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It Is A 'No' For Rajoy

Spain's political crisis has deepened, after the country's acting prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, lost a parliamentary bid for a second term in office. "84 times no," daily newspaper La Razón wrote on its front page, referring to the socialists who refused to back Rajoy's attempt to stay in power.

The leader of the opposition, Pedro Sánchez, had made clear that his party, the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE), would not endorse their longtime rival.

"Spain needs a government, not a bad government," Sánchez stated during the debate on Rajoy's appointment on Tuesday.

Rajoy failed to reach a majority of at least 176 votes in parliament, securing only the votes of lawmakers from his People's party (PP), with the backing of 33 others. But he could still become prime minister in a second vote on Friday if he manages to pull off a majority vote, although it will require one party or more to abstain.

Spain has spent eight months in a political deadlock with the latest setback likely to dampen the country's economic recovery.

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Geopolitics

China v. India: A New Twist In Asia's "Billion Club" Rivalry

The news that China's population has shrunk for the first time in 60 years, comes as India appears to be outperforming its giant neighbor on a number of fronts. But this would be reversal of fortune still has too many variables to predict the demise of one or the rise of the other.

Photo of a crowded street in Hyderabad, India

Street scene in Hyderabad, India

Pierre Haski

-Analysis-

PARIS — China and India have at least one notable feature in common: the Asian giants are the only two countries in the world with a population above one billion. Yet Beijing announced this week that China has registered its first decline in number of inhabitants after 60 years of continuous expansion. This comes as India’s population continues to grow — on the path to overtake China as the world's most populous country.

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