Morning Briefing: Aug. 11, 2023

Morning Briefing: Aug. 11, 2023

Anadolu’s recap of top stories from around the globe

By Emre Basaran

ISTANBUL (AA) - Here's a rundown of all the news you need to start your Friday with, including the US support to ECOWAS amid Niger coup, Iran's confirmation of deal with US on prisoner swap, and North Korea's planning offensive measures as the president orders war preparations.


TOP STORIES

  • US backs ECOWAS's efforts on Niger: Blinken

The US supports the efforts of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) following the coup in Niger, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Thursday.

"ECOWAS, an organization that brings together West African countries, is playing a lead role in making clear the imperative of the return to constitutional order, and we very much support ECOWAS's leadership and work on this," Blinken told reporters during a joint news conference with his Mexican counterpart Alicia Barcena Ibarra.

He said the US has "deep concern" for the security and well-being of Niger's ousted President Mohamed Bazoum and his family.


  • Iran confirms deal with US on prisoner swap, unlocking $10B in frozen assets in S.Korea, Iraq

Iran late Thursday confirmed the release of American-Iranian dual nationals under a swap deal of releasing five prisoners each with the US, as well as unblocking Tehran's over $10 billion frozen assets in South Korea and Iraq.

In the first reaction from Iran to the release of American-Iranian dual nationals, the country's UN delegation confirmed the news to state-run news agency IRNA.

Iran's representative to the world body told the news agency that the dual nationals were released from high-security Evin Prison "within the framework of an agreement mediated by a third party" so that the two sides swap five prisoners in question based on forgiveness.


  • North Korea plans offensive measures as Kim orders war preparations

North Korea has planned offensive military countermeasures which its leader Kim Jong-un called a move to further step up "the war preparations.”

During a meeting of the Central Military Commission of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK), Kim "made an important conclusion on further stepping up the war preparations of the KPA (Korean People's Army) in an offensive way," state-run KCNA reported.

He called on the army to conduct military drills in a show of strength.


NEWS IN BRIEF

  • Former US President Donald Trump and longtime aide Walt Nauta pleaded not guilty in the ongoing mishandled government classified documents case.


  • US President Joe Biden appealed to Congress for an additional $40 billion to fund ongoing efforts to bolster Ukraine against Russia's war, ensure disaster relief efforts continue, and crack down on fentanyl trafficking.


  • The Russian Health Ministry said that one person was killed and 80 others were injured in a powerful explosion that rocked an optical plant in Moscow's suburbs the day before.


  • Ukraine's national nuclear energy provider said that the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant has lost connection to its main power line.


  • The death toll from wildfires in the US state of Hawaii stands at 36 as blazes continued to rage Thursday across the island of Maui.


  • A German military officer, who was arrested for passing information to Russian intelligence, was a sympathizer of the far-right AfD party, local media reported.


  • At least two bodies were recovered after a boat carrying dozens of Rohingya passengers capsized off Myanmar early this week, according to a report.


SPORTS

  • Turkish clubs triumph in UEFA Europa Conference League

Turkish clubs were victorious in the UEFA Europa Conference League, with Besiktas, Fenerbahce, and Adana Demirspor all winning their first-leg matches in the third stage.

Besiktas beat Azerbaijani club Neftci 3-1 in an away game while Fenerbahce defeated Slovenian club Maribor with the same score and Adana Demirspor hammered Croatia's Osijek 5-1.

After Galatasaray's 3-0 victory against Slovenian club Olimpija Ljubljana in the first leg match of the third stage in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday, all four Turkish clubs won their respective games in UEFA competitions this week.


  • Real Madrid goalkeeper Courtois suffers from shocking knee injury

Real Madrid are dismayed over their Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois' shocking knee injury.

"Following tests carried out on Thibaut Courtois, the player has been diagnosed with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee," the Spanish powerhouse said in a statement on Thursday.

Courtois, 31, was confirmed to undergo surgery in the next few days.


  • Aysu Turkoglu becomes 1st Turkish woman to swim across North Channel

Aysu Turkoglu, a 22-year-old swimmer, became the first Turkish woman to swim across the North Channel on Wednesday.

Turkoglu, who was also the youngest Turkish athlete to achieve the crossing, swam from Northern Ireland to Scotland, completing an almost 40-kilometer (24-mile) journey in the North Channel in 11 hours, 48 minutes and 19 seconds.


BUSINESS & ECONOMY

  • Middle East plays vital role in global oil production

Countries in the Middle East, which possess 48.3% of the world's oil reserves, play a vital role in global oil production.

Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kuwait, Iran, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates were among the top crude oil producers last year, according to London-based analysis and consultancy firm GlobalData.


  • Disney+ loses 11.7M subscribers from April to June

The Walt Disney Company's streaming service Disney+ lost 11.7 million subscribers during the April-June period, according to its financial results statement.

The number of subscribers worldwide declined 7.4% to 146.1 million from 157.8 million in the previous quarter when it lost approximately 4 million subscribers.

In total, the streaming platform lost almost 16 million subscribers since the beginning of this year.


  • Annual US consumer inflation rises to 3.2% in July from 3% gain in June

Annual consumer inflation in the US came in at 3.2% in July, accelerating from the previous month's figure of 3%, according to official figures.

The consumer price index (CPI), which measures changes in the prices of goods and services from a consumer's perspective, came below market estimates of 3.3%.

The figure is an increase from the 3% gain in June, which was the smallest 12-month increase since the period ending March 2021.

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