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Scottish lawmakers call for international recognition for Catalan independence

Pro-independence Scottish lawmakers have presented a motion in their devolved parliament urging international recognition of Catalonia’s unilateral declaration of independence from Spain, putting pressure on Scotland’s leader to endorse the movement. Scotland’s pro-independence First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has criticized Madrid’s handling of the crisis with its northern region but refrained …

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Catalonia independence: Spain takes charge of Catalan government

The Spanish government has stripped Catalonia of its autonomy and taken charge of its government. The measures on Saturday morning came after the Catalan parliament voted to declare independence on Friday. An official state bulletin handed control of Catalonia to Spain’s Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria. Earlier, Catalonia’s …

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Catalan VP says Spain ‘gives us no option’ but to secede

Spanish authorities are leaving separatists in Catalonia no option but to push ahead with declaring independence and proclaiming the region as a new republic, the region’s vice president asserted Wednesday. In an interview with The Associated Press, Vice President Oriol Junqueras said his party —one of two in the separatist …

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Iraqi Kurds Offer to Freeze Independence Referendum Results

Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government said it’s prepared to freeze the results of last month’s independence referendum that triggered deadly clashes with government troops and hurt oil exports. The KRG also proposed an immediate ceasefire and talks with the central government in Baghdad “on the basis of the constitution.” “As …

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Catalonia vote: Spain expected to impose direct rule

The Spanish government is set to hold a special cabinet meeting to approve measures to take direct control over Catalonia. The meeting comes almost three weeks after the region held an independence referendum, which was ruled illegal by the country’s supreme court. Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont has refused to abandon …

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Kirkuk: Iraqi forces capture key sites from Kurds

Iraqi government forces have captured key installations outside the disputed city of Kirkuk from Kurdish fighters. A military statement said units had taken control of the K1 military base, the Baba Gurgur oil and gas field, and a state-owned oil company’s offices. Baghdad said the Peshmerga had withdrawn “without fighting”, …

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Iraqi forces demand Kurdish troops’ withdrawal from Kirkuk area

Iraqi forces have demanded that Kurdish troops withdraw from oil fields and military bases around the contested city of Kirkuk, Kurdish officials and a senior militia leader said Friday, leading to a tense standoff around the city. Kurdish peshmerga soldiers rallied to protect Kirkuk on Thursday night, as Interior Ministry …

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Catalan referendum: Regional strike threatened after vote

A general strike threatens to bring large areas of Catalonia to a standstill, following the Spanish region’s disputed referendum. The strike was called by Catalan trade unions and associations due to “the grave violation of rights and freedoms” seen during Sunday’s ballot. Madrid had deemed the referendum illegal. However, more …

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Tillerson says Kurdish independence referendum is illegitimate

The United States on Friday declared illegitimate Monday’s Kurdish referendum on independence, as the Iraqi government imposed a ban on international flights to airports operated by the Kurdistan Regional Government and Iraqi troops prepared to seize the semiautonomous region’s border controls. “The United States does not recognize the . . . unilateral …

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Irbil braces for flight ban following independence vote

Hundreds of passengers waited to board flights out of the Kurdish region at Irbil International Airport on Thursday after Baghdad threatened to ban flights following an independence referendum held by Iraq’s Kurds earlier this week. Most international carriers who fly to and from airports in the Kurdish region announced they …

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Kurdish MPs say yes to independence referendum

The Iraqi Kurdish parliament has voted to back an independence referendum in the face of opposition from across the globe. The Kurdistan Regional Government, sitting for the first time in two years, backed the 25 September vote on Friday. Iraq’s central government rejected the referendum as unconstitutional on Tuesday. Iran, …

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