Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

World Digest

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

World Digest

Article excerpt

Mock vote in Spain shows many Catalans want their own nation; but many skip poll

About 1.6 million people in Spain's northeastern region of Catalonia voted Sunday in a mock independence poll in favor of breaking away from the country and carving out a new Mediterranean nation. But more Catalans stayed away either because of the poll's questionable legality or their opposition to secession.

Results released early Monday with 88 percent of votes counted showed that more than two million people voted and 1.6 million favored forming a new nation. But 5.4 million were eligible to vote, meaning many did not bother to participate amid worries about the vote's lack of legal guarantees and its nonbinding status.

Catalan lawmakers opted for the watered-down poll after plans to hold an official referendum on independence were suspended by Spain's Constitutional Court amid the central government's challenge that the referendum was unconstitutional. The court suspended the mock vote on the same grounds Tuesday. The regional government defied the suspension, staffing polling stations with 40,000 volunteers.

Polls in recent years say the majority of Catalonia's 7.5 million inhabitants want an official vote on independence, while around half support cutting centuries-old ties with Spain. A new Catalan nation would not automatically be part of the European Union and would have to to reapply for membership.

Plane crash kills 9 near Bahamas * The government of the Bahamas says a small plane has crashed on approach to the island of Grand Bahama and all 9 people on board have been killed.

A statement from the Ministry of Transport and Aviation says the Lear 36 Executive Jet had departed from Nassau. It crashed about 5 p.m. local time Sunday while attempting to land at Grand Bahama International Airport.

The cause of the crash is unknown. The statement said that the Department of Civil Aviation reported that the plane was destroyed.

Police and rescue teams are on the scene, and a full investigation was to begin at daylight.

Britain honors its fallen veterans * Queen Elizabeth II honored fallen soldiers from Britain and the Commonwealth Sunday in a dignified ceremony at the heart of central London. …

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