FROM Stephen Burgen
Spain imposes direct rule after Catalan independence vote The parliament of Catalonia declared independence from Spain this afternoon. Minutes later, the Spanish Senate granted Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy unprecedented power to impose direct rule on the region. Madrid and Barcelona have been on a collision course, and tensions are higher than ever. Stephen Burgen, who is based in Barcelona and writing for the Guardian , looks at what the latest move will mean for Catalans, Spain and the EU.
Can the nations of Europe keep it together? First, the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. Now, leaders of Catalonia, the richest province in Spain, want to declare independence. On Sunday, they went ahead with a referendum that had been ruled illegal. Tuesday, separatists took to the streets of Barcelona, Catalonia's capital city. That night, King Felipe VI took a tough stand in a rare TV appearance, instead of appealing for national unity. But today, separatist leaders said they'll obey yet another court order -- their regional parliament won't declare independence on Monday. The national government's brutal attacks on voters may have increased momentum. But Spain's not the only country where growing local resentment of distant central governments is stoking forms of separatism. Leaders of the European Union have been silent so far, but they may be facing threats to unity — as well as democracy.
Barcelona terror suspect admits to larger failed attack plan Fifteen people were killed and 130 were injured when a car drove into a crowd last Thursday in Barcelona. Officials have said that today in court, a suspect said much larger attacks had been planned. He was arrested after a house blew up on Wednesday. Stephen Burgen lives in Barcelona, and is reporting the story for the Guardian .
Trump's 'America First' goes missing abroad In the Middle East, President Trump is changing some policies of the Obama Administration—and reversing his own campaign attacks on Islam as a religion that "hates us." We hear about his visit to Saudi Arabia and what's at stake for the rest of his foreign excursion.
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.