Police arrest high-ranking Catalan officials

BARCELONA -- Tens of thousands poured onto the streets of central Barcelona and around Catalonia, outraged at the escalating crackdown on a separatist-led referendum on independence.

Spain’s Guardia Civil police have detained a dozen senior Catalan officials and raided regional government ministries ahead of the planned October 1 referendum.

Kalashnikov Chukavin SVCh sniper rifle

MOSCOW -- Russia’s Kalashnikov Group has unveiled the Chukavin SVCh semi-automatic sniper rifle, designed to engage individual targets at a range of up to 1,500 metres, depending on the round.

Mexico earthquake death toll rises over 200

MEXICO -- Rescuers are searching for earthquake survivors throughout central Mexico, where the death toll has risen above 200. Mexico City itself was hardest hit, with 86 confirmed dead.

Sep 24: Star Trek returns to TV after 12 years

U.S. -- Star Trek, the iconic science fiction franchise created more than 50 years ago by Gene Roddenberry, returns with a new TV series, Star Trek: Discovery, set to premiere on September 24.

Spain’s Catalonia stand-off deepens

MADRID/BARCELONA -- The stand-off between Spanish authorities and leaders of Catalonia intensified after local mayors appeared before the prosecutor for backing an independence referendum on Oct 1.

Dangerous endgame in eastern Syria

SYRIA -- Government forces and U.S.-backed militia are racing to control the oil-rich province of Deir al-Zour as so-called Islamic State militants continue to retreat from their former strongholds.

New storm heads towards battered Caribbean

CARIBBEAN -- A second powerful storm in as many weeks is bearing down on a string of battered Caribbean islands, with Maria forecast to strengthen into a major hurricane as it rips into the Leeward Islands.

Oct 18: China’s Communist Party Congress

BEIJING -- China’s Communist Party Congress will start on October 18 with five of the seven members of the most powerful ruling body due to retire in a massive leadership change.

Sep 25: Iraqi Kurds to vote on independence

IRAQ -- An independence referendum for the Kurdish enclave in the north of Iraq will further disrupt a region still engulfed in the fight against the so-called Islamic State.

Kim Jung-un’s rocket men

NORTH KOREA -- Three men shown celebrating with North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un following successful missile launches are believed to be the top people in the country’s rapidly advancing weapons programme.

Sep 24: Merkel on course to win fourth term

BERLIN -- Chancellor Angela Merkel looks likely to win a fourth term in office. The leader of the Christian Democrats has seen her ratings boosted by steady economic growth and low unemployment.

Humanitarian crisis looms for Rohingya refugees

MYANMAR -- Pressure is mounting on Myanmar to end violence, described by UN human rights chief as “ethnic cleansing,” that has sent nearly 400,000 Rohingya Muslims fleeing to Bangladesh.

Porsche Panamera Hybrid Sport Turismo

MOTORING -- Porsche’s Panamera 4 E-Hybrid Sport Turismo is heir to the marque’s 918 Spyder electro-supercar, combining plug-in hybrid technology with fuel efficiency.

Russian war games in Belarus raise tensions

MOSCOW -- Zapad 2017, a joint strategic-level exercise involving Russian and Belarusian military forces, is raising suspicions that this could be used as cover for a hostile act against NATO.

Pyongyang’s threat to South Korea

SEOUL -- North Korea has an estimated 13,000 Hardened Artillery Sites (HARTS) in concrete bunkers, caves, and tunnels, including 4,000 near the DMZ and 200-300 within range of Seoul.

New gas pipeline to open in Poland

WARSAW -- A new natural gas pipeline will be launched in Poland as part of the North-South Gas Corridor, which is planned to link liquefied natural gas terminals in Poland and Croatia by 2022.

Sep 24: Records targeted at Berlin Marathon

ATHLETICS -- Over 40,000 athletes will set off on the fast, flat course with Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele and Kenyans Eliud Kipchoge and Wilson Kipsang hoping to break the current world record.

Sep 29: F1 Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang

MOTORSPORT -- After crashing out in Singapore, Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel will be hoping to get his Championship challenge back on track at a circuit where he has won four times in the past.

Sep 26: UEFA Champions League 2017-18

SOCCER -- Reigning champions Real Madrid are aiming for a 13th title, but face tough competition from Bayern Munich, La Liga rivals Barcelona and Qatari-owned PSG.

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