World Tour – Japan’s new leader, and peace with Israel

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

ONIZE OHIKERE, REPORTER: DRC mine flood, collapse—We start today here in Africa.

AUDIO: [DRC mine collapse recovery]

More than 50 people died after a gold mine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo flooded on Friday.

Heavy rains drenched the area, and a nearby river overflowed. The floodwaters filled the mine’s tunnels with a strong current, and the rain triggered landslides that caused the mine to collapse. Rescue crews dug through the mud in a futile search for survivors.

The DRC has huge reserves of gold, copper, and other valuable minerals. Accidents in rural mines are common due to poor safety standards and dangerous working conditions.

Nepal landslide—Heavy rain is also causing problems in Asia.

AUDIO: [Nepal landslide reaction]

Monsoon rains have pounded Nepal over the past month. They caused a foothill to collapse, triggering landslides that swept through three villages on Sunday. The landslides killed at least 11 people and injured five. Twenty others are still missing. The mud swept away trees and buried homes up to the roofline, leaving behind swaths of tumbled boulders and chunks of concrete.

The villages are located near Nepal’s border with China. The region has suffered multiple landslides this year. A local mayor says a 2015 earthquake may have weakened the area, leaving it more vulnerable to landslides.

Japan prime minister—Next, we go to Japan.


Yoshihide Suga is set to become the country’s next prime minister. Japan’s governing party elected Suga as its new leader after current Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced his resignation last month. Suga previously served as Abe’s chief cabinet secretary.

The Japanese parliament will vote on the new prime minister today. Because Abe and Suga’s political party holds a majority, Suga is almost certain to win the vote. He has promised to maintain Abe’s economic approach and foreign policy strategies. That includes prioritizing trade with the United States while keeping a good relationship with China.

Ancient dates revived—And finally, we end today in Israel.

Scientists have brought a handful of 2,000-year-old date seeds back to life. After discovering the Judean date seeds at an archaeological site, scientists soaked them in water, planted them, and watched them sprout. After years of cultivation, the date palms finally produced fruit. The scientists harvested the dates just last week.

ISRAELI SCIENTIST: Historically, of course, it’s fascinating to wake something up that’s been asleep that long.

The Judean date was extolled in ancient writings for its delicious flavor and medicinal value. It reportedly died out around 500 A.D.

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

(AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko) Former Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga walks at the prime minister’s office after a cabinet meeting Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020, in Tokyo. 

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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