Morning Briefing: Aug. 19, 2023
Anadolu’s recap of top stories from around the globe
By Faruk Zorlu
Here's a rundown of all the news you need to start your Saturday, including a state of emergency declared in the Canadian province of British Columbia as wildfires rage, the Iranian foreign minister's first visit to Saudi Arabia and the potential military intervention in Niger as a West African bloc finalizes plans to restore constitutional order.
- Canadian province of British Columbia declares state of emergency as wildfires rage
The Canadian province of British Columbia (B.C.) declared a state of emergency as raging wildfires caused 15,000 people to evacuate and 20,000 were put on evacuation alert.
“In just the last 24 hours, the situation has evolved and deteriorated quite rapidly in just the last hour,” B.C. Premier David Eby said at a news conference. “Tonight, as a result of this rapid deterioration, we are declaring a provincial state of emergency,” he said. “It communicates to people across the province the seriousness of the deteriorating situation we are facing.”
- Saudi crown prince receives Iranian foreign minister in Jeddah
Saudi Arabia's crown prince received Iran's foreign minister, who is on his first visit to the country since the two countries normalized ties, local media reported. Mohammed bin Salman received Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in Jeddah where they held a meeting on mutual ties and "future opportunities for cooperation between the two countries and ways to develop them, in addition to discussing developments in the situation on the regional and international arenas, and the efforts exerted towards them," according to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
- West African bloc says day set for possible military intervention in Niger
Military leaders from West Africa said they stand ready for potential intervention in Niger as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) finalizes plans to restore constitutional order.
"We are ready to go anytime the order is given," Abdel-Fatau Musah, ECOWAS commissioner for political affairs, peace, and security, said during the closing ceremony of a two-day meeting of West African army chiefs in Ghana’s capital of Accra.
NEWS IN BRIEF
- International hackers from an anonymous group launched cyberattacks in Japan because of Tokyo’s plans to release treated nuclear waste into the sea.
- The US provided a loan worth $100 million for Türkiye’s quake-hit regions, according to its embassy in Ankara.
- Members of the EU have filled their natural gas storage facilities to a level of roughly 90%.
- Russia banned the entry of some Moldovan officials in response to that country’s decision to reduce the number of Russian Embassy staff in Chisinau.
- Hong Kong reported two cases of mpox, with health officials urging the public to avoid contact with infected individuals.
- The Israeli government led by Premier Benjamin Netanyahu is financing the annexation of lands in the West Bank by allocating an additional budget of $190 million.
- A total of 324.3 million people worldwide needed humanitarian aid last year, a number that rose to 363.3 million as of this month with the effects of war, climate change and the lingering socioeconomic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
- UK announced further military aid worth $114.6 million to strengthen Ukraine's air defense.
- Russia banned entry to 54 British nationals, including the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.
- Salwan Momika, an Iraqi refugee based in Sweden, targeted the Quran in Stockholm in another desecration of the Muslim holy book.
- The Biden administration extended its decision to lift the US arms embargo on the Greek Cypriot administration through September 2024.
- Mali and Burkina Faso dispatched warplanes to Niger in a show of solidarity against possible military intervention by ECOWAS.
- Luciano Spalletti appointed Italy's national football team manager
The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) announced that an agreement with Luciano Spalletti has been reached for the position of head coach of the national team.
The 64-year-old will take the helm Sept. 1, it said.
"Let's welcome Spalletti," said FIGC President Gabriele Gravina, "The national team needed a great coach and I'm very happy that he accepted the technical guidance of the Azzurri."
Spalletti guided Napoli to a magical 2022-23 season as they were crowned Italian champions for the first time since 1990.
- Türkiye begin 2023 CEV EuroVolley with 3-0 win against Sweden
Türkiye began the 2023 CEV Women's European Volleyball Championship with a 3-0 win against Sweden.
The Crescent Stars won 25-22, 25-18 and 25-13 in the first EuroVolley game in Pool C. Melissa Teresa Vargas led Türkiye with 15 winning spikes, while Isabel Haak led Sweden with 12.
BUSINESS AND ECONOMY
- Oil prices down more than 3% during week ending Aug. 18
Oil prices declined by more than 3% during the week ending Aug. 18 on fears of a slowdown in economic growth in China -- the world's largest oil importer -- and expectations of further interest rate hikes in the US.
International benchmark Brent crude traded at $83.53 per barrel at 2.47 p.m. (1147 GMT) Friday, falling 3.1% relative to the closing price of $86.21.
- Annual inflation down in EU, eurozone in July
Annual July inflation fell in the euro area from 5.5% to 5.3% in June and in the EU from 6.4% to 6.1%, according to new data that was released.
The bloc's statistical office, Eurostat, revealed that consumer prices rose in seven member states, while it was stable in one and declining in 19.
Belgium's inflation rate was the lowest at 1.7%, followed by Luxembourg with 2% and Spain with 2.1%.
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