Spanish cabinet mulls response to pro-independence Catalans

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's office says members of his cabinet are meeting Thursday to react to plans by Catalan leaders who have scheduled a vote on the region's secession from Spain.

Rajoy is also discussing the crisis separately with leaders of the two main opposition parties, his office announced, in an effort to project political unity against the separatists' defiance.

The government is seeking to stop the Oct. 1 vote by appealing to the country's constitutional court, which has previously ruled that a referendum can only be called with the approval of central authorities. Other possible measures have not been disclosed.

Judges in Spain's top court are also considering a request by Rajoy to punish members of the regional Catalan parliament who on Wednesday allowed the passing of a legal framework for the referendum.