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In Brief: Syria's Central Bank attacked

Attackers have fired rocket-propelled grenades at the Central Bank and a police patrol in the Syrian capital, Damascus.

The state news agency said four policemen were hurt and the bank building was damaged. Elsewhere, 10 people were injured in two bomb blasts in the north-western city of Idlib, an activist said.

State media blamed the attacks on "armed terrorists", a term it uses to describe those trying to overthrow President Bashar Assad.

Egypt starts election race

Campaigning for Egypt's first presidential election since Hosni Mubarak's ousting begins today, with a weekly poll showing former Arab League Secretary General Amre Moussa leading the field of 13 candidates in the May race.

Moussa, who also served as foreign minister, secured the backing of 41.1pc of those surveyed about the election that begins on May 23.

Islamist candidate Abdel Moneim Aboul-Fotouh was second with 27.3pc according to the study published today in al-Ahram newspaper.

500 jobs at Honda plant

An extra shift was introduced at the UK factory of car giant Honda today, where hundreds more jobs have been created.

The 500 new employees take the total number of workers at the Swindon plant to 3,500. The Japanese firm said the second shift coincided with growing demand for its new Civic hatchback models, with production at the Wiltshire plant expected to double to 180,000 this year.

Honda director Andy Piatek said: "I am delighted to welcome our new associates. We are proud of the skills of our workforce and the quality and reliability of the products we build."