Daily Archives: September 26, 2012

Demonstrators outside the Spanish parliament on Sept 25 clash with police during a protest against spending cuts. Photo: Getty

The political gulf opening up between Spain’s growing separatist movement in the richest province Catalonia and the government of Mariano Rajoy, backed by King Juan Carlos and the Spanish military, has spooked the markets and provoked much debate in the press about whether Spain can survive in its present form. The country’s increasingly precarious financial position has also tilted the country further towards disaster.

In the FT:

The eurozone crisis now threatens the survival of a nation-state, writes David Gardener. The decision of Catalonia’s nationalist government to call a snap election in November – which in practice will amount to a referendum on independence – has opened the way to Catalan secession, and may give a lift to Basque separatists. “As a Spain trapped in the eurozone crisis tries to battle its way through a wrenching recession, it must now contemplate the real possibility that its plurinational state, which replaced the suffocatingly centralist Franco dictatorship with highly devolved regional government, may break up.” Read more

Photo by Getty

When crowds in the Muslim world attack US embassies in protest at an obscure video on the internet, it is easy to dismiss anti-American sentiment there as baseless fanaticism. I’ve done it myself. Pakistan is one of those countries where rage against the US is particulary rampant – and particularly baffling to the Americans, who recall the billions in aid that the US has sent to the country, and the damage that the Taliban has done to Pakistan itself.

Yet Americans who ask that old question – “Why do they hate us?” – might be well-advised to read a new report, produced by the law schools at Stanford and NYU. Entitled, “Living Under Drones”, it documents the damage and terror that drone-strikes have inflicted on the tribal areas of Pakistan. Read more

Here’s what we’ve been chatting about today:

Welcome to the FT’s morning summary of US election news


The crowd at a Romney rally on Tuesday. Photo AP

If it’s Wednesday, it must be Ohio…again.

On a day the Washington Post published a poll showing him eight points ahead in the critical state, President Barack Obama made his 29th visit to Ohio since the 2008 election. Citizens may or may not be weary of his visits, but there are benefits, the Post reports, as presidential boons are raining down on their state.

It cites one example of this downpour of federal grants and business loans, which the president himself mentioned on Tuesday, after he turned his back on the opportunity to hob-nob with world leaders at the UN general assembly in order to shake hands with Buckeye State voters: Read more