Spain’s lawmakers sworn in with far-right Vox as third-largest party Dec 04, 2019 0 191 12345 AFPMadridSpain’s new parliament met for its opening session on Tuesday, with the far-right Vox as the third-largest party following a divisive election that failed to resolve years of political deadlock.Just over three weeks after the vote, lawmakers were on Tuesday taking the oath of office, although there was little indication of when a government would be formed.The legislature has been gridlocked since an inconclusive April election which the Socialists won but without a majority -- in an outcome repeated on November 10, leaving Pedro Sanchez a winner but weakened. And this time round, Vox -- which only a year ago was just a marginal player -- more than doubled its showing, snaring 52 mandates and becoming the third-largest faction within the 350-seat parliament.Days after the election, Sanchez and the radical leftwing Podemos agreed in principle to form a coalition government. But such a government would only have 155 seats, leaving it dependent on support from other factions for the 176 mandates to pass an investiture vote.Last month, Sanchez’s negotiating team began talks with the Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC), a Catalan separatist party which won 13 seats in November’s election.But so far it has refused to offer its backing, demanding in exchange talks on the Catalan crisis which would likely include its call for a referendum on self-determination -- an idea Madrid has rejected out of hand. RELATED ARTICLES Hindus begin mass animal sacrifice in Nepal despite protest Dec 04, 2019 0 206 Trump pledges to ‘stay out’ of Britain’s election campaign Dec 04, 2019 0 641 Trump, Macron and Erdogan clash outshines NATO summit Dec 04, 2019 0 468 Sri Lankan President Rajapaksa suspends parliament for a month ahead of snap polls AFP Colombo Sri Lanka’s new president suspended parliament for a month from Tuesday ahead of snap elections he wants to call in March to consolidate his sweeping victory. Gotabaya Rajapaksa, elected president last .. German defence minister says include Afghans in peace talks Kabul: During her visit to Afghanistan, Germany’s Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer called for the inclusion of Afghan politicians in peace talks with the militant Islamist Taliban, at a press conference .. Japan’s Abe offers to meet S Korea’s Moon after months of tension Tokyo: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Tuesday he would be willing to meet face-to-face with South Korean President Moon Jae-in during his visit to China for a trilateral summit in late December. The two .. NASA finds Indian Moon lander with help of amateur space enthusiast Washington: India’s Vikram lunar lander, which crashed on its final approach to the Moon’s surface in September, has been found thanks in part to the sleuthing efforts of an amateur space enthusiast. NASA made the .. US court rules Deutsche Bank hand over Trump records DPA Washington A US court ruled on Tuesday that Deutsche Bank must hand over financial documents pertaining to President Donald Trump to Congressional committees, though the decision will likely be appealed to the .. Pakistan ex-president Zardari files bail plea on medical grounds ISLAMABAD: Former president Asif Ali Zardari – who is currently under treatment at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) hospital in Islamabad – on Tuesday filed a bail petition on medical grounds. The .. NATO recognises China ‘challenges’ for first time London: NATO is to formally recognise the “challenges” posed by China for the first time, but the alliance chief insisted on Tuesday he did not want to make an adversary of Beijing. Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said ..