The Daily Fix: Nigeria’s President Cancels Visit to Village of Abducted Girls, Iran Nuke Talks Backfire, and Portland Divests From Walmart
Imagine how devastated and scared Americans might have felt if President George W. Bush had canceled plans to visit the World Trade Center site and never stood on that rubble heap to yell through a bullhorn that he would fight for justice.
Nigeria is experiencing one of its most pivotal, most globally resonant moments of terrorism—Islamist radicals kidnapped hundreds of schoolgirls a month ago—and President Goodluck Jonathan just announced that he won’t go to the town where it happened on Friday as planned. Why? Because of security concerns.
The village of Chibok is in Boko Haram territory, Nigerian officials told The New York Times, and to get there, Jonathan would have to travel a road largely controlled by the radicals. It’s a highway that’s been difficult to travel for a very long time: The roadside is marred with burned schools and abandoned houses, a result of earlier Boko Haram attacks.
For an entire month, Nigerian parents have marched in the streets and begged Jonathan to respond to the terror group. The global community has rained support on the nation, sending its finest drones and experts to hunt the perpetrators. Yet the symbolic gesture and the public pledge to make Chibok whole again and fight for its daughters isn’t happening.
There is a part of Nigeria so dangerous that even the country’s own president fears setting foot there.
In other news...
- The World’s Biggest Democracy Votes: A Hindu-nationalist, pro-business leader looks to be leading in India’s national elections Friday, as Narendra Modi pulls ahead in polls. His party, Bharatiya Janata, also won or led in races for 280 of the 545 seats in the lower Parliament. (via The Wall Street Journal)
- Baba Wawa Says Bye-Bye: Broadcast legend Barbara Walters, 88, made her final appearance on The View in an episode that aired Friday. From the Kardashians to the Shah of Iran, from Fidel Castro to Bashar al-Assad, Walters was known for landing big-name interviews over the decades and for being one of the first women to vie for an anchor slot. (via New York Daily News)
- Portland Divests From Walmart: City Council officials in Oregon have voted to divest Portland’s investments from retail giant Walmart in an attempt to follow through on the socially responsible investment principles they adopted last year. (via Portland Business Journal)
- Bloodstained Post: Congressman Ron Barber, who succeeded Gabrielle Giffords in Congress, says the trauma of the gun violence that marred the position in 2011 and nearly killed Giffords has dimmed, but he’s fighting to keep her legacy alive. (via Politico)
- The Real Benghazi Problem: While American leaders bicker over the handling of a deadly embassy breach in Libya, fighting has broken out—the heaviest since the start of the Arab Spring. (via The Guardian)
- Nuclear Setbacks: Talks in Vienna between six world powers and Iran have ended with major setbacks to the effort to constrain Tehran’s nuclear program. Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi told press Friday that the differences in stances were too great to begin drafting an agreement. (via The Associated Press)
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