Spain sacks Catalan government after independence declaration

BARCELONA/MADRID,  (Reuters) – The Madrid government sacked Catalonia’s president and dismissed its parliament yesterday, hours after the region declared itself an independent nation in Spain’s gravest political crisis since the return of democracy four decades ago.

Once again, Kenya delays election in some areas over risk of violence

NAIROBI,  (Reuters) – Kenyan authorities said yesterday they would indefinitely delay further attempts to hold a repeat presidential election in some areas due to the risk of violence, as the opposition rejected the re-run as “a sham” and said the polls should be cancelled.

Further isolation of Venezuela may be needed – Latin American group

TORONTO,  (Reuters) – A regional Latin American grouping on Thursday agreed more steps may be needed to further isolate Venezuela, where President Nicolas Maduro has been accused of stamping on rights and democracy, said Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland.

U.S. House narrowly passes measure paving way for Trump tax cuts

WASHINGTON,  (Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives helped pave the way yesterday for deep tax cuts sought by President Donald Trump and Republican leaders, but barely overcame a revolt within party ranks that could foreshadow trouble ahead.

Catalonia’s leader rules out snap election, crisis deepens

MADRID/BARCELONA,  (Reuters) – Catalonia’s leader Carles Puigdemont yesterday said he would not hold a new regional election to break the deadlock between Madrid and separatists wanting to split from Spain, sharpening a political crisis that could turn into direct confrontation.

Trump declares opioids a U.S. public health emergency

WASHINGTON,  (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency yesterday, stopping short of a national emergency declaration he promised months ago that would have freed up more federal money.

New UN powers to quiz firms in bloody battle over land rights

DUBLIN, (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – A United Nations official charged with defending human rights activists has gained new powers to question company directors in a bid to crack down on a worldwide surge in attacks on people who oppose their megaprojects.

China unveils new leadership line-up with no clear successor to Xi

BEIJING, (Reuters) – China’s ruling Communist Party broke with recent precedent on Wednesday, unveiling a new leadership line-up without a clear successor to President Xi Jinping, who has become arguably the most powerful Chinese leader since Mao Zedong.

Brazil’s Congress rejects corruption case against President Temer

BRASILIA, (Reuters) – Brazilian lawmakers rejected corruption charges against President Michel Temer last evening, shelving a case that had threatened to oust a center-right leader who investors hope will bring Brazil’s budget deficit under control.

Brazil’s Temer makes concessions to survive in office

BRASILIA,  (Reuters) – Brazil’s President Michel Temer has made policy and spending concessions in an effort to survive a congressional vote on corruption charges today that has put his reform agenda at risk, analysts and political actors said.