Many Cata­lans mark Spain’s na­tional day

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - - International -

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.

Also in the world ...

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.

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