“Spain’s government moves to halt independence vote for Catalonia, sparking protests”

‘After years of largely ignoring Catalan separatism, Spain’s central government moved decisively Wednesday to halt preparations for an independence referendum in its Catalonia region, where memories of repression under the Franco dictatorship linger. … Catalonia held an independence poll in 2014, and voters favored secession. But turnout was low, and Catalan officials acknowledged it was nonbinding. This time, they vow to declare independence from Spain within 48 hours, if the “yes” votes win.’