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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 24 June 2018

Beyond the Headlines Podcast: Separatists in Iraq and Spain vote for independence

The right to self-determination is not only the core upon which we gauge human rights but it’s considered one of the fundamental freedoms the United Nations outlines as necessary to all mankind. So why is that when people look to exercise that freedom, it’s almost universally met with resistance?

People wearing Scottish, Welsh and Catalonian flags gather at the final pro-independence rally at Plaza Espana ahead of Sunday's referendum vote on September 29, 2017 in Barcelona, Spain. Dan Kitwood / Getty Images
People wearing Scottish, Welsh and Catalonian flags gather at the final pro-independence rally at Plaza Espana ahead of Sunday's referendum vote on September 29, 2017 in Barcelona, Spain. Dan Kitwood / Getty Images

We spoke to Mina Al Droubi, reporter at The National, to give us some insight into what is happening in Iraqi Kurdistan and what the referendum might mean in terms of the region actually gaining independence.

In Spain, another unrelated push for independence is coming from the Catalans as they look to achieve a long-desired autonomous state. We spoke to Richard Ferraris, who is reporting on the events in Barcelona.

And in the UAE, a new law will see for the first time in the region an excise tax hike aimed directly at urging consumers to make more health conscious decisions. The tax includes a 100 per cent hike on both cigarettes and energy drinks and a 50 per cent tax on cola. This could be a precursor for more moves of its kind in the future, Roberta Pennington told us.

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