World News in Brief: January 3

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement took effect for Indonesia on Monday, with the country putting new regulations in place for its trade with other members of the world's largest free trade deal in terms of population and the size of economy and trade.
The Brazilian coastal city of Santos, which sporting giant Pele turned into a byword for soccer brilliance during a glittering club career, started bidding goodbye to its hero on Monday with a 24-hour wake.
The Brazilian coastal city of Santos, which sporting giant Pele turned into a byword for soccer brilliance during a glittering club career, started bidding goodbye to its hero on Monday with a 24-hour wake.

* Cambodia's trade with the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) member countries reached 28.4 billion USD in the first 11 months of 2022, a year-on-year increase of 7 percent, the Ministry of Commerce's latest report showed on Tuesday.

* The Republic of Korea and the United States are discussing joint planning and implementation of US nuclear operations to counter the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and hope to conduct a tabletop exercise soon, officials from both sides said on Tuesday.

* Ukrainian troops fired rockets on the temporary deployment facility of the Russian troops in the city of Makiivka in Donetsk, killing at least 63 Russian servicemen, the Russian Defense Ministry said Monday.

* Energy infrastructure facilities were damaged as a result of another massive Russian drone attack on the Ukrainian capital Kiev overnight Monday, local authorities said.

* Libyan Prime Minister Abdul-Hamed Dbeibah on Monday said his government is ready to hold general elections in the year 2023.

* The Iranian foreign ministry's spokesman said on Monday that Iran is not part of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, rejecting "baseless" accusations against Tehran.

* Argentina and Brazil are "inextricably united," Argentine President Alberto Fernandez said Monday after meeting with his newly-instated Brazilian counterpart Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in Brasilia.

* President of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedow is scheduled to visit China between Jan. 5 and Jan. 6, state media CCTV reported on Tuesday.

* NATO countries will discuss their defence spending targets in the coming months as some of them call for turning a 2% target into a minimum figure, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told the German news agency DPA.

* French Defense Minister Sebastien Lecornu on Monday vowed to enhance military cooperation with Lebanon and help raise the capacity of the Lebanese navy.

* Some countries' COVID-19 entry restrictions targetting China lack scientific basis and are unreasonable, a spokesperson for the Chinese foreign minsitry said at a regular briefing on Tuesday.

* The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) on Monday rejected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's threat to take punitive measures against the Palestinian Authority (PA) for approaching UN agencies.

* The European Union has offered free COVID-19 vaccines to China to help Beijing contain a mass outbreak of the illness, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday.

* French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said on Tuesday that inflation was expected to peak at the start of 2023 before then retreating.

* Brazil's new Environment Minister Marina Silva said on Monday that her most important task would be "fixing issues" that are obstructing the trade deal between the European Union and South America's Mercosur bloc.

* China has seen about 52.7 million domestic tourist visits during the three-day New Year holiday, up 0.44 percent year on year, according to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism on Monday.

* Foreign direct investment (FDI) in the Republic of Korea hit a record high last year owing to surging investment in the manufacturing industry, government data showed Tuesday.

* The number of people employed in Germany in 2022 was a record 45.6 million, up 1.3 percent year-on-year, according to provisional figures published by the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) on Monday.

* Iraq exported about 103 million barrels of crude oil in December, generating 7.6 billion USD in revenue, the country's oil ministry announced Monday.

* Croatia's revenues from tourism in 2022 are projected to total a record 13 billion euros (13.87 billion USD), the country's Minister of Tourism Nikolina Brnjac said on Monday. The number of tourists who visited Croatia last year was almost as high as in pre-pandemic year 2019, the minister added.

* Due mainly to the ongoing Ukraine crisis, the accelerating rate of inflation and high electricity prices, the number of bankruptcies in Sweden rose to the highest level in a decade during the second half of 2022, according to statistics released on Monday.

* Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on Monday that Türkiye's exports in 2022 reached a record high of 254.2 billion USD, registering a year-on-year growth of 12.9 percent.

* Pakistan's consumer price index (CPI), a main gauge of inflation, rose 24.5 percent in December as compared to the same month a year ago when it was recorded at 12.28 percent, Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) said Monday.

* The Sri Lankan government on Tuesday announced plans to import eggs in face of a "domestic price war."

* The Syrian Central Bank on Monday lowered the official Syrian pound's exchange rate against the USD for the second time since September, reflecting a loss of about 50 percent.

* An attack on a prison in the Mexican border town of Juarez left 19 dead and allowed a cartel kingpin to escape along with two dozen other prisoners, authorities said Monday.

* Malawi has delayed the opening of public schools in the southern African country's two major cities of Blantyre and Lilongwe, the health minister said Monday, to try to slow down a surge in cholera deaths.