World News in Brief: June 2

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement took effect on Friday for the Philippines, confirming that the RCEP agreement is now in effect for all 15 members.
Pakistan saw a record high inflation of 37.97 percent year on year in May, the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) has said.
Pakistan saw a record high inflation of 37.97 percent year on year in May, the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) has said.

* Around 50 European leaders gathered Thursday at the Mimi Castle in Bulboaca, Moldova for the second European Political Community (EPC) summit focused on security issues, as well as energy, climate, and interconnectivity.

* The Chinese envoy who toured European capitals last month seeking to promote Ukraine peace talks said on Friday that Beijing is considering another mission, after acknowledging that his trip may not produce immediate results.

* Japanese Finance Minister Suzuki Shunichi and South Korean Finance Minister Choo Kyung-ho will meet on June 29 in Tokyo for the next bilateral meeting, almost two months after the first talk between the two countries' financial leaders in seven years.

* The United States said it will stop providing Russia some notifications required under the New START arms control treaty from Thursday, including updates on its missile and launcher locations, to retaliate for Moscow's "ongoing violations" of the accord.

* Sudan's warring parties clashed in the capital overnight and into Friday morning after talks aimed at maintaining a ceasefire and alleviating a humanitarian crisis collapsed, prompting the U.S. to issue sanctions.

* The German government would close four out of the five Russian consulates in the country by revoking their licenses after Moscow limited the number of German officials in Russia, according to the German Federal Foreign Office.

* The Iranian foreign minister has said that Iran welcomes any initiative aimed at restoring its relations with Egypt in line with the two sides' interests, Iran's IRIB news agency reported on Thursday.

* The Iranian foreign minister stressed that the historical ties and commonalities between Iran and Afghanistan could trump any attempt by enemy forces to sour their ties, Iran's IRIB news agency reported on Thursday

* Yemen urged international society to fund a UN plan to prevent a huge oil tanker moored off in the Red Sea from a catastrophic oil spill.

* Tunisia and Italy are willing to continue to cooperate in the fight against illegal immigration in the Mediterranean region and develop a common approach in this regard, reported the official Tunis Afrique Presse (TAP) on Wednesday.

* Finnish President Sauli Niinisto met with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Thursday and discussed increasing trade by completing a long-overdue tariff reduction agreement between the European Union and the Mercosur South American countries.

* After months of partisan arm-wrestling, the U.S. Congress approved the bill to raise America's debt ceiling after the Senate's passage late Thursday, the 103rd time since 1945, allowing the government to avert a debt default by borrowing more.

* Tourists in Indonesia are discovering the benefits of mangroves as the archipelago pushes to replant or conserve carbon-rich coastal areas that have been decimated by human activity.

* U.S. oil and gas production continued to rise strongly in March - the delayed impact of very high prices that prevailed until the third quarter of 2022.

* South Korea's revised gross domestic product (GDP) rebounded in the first quarter owing to higher consumption after the lifting of COVID-19 measures, central bank data showed Friday.

* Annual inflation in the eurozone slowed down to 6.1 percent in May from 7 percent in April, Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union (EU), said in a flash estimate on Thursday.

* Ireland's domestic economy returned to growth in the first three months of the year with a strong expansion in the construction and agriculture sectors puling the country out of a shallow recession, data showed on Friday.

* Australia will raise the minimum wage by 5.75% from July 1 as families grapple with soaring living costs, a decision that businesses and some economists say risks further stoking inflation and interest rates.

* In a sign of confidence that the worst of Sri Lanka's financial crisis is over, its central bank surprised markets by cutting interest rates for the first time in three years on Thursday, signalling a change of course to fuel a rebound in the economy.

* New Zealand's trade deficit narrowed to 3.2 billion NZ dollars (1.95 billon USD) in the March 2023 quarter, compared with 3.9 billion NZ dollars (2.38 billon USD) in the March 2022 quarter, contributed by an increase in travel exports, according to the statistics department Stats NZ on Friday.

* Australia's industrial relations tribunal has granted a 5.75 percent increase in the national minimum wage. The Fair Work Commission (FWC) on Friday announced that the adjustments will take effect on July 1.

* Chief of the UN relief agency for Palestine refugees, Philippe Lazzarini, on Thursday warned of the approaching of a tipping point in the delivery of services.

* The Security Council supports the continued presence of the United Nations in Sudan and is expected to renew the mandate of the UN mission in the country, said Lana Zaki Nusseibeh in her capacity as Security Council president.

* The United Nations on Thursday voiced concern about the slowdown of grain shipments under the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which allows the export of Ukrainian grain and other agricultural products from Black Sea ports.

* The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on Thursday said more than 100 refugees, who will be resettled in Norway, have been flown out of Libya.

* The United Nations has released 3 million USD for emergency relief following tropical cyclone Mocha's pounding of southeastern Bangladesh, a UN spokesman said on Thursday.

* Pakistan has passed a special order to allow barter trade with Afghanistan, Iran and Russia for certain goods, including petroleum and gas, the Ministry of Commerce said on Friday.