World Tour – Boko Haram abduction, and an execution in Iran

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

ONIZE OHIKERE, REPORTER: Terrorists kidnap hundreds of students in Nigeria—We start today here in Africa.

AUDIO: [Sounds of children, people talking]

Boko Haram militants kidnapped more than 300 students from a school in Nigeria last week.

Attackers on motorcycles ambushed the all-boys school in Kankara on Friday. They carried AK-47 rifles, demanded money from the students and ransacked lockers. Some of the boys heard gunshots and jumped out of the school’s windows to avoid the kidnappers. Others escaped and made their way home over the weekend.

On Tuesday, a Boko Haram spokesman claimed responsibility for the attack. He said the terror group wants to stop Western education in Nigeria. A government official said the kidnappers would likely demand a ransom.

Farmers protest in India—Next, we go to Asia.

AUDIO: [Chanting at rally]

Farmers in India are protesting a set of new laws they say will drive down crop prices. Tens of thousands of farmers have camped along major highways around the capital, New Delhi, for the last three weeks. On Monday, they called for a national strike to demand action.

Nearly 60 percent of India’s population works in the agriculture industry. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government claims the reforms will help farmers by encouraging private investment. But the farmers fear crop prices will plummet if the government stops buying grain at minimum guaranteed prices.

Meanwhile, doctors in southern India are still trying to find the cause of a mysterious illness that suddenly sickened hundreds of people and left one man dead. Patients had trace amounts of nickel and lead in their blood, but doctors aren’t sure whether that caused the symptoms.

Iran executes journalist—Next, we go to the Middle East.


Iran executed journalist Rouhallah Zam on Saturday morning. He was found guilty of, quote—“corruption on earth.” The charge does not specify a crime, but Iranian officials sometimes use it to accuse dissidents of trying to overthrow the government.

Zam ran an online news site and frequently criticized the Iranian government. Tehran accused him of inciting violence during the anti-government protests of 2017 and 2018.

Iran has imprisoned or executed almost 900 journalists in the past 40 years, according to Reporters Without Borders.

Holocaust survivors honored on first night of Hanukkah—Finally, we end today on the internet.

AUDIO: [Hanukkah… Speaking German]

Holocaust survivors around the world marked the start of Hanukkah last Thursday with an online event. The livestream included speeches by survivors, musical performances, and the lighting of the menorah at the Western Wall in Jerusalem.

AUDIO: Candles tell a story. They tell a story of survival and a story of the future. Who are our candles? It is you the survivors, you who can share with us the message of the past and the promise of the future.

The Jewish Claims Conference organizes the event every year to pay tribute to those who died in Nazi camps, and raise awareness of anti-Semitism. This year they held a virtual event due to the pandemic.

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

(AP Photo/Manish Swarup) Protesting farmer leaders shout slogans as they sit on a day long hunger strike at the Delhi- Haryana border, outskirts of New Delhi, Monday, Dec.14, 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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