Catalonia more united

People against independence in Catalonia (R) discuss with a pro-independence supporter, sporting the traditional Catalan hat "Barretina" (L), on September 25, 2017 in Barcelona. © AFP

These are the headlines we are tracking for you in this episode of On the News Line:

Catalonia more united

Spain's Catalonia region is preparing for a landmark referendum for independence within days. But indications are growing that the central government in Madrid is doing everything in its power to ensure that it does not happen. Catalonia's President has accused the government of massive and profoundly undemocratic overreaction toward the region's independence.  He says the state’s efforts to stop the looming referendum exceed the security measures used during the era of the notorious dictator Franco. His comments came after the police arrested  14 senior Catalan officials, seized some 10 million ballot papers  and launched thousands of reinforcements to the region.

US-made destruction

Amnesty International recently revealed the bomb that destroyed a residential building in Yemen's capital last month was in fact US-made: "We can now conclusively say that the bomb that killed Buthaina’s parents and siblings, and other civilians, was made in the USA." The assessment was based on an examination of the remnants of the weapon used in the August 25 airstrike. The attack is now to be an iconic example of the U.S. involvement in all the wars and conflicts in the region. In an interview with Newsweek, Raed Jarrar, Amnesty International's advocacy director for the Middle East and North Africa, said, "By sending arms to Saudi Arabia, knowing that they may be used to kill civilians, the U.S. government may be complicit in violations of international law, including war crimes." According to the annual report on Yemen released by the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, 1,120 children have been killed and 1,541 injured since the outbreak of the war in March 2015.

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