Spain's top court upholds public office ban for Catalonia's regional chief

MADRID (Reuters) - Spain’s Supreme Court on Monday upheld an 18-month ban from public office for Catalonia’s separatist, regional head of government Quim Torra on charges of disobedience.

The case stems from Torra’s refusal to follow the orders of Spain’s electoral committee to remove symbols supporting jailed and self-exiled independence leaders from his government palace during a national election campaign in 2019. He defended his actions on the grounds of freedom of expression.

Germany to issue 6 billion euros more debt than planned in fourth quarter due to coronavirus

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany plans to issue 6 billion euros ($7 billion) more debt in the fourth quarter than it originally planned, the German finance agency said on Monday, to fund spending to tackle the coronavirus pandemic that has battered the economy.

Europe’s largest economy will issue a total of 50.5 billion euros in debt in the October-December period excluding inflation-linked debt, the agency said.

UK: Boris Johnson overtaken in major opinion poll for first time since moving into 10 Downing Street

LONDON, Sept. 27 (Xinhua) -- The leader of Britain's main opposition party, Labour's Keir Starmer, has for the first time moved ahead of Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a major opinion poll Sunday.

The Opinium poll for the Observer newspaper has given Starmer a four-point lead over Johnson.

In a double blow for the Johnson, the Labour party has also gained a three-point lead over the Conservatives who currently have an 80-seat majority in the House of Commons.

Switzerland: Novel coronavirus "happened naturally": WHO chief

GENEVA, Sept. 28 (Xinhua) -- The World Health Organization (WHO) has reiterated the natural origin of the novel coronavirus.

"The virus has happened naturally," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Friday at a media briefing on COVID-19.

"WHO believes in science and evidence and that's why we say science, solutions and solidarity," he said.

Many studies on the origin of the virus have overwhelmingly showed that the virus, or SARS-CoV-2, originated naturally rather than from any institution. 

FRANCE: Macron ‘ashamed’ of Lebanon’s political leaders amid crisis

PARIS (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron assailed Hezbollah and the entire Lebanese political class Sunday, and warned of a new civil war if they can’t set aside personal and religious interests to unlock international aid and save Lebanon from economic collapse.

But Macron said France wouldn’t impose sanctions on anyone in its former protectorate — for now. And he clung to his proposed road map to break Lebanon’s political stalemate despite Saturday’s resignation of its prime minister-designate, which throws Macron’s plan into question.

Russian Foreign Ministry calls on parties to Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to cease fire

MOSCOW, September 27. /TASS/: Moscow calls on the parties to the conflict in the Nagorno-Karabakh zone to immediately cease fire and begin negotiations to stabilize the situation, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Sunday.

"According to the available information, the situation in the zone of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has sharply deteriorated," the ministry said. "We call on the parties to immediately cease fire and begin negotiations in order to stabilize the situation," the Russian diplomatic service stressed.

RUSSIA: Number of injured in overhead crossing collapse in Moscow region rises to over 50

MOSCOW, September 27. /TASS/: The number of people injured in an overhead pedestrian crossing collapse in the Moscow region increased to over 50 people, press service of the Main Directorate of the Russian Emergencies Ministry in the Moscow Region told TASS.

"As of 13:00 Moscow time, 51 people were injured. All of them are in various hospitals. Some of them have turned to doctors on their own," the department said.

RUSSIA: Putin notes importance of strategic partnership with Turkmenistan

MOSCOW, September 27. /TASS/: Russian President Vladimir Putin sent a congratulatory telegram to Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov on the occasion of the national holiday - Independence Day, noting that Moscow attaches great importance to the strategic partnership with Ashgabat, the Kremlin press service announced on Sunday.

Russia’s crude production projected to recover to record level only in 2023

MOSCOW, September 27. /TASS/: Production of oil and gas condensate in Russia is projected at 507.4 mln tonnes in 2020, a 9.5% decrease compared with 2019, whereas gas output is expected to drop by 6.4% to 690.8 bln cubic meters, according to the country’s social and economic development for 2021 and the planned period of 2022 and 2023 presented by the Economic Development Ministry.

RUSSIA: Over 3,000 people vaccinated against coronavirus in Moscow

MOSCOW, September 27. /TASS/: Over 3,000 residents of Moscow have already been vaccinated against the coronavirus, the mayor of Moscow Sergey Sobyanin said on Sunday in an interview with Rossiya 1 TV channel.

"More than 3,000 volunteers have already been vaccinated against the coronavirus. None of them have problems. People feel good. I myself went through this vaccination procedure and you see - nothing happened to me, although several months have already passed," Sobyanin said.

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