World Bulletin / News Desk
Madrid regional president Esperanza Aguirre, an influential Spanish politician and a leader of the conservative wing of the ruling centre-right People's Party (PP), resigned on Monday in a surprise announcement.
Aguirre has been a huge vote-getter for the PP in populous Madrid, and was the first woman politician in Spain to be seen as a possible future president.
She has also clashed publicly with Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who has moved the party in a more moderate direction.
Aguirre announced in 2011 that she had breast cancer but on Monday said her health was only part of a decision to end her three-decade political career.
"I want to spend more time with my grandchildren," said Aguirre, who has been president of the Community of Madrid, the region that includes the country's capital, since 2003.
She was Spain's first female head of the Senate, its first female regional president and also served as education minister.
She brought bilingual English-Spanish teaching to Madrid schools and opened many hospitals in the region.
Aguirre denied her resignation was linked to her recent public disagreement with Rajoy over the early release of terminal cancer patient Jesus Maria Uribetxeberria Bolinaga, a convicted kidnapper from violent Basque separatist group ETA.
Rajoy had said he had to follow the law on the release, but Aguirre and other hardliners had said a way should have been found to keep him in prison.
In recent months Aguirre has championed Madrid as the site for a Las Vegas Sands casino.
The capital beat rival Barcelona in a charm offensive, which saw the project, expected to be worth up to 17 billion euros ($22 billion) in investment, awarded to Madrid earlier this month.
Head of miners federation that called strike last month, 2 top officials among detained
Former economy minister says Brazilian president did nothing Illegal
Haider al-Abadi says Khalidiya town cleared of terror group as army plans push to retake Mosul
Authorities suspect attack carried out by Paraguayan People's Army guerrilla group
An Israeli army commander has made shocking threats to Palestinian youth held in the Al-Duheisha, threatening that he will “make all the youth of the camp disabled,” according to a Palestinian rights group, reported by the Middle East Monitor
Hillary Clinton has received the first classified intelligence briefing Saturday morning
Japan has pledged to give $30 billion as an investment to Africa by 2018
Egyptian authorities to reopen Rafah crossing on Tuesday for three consecutive days
Incumbent President Ali Bongo faces stiff competition from former African Union Commission
Spanish authorities have cracked down on an illegal ring that involves Chinese domestic staff
Scots drive to put Israel's West Bank wall on the Google Map as fall-out from Celtic fans Palestinian flag protest simmers
Turkish president expresses sadness in call to Italian counterpart, extends his condolences to the families of victims killed in early Wednesday earthquake with a mass funeral is held today for 34 of the 284 people killed
Prime Minister-designate Youssef Chahed's new unity government wins votes of confidence in parliament.
Time to ‘choose engagement over isolation’ senior government minister
At least 16 people have died in a fire at a warehouse in Moscow, authorities have said.
Ex-Bush adviser Paul Wolfowitz slams Trump who has joined a chorus of “neocons” in distancing themselves from the Republicans' current nominee.