Nigeria’s newly elected President Muhammadu Buhari said his country has “embraced democracy” with the first peaceful handover of power since the end of military rule in 1999.
Mr. Buhari spoke Wednesday in Abuja, just hours after the electoral commission declared him the winner of Saturday’s election. He defeated President Goodluck Jonathan by more than two million votes.
President Jonathan called for peace, saying “the unity, stability and progress of our dear country is more important than anything else.”
Mr. Buhari added that his new government will “spare no effort” to defeat the insurgent Boko Haram.
Official: Iraq within hours of reclaiming Tikrit
Iraqi forces battling Islamic State militants for control of Tikrit are close to retaking the city. The militant group has controlled the city since last June.
A government official in Tikrit told VOA that he expects Iraqi forces to completely retake the city "within hours." He said the U.S.-led coalition airstrikes are still occurring in Tikrit.
The battle for Tikrit is an important step for Iraqi troops to move on the city of Mosul. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who is in Tikrit, congratulated Iraqi forces on what he called a "historic milestone."
CEOs of Germanwings and Lufthansa visit crash site
The chief executive of German airline Lufthansa says it will take a "long, long time" to find out exactly what led a co-pilot to crash a jetliner into the French Alps. The crash killed all 150 people aboard the flight.
Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr paid his respects to the victims Wednesday at the site of the Germanwings crash in southeastern France. Thomas Winkelmann, the chief executive of Germanwings, the budget airline owned by Lufthansa, joined him. The two men laid flowers at the crash site to honor the victims.
Mr. Spohr ignored many questions from reporters about why the airline allowed 27-year-old Andreas Lubitz to fly. The co-pilot reportedly told the airline in 2009 that he had had a “serious depressive episode.”
World’s oldest person dies
The world's oldest person, a Japanese woman, died Wednesday. Misao Okawa was 117 years old. She died of heart failure at a nursing home in Osaka, Japan.
A 116-year-old American woman, Gertrude Weaver of Arkansas, is now the world's oldest person, according to the Gerontology Research Group. The Los Angeles-based group keeps records of the world’s oldest people. Ms. Weaver was born on July 4, 1898.
Words in the News
embrace – v. to accept (something or someone) readily or gladly
milestone – n. an important point in the progress or development of something
ignore – v. to refuse to show that you hear or see (something or someone)
episode – n. an occurrence of an illness