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.
Policemen used teargas to disperse the demonstrators, who responded with stones, the eyewitness said
Obama speaks with British, French, German and Italian counterparts to discuss Ukraine, Gaza, Libya and Iraq
Netanyahu said Israel has to be ready for a long war until the objectives of the current operation against Gaza are achieved. Hamas says Netanyahu's threats can do nothing to scare it or scare the Palestinian people
The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called for all sides in the conflict to be held accountable for 'this outrageous crime'
The United States said it was "profoundly disappointed" by former General Hugo Carvajal's release on drug trafficking charges
At least ten Palestinian children were killed and 45 others injured on Monday by Israeli shelling of the western Gaza City Al-Shati Camp
Many current U.S. surveillance programs go well beyond what is necessary to ensure national security, the report said.
The displaced children took to the school's playground to catch a glimpse of holiday celebrations amid a relentless Israeli offensive
Morning attack by suspected militants kills 21 civilians – including 10 women – headed for Eid celebrations
Dozens of former officials, including a former prime minister, have been arrested on charges such as abuse of power and corruption since Saakashvili's party lost an election two years ago.
Two rival brigades of former rebels fighting for control of Tripoli International Airport have pounded each other's positions for two weeks, turning the south of the capital into a battlefield.
A female bomber blew herself up at a petrol station in northern Nigeria's biggest city of Kano
Minister says Malaysia’s main concern is returning citizens’ bodies to provide closure to grieving families.
"We are ready, if they wish, to facilitate their asylum on our soil," France's foreign and interior ministers said in a joint statement
Roadside bomb kills 1, injures 2 other girls and 2 army rangers the night before Eid holiday in Pattani province
Baghdad's morgues are filling up once again with victims of sectarian slayings, kidnappings are on the rise and the bloodshed is forcing families to flee