Catalonia Parliament Holding First Meeting Since Elections
The parliament in Spain's Catalonia region is set to meet for the first time Wednesday since the country's central government dissolved the body and ordered new elections in response to an independence referendum.
Pro-independence parties together have a narrow majority in the new body, but lawmakers will need to form a government and pick their leadership.
Ahead of Wednesday's session, two separatist parties reached an agreement to support former Catalan President Carles Puigdemont as a candidate to again take that role.
Puigdemont led the push for the referendum on Catalonia seceding from Spain, which was supported by the majority of people who voted. After the government in Madrid dissolved the parliament and suspended the region's autonomy, Puigdemont fled to Brussels. He faces arrest if he returns to Spain.
Spain's prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, says Puigdemont cannot act as Catalan president while in exile, and that if he is chosen then the suspension of Catalonia's autonomy will remain in effect.
As Migrants Return To French Port Of Calais, Macron Demands Britain Pay Up
France is set to demand that Britain pay more to deal with the ongoing migrant crisis around the port of Calais, the main gateway from the European mainland to the UK.
French President Emmanuel Macron visited the northern town Tuesday, where he met migrants at a local shelter, and praised the commitment of the police in a speech to local officers.
Macron is expected to unveil new immigration policies in the coming weeks. Official figures this week showed a record number of asylum applications in 2017, exceeding 100,000 people.
Currently, British border controls are hosted in Calais under an agreement between Britain and France.
Macron is due to travel to London Thursday for talks with Prime Minister Theresa May and is expected to demand Britain accept more asylum seekers and pay more toward policing the border.
Hundreds of asylum seekers, mainly from Africa and the Middle East, are living in dire conditions in makeshift camps around Calais. The roads leading to the port are lined with rows of razor wire fences, but the migrants regularly scale the barriers and attempt to hide in trucks and cars heading across the English Channel.