The world news daily digest update from Guardian Liberty Voice for July 21, 2014 covers news from the United Kingdom, where the government has announced that there will be a public inquiry into the death of Alexander Litvinenko, a former KGB spy who was poisoned with polonium in 2006. Meanwhile United States sends $47 million in humanitarian aid to the besieged Gaza Strip and Joko Widodo celebrates his win in the Indonesia presidential election.
United Kingdom Announced Inquiry Into Death of Alexander Litvinenko
In November, 2006, Alexander Litvinenko was having tea with his former colleagues, ex-KGB agents Dimtri Kovtun and Andrei Lugovoi, in a London hotel. Several days later, Litvinenko was admitted to the hospital where he passed away 22 days later from an apparent radiation poisoning. Since then, his widowed wife, Marina Litvinenko, has been pushing for a public inquiry into his death. However, the British government refused to carry out a public inquiry into the death of Litvinenko, who at the time was believed to be an agent for the United Kingdom’s secret intelligence service, commonly known as MI6.
The goal of the inquiry is to establish how Alexander Litvinenko died and where the responsibility for his death might lay. It is believed that the Russian state was behind the death of the 43-year-old spy, and ordered the ex-KGB agents to poison Litvinenko with polonium. Lawyers for Marina Litvinenko suggest that the British government was concerned with maintaining positive relations with Russia. Since the development of recent events in Ukraine, relations between Russia and the United Kingdom have been disintegrating.
United States Sends $47 Million in Humanitarian Aid to the Gaza Strip
The United States will be sending $47 million in humanitarian aid to Gaza Strip in order provide help to the thousands of Palestinians who have been forced out of their homes since war broke out two weeks ago. According to a state department breakdown of the humanitarian aid, $15 million will go to the United Nations’ refugee mission in Gaza. The United States Secretary of State John Kerry was expected to discuss the aid with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon during a late Monday meeting in Cairo. Kerry arrived in the Egyptian capital on Sunday in order to push for truce between the state of Israel and the terrorist organization Hamas that currently controls Gaza.
Since the beginning of the fighting more than 560 Palestinians and 27 Israeli soldiers have been killed, one projectile from Hamas fired rockets hit a house in Yehud, near the Ben-Gurion International Airport outside Tel Aviv. Airlines around the world began cancelling service to and from Israel following the report of a rocket. The United States State Department issued a warning on Monday, advising all U.S. citizens to delay any non-essential travel to Israel and the West Bank. On Tuesday the Federal Aviation Administration issued a 24-hour ban, prohibiting all U.S. airlines from flying to or from Ben-Gurion for a 24-hour period.
Joko Widodo Wins Indonesia Presidential Election
Jakarta Governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has now been tagged as the winner of Indonesia’s presidential election. Widodo won with a 53.15 to 46.85 margin over his opponent, retired general Prabowo Subianto. During the July 9 election, nearly 130 million votes were cast. Following the election, Subianto alleged electoral fraud and vowed to challenge the results.
Traditionally, Indonesia’s politics are largely dominated by established figures selected from the military and political elites. However, Joko Widodo has a simple background, born into a family of a wood-seller in 1961 and beginning his political career in 2005 when he was elected as a mayor. As a furniture-maker who grew up in a rural village, Widodo is widely regarded as an honest politician in touch with the public.
Widodo’s rival, Prabowo Subianto, a former general who is closely associated with the traditional elite, had the backing of the media tycoons throughout the campaign. Subianto was a son-in-law of Indonesia’s former president, Suharto.
World News Digest Commentary by Ivelina Kunina
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