World News in Brief: February 7

Overwhelmed rescuers struggled to save people trapped under the rubble as the death toll from a devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria approached 5,000 on Tuesday, with despair mounting and the scale of the disaster hampering relief efforts.
At least 1,602 people were killed and thousands injured in Syria following a number of deadly earthquakes and aftershocks in neighbouring Turkey.
At least 1,602 people were killed and thousands injured in Syria following a number of deadly earthquakes and aftershocks in neighbouring Turkey.

* The United Nations (UN) and partners are monitoring the situation on the ground after a strong earthquake hitting Türkiye and north-west Syria on Monday, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said.

* At the invitation of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia Hun Sen will pay an official visit to China from February 9 to 11, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning announced in Beijing on Monday.

* Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday urged global investors to explore investment opportunities in the country's energy sector, said a statement issued by the Prime Minister's Office.

* Australia and New Zealand talked up their relationships with China at a joint prime ministerial news conference on Tuesday in the latest sign of strengthening ties with their biggest trading partner.

* The US Coast Guard on Monday imposed a temporary security zone in waters off South Carolina during the military's search for debris from a suspected Chinese spy balloon shot down by a US fighter jet, and the White House said it would keep a calm approach to relations with Beijing.

* US Vice President Kamala Harris will travel to the Munich Security Conference on Feb. 16-18, her office said in a statement.

* Venezuela's governing and opposition parties are making progress toward the creation of a $3.2 billion U.N.-administrated fund that would aim to use the country's frozen assets for humanitarian purposes, the top lawmaker from the country's ruling party said on Monday.

* British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak may announce a mini reshuffle of his Cabinet on Tuesday and is considering breaking up the government's business department into three separate ministries, a source familiar with the discussions said on Monday.

* Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry on Monday formally installed a transition council whose job will be to prepare for long-overdue elections in the Caribbean country, amid a humanitarian crisis driven by violence from armed gangs.

* Global foreign direct investment (FDI) flows to the Asia-Pacific region continue to recover to pre-pandemic levels, with China remaining the top destination in Asia, according to a report released by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Tuesday.

* Tourism recovery in Asia and Pacific region has picked up speed and might rebound to the pre-pandemic level by 2024, according to a report released by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Tuesday.

* The Swedish Armed Forces have ordered the deployment of the Patriot air defense system in Gothenburg, the country's second largest city, Aftonbladet newspaper reported on Monday.

* President Emmanuel Macron and his government on Tuesday braced for a third wave of nationwide strikes and protests against plans to make the French work longer before retirement, as the bill started its bumpy passage through parliament.

* Turkey has ordered the resumption of crude oil flows to the Ceyhan export terminal, Bloomberg News reported on Tuesday citing people with direct knowledge of the matter.

* Israeli forces killed a 17-year-old Palestinian on Tuesday during a raid in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian health ministry said, and the army described him as a gunman who had fired on troops.

* Boeing Co BA.N expects to cut about 2,000 white-collar jobs this year in finance and human resources through a combination of attrition and layoffs, the US planemaker confirmed Monday.

* Many airlines will be unable to meet looming US deadlines to retrofit airplane altimeters to ensure they are not susceptible to 5G wireless interference, the world's biggest airline trade body warned authorities, saying it could impact the summer international travel season.

* Inflation in the Philippines accelerated to 8.7 percent in January year-on-year, the highest monthly rate since November 2008, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said on Tuesday.

* Inflation continues to hover at lofty levels in Sweden with food prices registering the largest monthly increases in a year, according to a report released in Stockholm on Monday.

* Three people drowned and two dozen are believed to be missing in the second migrant shipwreck off Greece this week, authorities said on Tuesday.