Spain on tenterhooks ahead of Catalan crisis sessions

Two crucial meetings will take place in Spain that could decide the short-term future of a country undergoing its worst political crisis in decades.

Catalonia's parliament on Friday will resume debating its response to the Spanish government's plans to strip away its regional powers to halt it pushing toward independence. But in Madrid, Spain's Senate meets to approve the government's plans and set the intervention in motion.

The government's proposals include removing the Catalan government's regional leaders from office and curtailing the authority of the region's parliament.

The Catalan government rejects the move and there is speculation the regional parliament may actually take the step of declaring independence from Spain later Friday.