Morning Briefing: July 29, 2023

Morning Briefing: July 29, 2023

Anadolu’s recap of top stories from around the globe

By Anadolu Agency staff

ISTANBUL (AA) - Here's a rundown of all the news you need to start your Saturday, including the latest on the attempted military coup in Niger, continued condemnation of Quran burnings in Europe, and wildfires in Greece.


TOP STORIES

  • Head of Nigerien presidential guard declares himself new leader after coup

Gen. Abdourahmane Tchiani, the head of Niger’s presidential guard, appeared on national television and declared himself the new leader of the country after a military coup.

Tchiani said the coup was staged because of the "deteriorating security situation" in the West African country.

His statement came a day after armed forces chief Gen. Abdou Sidikou Issa endorsed the mutineers’ actions, saying he wanted to "avoid a deadly confrontation between the various forces."

  • Türkiye reiterates condemnation of attacks on Quran in Europe

Türkiye reiterated its strong condemnation of attacks on the Muslim holy book, the Quran, in Europe, terming it a plague.

At a news conference with his Hungarian counterpart Peter Szijjarto in Budapest, Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan said he believes the Islamic world will come to some decisions at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation meeting on July 31.

"Looking at recent history, there are many lessons to be learned. Everything in Europe started with book burning, and those books were burned under state supervision ... After the burning of books, there were concentration camps, and we know what happened after that," he said.

  • Greek citizen protection minister resigns for 'personal reasons' amid wildfires

Notis Mitarakis resigned for "personal reasons," local media reported Friday.

His resignation came as Greece has been battling wildfires since last week, triggering an evacuation of thousands of people from various areas.

Greek news agency AMNA said Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis had accepted Mitarakis' resignation.


NEWS IN BRIEF

  • The US announced $345 million in military aid for Taiwan in the first time that Washington is sending equipment to the island nation from existing American stockpiles.
  • Continued US assistance to Niger has been jeopardized by the West African country's military overthrowing its democratically-elected government, the White House warned.
  • The British government has come under fire yet again for its controversial migration policy, this time from a rights group and an opposition leader, after it was revealed that the Home Office purchased marquees to house up to 2,000 irregular migrants.
  • The Council of Europe urged Greece to conduct "effective" investigations into last month's shipwreck that killed more than 80 irregular migrants and left hundreds missing.
  • A motorcycle bombing that killed six in the Syrian capital was claimed by the Daesh/ISIS terror organization.
  • The UN World Food Program (WFP) said Russia has not offered any free grain to the organization since Moscow's withdrawal from a deal that allowed Ukraine to export tens of millions of tons of grains over the past year.


SPORTS

  • Türkiye, Italy request to bid together to host EURO 2032

The football federations of Türkiye and Italy have requested to merge their bids to host the 2032 European Championship, UEFA.

"In 2021, UEFA initiated a bidding process for the hosting of two consecutive editions of its European Championship, in 2028 and 2032. (Türkiye's) TFF entered the process for both editions, while (Italy's) FIGC decided to bid only for the 2032 edition," UEFA said in a statement, referring to the football federations of both countries.

  • UEFA bans Juventus from 2023-24 Conference League for violating Financial Fair Play rules

The UEFA banned Juventus from the 2023-2024 Conference League and fined the Italian club for breaching Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules.

"The decision of the First Chamber of the UEFA CFCB (Club Financial Control Body) entails the termination of the Settlement Agreement between UEFA and Juventus dated 31 August 2022 and the exclusion of Juventus from the UEFA Conference League of the sports season 2023/2024," the Italian side said in a statement.

The Turin club said they were required to pay €20 million ($22 million) as a result of the UEFA CFCB decision.


BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

  • Google's new AI model translates vision, language for robots to perform actions

Google introduced a new artificial intelligence (AI) model that translates vision and language for robots to perform actions.

Robotics Transformer 2, or RT-2, is a vision-language-action model trained on text and images from the internet, which can learn general ideas and concepts and then transfer that knowledge to inform a robot's behavior, Google said in a blog post.

  • Putin says Russia wrote off $23 billion in African debt

President Vladimir Putin said Russia has written off debts for African states worth $23 billion.

Speaking at the second Russia-Africa summit in St. Petersburg, Putin said 90% of the debt from African countries were settled, with no more "direct" debts but some financial obligations.

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