World Tour – Kidnapping in Nigeria, and sandy smog in China

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

ONIZE OHIKERE, REPORTER: School kidnapping in NigeriaWe start today here in Africa. 

AUDIO: [Sound of students]

Armed men attacked another school in Nigeria on Thursday, kidnapping 39 students. 

A video released over the weekend showed the students huddled together as their captors hit them with sticks. 

It’s the third large-scale attack on a Nigerian school since the start of the year. 

Last month, a group of men kidnapped almost 300 girls at gunpoint before releasing them days later.

Kidnapping for ransom is a big problem in parts of Nigeria. Attackers target schools and students of all ages. And state governors regularly pay ransoms in exchange for victims’ safety.

China sandstorm smog—Next, we go to Asia.

AUDIO: [Beijing street/wind]

Beijing is choking on thick smog after a massive sandstorm hit the city. It’s the biggest storm in nearly a decade. Drivers had to turn on their headlights in the middle of the day as the sandstorm clouded the city in a yellow haze. 

The storm also forced schools to close and flights to be cancelled.

AUDIO: [Speaking Mandarin] “I feel every breath of air will give me lung problems.”

Residents said the orange haze looks like the end of the world. One woman said she felt like every breath would give her lung problems.

The air in Beijing was already thick with pollution. When the sandstorm hit, the air quality dropped to hazardous levels. Health officials urged residents to stay indoors.

UK police break up vigil, protest—Next, we go to Europe. 

AUDIO: [Vigil]

Thousands of people held a vigil this weekend for Sarah Everard, a young woman killed in London while walking home from a friend’s house. But not long after the crowds gathered, things turned ugly.

AUDIO: [Vigil yelling]

Police officers said the crowd was violating coronavirus restrictions and tried to break it up. Several women began yelling and shoving the officers, who then arrested and handcuffed several women.

That touched off massive protests across the country and sparked a national debate about whether the government can restrict protests in the name of public health.

Women are also demanding more protection from street violence and harassment.

AUDIO: To feel safe walking down the street, not to have to second guess, ‘Should I be going down this street or shouldn’t I?’ I don’t want that for my kids.

In the wake of Sarah Everard’s death, the government has promised to fund more street lights and security cameras to increase womens’ safety.

France returns Klimt—Finally, we end today in France. 

AUDIO: [Speaking French]

The French government is returning a painting to its rightful owners, more than 80 years after it was stolen. Nora Stiasny was a Jewish Holocaust victim forced to give up the painting in 1938. After World War Two, many paintings stolen by the Nazis ended up in art museums all over Europe. 

This painting is by Gustav Klimt, an Austrian symbolist painter. It dates back to 1905 and is titled “Rosebushes under the Trees.” It has been hanging in a Paris art museum for decades…and officials just discovered its history. The museum will return the painting to Nora Stiasny’s family members.

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

(AP Photo/Andy Wong) A cyclist and motorists move past office buildings amid a sandstorm during the morning rush hour in the central business district in Beijing, Monday, March 15, 2021. 

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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