Lawmakers in Spain's Catalonia region paved the way for a vote on independence from Spain despite fierce resistance from the region's political opposition and central authorities in Madrid. The votes of 72 pro-independence members of the Catalan Parliament were enough to pass a so-called "referendum bill" after more than 11 hours of heated debate. Eleven lawmakers abstained from voting, but 52 opposition members of parliament walked out in protest. The cabinet of Catalan President Carles Puigdemont was expected to immediately sign a decree setting the vote for October 1 and opening a deep political and institutional crisis. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy immediately requested a report on the Catalan law from the State Council, a step that will allow him to call an urgent Cabinet meeting tomorrow and to challenge the regional bill through an appeal to the Constitutional Court. Under current constitutional rules, only central authorities in Spain have the right to call a referendum. Puigdemont's government claims it has a democratic mandate to seek a binding independence referendum based on the universal right to self-determination and the regional law approved today.
Two French officials say the explosive TATP was found in an apartment outside Paris that authorities suspect extremists might have been using as a lab. A police officialsaid that some 100 grams of usable TATP were found in the Villejuif apartment where a police operation was carried out earlier in the day, leading to the detention of two suspects.
The psychological records of the two officers involved in the fatal shooting of Australian life coach Justine Damond in a Minneapolis alley are being examined by investigators. Minnesota's Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, an independent body probing Damond's July 15 death, filed a search warrant requesting "medical files that contain pre-employment psychological exams, the unredacted personnel files, and the pre-employment background investigations" for officers Mohammed Noor and Matthew Harrity, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports. Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman, who will decide if Noor, who fired at Damond, will be charged, said it could take until the end of the year to make the decision.
DNA tests on the exhumed body of Salvador Dali have proved that the Spanish woman who brought a legal case is not the surrealist artist's daughter. According to a statement released by Dali's foundation the court supervising the tests had informed its lawyers that the woman, Maria Pilar Abel, was not Dali's biological daughter. A spokesman for the court declined to confirm the results of the DNA tests. Abel, a 61-year-old tarot card reader, has long alleged her mother had an affair with Dali and claimed she had the right to part of his vast estate. The foundation said it was happy the "absurd" claim had been resolved. The foundation said the painter's remains will be returned to his coffin, which is buried in the Dali Museum Theater in the northeastern Spanish town of Figueres, Dali's birthplace. Dali died at age 84 in 1989.
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India's army chief said that the country should be prepared for a potential two-front war with China flexing its muscles and with little hope for reconciliation with long-time rival Pakistan. General Bipin Rawat referred to a recent 10-week standoff with the Chinese Army in the Himalayas that ended last week. He said the situation could gradually snowball into a larger conflict on India's northern border. Rawat said Pakistan on the western front could take advantage of such a situation. The Press Trust of India news agency quoted Rawat's remarks at a seminar organised by the Centre for Land Warfare Studies, a New Delhi-based think tank. India fought a war with China in 1962 and three wars with Pakistan, two of them over control of Kashmir, since the two countries won independence from Britain in 1947. All three countries are nuclear powers. Rawat said that credible deterrence did not take away the threat of a war.
An international rights group says Egyptian President Abdel-fattah al-Sisi has given a "green light" to systematic torture inside detention facilities, allowing officers to act with "almost total impunity." In a 63-page report, Human Rights Watch says al-Sisi, a US ally who was warmly received at the White House earlier this year, is pursuing stability "at any cost," and has allowed the widespread torture of detainees despite it being outlawed by the Egyptian constitution. Al-Sisi "has effectively given police and National Security officers a green light to use torture whenever they please," said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at the New York-based group. "Impunity for the systematic use of torture has left citizens with no hope for justice." Egypt's Foreign Ministry slammed the report, saying it's full of inaccuracies and undermines the sovereignty of the state and the role of its national institutions. Most of the detainees are alleged supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood group.