The number of Russians favouring the Russia-Belarus Union is increasing -- such is the result of a public opinion poll carried out by the Public Opinion fund last November in 100 populated places in republics and regions of the Russian Federation. This poll covered 1,500 respondents, reported on Friday the analytical department of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Belarus-Russia Union. Most of them (45 percent) back the idea of unification between Belarus and Russia into a single state, having one president, government, flag and currency. For comparison's sake, in 1997 the number of those backing the idea was 30 percent. The majority (36 percent) stood for a union of independent states with close political and economic relations. Today half of the polled believe that the process of Russia-Belarus integration meets the interests of the two states in equal measure. Another 40 percent of the polled believe, as before, that the unification is more advantageous to Belarussians. The main answers to the question what should be single in this Union are -- customs border, banking system, army, laws and currency. These are followed by secret services, parliament and the court. Polling results are evidence that elections to the Union parliament should be held in 2002: 46 percent are for the forming of a parliament and 24 percent against. Noteworthily, most of the polled voiced themselves for electing the Union parliament on the democratic basis from among rank and file citizens of Belarus and Russia. Sixty percent of the respondents are ready to participate.
An unidentified man wielding a knife attacked civilians in the Church of Notre Dame in the French city of Nice. Three people were killed, several others were hospitalised with injuries.One of the victims was beheaded