Sound journalism, grounded in facts and Biblical truth | Donate

World Tour: Chilean wildfires


WORLD Radio - World Tour: Chilean wildfires

Plus: Danish protests, and a national security trial in Hong Kong

A firefighter runs to fight flames caused by wildfires in Santa Juana, Chile, Monday, Feb. 6, 2023 Associated Press Photo/Matias Delacroix

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

ONIZE OHIKERE, REPORTER: Mali — We begin today’s roundup in Mali, where the ruling junta has expelled the country’s UN human rights chief.

Malian rights activist Aminata Cheick Dicko criticized the junta’s handling of the country’s security at a U.N. gathering last month. Dicko also accused the junta’s new Russian military partners of serious rights violations.

AUDIO: [Announcement]

A national television anchor saying here that the military accused the UN human rights official of subversive actions.

The junta has repeatedly blocked the UN forces’ attempt to investigate reports of abuse leveled against the armed forces.

Chile wildfires — Next, to Chile.

AUDIO: [Firefighters working]

Authorities there have extended a state of emergency as hundreds of wildfires plague the southern region.

Strong winds and temperatures above 104 degrees Fahrenheit fanned the flames. The fires have destroyed more than 800 homes.

Authorities say at least 1,000 people have been injured and at least 26 died. They include a firefighter. Chilean President Gabriel Boric attended the wake of a firefighter in the town of Coronel.

BORIC: [Chilean]

He told people in the town that the whole nation mourned with them.

Authorities have deployed 2,300 firefighters and 75 aircraft to the region.

Denmark protest— We head over to Denmark, where the government’s plan to scrap a public religious holiday has faced backlash.

AUDIO: [Speakers at protest]

Thousands of Danes held up signs and waved flags outside the parliament in central Copenhagen over the weekend. They are protesting the government’s plan to abolish the Great Prayer Day.

The holiday originated in the 17th century initially as a day of fasting, prayer, and penitence. It is now a common date for confirmations.

The government wants to cancel the Great Prayer Day to raise extra funds for its defense budget, citing pressure from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Scrapping it would save the state $440 million.

AUDIO: [Cheering]

The proposal has drawn strong opposition from unions, organizations representing military employees, and the Lutheran Church.

Johannes Gregers Jensen is the dean of the Lutheran Church of Denmark in Copenhagen.

JENSEN: We have in Denmark a long tradition that some of the things who has to do with the Church is decided by the people in the Church and the government shouldn't put their finger into that.

Opponents of the plan have also called for a referendum on the matter.

Hong Kong trial — We wrap up today in Hong Kong.

AUDIO: [Protesters]

The semi-autonomous region this week started its largest national security trial.

Forty-seven pro-democracy figures are facing subversion charges over their involvement in an unofficial primary election in July 2020.

Authorities have detained most of them for nearly two years. They face a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted.

AUDIO: [Speaking]

This woman says the defendants include her friends, and she will pray for them.

The trial is expected to last 90 days.

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

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.


Please wait while we load the latest comments...