Spain

Children across Spain were able to leave their homes for the first time in six weeks on Sunday, as the government eased restrictions that have kept anyone under the age of 14 from venturing in public.

Some nonessential workers in Spain, one of the countries hardest-hit by the novel coronavirus, will return to work this week as part of an easing of restrictions imposed a month ago in an effort to stem the COVID-19 pandemic.

The move allows some businesses that can't operate remotely, such as construction and manufacturing, to reopen, even as the majority of the country's population remains in a lockdown that began on March 14.

Bars, shops and public spaces are also set to remain closed for at least another two weeks.

AP

COMMENTARY

Reparations are a big – and valid – debate today. Should the U.S. compensate African Americans for centuries of slavery? Should France pony up for the billions of dollars it extorted from Haiti in the 19th century?

Yes and yes, by the way. But recent events remind me we should add another historical world power to the reparations roster: Spain.

Updated at 3:55 p.m. ET

Spain's Socialist Party again won parliamentary elections on Sunday, but it fell short of a majority, and the recently emerging far-right Vox party made major gains.

Acting Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez's Socialists earned 120 of 350 seats, three fewer than in April's election. In second, the mainstream conservative People's Party won 88 seats, up from 66 in the last vote.

The remains of Spanish dictator Gen. Francisco Franco have been exhumed, nearly four and a half decades after he was laid to rest in a colossal mausoleum in the Valley of the Fallen — the Valle de los Caídos — northwest of Madrid.

The removal of Franco, who rose to power in 80 years ago, got underway Thursday morning. After being extracted from the mausoleum, his remains were flown by helicopter to a more humble location — a family cemetery just north of Madrid where he was reburied next to his wife.

Peaceful marches, a general strike and violent unrest have convulsed Catalonia, in northeastern Spain, this week after a group of Catalan leaders received long prison sentences.

On Monday, Spain's Supreme Court convicted 12 politicians and prominent activists for their part in a 2017 push to declare Catalonia an independent republic. Nine of the leaders, including the former vice president of the Catalan government, were sentenced to between nine and 13 years in prison for sedition. Four of them also were charged with misuse of public funds.

Police and protesters were expected to face off for a second time Tuesday in Spain's northeastern Catalonia region, a day after the Supreme Court found nine separatist leaders guilty of sedition and sentenced them to up to 13 years.

The protests erupted Monday when most of the Catalan politicians and activists on trial were found guilty and barred from holding public office. Three others were fined and four of those who received lengthy sentences were also convicted on charges of misuse of funds. The high court barred all of them from holding public office.

The Supreme Court in Spain has waded into a decades-long controversy by ruling unanimously on Tuesday that the government can, against family wishes, exhume the remains of former dictator Gen. Francisco Franco from a towering monument outside of Madrid.

Critics say keeping the leader's remains at the massive mausoleum glorifies Franco's fascist regime. Detractors of the decision argue that moving his remains only opens old wounds that never fully healed after the Spanish Civil War ended in 1939.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, known for his hard-line policies on law and order, began his trip to Japan for the G-20 summit on an embarrassing note after a crewman in an advance party was accused of carrying cocaine in his luggage.

La Sagrada Familia, the famous Roman Catholic Church designed by Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí, has stood unfinished for more than a century.

Now, 137 years after construction began, the city of Barcelona has finally issued a building license for one of its most famous tourist attractions.

The permit, granted on Friday, allows construction to continue, with a projected completion date of 2026.

Spain's center-left Socialist party, led by Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, was victorious in Sunday's general election. The party took 29% of the vote, winning 123 seats in the 350-seat Congress of Deputies.

"We made it happen," Sánchez told supporters in Madrid, according to The Guardian. "We've sent out the message that we don't want to regress or reverse. We want a country that looks forward and advances."

For years, Spain had avoided the rise of far-right populists, dodging a trend sweeping other parts of Europe.

But recently, that all changed.

Precisely one year since Catalan separatists took to the polls to declare independence from Spain, they again fanned out across the region — this time not to cast votes but to block streets and pack city plazas.

"The First of October is and will always be the day the Catalan people demonstrated their immense commitment to democracy and freedom," Catalonia's president, Quim Torra, tweeted Monday upon his visit to the small town of Sant Julià de Ramis.

A center run by the nonprofit Spanish Commission for Refugees in Málaga has been busy all summer. It's a colorful, two-story building with an outdoor courtyard, and people constantly come and go, speaking an array of languages and blasting music from their phones.

"Look, they're coming in now," says Francisco Cansino, the center's director. "They've just arrived."

For almost 40 years, Pilar Navarro thought her daughter was dead.

She gave birth at a private Catholic hospital in Madrid in 1973, anxious to start a family. But less than 24 hours after delivery, Navarro's nurse — who was a nun — told her and her husband that the baby had died from respiratory issues. The young couple could not see the body because the hospital had already baptized and buried the child, according to the nurse.

"We never thought a doctor or a nun would do something like that," says Navarro, who is now 68. "We couldn't understand it."

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