Spanish politics have been a mess for a decade, since the financial crisis triggered brutal austerity that gutted Spanish services and quality of life to ensure that bondholders did not suffer an interruption in debt service; then came the Catalan independence vote, the violent suppression of same, then Madrid seized control over the autonomous region of Catalonia.
It took 22-year-old Mamoudou Gassama just seconds to reach a child that was dangling from the fifth-floor balcony of a building in Paris, saving the four-year-old boy.
In less than two decades, Portugal went from suffering an epidemic of heroin use, drug-related crimes and deaths to enjoying one of the lowest rates of drug-related deaths in the world. This excellent, short video from Bloomberg explores why this is the case.
I’m stunned by the outcome of the referendum on abortion in my native land. I expected it to be close, and watched with distaste the attempts by the American fanatical anti-choice movement to influence the campaign. I thought the Yes campaign would win, but suspected that it would be by a narrow margin (as in the Brexit referendum in the UK). And I expected that the result would reflect the growing urban/rural divide in Ireland.
I was wrong about all this. Two thirds of my fellow-citizens voted to repeal a previous amendment to the Constitution that effectively banned abortions in the Republic. And as for my idea about the urban/rural divide — well, only a single constituency (Donegal) votedagainst repeal — and then only by a narrow margin (51.9% to 48.1%).