Catalans not seeking 'traumatic' split from Spain, Las Vegas shooting toll climbs

  1. Catalonia wants 'new understanding', not 'traumatic split' from Spain
  2. At least eight independence activists shot dead in Cameroon
  3. At least 50 people dead in Las Vegas
  4. Canada's opposition party elects first non-white leader

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  • Facebook Inc. estimates that 10 million users in the United States saw at least one of the 3,000 politically-motivated advertisements purchased in Russia during the 2016 presidential election. Only 44 percent were seen before the election date, however, the majority being viewed after November 8th 2016. The Kremlin denies being involved with the social media ads.
  • At least 15 people were killed in Cameroon during protests focused on independence for English-speaking regions from the the country’s largely francophone government.
  • Nawaz Sharif will again lead the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, the country’s largest political party, after he was ousted as prime minister in July. The Supreme Court disqualified him from ruling as prime minister for not disclosing sources of income that were found in the leaked Panama Papers. Pakistan’s parliament had to amend a law in order for Sharif to become the party’s chief.
  • Myanmar and Bangladesh have agreed to draft a plan to repatriate an undetermined number of Rohingya refugees back into Myanmar. The Myanmar government has not indicated that they will acknowledge the Rohingya as a distinct people or grant them citizenship upon their return.
  • Catalonia does not want a “traumatic” split from the Spanish state but a new understanding, the region’s leader Carles Puigdemont said. Puigdemont’s comments come a day after Spanish national security forces tried to stop Catalonia from holding an unconstitutional referendum, injuring hundreds of would-be voters in the ensuing clashes.
  • Uber’s Northern European manager, Jo Bertram, is leaving the ride-hailing company amid a battle over its place in London. “Given some of our current challenges, I’m also convinced that now is the right time to have a change of face, and to hand over to someone who will be here for the long haul and take us into the next phase,” Bertram said in an email seen by Reuters.
  • At least eight independence activists were shot dead by soldiers in English-speaking parts of Cameroon during protests. Activists were calling for the release of prisoners who had been arrested after protests in the last few years. English-speaking regions want to break away, accusing the Francophone-dominated government of discrimination.


  • Catalan regional leader Carles Puigdemont said Catalonians won the right to declare independence unilaterally after an unconstitutional referendum on October 1 was met with sporadic bouts of violent repression from Spanish security forces. Hundreds of people were injured. The Catalan government claims 90 percent of voters backed independence, while 7.9 percent did not. The turnout was 42.3 percent. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy did not recognise the referendum, saying Catalonians had been duped into taking part in an illegal vote.
  • The Las Vegas Police Department confirmed that 59 people were killed, 525 injured, at an open-air concert in the deadliest mass-shooting in U.S. history (see full story). The city’s police department identified the shooter as Nevada resident Stephen Paddock, a lone gunman who was confirmed dead according to a tweet from the police department’s account. He opened fire on the crowd from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, located on the crowded Las Vegas Strip.
  • Jagmeet Singh, a 38-year-old lawyer and practicing Sikh, was elected to lead Canada’s left-leaning opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) on October 1. He is the first person of colour to lead a major political party in Canada. Singh will be running against Trudeau’s Liberal Party in the country’s 2019 federal election. Footage of Singh talking down an Islamophobic heckler who accused him of wanting to impose Sharia law in Canada went viral last month.

What we’re reading and watching

  • The culture of political activism amongst Buddhist monks in Myanmar is a complicated history told through the voices of monks themselves in a feature piece in the Atlantic.
  • Who leads Europe? The Economist argues that French leader Emmanuel Macron is positioning himself centre-stage while Germany’s Angela Merkel reels from her party’s lacklustre federal election results.
  • Three Americans – Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W. Young – today won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their work on the rhythms of the human body. The men won a $1.1 million prize after they “were able to peek inside our biological clock and elucidate its inner workings,” the citation for the prize read.

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