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In Brief

In Brief

Algerian death toll reaches year high
ALGIERS, Algeria
The death toll from political violence in Algeria jumped to a year high in April, when suicide bombings killed 33 people in the capital Algiers, according to a Reuters count based on newspapers reports.
An estimated 81 people were killed in the past month including 28 Islamist rebels, compared with a total of 45 killed in March, 18 in February and 21 in January.
The Algiers bombings, the first in the center of the Mediterranean port city in more than a decade, were believed to be the country's first suicide bomb attacks.
One of the blasts ripped part of the facade off the Algerian prime minister's headquarters, while two others hit a police station and a neighboring gendarmerie office in the eastern outskirts of the capital.
Russia space plan
MOSCOW, Russia
The chief of Russia's space agency said that the United States has rejected a proposal by Moscow to explore the moon jointly, a Russian news agency reported.
NASA announced in December that it would establish an international base camp on one of the moon's poles, permanently staffing it by 2024. Officials with Russia's Federal Space Agency, Roscosmos, later said they had hoped to join NASA's program with Russian technology and experience.
But Roscosmos chief Anatoly Perminov was quoted by the Interfax news agency Sunday as saying that the United States had rebuffed the offer.
"We are ready to cooperate but for some reasons the United States has announced that it will carry out the program itself," he was quoted as saying.
Ban on smoking
BELFAST, Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland yesterday became the third part of Britain to go smoke-free, as a ban on lighting up in enclosed public spaces came into force.
The new law came into effect at 6:00 a.m. local time. Smoking was banned in Scottish cafes, pubs, restaurants and work places in March last year while Wales introduced similar measures on April 2 this year.
England will be the last place in Britain to outlaw smoking, when a ban comes in on July 1.
Smokers who flout the ban in Northern Ireland will be fined 50 pounds (US$99.6), while businesses face fines of up to 2,500 pounds if they fail to enforce the restrictions.
Greek police attacked
ATHENS, Greece
Attackers threw a hand grenade and fired 17 rounds with a semi-automatic weapon at a police station in Athens early yesterday, damaging police cars and civilian vehicles but injuring no one.
Police said they were investigating the possible involvement of local guerrilla groups in the attack in the Nea Ionia district, the worst in a spate of strikes on police stations and banks.
Self-styled anarchists and leftist fringe groups have in the past week staged several strikes, including hurling petrol bombs at a central Athens police station, torching cars and forcing officers inside to flee.
They claimed their attacks were in support of jailed comrades.
"It appears to be part of the anarchist attacks we have witnessed over the past few days but we rule out nothing," a police official, who declined to be named, told Reuters.


Updated : 2021-03-01 09:46 GMT+08:00