Feature

Locking horns with Madrid

The week's news at a glance.

Barcelona

Catalan nationalists claimed a victory over Spain this week by moving toward banning the Spanish national sport—bullfighting. Lawmakers set the stage for a ban by extending animal-cruelty laws to protect bulls. The Catalonia region recently voted itself a greater measure of autonomy, establishing local control over courts and tax collection. But the campaign against bullfighting, which many in Catalonia see as a cruel activity imported by outsiders, amounted to a declaration of cultural independence. Defenders of bullfighting called the move a denial of the nation’s heritage. “It would be a cultural and intellectual loss if bullfights were banned,” said Luis Corrales, director of Defensa de la Fiesta, an organization that promotes the sport.

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