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Spain's Socialists Face Doomed Vote to Form Government

Spain's Socialist chief Pedro Sanchez was set to lose his bid to form a new government on Wednesday after key parties vowed to vote against him in an evening vote of confidence in parliament.

Sanchez's Socialists, who came second in an inconclusive general election on December 20, face the vote after conservative acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said he did not have the support to form an administration himself.

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Barcelona Waits for Refugees... who aren't Coming

Half a year after Barcelona launched a municipal plan to welcome refugees fleeing wars in places like Syria and Iraq, Spain's second largest city is still waiting for them to arrive.

"This fills us with rage," Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau, a former activist born out of the anti-austerity Indignados protest movement, told AFP.

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Spain's Podemos Agrees to Talk with Socialists, Breaking Deadlock

Spain's far-left party Podemos said Thursday it had agreed to negotiate with the Socialist party (PSOE) over forming a government, breaking a weeks-long potentially damaging deadlock in talks.

Podemos chief Pablo Iglesias had until now refused to sit down with the Socialists if they continued to talk with upstart centrist grouping Ciudadanos -- an ultimatum rejected by PSOE head Pedro Sanchez, who has been nominated by the king as candidate to lead the country.

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Court Hears of Lucrative Contracts at Spanish Princess' Fraud Trial

The first defendant to take the stand in Spain's landmark corruption trial involving Princess Cristina spoke Tuesday of lucrative no-bid contracts allegedly negotiated after playing sports at a royal palace.

Cristina, King Felipe VI's sister, is charged with two counts of tax fraud in the graft scandal centered on the business dealings of her husband, former Olympic handball medalist Inaki Urdangarin.

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Seven Arrested in Spain over Suspected Jihad Links

Spanish police said they arrested seven people on Sunday with suspected links to al-Qaida and the Islamic State groups and uncovered an operation to smuggle arms to jihadists under the guise of humanitarian aid.

The arrests were carried out in the eastern cities of Valencia and Alicante and in Spain's North African enclave of Ceuta, the police said in a statement.

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Setback for Spain Government Formation as Podemos, Socialist Talks Deadlocked

Spain suffered a fresh setback Friday after the Socialists and anti-austerity party Podemos -- key players in a weeks-long bid to form a government -- hit a deadlock in talks.

Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias said he would not negotiate with the Socialists (PSOE) if they continued to talk with upstart party Ciudadanos -- an ultimatum rejected by PSOE chief Pedro Sanchez, whom the king has designated to form a government.

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Passengers Evacuated from Madrid-Riyadh Flight after Bomb Hoax

Passengers on a flight to Riyadh from Madrid were evacuated Thursday after a note threatening a bomb attack was found inside the plane in what was later confirmed as a hoax.

The Saudi Arabian Airlines flight had been due to take off in the mid-morning from Madrid but the captain requested an evacuation after a note reading "11:30 bomb" was discovered pinned to the interior. The plane was taken to an isolated part of the airport for inspection.

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Spain's Anti-Austerity Podemos Proposes Forming Govt. with Socialists

The leader of Spain's anti-austerity party Podemos on Friday proposed forming a government with the Socialists, making a left-wing governing alliance more likely after last month's inconclusive election.

Pablo Iglesias told reporters he had informed King Felipe VI of "our desire to form a government of change with the Socialists and the United Left".

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Spanish King Meets Party Leaders to Form New Government

Spain's King Felipe VI began Monday a week of meetings with party leaders in a bid to break a potentially damaging impasse over the formation of a new government following inconclusive elections.

Acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has headed a caretaker government with reduced powers since a December 20 general election produced a hung parliament in which a ruling majority cannot easily be formed.

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Spain's Podemos Urged to Explain Alleged Iranian Funding Link

Spain's conservative Popular Party on Thursday demanded explanations from far-left party Podemos after media reports that police had opened an investigation into alleged illegal party financing from Iran.

Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias "must explain... the role he played in the very serious affair of illegal financing by a regime like the Iranian regime," the Popular Party's spokesman in parliament, Rafael Hernando, said.

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