- - Tuesday, April 10, 2012

RASQUERA — What about growing marijuana to pay off municipal debt? One Spanish village is putting the idea to a vote.

The referendum Tuesday in Rasquera, population 960, in the northeastern Catalonia region is a quirky, legally touchy illustration of Spain’s deep financial woes.

The seven-member Town Council first approved the idea in March, but it ignited such controversy that the mayor agreed to put it to a referendum in the hamlet of mostly retirees.

At least 75 percent must be in favor for the plan to go forward. If that happens, a plot of land will be leased to an association of marijuana buffs in Barcelona who would grow the plants and pay Rasquera $1.7 million.


The creation of 40 jobs - growing, harvesting and packaging the weed - has been estimated.

AFGHANISTAN

Bombers kill 18 at government offices

KABUL — Suicide bombers struck two government offices in southern and western Afghanistan on Tuesday, killing 18 people as militants step up attacks across the country with the arrival of spring weather, authorities said.

Insurgents have been targeting Afghan and NATO security forces as they fight to assert their power and undermine U.S. efforts to build up Afghan forces.

Afghanistan’s police and army increasingly are shouldering the job of providing security before the exit of most foreign combat troops by the end of 2014.

MYANMAR

Suu Kyi to meet with president

YANGON — Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi will see President Thein Sein on Wednesday for what a spokesman describes as a very important meeting before she takes her seat in parliament.

National League for Democracy spokesman Nyan Win said Mrs. Suu Kyi would fly to the capital Naypyitaw to talk at the president’s invitation. He said Tuesday they may discuss democratization and the peace process with ethnic rebels, as well as parliamentary affairs.

The parliamentary session opens April 23.

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