News ID: 94294
Publish Date : 12 September 2021 - 21:53

CATALONIA (Dispatches) – Tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets in Catalonia in the first major independence rally this year, as leaders of the wealthy northeastern region are set to hold talks with the Spanish central government in the coming days. More than a hundred thousand people thronged the streets of Barcelona on Saturday, the day of Catalonia’s national day, or “Diada,” which commemorates the 1714 fall of Barcelona in the War of the Spanish Succession. While police put the number of participants at about 108,000, the organizer of the rally — Assemblea Nacional Catalana (ANC) — said the march drew as many as 400,000 supporters. The rally was the first of its kind since June when Madrid pardoned nine Catalan leaders who had been jailed for their role in a 2017 botched bid for independence. Back then, the regional leaders defied a government ban to organize a secession referendum and then issued a short-lived declaration of independence.

KIEV (TASS) – The remarks of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky about war with Russia are very dangerous for European countries, therefore, EU leaders should pay attention to them, Speaker of the Russian State Duma Vyacheslav Volodin noted in his Telegram channel on Sunday, commenting on Zelensky’s statement that he believes a full-scale war with Russia is possible. “Does the leadership of European countries understand that these remarks by Zelensky are very dangerous to their nations? European Union leaders should pay attention to what’s happening in Ukraine. If they don’t want Europeans to be dragged into a full-fledged war,” Volodin stated, TASS reported. He is convinced that Russians and Ukrainians “are one people that became split because of politicians like Zelensky”. “We have common history, culture, religion, we are united by the Russian language. Therefore, we need to think about friendship and developing relations rather than about war and gap,” the politician stressed.

LONDON (The Guardian) – An arson attack at a mosque in Manchester is being investigated as a hate crime, British police have said. The incident occurred on Friday night and no-one was injured in the blaze at Didsbury Mosque, the BBC reported. Manchester City Council deputy leader Luthfur Rahman described the attack as “a despicable act designed to create fear and hatred.” He commended the mosque’s neighbors who raised the alarm and said that “they, not the cowards responsible for this arson, are the true spirit of this city.” The mosque urged the local community to “stay vigilant,” and said “Please do not let hate divide us or win.” Afzal Khan, the MP for Manchester Gorton, tweeted: “Shocked to hear of the attempted arson at Didsbury mosque last night. Solidarity with our brothers and sisters there. Islamophobic attacks against mosques are on the rise.” Khan asked people to “stay vigilant” and report such incidents to the police and Tell Mama, a charity that supports victims of anti-Muslim hate.

TUNIS (MEMO) – Tunisia’s President Kais Saied has indicated that he is preparing to change the country’s constitution but will only do so using existing constitutional means. The announcement, made live on television, comes seven weeks after Saied seized governing powers and suspended parliament in moves his rivals have called a coup. The comments represent his clearest statement yet about what he intends to do next, having sworn there was “no going back” to the situation in the North African nation before his intervention on 25 July. During the televised address, Saied said he respected the 2014 democratic constitution but that it was not eternal and could be amended. “Amendments must be made within the framework of the constitution,” he said.

PESHAWAR (AP) – Torrential monsoon rains and mudslides hit areas in northwestern Pakistan early on Sunday, destroying homes and killing at least 17 people, police said. Officer Mohammad Nawaz Said eleven bodies were recovered from the debris of mud and brick houses in the Tor Ghar district, and rescuers were searching for the remaining victims, which included women and children. Nawaz said three adjacent homes were completely swept away in remote village of the district, while other houses were less affected. Authorities in the city of Abbottabad said a mudslide in the suburbs also killed a couple and their child, and injured three others. The country’s disaster management authorities said they were dispatching relief aid to the affected area but mudslides in mountainous areas were delaying delivery. Efforts were underway to clear the roads. Monsoon season lasts until mid-September in Pakistan, and similar incidents are not uncommon.

BEIJING (AP) – A city in southern China that is trying to contain a coronavirus outbreak told the public Sunday not to leave town, suspended bus and train service and closed cinemas and other facilities. Anyone who needs to leave Putian, a city of 2.9 million people in Fujian province south of Shanghai, for an essential trip must have proof of a negative coronavirus test within the past 48 hours, the city government announced. China declared the coronavirus under control in early 2020 but has suffered outbreaks of the more contagious delta variant. In Putian, 19 new infections that were believed to have been acquired locally were reported in the 24 hours through midnight Saturday, according to the National Health Commission. One was reported in Quanzhou, also in Fujian.

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