Spain: Madrid ‘Ready to Suspend’ Catalonia’s Autonomy

(MADRID/BARCELONA) — Spain’s central government said on Thursday it would suspend Catalonia’s autonomy and impose direct rule after the region’s leader threatened to go ahead with a formal declaration of independence if Madrid refused to hold talks. In an act unprecedented since Spain returned to democracy in the late 1970s, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said […]

Australia dismisses North Korea letter as rant against Trump

By Rod McGuirk | AP By Rod McGuirk | AP October 20 at 12:02 AM CANBERRA, Australia — Australia’s prime minister on Friday dismissed an extraordinary letter from North Korea to the Australian Parliament and other countries as a “rant” against President Donald Trump and a sign that Pyongyang was “starting to feel the squeeze” of escalated sanctions. The […]

New Zealand election result stokes housing, migration fears

SYDNEY/WELLINGTON (Reuters) – Temporary workers and foreign students previously drawn to New Zealand on the promise of gaining residency will start leaving en masse, migration agents say, as the incoming coalition government promises to cut record migration. New Zealand Labour leader Jacinda Ardern speaks to the press after leader of New Zealand First party Winston […]

Ousted Chinese Official Is Accused of Plotting Against Communist Party

“Anyone challenging Xi Jinping can now be seen as committing a political crime,” said Nicholas Bequelin, East Asia regional director for Amnesty International. “I think that is very different from what everybody understood before — that yes, if you were resisting, opposing or going through bureaucratic strategies to get around new directions you could be […]

South Korea Military Wants Stronger Navy to Strike Kim Jong Un and his Missiles

The South Korean Navy has asked the government to approve plans to strengthen its fleet to improve its capacity to conduct “aggressive operations” against provocations from North Korea. The navy’s strategy includes the creation of an aviation command to supervise more than 70 aircraft and helicopters, as well as a new task fleet, chief naval operation […]

Russian opposition divided over TV host Ksenia Sobchak’s presidential bid

MOSCOW — A presidential bid by a celebrity Russian TV host drew conflicting reactions from the country’s beleaguered opposition Thursday, with some accusing her of playing into the Kremlin’s hands and others welcoming her move.  Although President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, denied that the Kremlin has encouraged Ksenia Sobchak to run, some opposition figures […]