Following is a summary of current world news briefs.
Britain hits coronavirus testing target as death toll leaps again
Britain has hit its target of carrying out 100,000 COVID-19 tests a day, health minister Matt Hancock said on Friday, stressing that the programme was crucial to helping ease a national lockdown. Hancock also announced that the British death toll had risen by 739 to 27,510 deaths - just below that of Italy which was one of the first and worst-hit European states.
Police in Chile detain more than 50 protesters at Labor Day rally
Police in the Chilean capital Santiago detained more than 50 protesters on Friday, saying they had violated rules intended to stem the spread of the coronavirus. Protesters gathered on the Labor Day holiday in Santiago's central square, many shouting and displaying signs that railed against abuse of workers and a sharp rise in layoffs in the South American nation.
U.S. imposes Iran-related sanctions on mining company, individual: Treasury website
The United States on Friday imposed Iran-related sanctions on an individual and Taif Mining Services LLC, the U.S. Treasury Department's website said. According to the website, the blacklisted individual, Amir Dianat, is linked to Iran's elite Quds Force.
Irish PM unveils plan to slowly lift coronavirus restrictions
Ireland on Friday announced the first small steps to easing restrictions to slow the spread of the coronavirus and laid out a roadmap for a gradual re-opening of the economy over the coming months if the virus can be kept under control. Acting Prime Minister Leo Varadkar told "cocooning" over 70s that they could leave their homes to go for a walk or a drive from Tuesday and extended the travel limit for exercise to 5 kilometres from 2 kilometres.
French life will not be normal after May 11, Macron says
President Emmanuel Macron warned on Friday that ending the national lockdown on May 11 would be only a first step for France to pull out of the coronavirus crisis, for which his handling faces mounting criticism. Traditional Labour Day protests that usually draw thousands of demonstrators to the streets were cancelled this year due to the virus outbreak that has killed over 24,500 people across France.
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KCNA reports North Korea leader Kim Jong Un resuming public activity
North Korea's state news agency KCNA said on Saturday leader Kim Jong Un attended the completion of a fertilizer plant in a region north of the capital, Pyongyang, in the first report of his public activity since April 11. Reuters could not independently verify the KCNA report.
Japan PM Abe leaning towards extending state of emergency, to decide May 4
Japanese Prime |(Minister Shinzo Abe said on Friday he was leaning towards extending the country's state of emergency for about a month as experts said coronavirus restrictions should remain in place until the number of cases falls further. The emergency is now due to expire on May 6 but Abe said the situation remains tough and further cooperation is needed from Japanese citizens, although he would make a final decision on May 4 after consultations with experts.
Taliban step up attacks on Afghan forces since signing U.S. deal: data
The Taliban have mounted more than 4,500 attacks in Afghanistan, marking a sharp escalation in violence, in the 45 days since signing a deal with the United States that paves the way for a U.S. troop drawdown, according to data seen by Reuters. Two sets of data, one from a Western military source and one from an independent body, both show attacks by the hardline Islamist group up by more than 70 percent between March 1 and April 15 compared with the same period a year ago.
Assange's partner says his life is in danger in London prison
The partner of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said on Friday his life is in danger while he is held in a London prison during the coronavirus lockdown. Assange is fighting a request by the United States to extradite him to stand trial for conspiring to hack government computers and espionage, but hearings scheduled for later this month will not go ahead because of the lockdown.
Canada bans assault-style weapons in aftermath of mass shooting
Canada is banning the sale of military-grade assault weapons in the aftermath of the country's deadliest mass shooting two weeks ago, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Friday. "These weapons were designed for one purpose and one purpose only: to kill the largest number of people in the shortest amount of time," Trudeau said at a daily media briefing in Ottawa. "There is no use and no place for such weapons in Canada."
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