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Catalan leader wins backing of regional parliament for independence referendum

Catalan regional lawmakers on Thursday approved regional President Carles Puigdemont's plan to call a referendum next year on independence from Spain, which has been without a fully functioning government since December. Puigdemont called the vote of confidence in his government and its plans after his pro-independence coalition that rules Catalonia broke down in June when its most radical component -- the far-left CUP party -- refused to back the government budget for 2016.
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