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Curated top stories
- Spain’s government, led by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, dissolved the regional parliament of Catalonia. Snap elections are scheduled on December 21. Rajoy said that the move would allow citizens living in Catalonia to ” decide their future.” Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont, now removed by Madrid, has called for “democratic opposition” to direct rule from Madrid.
On Friday, Catalonia’s parliament unilaterally declared independence from Spain, according to the ElDiario.es news site. (Earlier, WikiTribune cited reports that the court had declared the move void. Those reports have since been corrected.) The declaration comes as Spain’s Senate debates imposing direct rule on the region following a disputed independence referendum. (Full report.)
- Facebook will require political ads on the social media platform to show which individual or organization purchased the promoted post. Every ad will be accompanied with text saying “Paid by…” This move towards greater transparency comes after allegations of Russian-state actors purchasing Facebook ads in order to influence the 2016 U.S. elections.
- The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of three percent in its third quarter, despite being hit by hurricanes Harvey and Irma during August and September. Some economists forecast that the disasters could slow growth by a full percentage point during the quarter. However, it was the first time in three years that growth reached at least three percent in two consecutive quarters.
- An official from the U.S.-led coalition says that Iraqi and Kurdish Peshmerga forces have reached a ceasefire agreement. Reuters reports the apparent ceasefire comes after clashes and tensions between the Kurds and Iraqis following a disputed Kurdish independence referendum.
- UN investigators said Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s forces are responsible for a gas attack on rebel-held town Khan Sheikhun that killed more than 87 people in April, according to the AFP news agency. The announcement came as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said there is “no future” for the Assad regime and the UN special envoy for Syria announced peace talks would resume on November 28, according to The Washington Post.
- Australia’s High Court ruled that Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce was ineligible for office because he has dual citizenship with New Zealand. His disqualification comes after four other politicians elected to the Senate quit in July over their dual citizenship. The decision means the center-right government loses its majority as this report from the Sydney Morning Herald made clear.
- Thousands, but not all, of the classified documents about the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy were released by the U.S. government yesterday. The release prompted a scramble from news organizations to find new stories and leads. WikiTribune outlines the highlights of the documents.
What we’re reading
- In this piece for the Financial Times, Adam Lebor picks apart some of the challenges and contradictions that face Israel. – George Engels
- The combined wealth of billionaires has increased to a record $6 trillion, more than twice the GDP of the UK. “We are now two years into the peak of the second Gilded Age,” said Josef Stadler, who led the UBS report. – Linh Nguyen
- Africa’s second most populous country, Ethiopia, is set to become one of the continent’s economic success stories according to the IMF. Quartz Africa looks at how the country’s economy has turned around, despite relentless political unrest and a heavily-criticised government. – Jack Barton
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