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Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rahoy today took the first tentative step toward imposing administrative control over the would-be breakaway region of Catalonia. He asked Catalan President Carles Puigdemont to clarify whether he'd actually meant to declare independence in a speech yesterday. If he did, the Spanish government is prepared to invoke a provision in the national constitution that would suspend Catalonia's autonomous administration. For more, we turn to Raphael Minder, a Spain-based reporter for the New York Times who's been following the situation.
It's the most isolated nation in the modern world, a closed society that the information age has barely penetrated, a place where teenagers have never heard of Beyonce and Facebook is just a mysterious word. North Korea is also a parallel universe, in which the United States is an evil empire bent on destruction, and patriotic North Koreans take it for granted that they would crush America in a nuclear war. Western options for defusing the situation have always been limited. As Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un escalate their war of words, guest host Todd Purdum speaks with journalists who've had rare firsthand access to Pyongyang. How worried should we really be?
The recent debates over Confederate Civil War monuments have focused mostly on memorials built long ago, either in the Jim Crow era or those built some 50 years ago as the modern civil rights movement gathered steam. In both cases historians agree that the real goal of those who built the statues and put up the plaques was aimed at least partly at intimidating black Americans who sought to win their full birthright as citizens. But the Washington Post has shed fresh light on a little-known third category of memorials -- those erected in just the last few years. The Post found that at least 50 more modest Confederate monuments have been built since 1990 -- some of them in northern states! Kimberly Kindy is one of the Washington Post reporters who broke the story.
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