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Spain (Spanish: España, [esˈpaɲa] (About this soundlisten)), officially the Kingdom of Spain (Spanish: Reino de España), is a country in southwestern Europe with some pockets of territory in the Mediterranean Sea, offshore in the Atlantic Ocean and in northern Africa. Its continental European territory is situated on the Iberian Peninsula, and its insular territory includes the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea, several small islands in the Alboran Sea and the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean. The Spanish territory also includes semi-exclaves of Ceuta, Melilla and Peñon de Vélez across the Strait of Gibraltar. The country's mainland is bordered to the south by Gibraltar, to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea; to the north by France, Andorra and the Bay of Biscay; and to the west by Portugal and the Atlantic Ocean.

With an area of 505,990 km2 (195,360 sq mi), Spain is the largest country in Southern Europe, the second-largest country in Western Europe and the European Union, and the fourth-largest country by area on the European continent. With a population exceeding 47.4 million, Spain is the sixth-most populous country in Europe, and the fourth-most populous country in the European Union. Spain's capital and largest city is Madrid; other major urban areas include Barcelona, Valencia, Seville, Zaragoza, Málaga, Murcia, Palma de Mallorca, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Bilbao. (Full article...)

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Luis Carrero Blanco, 1st Duke of Carrero-Blanco (March 4, 1903, Santoña, Cantabria – December 20, 1973, Madrid) was a Spanish admiral and statesman. In July 1936, when the Spanish Civil War erupted, Carrero Blanco found himself behind the coalescing Republican line. Taking refuge in the embassy of Mexico and later that of France, he was able to sneak across the front and reach the Nationalist side in June of 1937. Carrero Blanco then served in the Nationalist navy. After the Nationalist victory and subsequent installation of Generalísimo Francisco Franco as military dictator (Caudillo) of Spain, Carrero Blanco became one of his closest collaborators as well a chief of naval operations.

He was said to be in opposition to Spain entering World War II on the side of the Axis powers, a notably different political position compared to some other Falangists. Carrero Blanco himself was a monarchist. Devoted to the Roman Catholic Church, he was close to Opus Dei. After as political career of many positions, he reached its zenith in June 1973 upon being named Prime Minister of Spain and made a top deputy to Franco. It seemed as though it was only a matter of time before he would succeed the ailing dictator. Blanco was assassinated in 1973 in Madrid by four members of the ETA.

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In the news

1 January 2022 –
France officially bans the use of plastic packaging for large vegetables and fruits, such as cucumbers, carrots, and bananas. Spain plans to introduce a similar law in 2023. (The Guardian)
29 December 2021 – COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 pandemic in Spain
Despite the number of cases caused by the Omicron variant reaching a record high, Spain reduces the isolation period for people who test positive for COVID-19 and the mandatory quarantine for people who had close contact with someone who tested positive to seven days due to staffing shortages and disruptions in some industries. (Thomson Reuters Foundation)
Spain reports for the first time more than 100,000 cases of COVID-19 in one day. (El Periódico)

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  1. ^ "Atlantic hurricane best track (HURDAT version 2)" (Database). United States National Hurricane Center. 23 November 2020.