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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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A bullfight in Barcelona. Photo: David Ramos/Getty Images

The coronavirus pandemic has affected sports across the globe, and in Spain, it could wipe out the age-old sport of bullfighting altogether.

Why it matters: For years, an increasingly vocal contingent of Spaniards have been pushing for the end of what they see as "torturing animals as a form of spectacle." Now, the economics are such that the bullfighting industry could die out regardless of the opposition.

The backdrop: As countless fights and festivals were canceled, many breeders were forced to sell their bulls for slaughter, which only recoups about 10% of the investment required to rear a fighting bull.

  • With that math failing to add up — a month ago, industry losses were already estimated to be ~$800 million — bullfighting supporters have staged protests across the country to demand government subsidies.
  • "We want them to treat us as they would any other cultural industry," said breeder Victorino Martín, who also heads the Fundación del Toro de Lidia, a group charged with defending the industry.

The other side: Over 160,000 people have signed a petition aiming to block any subsidies, hoping the pandemic can serve as a form of natural selection for an industry they've tried to squash for decades.

The big picture: Spain officially began reopening bullfighting rings over the weekend, but it remains to be seen what the long-term fallout of the past three months will be.

  • The industry is still furious over the government's lack of financial support, and the restrictions in place as the country tries to responsibly reopen will make it impossible for them to meaningfully recoup what's already been lost.
  • Meanwhile, those who oppose bullfighting see a unique opportunity to rid Spain of something they view as a "national shame" and a "barbaric cruelty."

The bottom line: The centuries-old tradition of bullfighting may need to find a way to evolve with the times, or else it could meet the same fate as the nearly 10,000 bulls each year that die in the ring.

Go deeper: Far-right party in Spain protests government response to coronavirus

Go deeper

27 mins ago - World

Biden huddles with European allies on Ukraine ahead of Putin call

Putin in the Kremlin. Photo: Grigory Sysoyev/Sputnik via Getty

President Biden will seek to convince Russia's Vladimir Putin in a phone call Tuesday that the price of invading Ukraine would be steeper than anything he's faced in the past.

Driving the news: Biden held a call on Ukraine this evening with the leaders of France, Germany, Italy and the U.K., while Secretary of State Tony Blinken called Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to offer America's "unwavering support."

Justice Department closes Emmett Till murder probe

A faded photograph is attached to the headstone that marks the gravesite of Emmett Till in Burr Oak Cemetery in Chicago. Photo: Scott Olson via Getty Images

The family of Emmett Till announced Monday that the Department of Justice has formally closed its second investigation into the 1955 murder of Emmett Till.

Why it matters: The DOJ reopened the probe in 2018 after the white woman at the center of the case reportedly recanted her allegation that Till, a Black 14-year-old, sexually harassed her prior to his murder.

GOP Rep. Devin Nunes to retire, will be CEO of Trump media org

Rep. Devin Nunes. Photo: Dylan Hollingsworth/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), who serves as the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, will retire at the end of the year and become CEO of Trump's new media organization.

Why it matters: Nunes, once considered a moderate member of the party, became one of the fiercest defenders of former President Donald Trump throughout both of Trump's impeachments and the Intel committee's Russia investigation.

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