother Shirley Granger. Every week she helps grate three sacks of cabbage for slaw, mix hushpuppies, cook turnip greens, and make tea.  

GRANGER: I mean, everything’s like it’s in somebody’s kitchen. We don’t order this pre-cooked stuff. We do it ourselves, like old grandmas.

They also cut their own grass and clean the building every night after closing. It’s hard work built on an unlikely foundation: the death of a Granger daughter.   

GRANGER: Jeanette’s dream was she’d open a fish house. Her twin sister Lynette, she and I talked about it and we decided we would carry her dream out. And here we are, 25 years later. 

Lynette is now a co-owner. She runs the kitchen. And buys a lot of fish.

LYNETTE: We probably do from 250-275 pounds in three nights, and that’s rolling. 

Naysayers cautioned the Granger crew about their plan to employ relatives.

GRANGER: My sister was one of them. She said, “Y’all will never, never make it, because family cannot work together.” I said, “Well, we’ll see.” 

Granger’s great-granddaughter, Gracie, is 13. 

AUDIO: [SOUND OF CLEARING THE TABLE]

She can clear a table in under 2 minutes. She has a tidy push cart with black plastic bins, and she has plans for her paycheck.  

GRACIE: Well, we’re going on vacation. And I want a car, so I’m starting to save for that, too.

At a nearby table, Waitress Julia Rose is balancing a full tray in her left arm and a plate of crab legs with her right. Serving is physical work. She and her mom, Teresa, waitress together. They also shop for shoes together. 

FERGUSON: We will probably try on 10 pairs to see  if that’s the right one that’s going to get us through. You know, we don’t just say, “Oh, those are cute.” We go for comfort and what’s going to hold up on this concrete floor. 

Julia Rose says her mom also gave her important advice about stamina of a different sort. 

JULIA ROSE: How to be nice when it’s hard to be. You’ve got to be nice, even when they’re not nice to you.

And it’s not just customers. Teresa says they have to focus on maintaining right relationships within their family, too.  

FERGUSON: Everything kind of gets chaotic, anything that happens here is left here. When we walk out of here, this was business. That’s still our family when we locked that back door and it’s the end of it. You know? 

The restaurant’s viability was important to the family patriarch James Granger. He died just as they were hitting their stride.  

FERGUSON: It was hard, but we knew he wanted us to keep these doors open and keep going…

Shirley Granger credits her husband’s early business decisions with the restaurant’s staying power. One decision in particular. 

GRANGER: Some of us would go to church on Sundays, and some would open the restaurant and run it. My husband said, “You know, this is not right.” So we just went home and prayed about it, and we decided that we were going to close on Sundays. It’s paid off. 

Ever since, the Granger bunch has spent Sunday afternoons at her house, where they don’t serve fish for lunch. 

AUDIO: [SOUND OF ORDER PICKUP]

Because of the pandemic, the 25th anniversary of the fish house in May went without celebration. But Ferguson says June’s reopening was amazing.

TERESA: That was the best feeling. Even at 50 percent capacity, we’d take it. We wanted our people back… 

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Kim Henderson in Hazlehurst, Mississippi.


MEGAN BASHAM: Today is Wednesday, July 8th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Megan Basham.

NICK EICHER: And I’m Megan Basham. Next up, WORLD commentator Janie B. Cheaney contemplates a long line of fallen dictators.

JANIE B. CHEANEY: Does anyone remember the death of Kim Jong-un, Communist dictator of North Korea? As reported by respectable news outlets, Kim had not appeared at the obligatory celebration of his grandfather’s birthday in April. 

It’s also well known that the self-indulgent scion is morbidly obese and not healthy. Rumor had it that the surgeon who installed a stent in Kim’s heart was so nervous his hand shook and botched the operation.

Huge, if true, but apparently it wasn’t. The “alive and well” leader showed up to open a fertilizer plant in May, dutifully cheered by his subjects. But whatever his current organic condition, Kim’s days are numbered, as are Xi Jinping’s and Nicolas Maduro’s. 

All will make their final exit relatively soon. No matter how evil a despot, death will come and it won’t be photogenic.

In a ranking of ignominious deaths, that of Herod Agrippa the First must be right up there with Jezebel’s toss from the tower. The grandson of Herod the Great had been raised in Rome with future emperors, who would grant him pieces of his grandfather’s Judean territory. Eager to curry favor with the Jewish establishment, Herod executed James the Apostle and planned to make a showy end of Simon Peter as well. 

But Peter miraculously escaped, leaving Herod to twirl his villainous mustache and vow to get him later—after settling affairs with envoys from Tyre and Sidon. 

In shining robes, he delivered a speech that prompted his audience to shout: “It’s the voice of a god, and not a man!” As Herod strutted off the platform, according to Acts chapter 12, an angel struck him down for failing to give God the glory. Quote, “and he was eaten by worms and breathed his last.”

Dictators never learn. In The Death of Stalin, a very black comedy about Soviet-style succession, the old tyrant suffers a stroke at his rural dacha. Discovered on the floor hours later, soaked in his own urine, he is struck dumb as high-ranking toadies argue over protocol. The man who oversaw the death of millions dies within earshot of squabbling sycophants.

Hitler consumed in a burning bunker, Mussolini strung up by a mob, Saddam Hussein dragged out of a hole. Death stalks the evil and the good; wrestling from them their legacies and reputations.

According to Proverbs, “No one is established by wickedness, but the root of the righteous will never be moved.” It was God’s mercy to keep us from the tree of life and limit our days to four score and 10; otherwise unbounded evil would have canceled humanity long ago. 

Still, wickedness establishes no one. Like dry reeds, bloody dictators and petty tyrants will be plucked up and tossed to the flames. Their end does not trivialize the damage they can do while living, but victims rooted in righteousness will see their hope rewarded. 

I’m Janie B. Cheaney.


NICK EICHER: Tomorrow: Pandemic shutdowns are keeping readers out of bookstores. We’ll tell you how that is changing the way Americans read.

And, we’ll get an update on the situation in Hong Kong from WORLD’s East Asia reporter, June Cheng.

That and more tomorrow. 

I’m Nick Eicher.

MEGAN BASHAM: And I’m Megan Basham.

The World and Everything in It comes to you from WORLD Radio.

WORLD’s mission is biblically objective journalism that informs, educates, and inspires.

1 Peter tells us Jesus bore our sins in His body on the tree that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By His wounds we have been healed.

I hope you’ll have a great rest of the day. We’ll talk to you tomorrow!


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.

Like this story?

To hear a lot more like it, subscribe to The World and Everything in It via iTunes, Overcast, Stitcher, or Pocket Casts.

iTunes

Free

Overcast

Free

Stitcher

Free

Pocket Casts

(Requires a fee)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.