Novelist Almudena Grandes Told the Truth About the Spanish Dictatorship

Almudena Grandes, who died on Saturday, aged 61, did more than any novelist of her generation to change the way her country relates to its twentieth-century past.
Born in 1960 in Madrid, she first made a name for herself in 1989 with an erotic novel, Las edades de Lulú (The Ages of Lulú), which inspired a film of the same name, directed by Bigas Luna and starring Francesca Neri and a young Javier Bardem.

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Temple University Student Fatally Shot in Broad Daylight as Philadelphia Breaks Homicide Record

(Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)
A 21-year-old Temple University student was shot and killed in broad daylight just three to four blocks away from campus on Sunday afternoon amid an uptick in homicides that have driven the deadliest year on record in Philadelphia.
Samuel Sean Collington was shot twice in the chest when a gunman opened fire on the 2200 block of North Park Avenue at 1:32 p.m., NBC10 Philadelphia reported. He was transported to Temple University Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 1:57 p.m.

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The Biden Paradox

The Biden paradox has led to a cottage industry of pundit commentary (mis)diagnosing what went wrong and offering advice on what Democrats should do now. An emblematic article, by New York magazine’s Jon Chait, a Prospect alum (where did we go wrong?) gets the story about half-right. The whole piece is worth reading for both its insights and its errors, and because it conveniently channels the conventional wisdom. 
Chait’s basic argument is that the Democrats’ cultural radicalism on issues of race, identity, immigration, woke language, etc.

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Wealthy Countries Are to Blame for the Omicron Variant’s Spread

On Monday, Joe Biden held a press conference to calm Americans concerned about the newly discovered omicron variant of Covid-19, which the World Health Organization recently described as a “variant of concern.” First sequenced in a lab in South Africa, omicron is the second strain, after the now-familiar delta, to cause alarm given its unique genetic profile. It’s the kind of mutation that’s incubated in places with particularly low vaccination rates.

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Facebook’s Metaverse Heralds a Brave New Underworld of Metacrime

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has probably not had the year he had hoped for. In late spring, New York Times reporters Sheera Frankel and Cecilia Kang made waves with the release of their new book, An Ugly Truth, which took readers deep inside Facebook’s cutthroat corporate culture and revealed that internal concerns about the spread of hate and misinformation on the social media titan’s massive platform were routinely sidelined in the pursuit of pure profit.

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The Fight for Italian Reunification Inspired the International Left

On November 27, 1871, Italy’s King Vittorio Emanuele II gave an impassioned speech at the Italian parliament, finally ushering in the complete unification of his country. For centuries, the peninsula had been divided into a patchwork of regions, mostly dominated by the monarchies of Austria, France, and Spain. Napoleon had worked to change this arrangement after the French Revolution, but, after Habsburg diplomat Count Klemens von Metternich’s reversal of his reforms at the Council of Vienna in 1815, the three foreign dynasties largely regained their strongholds.

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America’s Pandemic Star Loses Some Luster

Is Vermont the envy of America no more? The state long hailed for its pandemic response is experiencing one of the most intense COVID-19 surges in the country. Cases are twice as high as they’ve been at any other point. Hospitalizations are up sharply as well, confounding hopes that Vermont’s best-in-the-nation vaccination rate would protect its people from the Delta wave.

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The Right’s Throwback ‘Cancel Culture’ Tactic: Smear Schoolbooks as Porn

For more than a year after its publication, author George Johnson’s memoir All Boys Aren’t Blue was met with universal acclaim. The book, an account of Johnson’s upbringing as a queer Black boy, landed on “best of 2020” lists at Kirkus Reviews and the New York and Chicago public libraries.
“There were no attacks until about eight weeks ago,” Johnson told The Daily Beast.
The shift occurred near the beginning of the 2021 school year, when a coordinated campaign against the teaching of certain race- and gender-related topics plunged school board meetings into a panic.

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