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World News Summary: Spain threatens Catalonia, Iran tests ballistic missile


Spain threatens to send national police to Catalonia after protests

Spain's interior minister said he would send national police to Catalonia if local authorities did not do more to stop protests like the one that shut down major highways over the weekend. Fernando Grande-Marlaska accused the local Catalan police of doing nothing to prevent pro-independence protesters blocking the AP-7 toll road, which runs up Spain's Mediterranean coast, for more than 15 hours on Saturday.

Iran says it recently tested a ballistic missile

A senior Revolutionary Guards commander said on Tuesday that Iran had recently carried out a ballistic missile test but he did not specify what kind of missile had been tested, according to Fars News. The comment appeared to confirm a report by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who said early this month that Iran had test-fired "a medium-range ballistic missile that is capable of carrying multiple warheads." The missile could hit all of the Middle East and parts of Europe, Pompeo said.

Yemen's warring parties exchange prisoner lists, talks focus on Hodeidah

Yemen's Houthi movement and the Saudi-backed government on Tuesday exchanged lists of some 15,000 prisoners for a swap agreed as a confidence-building measure at the start of U.N.-sponsored peace talks. Both parties at the consultations in Sweden, set to last until Dec. 13, have yet to settle major sticking points, including a ceasefire in the port of Hodeidah, reopening of Sanaa airport and shoring up of the central bank.

Armed British police use stun gun on man inside grounds of parliament

Armed British police used a Taser stun gun to restrain a man inside the grounds of parliament in Westminster on Tuesday, a Reuters photographer who witnessed the incident said. "Stop. Get down," police shouted at the man shortly before noon just inside parliament's main Carriage Gates, the photographer said.

Exclusive: Red tape, funding problems hamper Lion Air black box search

Bureaucratic wrangling and funding problems have hampered the search for the cockpit voice recorder of a crashed Lion Air jet, prompting investigators to turn to the airline to foot the bill in a rare test of global norms on the probe's independence. Weeks of delays in the search for the second 'black box' may complicate the task of explaining how 189 people died when the Lion Air Boeing 737 MAX crashed into the Java Sea on Oct. 29.

EU tells UK's May: We will not renegotiate the Brexit treaty

The European Union ruled out renegotiating the Brexit divorce treaty or its Irish border protocol on Tuesday as Prime Minister Theresa May sought last ditch assurances from the bloc to save her deal after pulling a vote she acknowledged she would lose. Less than four months until the United Kingdom is due to leave the European Union on March 29, May finally accepted that British lawmakers would reject her deal. But she said the only other options were a disorderly no-deal divorce, or a reversal of Brexit that would defy the will of those who voted for it.

U.N. peacekeepers confirm second tunnel at Lebanon-Israel border

U.N. peacekeepers said on Tuesday they had confirmed the existence of a second tunnel close to the blue line separating Lebanon and Israel. The U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) "is continuing to follow up on this issue in close coordination with the Lebanese Armed Forces," the statement said.

250,000 Syrian refugees could return home next year: UNHCR

Up to a 250,000 Syrian refugees could return to their devastated homeland in 2019, while many others face problems with documentation and property that the Damascus government must help resolve, the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR said on Tuesday. Some 5.6 million Syrian refugees remain in neighboring countries - Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and Iraq - Amin Awad, UNHCR director for the Middle East and North Africa, said.

New Brexit vote will be before Jan. 21: UK PM May's spokesman

Britain's parliament will vote on whether to approve Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal before Jan. 21, her spokesman said on Tuesday. May had been due to hold the vote later on Tuesday, but on Monday announced she would defer it and seek extra reassurances from the European Union to make sure it got through parliament.

U.S. discusses Iran sanctions with Iraq, Baghdad hurt by curbs on Iranian gas imports

U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry said on Tuesday he discussed sanctions against Iran with Iraqi energy officials as Washington pressures Baghdad to stop importing Iranian gas that is crucial for its power grid. "Sanctions were mentioned, they're a reality, they're there," Perry told reporters in Baghdad after meeting Iraq's oil and electricity ministers, without providing further details of the discussion.

(With inputs from agencies.)


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