MADRID

The lower chamber of Spain’s Parliament has suspended four Catalan separatist politicians from their recently gained positions as national lawmakers because they are currently in jail during an ongoing trial for rebellion and other charges.

Speaker Meritxell Batet says that the governing body of the Congress of Deputies ruled on Friday to suspend the former Vice President of the Catalonia region, Oriol Junqueras, and three more pro-independence leaders in line with the country’s criminal code.

The four politicians, and a fifth who won a seat in the Senate, were elected last month. Spain’s Supreme Court granted them permission earlier this week to attend the opening parliamentary sessions of the new legislative term, escorted by police.

Junqueras is also a candidate for the European Parliament in elections that take place on Sunday in Spain.

Source: Fox News World

A fragmented Spanish Parliament has convened for the first time, including five Catalan politicians released from prison for the occasion and escorted there by police.

Four separatists, on trial for Catalonia’s 2017 secession attempt, were elected to the Congress of Deputies and one to the Senate last month.

The Supreme Court has allowed them to attend the opening sessions in Madrid but they are likely to be barred from future meetings by the chambers’ governing bodies, due to be elected later on Tuesday.

For the first time since dictator Gen. Francisco Franco’s death in 1975, 24 far-right lawmakers have also taken seats in the lower house, representing the Vox party.

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez won the national election but has put off negotiations on governing alliances until after the European ballot on Sunday.

Source: Fox News World

The five separatist leaders on trial for Catalonia’s 2017 secession attempt who were elected to the Spanish Parliament last month have picked up their official credentials under police escort.

The Supreme Court allowed the five to get their credentials on Monday and attend the opening session of the new Parliament on Tuesday.

However, it will not allow them to participate in any meetings or speak to the press while at the Parliament in Madrid.

Former Catalan regional vice president Oriol Junqueras and three other high-profile separatists won seats in the Lower Chamber, while Raül Romeva won a seat in the Senate.

The five, along with others, are being held in prison pending trial. They face several years in prison if found guilty of rebellion.

Source: Fox News World

The most-wanted member of the Basque separatist militant group ETA, who had been on the run for 17 years, was caught by police on Thursday in the French Alps.

José Antonio Urruticoetxea Bengoetxea, known by the alias Josu Ternera, was a longtime chief of ETA and connected to some of its bloodiest episodes.

The ETA, which stands for Euskadi ta Askatasuna or “Basque Homeland and Freedom” in Basque, killed 853 people before it announced its dissolution last year.

A timeline of key events relating to the group:

— 1958: ETA is created during Gen. Francisco Franco’s dictatorship aiming to carve out an independent Basque state in northern Spain and southern France.

— 1968: In its first deadly attack, ETA kills civil guard officer Jose Pardines. His killer dies as a result of police gunfire.

— 1973: Powerful explosives planted by ETA in Madrid kill Franco’s right hand and Prime Minister Luis Carrero Blanco as he returns from attending daily mass.

— 1975: Franco dies on Nov. 20.

— 1980: As Spain returns to democracy, ETA kills nearly 100 people, making 1980 the deadliest year in the group’s violent campaign.

— 1983: Members of Spain’s security forces establish Anti-Terrorist Liberation Groups, or GAL, to fight ETA and undermine its supporters. Over the following four years, GAL killed some 30 people.

— 1986: Twelve Civil Guard officers die in Madrid and 50 more people are wounded in a car-bomb attack in Madrid blamed on the ETA.

— 1987: In ETA’s bloodiest attack, bombs in the parking lot of a shopping center in Barcelona kill 21 people and injure 45 more.

— 1989: ETA declares its first ceasefire and engages in peace talks in Algiers with the Spanish Socialist government. But the militant group breaks the negotiations by killing a Civil Guard officer. Central authorities begin the so-called dispersal policy that sends imprisoned militants to prisons scattered across Spain with the goal of weakening ETA’s support network.

— 1992: The militant group suffers a major blow with the arrest of most of its leaders in Southern France.

— 1996: Francisco Tomas y Valiente, former president of Spain’s Constitutional Court, shot and killed at the Autonomous University of Madrid.

— 1997: Jose Ortega Lara, a Spanish prison worker, regains freedom after 532 days of kidnapping, the longest in ETA’s history. Shortly after, the organization kidnaps Miguel Angel Blanco, a young conservative councilor in the town of Ermua, and kills him after the government fails to meet the 48-hour deadline for transferring all ETA militants in custody to prisons in the Basque Country. The widespread protests in the wake of Blanco’s killing are considered a tipping point in the opposition to ETA both in and outside the Basque region.

— 1998: A new ETA truce before a regional election ends the following year after a failed dialogue with the conservative government of Jose Maria Aznar.

— 2000: An ETA commando shoots and kills former Socialist Health Minister Ernest Lluch in Barcelona.

— 2002: Ternera goes into hiding after Spain’s Supreme Court summons him for his alleged involvement in a bomb attack in the barracks of the Civil Guard in Zaragoza that killed 11 people, including six minors.

— 2006: Ternera is one of the negotiators to meet with Spanish government envoys for talks to try to end the group’s activities. A third ceasefire is declared while Basque politicians hold secret peace negotiations involving the future of imprisoned Basque militants. ETA breaks the truce with a car filled with bombs exploding in the parking lot of the Madrid airport, killing two Ecuadorian citizens.

— 2010: A French police officer, Jean-Serge Nerin, is shot dead near Paris by militants fleeing after a car robbery, becoming ETA’s last fatal victim.

— 2011: An international peace conference in San Sebastian calls for ETA to declare a “definitive cease of its armed activity. On Oct. 20 the group declares the “definitive end” to its terrorism. Spanish officials say ETA is believed to have fewer than 50 members.

— 2017: ETA declares itself officially disarmed after handing over to French authorities dozens of weapons, ammunition and explosives. Spanish authorities demand for ETA to disband.

— 2018: In a letter to a Spanish newspaper published May 2, ETA says it has “dissolved all its structures.” In a recording released on May 3, Ternera’s voice is identified as one of the two ETA members who read a statement announcing the group’s dismantling. The announcement comes less than two weeks after the group offered an unprecedented apology that victims, their relatives, the Spanish and Basque governments say is too late and insincere.

— 2019: Ternera is arrested in Sallanches, a town of 16,000 in the eastern French Alps.

Source: Fox News World

The most-wanted member of the Basque separatist militant group ETA, who had been on the run for 17 years, was caught by police on Thursday in the French Alps.

José Antonio Urruticoetxea Bengoetxea, known by the alias Josu Ternera, was a longtime chief of ETA and connected to some of its bloodiest episodes.

The ETA, which stands for Euskadi ta Askatasuna or “Basque Homeland and Freedom” in Basque, killed 853 people before it announced its dissolution last year.

A timeline of key events relating to the group:

— 1958: ETA is created during Gen. Francisco Franco’s dictatorship aiming to carve out an independent Basque state in northern Spain and southern France.

— 1968: In its first deadly attack, ETA kills civil guard officer Jose Pardines. His killer dies as a result of police gunfire.

— 1973: Powerful explosives planted by ETA in Madrid kill Franco’s right hand and Prime Minister Luis Carrero Blanco as he returns from attending daily mass.

— 1975: Franco dies on Nov. 20.

— 1980: As Spain returns to democracy, ETA kills nearly 100 people, making 1980 the deadliest year in the group’s violent campaign.

— 1983: Members of Spain’s security forces establish Anti-Terrorist Liberation Groups, or GAL, to fight ETA and undermine its supporters. Over the following four years, GAL killed some 30 people.

— 1986: Twelve Civil Guard officers die in Madrid and 50 more people are wounded in a car-bomb attack in Madrid blamed on the ETA.

— 1987: In ETA’s bloodiest attack, bombs in the parking lot of a shopping center in Barcelona kill 21 people and injure 45 more.

— 1989: ETA declares its first ceasefire and engages in peace talks in Algiers with the Spanish Socialist government. But the militant group breaks the negotiations by killing a Civil Guard officer. Central authorities begin the so-called dispersal policy that sends imprisoned militants to prisons scattered across Spain with the goal of weakening ETA’s support network.

— 1992: The militant group suffers a major blow with the arrest of most of its leaders in Southern France.

— 1996: Francisco Tomas y Valiente, former president of Spain’s Constitutional Court, shot and killed at the Autonomous University of Madrid.

— 1997: Jose Ortega Lara, a Spanish prison worker, regains freedom after 532 days of kidnapping, the longest in ETA’s history. Shortly after, the organization kidnaps Miguel Angel Blanco, a young conservative councilor in the town of Ermua, and kills him after the government fails to meet the 48-hour deadline for transferring all ETA militants in custody to prisons in the Basque Country. The widespread protests in the wake of Blanco’s killing are considered a tipping point in the opposition to ETA both in and outside the Basque region.

— 1998: A new ETA truce before a regional election ends the following year after a failed dialogue with the conservative government of Jose Maria Aznar.

— 2000: An ETA commando shoots and kills former Socialist Health Minister Ernest Lluch in Barcelona.

— 2002: Ternera goes into hiding after Spain’s Supreme Court summons him for his alleged involvement in a bomb attack in the barracks of the Civil Guard in Zaragoza that killed 11 people, including six minors.

— 2006: Ternera is one of the negotiators to meet with Spanish government envoys for talks to try to end the group’s activities. A third ceasefire is declared while Basque politicians hold secret peace negotiations involving the future of imprisoned Basque militants. ETA breaks the truce with a car filled with bombs exploding in the parking lot of the Madrid airport, killing two Ecuadorian citizens.

— 2010: A French police officer, Jean-Serge Nerin, is shot dead near Paris by militants fleeing after a car robbery, becoming ETA’s last fatal victim.

— 2011: An international peace conference in San Sebastian calls for ETA to declare a “definitive cease of its armed activity. On Oct. 20 the group declares the “definitive end” to its terrorism. Spanish officials say ETA is believed to have fewer than 50 members.

— 2017: ETA declares itself officially disarmed after handing over to French authorities dozens of weapons, ammunition and explosives. Spanish authorities demand for ETA to disband.

— 2018: In a letter to a Spanish newspaper published May 2, ETA says it has “dissolved all its structures.” In a recording released on May 3, Ternera’s voice is identified as one of the two ETA members who read a statement announcing the group’s dismantling. The announcement comes less than two weeks after the group offered an unprecedented apology that victims, their relatives, the Spanish and Basque governments say is too late and insincere.

— 2019: Ternera is arrested in Sallanches, a town of 16,000 in the eastern French Alps.

Source: Fox News World

Spain’s Interior Ministry says that a longtime chief of the Basque separatist militant group ETA has been arrested in the French Alps.

Authorities had been looking for José Antonio Urruticoetxea Bengoetxea, known by the alias Josu Ternera, since 2002. He is accused of crimes against humanity.

In a statement, the ministry says that Spanish Civil Guard and French intelligence services arrested Ternera early on Thursday in Sallanches, a town of 16,000 in eastern France’s Alps region.

ETA, whose initials stand for “Euskadi ta Askatasuna” or “Basque Homeland and Freedom” in the Basque language, killed more than 850 people during its violent campaign to create an independent state in northern Spain and southern France.

The militant group gave up its arms in 2017 and disbanded one year ago.

Source: Fox News World

Spanish police say they have arrested 11 people suspected of forming part of a human trafficking ring transporting migrants across the Mediterranean Sea in small boats unfit for the open water.

Police said Wednesday that the suspects recruited Moroccan adults and minors seeking to reach Europe.

Police said the migrants had to each pay 3,500-6,500 euros ($3,922-$7,284) to be packed into a small dingy “without any safety measures.”

Once in Spain, police say, the migrants were taken to safe houses run by the trafficking ring where they were forcibly kept until the payment of another 1,000 euros. After paying, they were given clothes, a mobile phone and a bus ticket to another destination in Spain or Europe.

Spain has become the biggest entry point for unauthorized migration to Europe.

Source: Fox News World

Retired American Alpine skier Lindsey Vonn has won Spain’s Princess of Asturias award for sports.

The judges said on announcing the prize Wednesday that Vonn “has throughout her career made extraordinary contributions to the world of sports.”

Vonn’s achievements include a women’s record of 82 World Cup wins and three Olympic medals. She was forced to retire in February at age 34 after suffering multiple injuries.

The 50,000-euro ($55,000) award is one of eight Asturias prizes handed out yearly by a foundation named after Crown Princess Leonor. Other categories include art, social sciences and scientific research.

Mountain climbers Reinhold Messner and Krzysztof Wielicki won last year’s prize. Other former winners include Michael Schumacher, Carl Lewis, and Sergey Bubka.

Source: Fox News World

Spain’s decision to remove a frigate on training exercises from a U.S. combat fleet that is approaching the Persian Gulf was taken purely for “technical reasons,” the country’s defense minister said Tuesday.

Margarita Robles insisted the decision was “not an expression of distaste” over the crossing into the Strait of Hormuz by the fleet headed by the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier.

The U.S. fleet is heading to the Persian Gulf at a time of heightened tensions between Washington and Tehran.

Robles insisted Spain’s decision was “prudent” and “perfectly admissible” under the terms of a two-year cooperation agreement that placed the Méndez Núñez frigate with the U.S. fleet for advanced training. The ship and its 215 people on board have headed to Mumbai, India, she added.

“The United States government has embarked on a mission that wasn’t scheduled when the agreement was signed,” Robles told reporters during an official trip to Brussels.

She said Spain had never given its blessing for the frigate to go on a mission in the Persian Gulf and that it will return to the U.S. fleet once scheduled operations resume.

She declined to comment over the U.S.’s hard-line policy toward Iran but said Spain remains a reliable and committed member of NATO.

Source: Fox News National

Spanish arms control activists say a Saudi ship they suspect is carrying weapons for possible use in Yemen has left the port of Santander and is on its way to Genoa, Italy.

Alberto Estevez of the Control Arms Coalition of human rights and aid groups, which is trying to stop arms reaching conflict zones, has told The Associated Press that the Bahri Yanbu cargo ship left the northern Spanish port Monday after loading two containers.

Spanish government officials had no immediate comment.

The ship was due to pick up weapons when it arrived in France last Friday but apparently left without doing so amid protests and legal challenges.

Countries are under pressure not to send arms to Saudi Arabia, amid concerns they are being used against civilians in Yemen.

Source: Fox News World


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