The world news daily digest from Guardian Liberty Voice for August 21, 2014 covers stories around the globe. Months after military coup, Thailand’s junta leader has been named Prime Minister of the nation. Following the release of a brutal execution video of an American journalist, James Foley, United States continued its airstrikes on Iraq. With various sanctions in place, Russia has shut down four McDonald’s locations in Moscow, after the restaurants allegedly breached numerous sanitary laws.
Thailand Coup Leader Declared Prime Minister
After months of political deadlock, the junta leader of Thailand, Prayuth Chan-ocha, has been named the new prime minister of the nation. General Prayuth was nominated on Thursday in a legislature hand-picked by the junta. The legislature is made up of the Thailand’s top police and military figures, raising the question of General Prayuth’s legitimacy as a Prime Minister. He was the only candidate running for the position, and the vote lasted 15 minutes as 197 members of the National Assembly cast their votes.
General Prayuth was the head of the army when he led the nation to a coup in May. When Thailand’s previous government was ousted, the country broke into clashes and protests. One of the most notable protests by Thai citizens involved the reading of books in public spaces. George Orwell’s 1984 was among some of the favourites. Thailand’s king, Bhumibol Adulyadej, is expected to approve assembly’s choice sometime this week.
United States Airstrikes Continue in Iraq
Despite the release of the graphic video by the Islamic State militant group showing the beheading of a United States journalist, and threatening the life of another, the U.S. military continued to conduct airstrikes in northern Iraq. With a dozen airstrikes launched since Tuesday, concerns are growing for the safety of the second journalist held captive by the extremists. The Obama Administration is now faced with a difficult decision, forced to adopt an aggressive policy to fight the Islamic State militants without risking the life of the second journalist, Steven Sotloff.
James Foley, who was 40 years old, went missing in November of 2012 after his truck was stopped by militants in Syria. He had not been heard from since, however, the militants have asked for ransom for the journalist in the past. Moments before his execution, Foley is forced by his captor to criticize the United States government and military and calls on officials to cease the airstrikes. The video has been condemned by many of the world’s top diplomats.
Russia Shuts Down Four McDonald’s in Moscow
As the tension rises between Russia and the West, Russia’s consumer watchdog, Rospotrbnadzor, has temporarily closed four McDonald’s restaurants in Moscow as a part of an investigation. According to the watchdog, the fast food chain restaurants have breached food standards and broke multiple sanitary laws. Other McDonald’s locations across Russia will also be investigated, with potential for more closures to come in the following days. An official spokesperson for McDonald’s released a statement, saying that the company was looking into the investigation.
McDonald’s first appearance in Russia was 24 years ago, and over the years 300 other locations opened across the country. The closure of McDonald’s is expected to affect numerous companies in Russia who provide the fast food restaurant with produce necessary to make the Happy Meals. Earlier this month, Russia imposed sanctions on food imports from the Europe and North America as a response to sanctions over Ukraine.
World Commentary by Ivelina Kunina
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