An Indonesian court was Thursday expected to uphold Joko Widodo's victory in last month's presidential election, rejecting claims of widespread cheating from his opponent after weeks of political uncertainty in the world's third-biggest democracy. Ahead of the Constitutional Court ruling, hundreds of supporters of Prabowo Subianto, the ex-general who lost the election, rallied across Jakarta while police and soldiers were out in force across the capital. A huge crowd of flag-waving supporters attempted to get past a line of riot police and water cannons blocking the road to the court in downtown Jakarta, which had been sealed off for the verdict, but were pushed back. Both Prabowo, a top military figure in the era of dictator Suharto with a chequered human rights record, and Widodo, the reform-minded governor of Jakarta, declared victory at the July 9 election.
The United States on Wednesday charged Israel had targeted members of a Palestinian family whose teenaged son was kidnapped and killed in July along with two cousins, who are US citizens. Tensions between Palestinians and Israelis in annexed east Jerusalem plunged to a new low on July 2 when 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khder was snatched from an east Jerusalem street and later found burned alive. The death of the Palestinian teen -- thought likely in retaliation for the abduction and killing of three Israeli Students in late June -- sparked rioting and helped unleash the conflict under way in Gaza between Israel and Hamas. Three days after his death, on July 5, the United States slammed Israel's arrest of a 15-year-old cousin, Tarek Abu Khder, 15, a US citizen.
Turkey's ruling party meets on Thursday to choose a new leader and premier to succeed incoming president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, with Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu the overwhelming favourite for the job. The executive committee of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) will meet in Ankara at 1100 GMT to agree a successor for Erdogan, who has transformed Turkey since first becoming prime minister in 2003. The press has been abuzz for days with reports that Davutoglu was favoured for promotion and outgoing President Abdullah Gul, in comments Tuesday, appeared to leave the issue in no doubt. "As far I understand, Ahmet Davutoglu will be the next head of government," Gul told the media at his last reception at the presidential palace in Ankara.
US forces tried but failed to rescue reporter James Foley and other US hostages held in Syria by the Islamic State (IS), officials and reports said a day after the militants released a video showing the journalist's beheading. The Pentagon and the White House did not say if the covert mission earlier this summer was to rescue Foley, who was kidnapped in northern Syria in November 2012 and whose murder has provoked revulsion and condemnation. The video of Foley's killing also showed a second US reporter, Steven Sotloff, being paraded by a black-clad IS militant who warned that he would also be killed if US President Barack Obama does not stop air strikes on IS positions in Iraq.
Birth certificates in California would be changed to more accurately reflect families in which parents are of the same gender under a bill passed by the legislature on Wednesday. The bill, which now goes to Democratic Governor Jerry Brown, would allow parents to identify themselves as father, mother or parent when a child is born, a nuanced change from the current birth certificate that backers say is more reflective of growing rights and acceptance for same-sex couples. "This bill seems subtle but I think it’s going to make a profound impact on how people view each other," said the bill's author, Democratic Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez of Los Angeles. In March, a baby in Tennessee became the first child in that state to have two women listed on her birth certificate, although one was in the spot marked "father." In Florida last year, a judge approved an adoption of a baby girl that listed three people as parents on her birth certificate: a lesbian couple and a gay man, who was the sperm donor for the baby but sought a bigger role in his daughter’s life.
Brazil's Socialist party named popular environmentalist Marina Silva its presidential candidate Wednesday, reshaping the political landscape after her late running mate Eduardo Campos died in a plane crash last week. Campos's death has radically transformed the outlook for the October vote, possibly setting up Silva, his former vice presidential candidate, to unseat incumbent Dilma Rousseff in a runoff, according to the latest poll. "Our proposals seek a more just, economically prosperous and socially fair, politically democratic and environmentally sustainable Brazil," added Silva, whose life story is one of astounding personal mobility. Socialist lawmaker Beto Albuquerque was named the party's new vice presidential candidate.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The winner of Alaska's Republican Senate primary, Dan Sullivan, successfully turned back tea party opposition during an at-times contentious 10-month race. Next up, Democratic Sen. Mark Begich, who has tagged Sullivan as an outsider in a state where relationships and roots matter.
The UN Security Council on Wednesday urged Israel and the Palestinians to return to the negotiating table to quickly agree on a lasting truce in Gaza. The statement drafted by France was agreed after negotiations in Cairo teetered on the verge of collapse amid a fresh flareup of violence in the war that has killed more than 2,000 Palestinians since July 8. Earlier this month, Jordan circulated a draft resolution backed by Arab countries that calls for a ceasefire, the lifting of the Israeli blockade of Gaza and the delivery of urgently-needed aid to the Palestinians. The fighting over the last six weeks marks the most violent confrontation between Israel and Hamas militants since the second Palestinian intifada, or uprising, from 2000-2005.
Texas Governor Rick Perry, a possible Republican candidate for the 2016 presidential race, has entered a not guilty plea to two felony counts of abuse of power, according to a legal document posted on Wednesday by a newspaper. Perry also waived his right to an arraignment scheduled for Friday, according to the document, which was filed with the District Court of Travis County and signed by one member of Perry's legal team and was posted by the Houston Chronicle. Perry was indicted on Friday by a grand jury in Travis County, a Democratic stronghold in heavily Republican Texas, over his veto of funding for a state ethics watchdog that has investigated prominent Texas Republicans.
The United States offered a total $30 million Wednesday in return for information on key leaders of the feared Haqqani militant network, blamed for numerous bloody attacks in Afghanistan. "The Department has authorized rewards of up to $5 million each for information leading to the location of Aziz Haqqani, Khalil al-Rahman Haqqani, Yahya Haqqani, and Abdul Rauf Zakir," the State Department said in a statement. It also increased its previous reward offer of up to $5 million for information on the group’s leader, Sirajuddin Haqqani, to up to $10 million.
The distinct English accent of the militant seen beheading US journalist James Foley in a grisly online video has forced Britain once again to confront the question of how it became an exporter of jihadist fighters. The video, published on Tuesday, has also left Britain nervously wondering how many potential jihadists are walking its streets and whether the return of fighters from Iraq and Syria will bring the violence home. Experts say young British men are often driven into the arms of jihadist groups such as the Islamic State (IS) by adolescent feelings of alienation, often resulting from their backgrounds as second or third generation of immigrant families, as well as poor economic prospects which they contrast with the perceived glory of bloody martyrdom.
Pakistani ministers and opposition politicians met anti-government protesters on Wednesday, but talks ended for the day with the sides appearing no closer to resolving a week-long political crisis that has rattled the restive, nuclear-armed nation. Thousands of followers of cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan and populist cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri have been demonstrating outside the parliament building in Islamabad, trying to force Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from office. Khan and Qadri say last year's general election that swept Sharif to power by a landslide was rigged and are demanding his resignation. Late Wednesday Khan's team met with government negotiators in Islamabad to discuss his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party's demands.
The Supreme Court put a hold Wednesday on gay marriages in Virginia, as it weighs whether to legalize same-sex marriage across the United States. The decision blocked a federal appeals court ruling last month that struck down the southern state's ban on same-sex marriage in what had been hailed as a landmark victory for the gay rights movement. In making its decision last month, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals had said Virginia's ban violated the US Constitution's guarantee of equal protection under the law by infringing on the right to wed.