Supporters hold up a Catalan independence flag during a conference in Barcelona on Tuesday called  after a symbolic vote on the region’s independence from Spain. Photograph: Gustau Nacarino/Reuters

President aims to run on a united platform with other pro-independence parties

A television screen grab of 85-year-old Carmen Martínez  in her neighbourhood of Vallecas in Madrid. Spanish first division soccer club Rayo Vallecano is to help Ms Martínez, who was evicted on  November 21st from her house in Vallecas, where had lived there for 50 years. Photograph:  EPA/EFE TV

Rayo Vallecano’s staff steps in after 85-year-old is evicted over son’s debt

Pope Francis telephoned the alleged victim of sex abuse by several priests and asked him to “forgive this extremely serious sin”. Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Granada archbishop to explain failure to act over suspected abusive priests

 Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy speaks about the recent unofficial Catalonian independence poll  in Madrid yesterday. Photograph:  Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Spanish PM refuses to cede ground despite overwhelming vote in favour of secession

Pro-independence supporters celebrate the results of the informal poll for the independence of Catalonia in Barcelona, Spain, on Sunday.Photograph: AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti

Turnout for unofficial referendum hints at appetite for more formal action

Volunteers count ballots after the closing of a polling station yesterday in Barcelona. Photograph: David Ramos/Getty Images

Overwhelming win expected for pro-independence side in low turnout vote

Spanish nun Teresa Forcades, who has become an increasingly prominent European intellectual. Photograph: Lluis Gene/AFP/Getty Images

In the past, Teresa Forcades’s views have drawn Vatican reprimands

Rodrigo Rato leaving the High Court after being questioned by a judge investigating the alleged use of credit cards for personal expenses. Photograph: Sergio Perez

Close ties with the political and financial classes sealed the financier’s fate – with jail now a very real possibility

President of Catalonia Artur Mas (left) with leader of the Pro-Independence political party Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya Oriol Junqueras, leaving the Catalan government building in Barcelona, Spain, this week. Photograph: David Ramos/Getty Images

Surging pro-independence leader outflanks moderate rival Mas as tension with Madrid increases

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