The world news daily digest from Guardian Liberty Voice for August 8, 2014 covers the United States involvement in the Iraq conflict, the potential of a new world war as tension increases in Europe, and the jailing of a Romanian media mogul.
United States Launches Air Strikes on Islamic State Militants in Iraq
The United States has launched an air strike on Friday against the Sunni militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group in northern Iraq. The Pentagon confirmed that its aircraft had attacked the artillery which was used against the Kurdish forces who were defending the city of Irbil. Just two days ago, ISIS has gained control over the largest dam in Iraq. The dam is a key source of water and electricity for much of the Iraqi population.
As United States armed drones and fighter jets attacked targets in Iraq for the first time since the American troop withdrawal in 2011, the initial targets were small, however, further attacks are expected in the coming days. The Obama administration pledged to continue limited involvement, yet will consider intensifying the air offensive if ISIS militants continue to attack the Kurdish forces. The Sunni extremists were accused of attempting to commit genocide as they try to strengthen their self-proclaimed caliphate.
World War Brewing as Conflict Intensifies in Europe
As both sides introduce new sanctions against one another, the months of tension are slowly coming to a boiling point. The Western countries such as Canada and the United States have begun to consider the involvement of their military in the conflict under the pretense of training purposes, meanwhile Russia has called up its military reserve, seemingly readying itself for an upcoming war. So far, the only fighting that has gone on, is the fighting between the Ukrainian military and the Ukrainian revolutionaries, better known as the pro-Russian rebels. The conflict is delicate, always a step away from a full on war between several world powers.
Russia has recently signed treaties with its current allies, Belarus and Kazakhstan, and is seeking to sign treaties with Kyrgyzstan and Armenia. By placing sanctions on food and fruits from European and Western countries, Russia improved its relationship with Asian countries, and will now increase their purchase of fruit from China, Turkey and East Asian nations. In the past month, Russian president Vladimir Putin has visited Latin American countries such as Cuba, Argentina, Brazil and Nicaragua where he had signed a nuclear deal with Argentina and met with the 87-year-old Fidel Castro, who was the Cold War ally of the former Soviet Union. Meanwhile, United States representatives are also making rounds around the world. On Friday, the United States Secretary of Defense traveled to India with intent to improve the U.S.-India relations. India is currently one of the largest supporters of Russia.
As the economic war between Russia and the Western world deepens, the chances of another world war increase.
Romanian Media Mogul in Prison for Fraud
On Friday the Romanian court has sentenced Dan Voiculescu, a media mogul, to 10 years in prison for fraudulently privatizing an agricultural institute and money laundering. Voiculescu was sentenced for using his political influence to buy the Food Research Institute for a small fraction of its estimated value. Voiculescu paid $135,000 for the purchase of the institute, however it was estimated to be worth roughly $10.3 million. Along with the prison sentence, the Bucharest Appeals Court also ordered confiscation of television studios, land which belongs to Voiculescu owned Antena media group, and property in order to cover damages. Voiculescu’s family was ordered to pay $1.75 million in restitution fees.
The 67-year-old was a former senator in the Romanian government. He is well-known for his criticism of the Romanian president Traian Basescu. and Dan Voiculescu has claimed that this case was politically motivated. According to Romanian law, prisoners over 60 are eligible for release after serving a third of their prison sentence.
World Commentary by Ivelina Kunina
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