Spain takes control of Catalonia +++ Record surge in CO2 levels
News | 30 October 2017
Spain takes control of Catalonia
The Spanish government is putting in place measures to take direct control of Catalonia in response to the region's declaration of independence last week. On Friday, Madrid stripped Catalonia of its autonomy and removed the Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont from office. Puigdemont has called for peaceful resistance to the imposition of direct rule. He and other Catalan officials may face criminal charges. Fresh elections have been called for Catalonia on December 21st. Dr Caroline Gray is an expert in Spanish politics at Aston University. She says the days ahead are unpredictable: “The big question is will all the civil servants in Catalonia respond to orders from Madrid or will they continue responding to orders from their own elected representatives in Catalonia. We’re going to need to see this week how things pan out.”
Record surge in CO2 levels
Scientists say the amount of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere reached a record high in 2016. The World Meteorological Organization says a combination of human activities and the El Niño weather phenomenon have driven CO2 to levels not seen for thousands of years. Last year's increase was 50% higher than the average of the past 10 years. Scientists say the findings suggest that global temperature targets set in the Paris Climate Agreement will be largely unattainable.
Deadly storms across Europe
Powerful storms have wreaked havoc in parts of central and northern Europe, killing at least seven people in Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic. Clean-up operations are underway in Austria after it uprooted trees, damaged buildings and caused power outages. However no deaths were reported in this country. Thousands of Poles and Czechs are still without power. Some rail services are still suspended in parts of Germany after routes sustained damage and similar disruptions have also been reported across the Czech Republic.
First arrest expected in U.S. Russia interference inquiry
The first charges are expected to be announced in the investigation into alleged Russian interference into last year’s U.S. presidential election. The inquiry, which is being led by the special counsel Robert Mueller, could see its first arrest as early as today. President Trump has launched a Twitter tirade, insisting the allegations of collusion between his campaign and Moscow are – quote - "phony" and a "witch hunt". So far it is not clear what the charges are and whom they are targeting. Harry Lisman is a former U.S. Attorney. He says Trump has two controversial options if he wants to put a stop to the investigation:“He could try to fire Mueller. He could try to pardon anybody who Mueller indicts now or in the future. Both of those things would set up a huge legal battle if that’s what he tried.”
Syria peace talks resume
The seventh round of talks on the war in Syria has opened in the Kazakh capital Astana. The discussions, which are aimed ending the conflict, are being mediated by Russia, Iran and Turkey. Negotiators will reportedly focus on the fight against terrorism, the release of prisoners, and the clearance of mines in Syria.
International warning for North Korea
Senior defence officials from the United States, South Korea and Japan have urged North Korea to walk away from what they’ve called “its destructive and reckless path of developing weapons”. The three countries held talks at the U.S. Pacific Command headquarters in Hawaii to discuss Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programmes. According to a statement, they called on North Korea to refrain from irresponsible provocations.
Kevin Spacey apologizes for sexual advance
The Hollywood star Kevin Spacey has apologized after he was accused of making a sexual advance towards a child actor more than 30 years ago. The Star Trek actor Anthony Rapp said he was 14-years old when Spacey made the advance in his New York apartment after a party. Spacey says he does not remember the incident but has apologized for what he calls “deeply inappropriate drunken behaviour”.
Lots of sunshine in the south. Elsewhere will see cloud with rain and even hail. It will remain very windy in the north and east. Top temperatures will range from 3 to 13degrees.
- Paul Brennan