Morning Briefing: August 24, 2023

Morning Briefing: August 24, 2023

Anadolu’s recap of top stories from around the globe

By Rabia Ali

ISTANBUL (AA) - Here's a rundown of all the news you need to start your Thursday, including a plane crash that killed the head of Russian paramilitary group Wagner, a consensus among BRICS leaders to expand the bloc of five emerging economies, North Korea's satellite launch, and India's historic moon landing.


TOP STORIES

  • Wagner chief Prigozhin presumed dead in jet crash in Russia

The head of Russia’s paramilitary group, Yevgeny Prigozhin was confirmed to have been on board a private jet that crashed in Russia's northwestern Tver region, killing all 10 passengers.

According to the Russian Federal Air Transport Agency, the plane's passengers included Prigozhin, as well as Wagner's co-founder Dmitry Utkin.

The aircraft was on its way from Moscow to St. Petersburg.

An investigative committee said it initiated a criminal case on grounds of "violation of traffic safety rules and operation of air transport."


  • BRICS leaders to expand bloc

BRICS leaders agreed on Wednesday to expand the five-state group's membership.

A major announcement will be made before the bloc's summit concludes in Johannesburg, said Naledi Pando, foreign minister of host South Africa.

More than 20 countries have expressed interest in joining the bloc of emerging economies that also includes Brazil, Russia, India, and China.

The issues discussed during the summit included the possibility of new members and a common currency.


  • North Korea's 2nd satellite launch fails

North Korea conducted the second launch of its military reconnaissance satellite, which ended in failure due to an error in the rocket's "emergency blasting system," said state media.

The Malligyong-1 satellite was aboard a new-type carrier rocket Chollima-1 at the Sohae Satellite Launching Ground in Cholsan County of North Phyongan Province, Pyongyang-based KCNA News reported.

The launch on Thursday followed the commencement of annual military exercises by the US and South Korean militaries.


  • India makes history with successful moon landing

India on Wednesday made history as its moon mission Chandrayaan-3 successfully landed on the lunar south pole, becoming the first country to do so.

"We have achieved the soft landing on the moon. India is on the moon," said Sreedhara Panicker Somanath chief of Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).

With the landing, India has joined a handful countries — the US, Russia and China — who have successfully landed a spacecraft on the moon.


NEWS IN BRIEF

  • China warned on Wednesday that it would take action if Japan proceeded with its controversial decision to release treated nuclear waste from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.


  • Thailand newly-elected Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin secured royal endorsement on Wednesday and is set to form a new coalition government.


  • Nearly 150 million Americans are under heat alerts as California and Texas deal with the aftermath of tropical storms Hilary and Harold.


  • Donald Trump's former lawyer Rudy Giuliani surrendered to authorities in Georgia on charges related to the 2020 election subversion case.


  • The Turkish Coast Guard rescued 138 irregular migrants on Wednesday after Greek authorities illegally pushed them back into the neighboring country's territorial waters.


  • The situation at Mt. Parnitha National Park in Greece remained critical as a wildfire raged for a second day, the country's minister of climate crisis said. In the last 48 hours, 209 new fires had broken out in the country.


SPORTS

  • Galatasaray secure last-second win against Molde in UEFA Champions League playoff

Galatasaray beat Molde 3-2 as Fredrik Midtsjo scored a stoppage-time winner in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League playoffs on Wednesday.

Molde scored the opening when Martin Ellingsen powered a header.

Sergio Oliveira netted a 25th-minute free-kick to bring his side level, 1-1.

Molde defender Kristoffer Haugen made a close-range finish to level the score at 2-2 in the 56th minute.


  • Cristiano Ronaldo storms off field after confronting referee and shoving staffer

A visibly furious Cristiano Ronaldo yelled at the referee during a home match and pushed away a staff member of the opposing team who wanted to take a selfie with him.

Though his team, Al-Nassr of Saudi Arabia, qualified for the group stage of the Asian Champions League on Tuesday after a 4-2 victory against Emirati team Shabab Al-Ahli, Ronaldo was displeased with the performance of the referee during the match.


BUSINESS & ECONOMY

  • US mortgage applications fall as rates jump to highest since 2000

US mortgage applications fell more than 4% last week as mortgage interest rates climbed to their highest since 2000, according to a report on Wednesday by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).

Applications for home purchase mortgages dropped to their lowest level since April 1995, said MBA Vice President and Deputy Chief Economist Joel Kan.


  • Israel approves expansion of natural gas exports to Egypt

Israel announced on Wednesday plans to boost its natural gas exports to Egypt from its Tamar field in the Mediterranean.

Energy Minister Israel Katz said the approval to enhance exports to Egypt would not affect domestic market needs.

This will lead to a 60% increase in the field's gas output, with 3.5 billion cubic meters of the 6 billion produced to exported to Egypt.

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