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Photo by Josep Renalias
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.
More From To the Point
The Jewish State of Israel: Democracy or Apartheid? Israel’s recent “national unity” law calls the country “unique” to the Jewish people. But 21 percent of Israelis are Arabs. Do Jewish values conflict with pluralistic democracy? Jews in both countries are sharply divided over a question that goes to the founding of the “Jewish State.”
Is ‘socialism’ dividing the Democrats From Bernie Sanders to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez,“socialism” is having a hot summer. Is it the future of the Democratic Party or an easy Republican target? Prominent liberals and conservatives describe the history--and possible future--of a term loaded with many meanings in America’s political history.
Cartoons, Comic Strips and Opinions Rob Rogers of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is the latest editorial cartoonist to lose his job. Fired for harsh portrayals of President Trump. We’ll talk with him and look at another kind of cartooning: comic strips. Even when the kids don’t realize it, they’re political, too. They’re a highly sophisticated artform and a barometer of social change.
Cyberwar: Can the US Defend Against “The Perfect Weapon?” By hacking centrifuges, the US may have slowed Iran’s nuclear-weapons program. But a good offense is not the best defense. Threats to US elections, the power grid and even medical records are real and present. But they’re not getting the attention they deserve. That’s according to the New York Times’ David Sanger, in his book The Perfect Weapon.
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