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Catalonia ‘ready to declare independence within days’
The president of Catalonia has told the BBC that the region will be ready to declare independence from Spain within days, with his government prepared to “act at the end of this week or the beginning of next”. Carles Puigdemont also warned the Madrid government not to intervene, as this would be an “error which changes everything”.
The comments follow more than 900 people being injured in violence at the weekend after the Spanish government attempted to stop an independence referendum it had declared illegal. King Felipe VI has given a televised address, calling for calm and declaring that organisers of the vote put themselves “outside the law”.
But protest rallies have been taking place across Catalonia. Some 700,000 people took to the streets in the main city, Barcelona, according to local police, although this figure has not been confirmed by the authorities in Madrid.
The BBC’s Patrick Jackson spoke to people in Barcelona to gauge their reaction to events.
Would Catalonia be a viable country?
By BBC Reality Check
Never mind the mess of disentangling Catalonia’s economy from Spain’s. Catalonia’s economic power could also depend on whether it continues to be part of the EU – or at least the single market. Some 66% of Catalonia’s foreign exports go to the EU. It would need to reapply to become a member if it seceded from Spain – it wouldn’t get in automatically or immediately. And it would require all EU members to agree – including Spain.
Read the full article
Cameras reveal Las Vegas killer’s meticulous planning
Police are still trying to determine what led 64-year-old retired accountant Stephen Paddock to shoot dead 58 people at a Las Vegas concert, but they are at least beginning to understand the level of planning behind the attack. Two cameras have been found in and around the hotel suite from which he fired on the crowd – one in the peephole and one in the hallway. Paddock set them up to alert himself when “law enforcement or security” were approaching, police said. “It was pre-planned extensively and I’m pretty sure he evaluated everything he did in his actions,” said Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo. Meanwhile, with firearms laws once again coming under scrutiny, here are seven charts showing the extent and effect of America’s gun culture.
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May tells Tories to ‘shape up’
Theresa May will use her speech to the Conservative conference later to urge her party to “do our duty by Britain”. The prime minister, who lost her House of Commons majority in June’s general election and has faced questions over her leadership, will also say the Tories need to “shape up” and not “retreat in the face of difficulty”. Mrs May’s speech will focus on issues including the economy and helping to improve the lives of working people.
Meanwhile, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has prompted complaints from Labour and the Liberal Democrats for telling a fringe meeting at the conference that the Libyan city of Sirte – the scene of recent fighting – can become as successful as Dubai, adding that “all they have to do is clear the dead bodies away”.
What the papers say
There’s a lot of coverage of Theresa May’s Conservative conference speech. The Times says the prime minister will attempt to tell colleagues to “set aside their own ambitions” and the Guardian adds that she will “demand an end to the infighting”. Yet the Financial Times reports that tensions are rising in cabinet, with senior ministers saying the post-Brexit transition period should last longer than the limits Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson wants to impose. Away from the conference, the i says university maintenance grants are set to return and the Daily Mail warns that Christmas could be disrupted after Royal Mail workers voted for industrial action.
Back taxes Amazon “faces EU bill of hundreds of millions of euros”
Australian heat Sydney and Melbourne set for daytime temperatures of 50C within decades, experts warn
Postal strike Royal Mail workers vote for industrial action over pensions and pay
Bird deaths Pheasants “most likely species to be run over on UK roads”
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Today The Department for Work and Pensions begins to speed up the rollout of Universal Credit, with more than 50 job centres a month now due to take it up.
10:45 The winner of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry is announced.
On this day
1976 British Rail launched its 125mph High Speed Train, with the first London-to-Bristol service arriving three minutes early.
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The £20m underground art gallery (Daily Telegraph)
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