Many Catalans mark Spain’s national day
Compiled from news services
MADRID— Thousands of Catalans who want their region to remain in Spain marked the country’s national day Thursday, marching through Barcelona waving both Spanish and Catalan flags and shouting “I am Spanish,” as the region’s threats of independence have left the country in crisis.
Meanwhile, in the national capital Madrid, troops and police paraded in front of King Felipe VI, accompanied by national and regional politicians. Thousands of people waving Spanish flags lined the sidewalk of Madrid’s Paseo de la Castellana avenue for the military parade.
Catalan regional President Carles Puigdemont announced Tuesday that he was proceeding with a declaration of Catalan independence, but proposed freezing its implementation for a few weeks to allow for dialogue and mediation with the national government in Madrid.
4 suspects in Kim murder
SHAHALAM, Malaysia — A Malaysian police officer testified Thursday that the two women on trial in the murder of the estranged half brother of North Korea’s leader were seen on airport security videos with two men believed to have provided the VX nerve agent used to kill him.
Videos presented in court showed Vietnamese suspect Doan Thi Huong walking in the airport with a man wearing a baseball cap. Separately, Indonesian suspect Siti Aisyah was seen meeting with another man also wearing a cap at an airport cafe just before the attack was carried out in a crowded departure terminal of the Kuala Lumpur airport on Feb. 13. The faces of the men can’t be seen clearly.
Kenya bans protests
NAIROBI,Kenya — The Kenyan government outlawed demonstrations in three major cities on Thursday ahead of opposition plans to hold massive rallies around the country demanding electoral reform.
The order sets the government on a collision course with supporters of opposition leader Raila Odinga, who earlier this week pulled out of a presidential rerun election set for Oct. 26 against President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The Supreme Court invalidated the election results from August — which gave Mr. Kenyatta the win — after allegations of widespread irregularities in vote counting. Mr. Odinga’s backers have held weekly protests against the election commission, which they accuse of favoring Mr. Kenyatta. Some of the protests have turned violent and involved damage to property.
Kobe Steel crisis worsens
Kobe Steel’s fake data scandal penetrated deeper into the most hallowed corners of Japanese industry as iconic bullet trains were found with sub-standard parts supplied by the steelmaker.
While there’s no safety risk, two companies operating the high-speed Shinkansen trains said they found Kobe Steel components that failed to meet Japanese industry standards. The chief executive officer of the 112-year old steelmaker apologized for the crisis as compromised materials turn up in everything from cars to DVDs. The affair has wiped off more than a third of the company’s market value and led to speculation it may be broken up.
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A cigar half-smoked by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill during a 1947 trip to Paris has sold for just over $12,000 during an online auction. ... Syrian factions have reached a ceasefire agreement for southern Damascus during a meeting in Cairo, Egypt’s state media reported.