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The prime minister of Spain has two requests for the leader of Catalonia.

First: Clarify whether the region is, indeed, declaring independence from Spain. And second: If that is the case, take it back.

Otherwise, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy says, Spain will suspend Catalonia's current autonomy, institute direct rule and possibly even jail the Catalan president.

The ultimatum comes with a deadline: Catalonia has five days for the first demand, and three additional days for the second, Reuters reports.

This summer's fatal collision between the USS John S. McCain and a tanker ship off the coast of Singapore was "preventable," the U.S. Navy said Tuesday while announcing that the ship's commander and his deputy have been relieved of their duties.

The U.S. 7th Fleet, based in Japan, said in a statement that commanding officer Cmdr. Alfredo J. Sanchez "exercised poor judgement" and executive officer Cmdr. Jessie L. Sanchez "exercised poor leadership of the ship's training program."

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In Ticino, Switzerland, the streets aren't paved with gold. But the sewage pipes are packed with it.

And across the country as a whole, some $3 million worth of gold and silver is thrown out in wastewater every year.

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Austrian Law Has An Unexpected Victim

Oct 11, 2017

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Next year's World Cup will not include the U.S. men's soccer team. Americans lost a game to Trinidad and Tobago 2 to 1 and, with that, lost their chance to compete.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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What will it take for the people of this world to drop their prejudices, to move past intolerance — and just get along?

That's a question Princeton psychologist Betsy Levy Paluck — one of the 24 MacArthur Fellows announced on Wednesday — has dedicated her career to answering.

When Germany's Parliament convenes later this month, members of a far-right party will take seats for the first time since the 1950s. The Alternative for Germany (AfD) came in third in last month's parliamentary elections and promises to raise its voice in the opposition.

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U.S. And Turkey Mutually Stop Issuing Visas

Oct 10, 2017

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Updated at 4:25 p.m. ET

Catalan President Carles Puigdemont, the region's separatist leader, says he has the "mandate" to declare independence from Spain but is delaying such a declaration to allow for talks with Madrid.

In a much anticipated speech to the regional Parliament, more than a week after a referendum on Catalan independence, Puigdemont called for the "de-escalation of tensions" while emphasizing the importance of dialogue.

When the Pakistani interior minister went to attend a controversial court hearing on Oct. 2, the paramilitary force securing the area blocked him from entering. When he demanded to speak to a higher-up, he was told to wait.

The minister, Ahsan Iqbal, is the nominal boss of that paramilitary force.

In another country, it might just have been an embarrassing incident, a mistake by a soldier who did not recognize a top official. In Pakistan, many — including Iqbal himself — saw it as an act of rebellion.

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Being a member of Russia's democratic opposition has long meant coping with failure and irrelevance. In the carefully choreographed public life of Vladimir Putin's Russia, political campaigns lacking the Kremlin's blessing have usually failed.

But in early September, Russian democrats finally had something to celebrate: Almost 300 opposition candidates surprised everyone by winning majorities in 30 of Moscow's 125 local district councils.

With so much going on in the world right now, we wanted to know from our audience: Which global problem keeps you up at night?

The El Injerto coffee shop, with its silver stools, brick-and-chalkboard walls and The Weeknd's "I Feel It Coming" playing softly in the background, resembles many cafes in Brooklyn or Los Angeles. But it is in Guatemala City, where paying $5 for a cup of coffee has not always been so common.

Coffee has been one of Guatemala's most important export crops since at least the early 1800s. Only in the past few years have Guatemalans started to consume their own world-renowned product on a larger scale.

When students returned to Beijing Normal University for classes last month, there was a notable absence in the classical Chinese class taught by Shi Jiepeng: Shi himself.

University authorities fired the assistant professor in late July, citing a number of offenses, including "expressing views outside the mainstream of society."

The charges still puzzle the lanky teacher, as he sits speaking to me in a café just outside the university's main gate.

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South Korea faces a chronic dirty air problem that makes it one of the most polluted countries in the world. It's common to hear that neighboring China is to blame, but a joint study by NASA and the Korean government has found there's a lot South Korea can do on its own to cut the smog.

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