October 5, 2017
Catalonia to Declare Independence From Spain on Monday – Spain
Catalonia will move on Monday to declare independence from Spain, a regional government source said, as the European Union nation nears a rupture that threatens the foundations of its young democracy and has unnerved financial markets. Pro-independence parties which control the regional parliament have asked for a debate and vote on Monday on declaring independence, the source said. A declaration should follow this vote, although it is unclear when. Catalan President Carles Puigdemont earlier told the BBC that his government would ask the region’s parliament to declare independence after tallying votes from last weekend’s referendum, which Madrid says was illegal. “This will probably finish once we get all the votes in from abroad at the end of the week and therefore we shall probably act over the weekend or early next week,” he said in remarks published on Wednesday. The constitutional crisis in Spain, the euro zone’s fourth-biggest economy, has shaken the common currency and hit Spanish stocks and bonds, sharply raising Madrid’s borrowing costs.
North Korea Promises to Bring Nuclear Clouds to Japan – Japan and North Korea
North Korea threatened to bring “nuclear clouds” to Japan and mocked Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for acting like a “headless chicken” at the United Nations General Assembly when the leader urged U.N. members to force North Korea to end its nuclear and missile programs. Pyongyang claimed Japan was inciting more tension in the Korean peninsula, calling its plea to end Kim Jong Un’s nuclear goal a “suicidal deed” that will end with a nuclear attack to sink the island, according to a statement released Monday by the state’s official Korean Central News Agency. North Korea called Abe a “headless chicken” and said the country could be “the first victim of nuclear disaster in the world.” North Korea has already fired two missiles that flew over Japan in the last two months. The missile from the latest launch in September reached a height of 480 miles and flew 2,300 miles out, putting it in range of U.S. territory Guam. North Korea then threatened to “sink” Japan and reduce the U.S. to “ashes and darkness.”
Nationwide Protests on 4-5 October – Togo and The United States
The U.S. Embassy has learned that several Togolese opposition political parties have called for nationwide protests on October 4 and 5, beginning at 8:00 a.m. Major traffic disruptions are possible in Lomé both days, as three scheduled protest routes will affect many areas of northern and eastern Lomé. Protests in Lomé will also likely affect public bus and private taxi services. The U.S. Embassy will observe normal working hours on October 4 and 5. The Embassy has also learned that opposition parties have called for protests in Vogan, Tagbligbo, Kpalimé, Atakpamé, Anié, Sokodé, Tchamba, Bafilo, Kara, Mango, Tandjouaré, and Dapaong. While the level of support for this week’s protests remains unknown, upcountry protests have previously caused disruptions to north-south travel along National Route 1. While these events are normally peaceful, on August 19 in Sokodé and on September 20 in Mango, secondary cities of the interior, clashes related to the protests resulted in at least three fatalities and a number of injuries. Demonstrations that cause traffic disruptions in city centers and along National Route 1 are often dispersed by police with nonlethal measures such as tear gas, and sometimes result in arrests. Authorities have also interrupted internet and cellular data services, making communications difficult and less predictable.
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