Morning Briefing: August 21, 2023

Morning Briefing: August 21, 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 Monday with, including the new variant of COVID-19 being identified in Israel, Russia’s Luna-25 spacecraft crashing on the moon and wildfires in Europe.


  • New variant of COVID-19 detected in Israel: Report

A new variant of COVID-19 named BA.2.86 has been identified in Israel for the first time, local media reported. The Israel Public Broadcasting Organization (KAN) confirmed the presence of the variant, marking the fourth known case worldwide following its identification in the US, the UK and Denmark.

  • Russian spacecraft Luna-25 crashes into moon

Russia’s Luna-25 spacecraft spun out of control and crashed into the moon, state space corporation Roscosmos said.

In a statement, Roscosmos said it lost contact with the Luna-25 on Saturday after the pilotless spacecraft ran into difficulties. “The spacecraft moved into an unpredictable orbit and ceased to exist as a result of a collision with the surface of the moon,” the agency said.

  • Wildfire on Spain’s Tenerife improves, but thousands remain evacuated

A wildfire on Spain’s Tenerife island that has forced over 12,000 people to flee their homes continued to spread, despite a slight improvement in weather conditions.

Meanwhile, a wildfire that started Saturday morning in the northern town of Alexandroupolis continues to stay out of control, destroying thousands of hectares of pine forest and forcing evacuation of nearby settlements.


  • Turkish security forces “neutralized” two PKK/YPG terrorists in northern Syria near the Turkish border, the National Defense Ministry said in a statement.
  • Russia claimed on Sunday that it had foiled a Ukrainian attack on the capital Moscow and nearby regions using aircraft-type uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs).
  • Pakistani President Arif Alvi denied having signed two crucial bills, and accused his staff to have "undermined my will and command."
  • The Netherlands and Denmark committed to giving F-16 jets to Ukraine, as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy traveled to both countries to finalize the deals.
  • The foreign ministers of Iran and China discussed latest developments in bilateral and international relations in a phone call, the Iranian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
  • Belgium evacuated another 130 people from coup-hit Niger, Hajda Lahbib, the country's foreign minister, said.
  • Iran's foreign ministry on Sunday summoned the charge d'affaires of Sweden and Denmark separately over the continued desecration of the Holy Quran, state media said.


  • Istanbul hosts Samsung Bosphorus Cross-Continental Swimming Race for 35th time

The Turkish metropolis of Istanbul hosted the Samsung Bosphorus Cross-Continental Swimming Race for the 35th time.

The Turkish National Olympic Committee organized the event, which took place Sunday, in which more than 2,600 athletes from over 70 countries competed on the 6.5-kilometer (4-mile) course.

  • Spain beat England to win FIFA Women's World Cup for 1st time

Spain defeated England 1-0 on Sunday to win the FIFA Women's World Cup for the first time.

Spain broke the deadlock when Olga Carmona splendid a left-footed goal from close range in the 29th minute at Sydney's Stadium Australia.

In the 70th minute, Spain wasted a golden chance to double their lead against England when Jennifer Hermoso's penalty was saved by Mary Earps.


  • More than 20 countries have applied to join BRICS: South African president

More than 20 countries have formally applied to join BRICS, a bloc of emerging economies that includes Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

  • Libya's Central Bank announces reunification after almost a decade

Libya’s Central Bank on Sunday announced its reunification after being split into two for nearly a decade due to the country’s long-running civil war.

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