Receive Breaking News updates as they occur
The reform-minded governor of teeming Jakarta, Joko Widodo, was on Tuesday set to be named Indonesia's next president after a bitterly fought election against a controversial ex-general with deep roots in the era of strongman Suharto. With the election commission poised to announce the result, Widodo's opponent Prabowo Subianto -- who had also claimed victory in the July 9 election -- alleged "massive fraud" and said he was withdrawing from the race to lead the world's third-biggest democracy. Voters faced a stark choice between governor Widodo, from a new breed of politicians without links to the autocratic Suharto era, and Prabowo, a figure from the old guard with a chequered human rights record. If Widodo's victory is confirmed, it would cap a meteoric rise for the former furniture exporter who was born in a riverbank slum, and would be welcomed by investors who hope he can breathe new life into the economy after a recent slowdown.
The UN chief and Washington's top diplomat were holding a flurry of meetings in Cairo on Tuesday to push for an end to two weeks of violence in Gaza that has killed 585 Palestinians. As the conflict entered its third week, neither side showed any sign of willingness to pull back, with Israel pursuing a relentless campaign of shelling and air strikes, and militants hitting back with rocket fire and fierce attacks on troops operating on the ground. Gaza medics say the Palestinian dead include many women and children, while on the Israeli side, 27 of the 29 victims were soldiers killed since a ground assault began late on July 17. On Tuesday morning, civil defence crews with a crane parked outside the Salam building in Gaza City, which was hit in an Israeli air strike.