Indonesian Political Phenomenon Certified as Election Winner

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Joko Widodo was certified the winner in a highly contentious election. He defeated the son-in-law of Suharto, Prabowo Subianto, a retired general who is not conceding defeat. He has a pretty amazing life story. “The victory represents a striking rise for Mr. Joko, 53, who was born and raised in a riverside slum area in the city of Surakarta, also known as Solo, in Central Java Province. He grew up to be a carpenter and later a furniture exporter before entering politics in 2005, where he was twice elected mayor of his hometown, then governor of Jakarta in 2012.Mr. Joko, a thin, unassuming figure with what he has described as a typical “village face,” will be Indonesia’s seventh president and the first not to have emerged from the country’s political elite or to have been an army general.” (NYT

Bad News from CAR…Peace talks between the Central African Republic’s sectarian rivals were suspended Tuesday after the ex-rebel Seleka group failed to show up less than a day before the deadline of a deal. (Yahoo


The ongoing International AIDS Conference in Melbourne has led to a spike in news reports about HIV/AIDS. We are collecting some of the top news here.

There is more good news about HIV treatment pills used to prevent infection in people at high risk of getting the AIDS virus: Follow-up from a landmark study that proved the drug works now shows that it does not encourage risky sex and is effective even if people skip some doses. (AP

With HIV and AIDS disproportionately affecting indigenous people across the world, there is a strong need for culturally appropriate programs designed, championed and delivered by indigenous people, activists and experts say. Many indigenous women are living in silence with even their immediate families not knowing that they have HIV. (IPS

A new series in the medical journal The Lancet says achieving an AIDS-free generation will not be possible unless the human rights of sex workers are recognized. Researchers say sex workers face violence and discrimination and are not able to access the care, treatment and prevention measures they need. (VOA

As the reach of AIDS has expanded, stigma remains from Cambodia to Nigeria to Uganda. It even persists, in 2014, in developed nations like the US and Canada, according to immunologist Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. (VOA


The recruitment and use of children by armed groups remained endemic in the Democratic Republic of the Congo between 2010 and 2013. (UN

A massive assault by Boko Haram in the northeast Nigerian town of Damboa displaced more than 15,000 people, an official said Monday, as the security forces sent reinforcements to flush out the Islamist fighters. (AFP

Pressure is building for lawmakers to pass a bill that would funnel billions of dollars of US investment into strengthening Africa’s electricity production and distribution capabilities, and could offer broad new support for off-grid opportunities. (IPS

South Sudanese rebels who want to mend ties with Uganda and press for the withdrawal of Ugandan troops from South Sudan left Kampala without meeting the president, blaming miscommunication between the two sides, a rebel official said. (Reuters

The Ebola outbreak has not hurt foreign investment in Sierra Leone but will inevitably require more spending to fight it, the country’s foreign minister said. (Reuters

A former “cutter”, a community leader, and a teenager who narrowly escaped circumcision explain why the practice should be eradicated in Somalia. (Guardian

A new initiative that aims to improve maternal and child health and nutrition in sub-Saharan Africa is being launched in September 2014 using digital technology.  (VOA

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has met for the first time with some of the parents of the more than 200 schoolgirls who were kidnapped by militant group Boko Haram. (VOA


UN school sheltering Gaza displaced hit by Israel shells: UNRWA (AFP

A declining economy and a severe drought have raised concerns in Lebanon over food security as the country faces one of its worst refugee crises, resulting from the nearby Syria war, and it is these refugees and impoverished Lebanese border populations that are most vulnerable to this new threat. (IPS

As a result of over two weeks of Israeli bombardment, thousands of Palestinian civilians have fled their homes in the north of Gaza and sought refuge in schools run by the UN agency for Palestinian refugees. (IPS

Syria’s oil and gas industries have suffered total losses of $21.4 billion since the outbreak of the country’s war three years ago, Oil Minister Suleiman Abbas said. (Yahoo

The UN called for help to vaccinate 765,000 young Syrian children against polio in a bid to prevent a resurgence of the crippling disease across the restive Middle East. (AFP


The dwindling numbers of Indian girls, caused by the illegal abortion of millions of babies, has reached “emergency proportions”, fueling an increase in crimes such as kidnapping and trafficking, the United Nations warned. (TRF

A recent UNICEF report shows that Nepal is among 10 countries in the world with the highest stunting prevalence, and one of the top 20 countries with the highest number of stunted children. (IPS

Myanmar’s main opposition party says it has collected about five million signatures seeking reduced powers for unelected military members of parliament as the country, which emerged from dictatorship in 2011, moves towards an election next year. (Reuters

The Americas

Venezuelan soldiers remove hundreds of families from a notorious 45-storey Caracas skyscraper that dominates the city skyline. (BBC

Some politicians say that the nearly 60,000 unaccompanied minors who’ve come to the US could put the nation at risk for everything from TB to mumps. Health officials tell a different story. (NPR

The Panamanian Government will sue Colombia and Argentina managements at the Advisory Center on the World Trade Organization for disputes started in prior management. (Prensa Latina

More than 4,000 intravenous drug users live in Vancouver’s downtown Eastside area, turning alleys around Hastings Street into open-drug markets and shooting galleries. A save haven is helping to control the spread of HIV. (VOA


Inside the Fight Against Global Epidemics (UN Dispatch

Why Isn’t the World Bank Asking What Works Before It Revamps Its Procurement Rules? (CGD

From Havana to Bali, Third World Gets the Trade Crumbs (IPS

Exploring Electronic Music in South Africa: “The Future Looks Awesome” (Think Africa Press

As long as it exists, child marriage will stand in the way of gender equality (Guardian

Israel/Gaza – how does it end? (IRIN

U.S., Russia, China Hamper ICC’s Reach (IPS

The Role of Government in Agriculture (CFR

The Aid Diversion Dilemma (UN Dispatch


 Successful sustainable development financing will require a reallocation of investment and the creation of innovative partnerships, according to the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing. (IPS

 Ending extreme poverty and hunger will be impossible on a rapidly overheating planet plagued by punishing droughts, catastrophic floods and ever wilder weather, said climate activists involved in talks to set the Sustainable Development Goals. (IPS

Governments, academics, humanitarians, military leaders, and activists from across the Asia-Pacific region will gather in Tokyo today to glean expertise on responses to humanitarian crises across the region in the lead-up to the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit. (IRIN

More than 700 million women worldwide were married as children, with one in three of them married before their 15th birthday, according to a global prevalence study. (Guardian

British Prime Minister David Cameron called on Tuesday for a worldwide ban on female genital mutilation and child marriage as he launched the first UN-backed “Girl Summit” on issues that affect millions around the globe. (AFP