Catalans to rally for independence
MADRID/BARCELONA • Hundreds of thousands of Catalans are expected to rally in the streets of Barcelona today in what campaigners hope will be a show of support for independence after Madrid moved to block a planned referendum on the region's split from Spain.
Hostility between Madrid and Barcelona has ramped up since Spain's Constitutional Court last Thursday suspended the referendum, planned for Oct 1, following a legal challenge by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.
Tight race as Norwegians go to polls
OSLO • Norwegians began voting yesterday in a parliamentary election whose outcome is too close to call, with opinion polls showing Prime Minister Erna Solberg's centre-right government and the opposition centre-left bloc running neck and neck.
Ms Solberg's Conservatives want to cut taxes if they win a fresh four-year mandate, while the bloc led by Labour's Jonas Gahr Stoere seeks tax hikes to pay for better public services.
Surfer hurt in Australia shark attack
SYDNEY • A surfer was thrown into the air and his board was snapped in half in a suspected great white shark attack off Australia's east coast yesterday that left him with bloody cuts on his right hip.
The man, named in local media as Mr Abe McGrath, was surfing at Iluka in New South Wales when his board was hit from below by what he assumed was a shark, police said.