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Spanish King Makes Final Bid to Broker Deal on New Government

Spain's King Felipe VI met with political party leaders on Monday in a last desperate bid to get them to form a coalition government -- and avoid calling the country's second general election within six months.

The monarch will wrap up the talks -- his third round since an inconclusive December 20 election -- on Tuesday by meeting with acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who said over the weekend he was ready for new polls.

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Dirty Laundry Snares Head of Spain's 'Clean Hands'

The head of a Spanish anti-corruption group that championed several high-profile cases over the past two decades, including one against Princess Cristina, now finds himself under investigation for extortion.

A judge this week ordered the founder and leader of "Manos Limpias" (Clean Hands), retired Madrid city hall employee Miguel Bernad, 74, to be remanded in custody while a probe is conducted into a blackmail and extortion ring he allegedly ran.

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Podemos Lawmakers on Hunger Strike in Spain in Favor of Refugees

Four lawmakers from Spain's far-left party Podemos and its allies are said Wednesday they are on a week-long hunger strike to try to rally public support of refugees.

The lawmakers began their hunger strike on Saturday and are calling on people to occupy public squares for 24 hours on Friday, the day they plan to end their action , in a gesture of support for those people at the center of Europe's biggest migrant crisis since World War II.

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Spain Arrests Moroccan in Mallorca 'Linked' to IS Group

Spanish police said Tuesday they had detained a Moroccan man in the Mediterranean island resort of Palma de Mallorca suspected of recruiting jihadists for the Islamic State (IS) group.

"A police probe revealed that the accused had close contact with established terrorists involved with Daesh who are currently located in Syria," they said in a statement using a synonym for IS.

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Podemos Members Reject Backing Socialist-Led Govt. in Spain

Spain's far-left Podemos party said Monday its members had voted overwhelmingly against backing a coalition government between the Socialists and centrist upstart Ciudadanos.

Fully 88.23 percent of the roughly 149,000 party members who took part in the April 14-16 internal referendum opposed supporting such a government, the party said in a statement.

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Spain Detains Man who Provided Arms for January 2015 Paris Attacks

Spanish police said Wednesday they had detained a Frenchman suspected of heading a weapons trafficking ring that supplied arms to one of the jihadists that killed 17 people in Paris in January 2015.

In a statement, police said Antoine Denevi, a 27-year-old from a small town in northern France, was detained on Tuesday in the southern Malaga area after Paris issued a Europe-wide arrest warrant.

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Early Elections Threaten in Spain as Coalition Talks Break down

Three-way talks headed by Spain's Socialists to form a new government broke down Friday less than 24 hours after they began, increasing the likelihood of a fresh election in June which would be the second in six months.

Negotiators from the Socialists, far-left party Podemos and centrist upstart Ciudadanos met on Thursday for two hours for the first time to try to end over three months of stalemate following an inconclusive December 20 general election.

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Police Suspect Driver Drowsiness or Distraction Caused Spain Bus Crash

Police investigating a weekend bus crash in Spain that killed 13 foreign students said Wednesday they suspect the driver either dozed off or became distracted by a conversation just before the accident.

The 62-year-old driver suffered chest injuries in Sunday's accident in the northeastern region of Catalonia and is in critical condition in hospital after his health worsened.

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13 Dead, 44 Hurt as Bus Carrying Foreign Students Crashes in Spain

Thirteen people were killed and 44 injured Sunday when a bus carrying foreign exchange students crashed in northeastern Spain, local authorities said.

All the dead were female, according to a regional government source who requested anonymity.

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Basque Leader Gets Hero's Welcome after Release from Jail

Thousands of people in the heart of Spain's Basque country gave a hero's welcome on Saturday to a veteran separatist leader, following his release after more than six years behind bars.

A crowd of more than 10,000 gathered in the velodrome of the town of San Sebastian to give a tumultuous greeting to Arnaldo Otegi after his release last Tuesday.

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