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Extra! Catalonia Independence Set For New Test

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La Vanguardia, August 4, 2015

Catalonia is set to go to the polls next month, as regional President Artur Mas called early elections for Sept. 27, intending to use the vote as a fresh bid for independence. He announced the election as "an exceptional measure," says Tuesday's front page of La Vanguardia.

In a televised event Monday night from Barcelona, Mas signed the voting order, blaming Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's central government for refusing to engage in talks over the future of Catalonia — which accounts for 20% of Spain's GDP.

Mas' ruling Convergence party and the region's second party, the Republican Left of Catalonia, are running joint candidates, and say they will unilaterally leave Spain if they obtain a majority, reports the Associated Press. Meanwhile, anti-austerity party Podemos have said Catalans have the right to decide, but the party wants the region to stay as part of Spain. Recent opinion polls have shown that a slim majority oppose secession.

Barcelona-based La Vanguardia is Catalonia's leading newspaper, printed in both Spanish and Catalan.

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Green

Moose In Our Midst: How Poland's Wildlife Preservation Worked A Bit Too Well

Wild moose have been spotted on Polish beaches and even near cities. They're a rare example of successful conservation efforts, but they're increasingly coming into contact with people.

Photo of a moose crossing a road

Moose seen in Poland

Joanna Wisniowska

GDANSK — Images of wild moose roaming the streets and beaches of Poland’s Baltic coast have been cropping up online more frequently. What should someone do if they encounter one? According to Mateusz Ciechanowski, a biologist at the University of Gdansk, the best option is to leave them alone.

“This is the result of the consistent protection that has been provided to this species of moose,” said Ciechanowski. “As the numbers increase, so does the animals’ range”.

Various media outlets have been publishing reports about spotted wild moose in the cities of Gdansk, Gdynia, and Sopot with increasing frequency. Perhaps more surprising is that these moose have been seen on beaches as well.

Centuries ago, moose could be found all over the European continent. But, like the European bison, they were often hunted for their value as an attractive game animal.

Aside from population declines due to hunting, the drainage of European wetlands also decreased the number of viable moose habitats. The animals, which prefer marshy areas, dwindled without the proper natural environment to flourish in.

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