Russian President Vladimir Putin said that fragments of a hand grenade have been found in the bodies of people who died in an August crash of Russian mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin's plane. Putin added that experts investigating the crash found no indication that the plane had suffered an "external impact." All 10 people on board, including Wagner mercenary group chief Prigozhin, were killed.

While Putin noted that the probe was still ongoing and stopped short of saying what caused the crash, his statement appeared to hint that the plane was brought down by an accidental grenade explosion. Prigozhin's aborted rebellion in June marked the most serious challenge to Putin, who has been in power for more than two decades and eroded his authority. Exactly two months after the rebellion's start, a plane carrying Prigozhin and his top lieutenants crashed on Aug. 23 while flying from Moscow to St. Petersburg.

Speaker of the US House of Representatives Kevin McCarthy was voted out of the job in an extraordinary showdown - a first in US history, forced by a contingent of hard-right conservatives and throwing the House and its Republican leadership into chaos. It's the end of the political line for McCarthy, who has said repeatedly that he never gives up, but found himself with almost no options remaining. Neither the right-flank Republicans who engineered his ouster nor the Democrats who piled on seem open to negotiating.

McCarthy later told lawmakers he would not run again for speaker, putting the gavel up for grabs. North Carolina GOP Rep. Patrick McHenry took the gavel, picked from a list McCarthy was required to keep and will serve essentially as the acting speaker - known as speaker pro tempore - until the chamber figures out who will be the next leader. McCarthy's support came apart following a decision to work with Democrats to keep the federal government open rather than risk a shutdown.

Developed countries pledged $9.3 billion to help poor nations tackle climate change at a conference held in the German city of Bonn on Thursday, authorities said. However, nongovernmental groups criticised the outcome, saying the funds fall short of what is needed to tackle climate change. The pledges will help replenish the South Korea-based Green Climate Fund, established in 2010 as a financing vehicle for developing countries. It's the largest such fund aimed at providing money to help poorer nations in reducing their emissions, coping with impacts of climate change and boosting their transitions to clean energy.

The pledged money at the conference in Bonn will be used to finance projects in developing and emerging nations between 2024 and 2027. The German government alone pledged 2 billion euros ($2.1 billion). Twenty-five countries came forward with fresh pledges while five said that they would announce theirs in the near future.

The world's September temperatures were the warmest on record, breaking the previous high by a huge margin, according to the EU climate service. Last month was 0.93C warmer than the average September temperature between 1991-2020, and 0.5C hotter than the previous record set in 2020. Ongoing emissions of warming gases in addition to the El Niño weather event are driving the heat, experts believe. Some scientists said they were shocked by the scale of the increase. They say 2023 is now "on track" to be the warmest on record.

September's high mark comes in the wake of the hottest summer on record in the northern hemisphere as soaring temperatures show no signs of relenting. The data, from the Copernicus Climate Change Service, shows that the month had the biggest jump from the long term average in records dating back to 1940.

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