Spain moves to block Catalan bid to elect former leader Carles Puigdemont in absentia

Spain is appealing a new law that would have allowed the former Catalonia leader Carles Puigdemont, above, to be elected at a distance while he waits in Berlin for German courts to rule on a Spanish request to extradite him. (Reuters)
Updated 09 May 2018
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Spain moves to block Catalan bid to elect former leader Carles Puigdemont in absentia

MADRID: Spain moved on Wednesday to block pro-independence politicians in Catalonia from voting in former leader Carles Puigdemont as their regional head as a deadline looms to form a government and avoid fresh elections.
Government spokesman Inigo Mendez de Vigo said Spain was appealing a new law that would have allowed the former leader to be elected at a distance while he waits in Berlin for German courts to rule on a Spanish request to extradite him.
The law was approved last week by the Barcelona parliament, which is still dominated by secessionist forces since elections last December which Madrid had hoped would stifle the independence movement.
Catalan lawmakers must select a leader and form a government by May 22 to avoid a new round of elections.


Police investigating cause of 'minor explosion' at north London underground station

Updated 3 min 13 sec ago
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Police investigating cause of 'minor explosion' at north London underground station

LONDON: A small number of people have been treated after a minor explosion was reported at a tube station in north London, police said.
The British Transport Police said that there were no reports of serious injuries and their enquiries continue to find out what caused the minor explosion at Southgate station. 
British Transport Police tweeted: “Southgate Tube station is currently closed whilst officers respond to a suspicious package"
The Metropolitan Police said in a statement: “Police were called at 7.03pm on 19 June to reports of an explosion and people running at Southgate underground station.
“Met officers remain at the scene along with colleagues from British Transport Police, London Fire Brigade and London Ambulance Service.
“Cordons are in place and the station is closed.