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February 12, 2019 | Via Reuters

Catalan Separatists Go on Trial, Laying Bare Spain’s Divisions

Twelve Catalan separatist leaders went on trial in Madrid on Tuesday over a failed independence bid that laid bare historical divisions and triggered Spain’s biggest political crisis in decades. Flanked by hundreds of police, pro- and anti-separatist demonstrators gathered outside the Supreme Court, where the defendants face charges of rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds. The politically charged trial, which is expected to last at least three months, comes at a pivotal time for Spain’s government. A snap national election is likely unless Catalan nationalist lawmakers change tack by ending their opposition to the 2019 budget in a vote on Wednesday.

February 12, 2019 | Via BBC

Trump Supporter Attacks BBC Cameraman at El Paso Rally

A supporter of US President Donald Trump has attacked a BBC cameraman at a campaign rally in El Paso, Texas. Sporting a Make America Great Again cap, the man shoved and swore at the BBC’s Ron Skeans and other news crews before being pulled away. Mr Skeans said the man almost knocked him and his camera over twice before he was wrestled away by a blogger. President Trump checked they were well with a thumbs up, and continued his speech after Mr Skeans returned the gesture.

February 12, 2019 | Via NBC News

New Delhi Hotel Fire Kills at Least 17 People

A fire engulfed a shoddily built budget hotel in New Delhi early Tuesday, killing 17 people, Indian authorities said. Most of the deaths at the Arpit Palace Hotel were due to suffocation, according to an official. The Arpit Palace in Karol Bagh, an area in India’s capital city full of shops and budget hotels that is popular with tourists, had 43 guest rooms, according to its website. About three dozen people were rescued from the hotel.

February 12, 2019 | Via Politico

Negotiators Reach Deal ‘in principle’ to Avert Shutdown

Congressional negotiators announced an “agreement in principle” Monday night on a broad spending bill they hope will satisfy President Donald Trump’s demands for additional border barriers and avert another government shutdown at the end of this week. The tentative deal includes $1.375 billion for physical barriers — a type of fencing that resembles the “steel slats” that Trump has specifically called for, according to a congressional aide briefed on the talks. It includes a total of 55 miles, which is just 9 miles shy of Trump’s last budget request.

February 12, 2019 | Via AP News

Bahrain Refugee Soccer Player Freed by Thailand, Heads Home

A refugee soccer player was freed by Thailand and left on a flight to Australia early Tuesday after prosecutors said they were no longer seeking his extradition to Bahrain in a case that has drawn worldwide attention. Thailand had come under great pressure from Australia’s government, sporting bodies and human rights groups to send Hakeem al-Araibi back to Australia, where he has refugee status and plays semi-professional soccer. Thai prosecutors on Monday submitted a request to a court to withdraw the case to extradite al-Araibi to Bahrain, where he faces a 10-year prison sentence for an arson attack that damaged a police station. He has denied those charges and says the case is politically motivated.

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