Algeria and Mali
UK "would have preferred" notice before Algeria rescue bid
LONDON, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Britain was not given prior notice of the Algerian government operation to release hostages at the remote gas plant where they are being held and would have preferred to have been informed, Prime Minister David Cameron's spokesman said on Thursday.
Cameron had called his Algerian counterpart Abdelmalek Sellal at around 1130 GMT on Thursday.
"The Algerian Prime Minister explained that the situation was very fast-moving and that in the government's judgement they needed to act immediately," the spokesman said.
"The Algerians are aware that we would have preferred to have been consulted in advance," he added.
Cameron told Sellal after the operation started that he was extremely concerned about the "very grave and serious" situation, the spokesman added.
MADRID The Spanish government has agreed with the opposition Socialists (PSOE) to hold regional elections in January in Catalonia as part of the extraordinary package of measures to temporarily impose direct rule on the region, Socialist politician Carmen Calvo said in an interview on national television on Friday.