Inland News98 29-02-2008

British man arrested  
 

A Registered sex offender from the UK has been arrested after he allegedly tried to sexually abuse three children aged six, four and three as they played in a park on an urbanisation in Orihuela, Alicante. The man was arrested after parents tracked him down and detained him until officers arrived. The accused, a registered “high risk sexual offender” with Interpol has lived on the urbinisation in Orihuela, with his mother for 4 years.

Civil Guard has released the photo of another man wanted in connection with selling hundred of images of children being abused, over the internet. Officers are warning people to take extra care as, although there are no confirmed sightings in Spain, they believe he could be somewhere on the Costa’s.


Woman shot in Cullera
A woman was shot dead by her ex partner while having coffee with a friend in Cullera on Tuesday Feb 26. The woman, only identified as MGSV, aged 44, was killed at close range while sitting on the terrace of a café in Cullera. A 54 year old man was arrested close to the scene. Three more women died on Tuesday at the hands of their partners or ex-partners bringing the death toll to four - the highest daily domestic violence death toll since Spanish authorities began recording these statistics separately.

Earthquake Felt across UK
The biggest earthquake in the UK for nearly 25 years shook homes across large parts of the country on Wednesday. People in Newcastle, Yorkshire, London, Cumbria, the Midlands, Norfolk and also parts of Wales, felt the tremor just before 0100 GMT.

The British Geological Survey (BGS) said the epicentre of the 5.3 magnitude quake was near Market Rasen in Lincolnshire. The tremor was felt in north, mid and south Wales although staff at North Wales Fire and Rescue Service said they felt the earthquake but were not called to any related incidents.

Kaiser Chiefs, Chemical Brothers... Murcia festival tickets on sale
 
Tickets are now on sale for the SOS 48 Festival in Murcia 2nd and 3rd May to see 
the Chemical Brothers, Kaiser Chiefs , Rufus Wainwright, James, The Pinker Tones, Fangoria and others. Tickets are €60 euros for two days or €45 for a one-day pass. Available  from Fnac, Carrefour, Tiendas Tipo, Tick Tack Ticket outlets, or, as part of a package, from Main Events and the OcioTour travel agency. www.sos48.com.
Dolphins endangered by virus


Dolphins in the Mediterranean are being threatened by an epidemic thought to have come from the Atlantic. Between 17,000 and 20,000 dolphins are at risk from “morbillivirus” which is carried by black dolphins. Studies by the University of Valencia and Oceanografic between 2003 and 2008 revealed that the morbillivirus can be lethal to some species of dolphins. In 1990 around 2,000 dolphins died as a result of contracting the virus.

GLASS SCULPTURE 


photo  Nadal/Ordiñana

An artist from l´Olleria, Rafa Abdón, is the creator of  an incredible 4 metre high glass sculpture. The 26 year old is working along side 24 people to assemble the sculpture which will contain a variety of steel figures, blown glass and television screens. The sculpture is the only one of its kind in the world will be on show at the ‘Casa de la Marquesa in Gandia’ from March 15th. After being displayed in Gandia the sculpture will be exhibited around the world.

ACCIDENT RECONSTRUCTION


Fifty pupils from the CP Garcia Sanchiz School in Alzira were invoted along to watch a simulated accident and rescue drill at the Rio Turia de Valencia. The activity was organized by the Conselleria de Gobernacion to enable pupils to see up close the skills of the emergency services in the Valencia Comunidad

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LANDSLIDES DAMAGE PALACE 

Heavy rain caused several landslides around the walls which surround the gardens of  Albaida Palace  'Palau dels Mila i Aragó’. There was no additional damage, but neighbouring properties were evacuated as a precautionary measure. Albaida Mayor, Juan Jose Beneyto, stated  "we require grants from the Government to repair the 13th palace, which also recently was damaged by fire, as local funds are insufficient".

UNDERGROUND CAR PARKING 


Plans to build a 3 level underground car park in Sax have been agreed. The Town Hall explained that the location of the site is ideal for underground parking given the lack of parking in the historical centre of the town. Residents may purchase a maximum of two parking spaces per household, anyone interested must present an Empadronamient certificate to prove residence in the area defined by the town hall.     


FOREST FIRES

Spain has recorded a total of 366 forest fires during January, almost double the figure for January 2007 and four times more than recorded in January 2006. Information from the Ministry of Environment indicates that in January 2008 there were 366 fires, was 198 in 2007 and only 91 in 2006. However, still far fewer than the 523 that occurred in January 2005.

CLAMPDOWN ON CHINESE BAZAAR OPENING HOURS

SHOPPING on Sundays could lead to slapped wrists for retailers amid plans to restrict opening hours.

The regional government’s Minister of Industry and Commerce wants to clamp down on small businesses – particularly Chinese bazaars and other expatriate-owned shops – which flout laws covering trading times.

In practice, small, family-run shops of less than 300 square metres have considerable freedom in terms of opening hours. However, many continue to ignore regulations preventing trading on national and regional fiestas. More discussions will be held next month. The ministry is considering allowing town halls jurisdiction to let Chinese bazaars and small retailers open on March 19 and December 28 this year.

A BUS DRIVER 6 TIMES OVER THE LIMIT

School bus driver for the institute of Bétera faces a 6 month jail sentence and loss of his licence. Police were called by concerned residents who spotted school bus driver Andrei, 51 buying beer at a local supermarket in Betera earlier that day and later indulging in a few drinks at a local bar. When police arrived and searched the bus several empty beer cans were found and Andrei was asked to provide a breath test, which registered 0.88mg, six times over the legal limit. Andrei denied buying beer or drinking whilst on duty, but did admit to having 2 cognacs whilst he waited for the driver who was due to take over his shift. As for the beer cans found in the bus, ¨they could have easily been left by passengers on a trip to Benidorm the day before¨ said his defence lawyer .

Narciso Martinez, lawyer for the accused also pointed out that Andrei was in the street when police arrived and was not in the vehicle, there is no proof that he was over the limit whilst driving the bus earlier that day. Prosecution maintain that based on the fact that police found empty cans of beer inside the vehicle, the earlier report from the local resident is likely to be true. The hearing was postponed until May 6.

According to sources this is not the first time a driver of a school bus has been caught over the drink drive limit. More concerning though is that there is a legal limit for drivers of school transport at all? 0.15 mg may be low, but surely you would expect it to be zero tolerance where public transport is concerned? Write in and tell us what you think.

THE THIEVES WHO STOLE 127,000 RETURNED TO ROB AGAIN HOURS AFTER BEING RELEASED

Thieves who robbed a pensioner’s home in Valencia returned just hours later after being released to burgle her home again. Andrzej K., 44 and Jaw MB, 32, were apprehended by police in the street as they divided up their first haul of 127,000 euros. With the owner of the property in hospital and the house uninhabited the duo could not resist another crack at the property. Within hours of being released on Tuesday night they returned to see what they had missed. Thankfully alert officers patrolling the area recognised the two Poles and apprehended them, this time with a stash which included ten watches, 13 bracelets, 29 rings, eight necklaces, 19 pendants, money and paperwork some of which stolen from their original victim and other properties in the same street. With new evidence obtained by the National Police, the magistrate on duty ordered their immediate imprisonment.


ORGANISED GANG ARRESTED

An organised gang of thieves were arrested last week in Elche.

The gang are believed to have committed more than 20 robberies throughout Alicante and Murcia. Operation, Pitufo', began in December 2007, after a robbery in Elche, so far the investigation has led to the arrest of 15 people, aged between nineteen and forty-four - twelve Romanians, two Albanians and one Moroccan. .Jewellery, numerous mobile phones, watches, tools, audiovisual equipment, and four vehicles were also recovered.

ARMED ROBBERY

Police hunt for two thieves who held up a supermarket at gun point.

The armed assailants made off with 900 euros after threatening staff and customers at gun point at the supermarket on Avenida Mediterranean in Petrer at 8.30 on Tuesday evening. According to witnesses the two made their get away in a red Renault Twingo in the direction of the A-31 highway.

TORRENT REBUILD THE SPORTS HALL OF VILLA CARMEN

The oldest sports complex in Torrent is to receive a 1.2 billion euros make over.

More than 9,000 people pass through the Villa Carmen sports complex a month. The reform project includes the modernisation of various areas of the complex and the building of two new tennis courts.

BOWLING ALLEY AND CASINO XÀTIVA

The Plaza Mayor shopping complex Xàtiva has lots planned for the future according to commercial director Jesus Calaforra. Along with the five new stores due to open in March, there are plans for a 16 lane bowling alley and talk of a casino. Coinciding with the Fallas celebrations, entertainment for the whole family has been organized for March 8, 22, 25, and 28, along with games and activities for the kids on the 26 and 27. On March 1st there is a fashion show at 5.30pm to launch the new spring and summer collections with models from non other than the Vogue agency. On March 20 the complex will open one hour later than usual because of the Falles the night before.

HARRYPOTTERMANIA

Harrypottermania hit the streets of Valencia last week as hundreds of people travelled from all over the province to Valencia City to get their hands on a copy of the Spanish edition of the book that ends the saga of the world's most famous magician.

Harry Potter and the relics of death was issued on July 7, 2007 in English and many of those waiting to get their hands on the Spanish version admitted that they had already read it in English, but were looking forward to reading it again in their own language.

CHRISTIAN ROUTE.

Javier Prats from Llutxent and his two horses and mule "Noble, Sancho and Spiritual", began their journey last Sunday that will take them from the town of Aragon to Daroca. The aim of this adventure is to commemorate the route travelled by Christian troops in 1239, after confronting the army to conquer the Moorish castle of Llutxent.
Javier will travel nearly 450 miles at an average of 35 miles a day over 13 days, dressed in the robes of the Christian Bokimolls comparsa to which he belongs. The beginning of this unique experience coincides with the celebrations in the town and the departure of the Christian armies. Javier who has been preparing for this project for two years said "The purpose of this trip is to raise awareness about the history of Llutxent I think the events are of significance and worthy of being broadcast throughout Spain."
Javier is keen that his journey is as authentic as the journey made by the Christians and so will be taking the same 13 stops and will bed down whereever he can find a suitable resting places for the animals. His journey will end in Daroca in front of the plaque commemorating the Mule Path. 

JANUARY SALE DEBATE

A survey carried out by the (CEC) revealed that 73% of consumers want winter sales to begin later, ideally between January 15th and February 1st, and 50% would like the summer sales to be later as well.

According to Miguel Angel Fraile, (CEC) there is now a vigorous debate in the sector that sales should be regulated by introducing set dates that start later and do not last for as long.
The Organization of Consumers and Users (OCU) are opposed "100%" to the period of sales being delayed or shortened. In a statement, from the OCU, Ileana Izverniceanu, said, if these measures are put in place, "both sides will lose" consumers will not be able to get products at a better price, and traders will not be able to clear stock items that accumulate throughout the season. OCU defends, therefore, not only to maintain the time period and winter and summer sales, but suggest that sales increased in length during this period when the household economy "is not very buoyant."

CAR SALES DOWN WORST HIT SPAIN AND SWEDEN

Spain and Sweden, both members of the EU-15 recorded the largest fall in vehicle sales in January, according to the latest results released by the Association of European Automobile Builders (ACEA). In Spain, in January, 101,630 vehicles were sold, 12.7% down on figures for January 2007, a fall eight times higher than the average of EU-15, where sales fell by 1.6%. It was worse in Sweden, car sales fell by 17.3%,

According to Spanish employers in the industry, Anfac, many buyers brought before last December in order to avoid the new environmental taxes in 2008.
January sales of cars in the EU-15 amounted to a total of 1,176,655 units. Along with Spain and Sweden, sales fell in Austria (-2.4%), France (-5.6%), Italy (-7.3%), Netherlands (-3.3%) and UK (-2.1%). Of the five major European markets, only Germany registered a growth in sales of 10.5%.
ACEA said in a statement that the falling sales in the other four (Spain, the UK, France and Italy) may be due to consumer confidence and lending restrictions caused by the global financial crisis.


WITHIN FIVE YEARS, 15% OF SCHOOL ACTIVITIES WILL BE CONDUCTED IN ENGLISH.
Government President, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, announced at a recent event in Fuenlabrada (Madrid), that in 10 years time he wants all young people to be able to use the English language in all activities by the end of their compulsory secondary education, and pledged that within five years, 15% of school activities will be conducted in English.
Zapatero made this statement at an electoral event focused on educational proposals, which was attended by the Minister for Education and Science, Mercedes Cabrera, and the mayor of Fuenlabrada and Parla, Manuel Robles and Tomas Gomez.
According to Zapatero, Spain needs to recover a gap of 25 years compared to other avanced countries. To achieve its objectives, the leader of the PSOE announced the hiring of 12,000 part-time English teachers and 8,000 native assistants, as well as a language exchange program for 200,000 students. 
Another major educational approach described by Zapatero for the next government is to achieve the goal that by 2010, 85% of young people will have a degree of compulsory secondary education. To achieve this, Zapatero suggested actions such as offering scholarships for those young people who are at risk of dropping out of school for financial problems, signing agreements with companies that provide education, or development grants for the under 24’s with no high school diploma to achieve one. 
In addition to this initiative, Zapatero insisted that one of his key objectives is to provide 300,000 new places for early childhood education for children from birth to three years.

ASSAULT AND INTIMIDATION AT A HOUSE IN GODELLA
Four hooded men armed with guns took a baby hostage and threatened its parents.

The assailants followed the family to their home on the Campolivar urbanization in Godella in what has been described as a planned attack. During the early hours of the morning they entered the house and threatened to kidnap the couple’s baby. After three hours the criminals fled in broad daylight with jewellery and money.

THE AGRICULTURE COUNCIL OFFER 300,000€ FOR 17 SCHOLARSHIPS

The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food has approved a 300,000 euros grant for 17 scholarships aimed at offering practical training and professional development, as well as providing further training for young university students. Applicants must possess the appropriate qualifications, Spanish, English or French speaker, be a citizen of the European Union and reside Valencia for at least one year prior to the deadline for submitting applications, and be under 30 and unemployed.

APPROVAL FOR CASTELLÓ DE RUGAT PLAYSCHOOL

The Council has approved the opening of a play school for early childhood education.  The school will have 53 places for children aged 1 to 3 years. "Verge del Remei," will provide the curriculum of the Early Childhood Education established for schools in the Valencia region in Decree 19/1992.

ELEPHANT MARRIAGE A MOCKERY

The secretary of Lesbians, Gays, Transsexuals and Bisexuals association in Valencia (JSPV), Eva Maria Calonge, has expressed her “surprise” at reports that a priest officiated in the marriage of two elephants at the Terra Natura Park in Benidorm, inlight of the fact that the church is reluctant to carry out same sex marriages. Calonge commented that, "not only animals should be able to demonstrate coexistence and acceptance toward their peers, but all citizens of this country, including the institution of the Church which today excludes homosexuals, gays, lesbians, transsexuals and bisexuals from marriage." In her opinion, "the Church is terribly hypocritical, offending millions of homosexuals.  Calonge said that "the last thing we needed to hear is how animals do have rights which are, however, denied to others because of their sexual orientation." JSPV has announced that it will "continue to publicise this kind of mockery for as long as it takes."

 ONTINYENT

Ontinyent City council have agreed plans for the installation of solar power at three schools. The Governing Board confirmed that panels will be installed at Bonavista, Martinez Valls and Rafeal Juan Vidal initially. A second phase will include Lluís Vives, Vicent Gironés and Carmelo Ripoll schools. The environmentally friendly project is thanks to a 100,000 budget from the Town Hall.

ONTINYENT

A man was injured after becoming trapped in an industrial waste sorting machine in Ontinyent. The machine was being used to sort through brick rubble at the old Paduana factory site when the man fell and was trapped inside. The 30 year old suffered a fractured neck and foot as well as lacerations to the body. He was transferred to Ontinyent General Hospital in a serious condition.

POOL TO BE RENOVATED

Barx City Council have received 40,000 euros towards the repair of the 20 year old local swimming pool. Valencia council have awarded the grant for modernization. The Plan Deportivo de la Diputación has an overall budget of 3 million euros to be shared amongst 71 towns in the Province.

MAYOR CRITICIZES ITV

The mayor of Benidorm, Manuel Perez Fenoll, is upset with ITV and their recent Tonight special, which investigated increasing crime levels in Benidorm and the Eastern European gangs who target rural properties inland. Perez Fenoll stated that ITV set out to "damage the image of the city" and aimed to "discourage British tourists from visiting Spain in favour of other European destinations." Perez continued that the content of the program was based on "on lies and fabrications and in reality we are the safest tourist destination in the world."

BEACHES READY FOR EASTER

The Ministry of Environment is speeding up work on beaches throughout the Comunidad as the Easter holidays approach. Hundred of kilometres of beaches were ravaged by storms last October, particularly in Altea, Calpe, Denia and Javea. The holiday season begins on March 19 and the Ministry has allocated 24 million euros towards the clean up operation.


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