Spain gives Cat­alo­nia eight days to end cri­sis

Daily Nation (Barbados) - - One World/caribbean Link -

MADRID/BARCELONA – Span­ish Prime Min­is­ter Mar­i­ano Ra­joy yes­ter­day gave the Cata­lan gov­ern­ment eight days to drop an in­de­pen­dence bid, fail­ing which he would sus­pend Cat­alo­nia’s po­lit­i­cal au­ton­omy and rule the re­gion di­rectly.

His move could deepen the con­fronta­tion be­tween Madrid and the north­east­ern re­gion but also sig­nals a way out of Spain’s big­gest po­lit­i­cal cri­sis since a failed mil­i­tary coup in 1981.

Ra­joy would prob­a­bly call a snap re­gional elec­tion af­ter ac­ti­vat­ing Article 155 of the con­sti­tu­tion that would al­low him to sack the Cata­lan re­gional gov­ern­ment.

Cat­alo­nia Pres­i­dent Car­les Puigde­mont is­sued a sym­bolic dec­la­ra­tion of in­de­pen­dence from Spain on Tues­day night but then im­me­di­ately sus­pended it and called for ne­go­ti­a­tions with the Madrid gov­ern­ment.

“The cab­i­net has agreed this morn­ing to for­mally re­quest the Cata­lan gov­ern­ment to con­firm whether it has de­clared the in­de­pen­dence of Cat­alo­nia, re­gard­less of the de­lib­er­ate con­fu­sion cre­ated over its im­ple­men­ta­tion,” Ra­joy said in a tele­vised ad­dress.

He later told Spain’s par­lia­ment the Cata­lan gov­ern­ment had un­til Mon­day, Oc­to­ber 16 at 0800 GMT to an­swer. If Puigde­mont was to con­firm he did de­clare in­de­pen­dence, he would be given an ad­di­tional three days to rec­tify it, un­til Oc­to­ber 19. ( Reuters)

Food re­lief fall­ing short

SAN JUAN – Fed­eral of­fi­cials pri­vately ad­mit there is a mas­sive short­age of meals in Puerto Rico three weeks af­ter Hur­ri­cane Maria dev­as­tated the is­land.

Of­fi­cials at the Fed­eral Emer­gency Man­age­ment Agency (FEMA) said that the gov­ern­ment and its part­ners were only pro­vid­ing 200 000 meals a day to meet the needs of more than two mil­lion peo­ple. That is a daily short­fall of be­tween 1.8 mil­lion and 5.8 mil­lion meals.

“We are 1.8 mil­lion meals short,” said one se­nior FEMA of­fi­cial. “That is why we need the ur­gency. And it’s not go­ing away. We’re do­ing this much today, but it has to be sus­tained over sev­eral months.”

The scale of the food cri­sis dwarfs the more widely pub­li­cised chal­lenges of restor­ing power and com­mu­ni­ca­tions. More than a third of Puerto Ri­cans are still strug­gling to live with­out drink­ing wa­ter. ( Guardianuk)

$2m wrong­ful death award

KINGSTON – The Supreme Court has or­dered busi­ness­man Patrick Pow­ell to pay two mil­lion dol­lars to the fam­ily of teenager Kha­jeel Mais aris­ing from a wrong­ful death law­suit.

The award by Jus­tice Stephanie Jack­son Hais­ley was made yes­ter­day, nearly two years af­ter the law­suit, which was filed by Mais’ par­ents, ended with a de­fault judg­ment.

Pow­ell, who is serv­ing a nine-month sen­tence for a con­vic­tion re­lated to Mais’ death, did not con­test the suit. In July this year, he was found guilty of fail­ing to turn over his li­censed Glock pis­tol and am­mu­ni­tion to po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tors prob­ing Mais’ death. ( Gleaner)

US diplo­mat in deadly crash

BELMOPAN – The United States Em­bassy in Be­lize has ex­pressed “deep shock and sad­ness” af­ter three peo­ple, in­clud­ing an 18-month-old child, were killed fol­low­ing an ac­ci­dent in­volv­ing a ve­hi­cle driven by a US diplo­mat.

“The em­bassy ex­tends their sin­cere sym­pa­thies and heart­felt con­do­lences and prayers go out to the loved ones of those who lost their lives and were af­fected in this ter­ri­ble tragedy,” it said in the brief state­ment.

Last week­end’s ac­ci­dent re­sulted in the deaths of 23-year-old Marta Vasquez, her 18-month-old baby girl Deanna Castillo and her 30-year-old sis­ter-in-law Saman­tha Castillo. A six-month old child sur­vived. ( CMC)

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