Separatists win Catalan vote +++ UN General Assembly rejects US Jerusalem move +++ Syrian Congress planned for January

Separatists win Catalan vote +++ UN General Assembly rejects US Jerusalem move +++ Syrian Congress planned for January +++ Russia rebukes Britain over tensions +++ Peru’s president avoids impeachment +++ Pence claims progress in Afghanistan +++ Hungary will block EU over Poland +++ The weather

News | 22 December 2017

Joanna King

Separatists win Catalan vote

In the special regional election in Catalonia ordered by the Spanish government pro-independence parties have held on to a slim but reduced majority in the Catalan parliament. However the unionist Citizens party emerged the largest single party. The deposed Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, from self-imposed exile in Belgium, described the result as a “slap to the face” to Spanish prime minister, Mariano Rajoy: “Firstly, as president of Catalonia I would like to congratulate the Catalan population for this great lesson in democracy, a record turnout and a result that no one can dispute.” The Spanish government called the election and imposed direct rule after Catalonia illegally declared independence in October. Rajoy is expected to speak in about an hour on the election result, following a meeting of his cabinet.

UN General Assembly rejects US Jerusalem move

The United Nations General Assembly has decisively backed a resolution rejecting US President Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The non-binding resolution was approved by 128 states, with nine opposing and 35 abstaining. Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected the vote as a theatre of the absurd. Palestinian president Mohammed Abbas has said the Palestinians will no longer accept any peace plan by the US.

Russia rebukes Britain over tensions

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at a meeting in Moscow with his British counterpart Boris Johnson has said relations with Britain are at a low point, and rebuked Johnson for discussing in public issues between the two countries ahead of the talks. Johnson said Britain could not ignore Russia's interference in elections in the US, Germany and other countries, nor its actions in Ukraine, and the persecution of homosexuals in Chechnya.

Peru’s president avoids impeachment

US Vice President Mike Pence during an unannounced visit to Afghanistan has told the government in Kabul that the US is committed to helping Afghanistan achieve peace and security. Pence said real progress is being made in the sixteen year war against militants.

Pence claims progress in Afghanistan 

US Vice President Mike Pence during an unannounced visit to Afghanistan has told the government in Kabul that the US is committed to helping Afghanistan achieve peace and security. Pence said real progress is being made in the sixteen year war against militants.

Hungary will block EU over Poland

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has said that Hungary will block any action to suspend Poland's voting rights in the European Union. Orban has denounced as pointless legal proceedings begun by the EU over justice reforms in Poland that Brussels says contravene fundamental democratic values. Hungary is itself facing proceedings over possible violation of EU treaties.

The weather

Cloudy with rain and snow showers north of the Alps. Mainly dry in the south. Top temperatures plus 1 to 9 degrees.

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  • Joanna King

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