News Round Up June

Valencia city council slams Guardian article
AN article in The Guardian has caused a stir in Valencia when it featured a photograph of three houses in the old fishermen's district claiming they were facing the bulldozer.

In fact, the homes on the picture, in the Cabanyal neighbourhood, are among the 600 that the city council has agreed not to demolish.

Jason Webster, reporter for The Guardian, recommended that people visit this picturesque, historic area of Valencia before it was knocked down to make way for the extension of the Avenida Blasco Ibáñez as far as the seafront.

Alfonso Grau, the mayoress' personal assistant and councillor for development, said Webster 'should have contacted them first' and they 'would have given him the opportunity to enrich his article' by giving him full details about the plan.

Grau claims that the information and photographs were provided to The Guardian by the pressure group, Salvem El Cabanyal, which is fighting the loss of family homes and an attractive part of the city steeped in history and tradition.

The plans have recently changed and almost 600 of the houses will now not be knocked down, although the future of the others remains uncertain.

However, Grau praised Webster for commenting in his article that 'Valencia has changed a lot for the better' in the past few years and that it is now 'one of the most fashionable tourist destinations in Spain and Europe'.

Breathalysing campaigns reduced to cut police costs
FEWER police officers will be patrolling the roads breathalysing motorists for the foreseeable future, in a bid to cut public spending.

The ministry for the interior has told the Guardia Civil that it has to reduce costs.

They have been told not to patrol the streets in cars so often, in order to save money on petrol.

This extends to motorbikes and four-by-four vehicles.

Instead, police have been told to concentrate on static patrol units in accident blackspots and notorious crime-ridden areas.

Officers have also been told to communicate with each other by text message rather than calls as much as possible, to cut their mobile phone bills.

All this will mean fewer random checks to breathalyse motorists or request to see their documents.

British mum kills kids after their paedo father is arrested in Barcelona
BRITAIN'S most-wanted paedophile – whose children were suffocated in a hotel room by their mother – is being held in a Barcelona prison until he is extradited to the UK.

Martin Anthony Smith, 45, fled England with his wife Lianne, 43, to escape the course of justice when he was charged with a number of offences of sexual abuse against minors.

He reportedly raped an underage girl, attempted to rape another and is also charged with exhibitionism and several other counts of sexual assault on children.

One of the girls in question is believed to be his wife, Lianne's daughter from a previous marriage.

Smith was arrested at the door of his house in Barcelona after the Mossos d'Esquadra traced him to his home address.

In the meantime, Lianne is facing a jail sentence for suffocating the couple's children, Rebecca, five, and Daniel, 11 months, with plastic bags.

She confessed to killing them at the Hotel Miramar in Lloret del Mar before attempting suicide, as she feared the Spanish authorities would take the children away from her following the extradition of their father.

Grand Prix driving dream comes true for 96-year-old speed-merchant
A 96-YEAR-OLD man's life's ambition to whizz round a Formula One Grand Prix circuit has come true.

José Capote, who still drives – and whom his wife Belén Jordán claims is a speed-merchant – said he was 'a little nervous' because “driving a Ferrari is a bit different to my usual Volkswagen GTI.”

“For a start, the Ferrari has three pedals instead of two,” says José, who claims he has always loved 'speed and adventure'.

After being driven round Valencia's street circuit by International GT Open driver Álvaro Barba, to show him the ropes, José took over the wheel and went for a spin round the track.

Álvaro, who was with him in the passenger seat in case of emergency, said José drove the 530-horse power Ferrari 'very well'.

Belén says she was not at all worried about her husband driving such a powerful car, because she saw how happy it made him.

José did not once glance at the speedometer during his 'race' around the street circuit, but said he thought his adventure would have been 'more dangerous than it actually was'.

“I'm not going to be a match for Fernando Alonso, though,” he admitted.

It was José's chiropractor, Ata Pouramini, who made his patient's dream come true.

Pouramini, who usually carries out such missions for sick children, has been treating José for four years for a back problem that has been ongoing since 1943 after he injured himself in the prison gym, following his incarceration during Franco's régime for supporting the Republicans.

Opening licences abolished for small shops
NEW laws regulating the retail trade will mean that shops in the Comunidad Valenciana that are smaller than 2,500 square metres will not need to obtain an opening licence.

Also, they will be able to open on nine Sundays and two bank holidays per year.

Vicente Rambla, minister for industry and commerce, presented the terms of the law reform in parliament last week.

He says the process of opening new shops will be made simpler, but that they will have to adhere to regulations covering development plans, the environment, the protection of cultural heritage and of consumers.

More flexibility concerning prices, discounts and special offers will be given to help the industry become more competitive.

With over 70,000 shops in the region, the retail sector in the Comunidad Valenciana employs over 300,000 people.

Smoking ban put off yet again
SMOKING in enclosed public places will probably not be banned until January next year, according to health minister Trinidad Jiménez.

She says the law could come into force earlier if an agreement is reached between all parties in Parliament.

Initially, Jiménez announced that the start of 2010 would see smoking banned in all bars and restaurants, a move that was then put off until June 1.

Widespread complaints from cigarette-shop owners and restaurateurs, who say they will lose trade, be forced to axe jobs and be hit even harder by the recession, has led to further delays in the controversial law coming into force.

Following changes to legislation covering smoking in January 2006, bars and restaurants of more than 120 square metres were obliged to set up sealed-off smoking areas with extractor fans, or ban it altogether.

Smaller premises that chose to continue to allow smoking were not permitted to allow under-18s enter the building.

In practice, 99 per cent of bars and restaurants chose to continue to allow smoking, and customers insisted it was their own choice if they wanted to take their kids into smokey pubs.

Many larger eateries decided the cost of building smoking areas was prohibitive and higher than the fines they could face if caught.

But those who complied are now up in arms, saying they have set up smoking zones at a cost – only for lighting up to be banned altogether four years later.

To add insult to injury, the government refuses to compensate them financially for their efforts.

However, one of the proposals made to soften the blow has been to allow hotels and guest houses to retain a percentage of their rooms for smokers.

More than one-fifth of Spain now on broadband
A TOTAL of 21.5 per cent of residents in Spain are now on broadband rather than dial-up internet access, reveals a monthly report by the Telecommunications Market Commission (CMT).

The number of ADSL lines installed across the country has broken the 10 million barrier for the first time.

This year, in the month of March alone, 90,000 people in Spain switched to broadband, representing a year-on-year increase of 8.4 per cent.

During the first quarter, alternative internet providers captured 57.3 per cent of the market, whereas until recently, Telefónica had the monopoly.

These figures go hand in hand with the news that 440,000 residents changed their landline telephone providers in the first quarter of 2010.

But Movistar – Telefónica's mobile network – remains the largest provider in the world.

Friends, family, hugs and food provide the most happiness, a study shows
SPAIN is statistically the second-happiest country in Europe, beaten only by Romania, according to a survey carried out by Coca Cola.

Friends, family and food are the main sources of contentment, with 89 per cent of young people saying they are content with their way of life.

Around half of them say talking to their friends is what makes them happiest, followed by chatting to them on the internet and listening to music.

Of all the people in Spain interviewed, 32 per cent say their friends are their main source of life's pleasures, with 38 per cent saying their happiest moments are spent eating.

Personal relations appear to be more important than career ambitions, with just 16 per cent getting their happiest moments from their working life, compared to 67 per cent who say their partners are their greatest source of contentment and 51 per cent attributing this to their families.

But on a global scale, Spain is exactly at half-mast – a total of 16 countries were studied, and Spain ranked eighth.

The happiest countries in the world are Mexico, the Philippines, Argentina, South Africa, Romania, the USA and Brazil, in that order.

According to the study, the UK is in ninth place, followed by Italy, Russia, Belgium, China, Turkey, Bulgaria and France.

Coca Cola's research reveals that for three-quarters of the population of these nations, personal contact and time spend with loved ones – friends, family and partners – is the most important aspect of their lives and is what makes them most happy.

Two-thirds of all those surveyed say they are happy with their lives.

A hug or a night out with friends are the best ways to cheer themselves up if they are feeling blue, interviewees say.

More than a third would rather travel the world than have a high-powered career, be famous or earn lots of money.

Coca Cola interviewed a total of 12,500 people.

Exodus of stallholders at Xàtiva covered market
AFTER 13 years of trading, all bar five stallholders at Xàtiva's municipal market have upped sticks.
They say they cannot compete with big supermarkets and that they are finding it hard to make ends meet because of the recession and low takings.
Of the 12 traders in the indoor market, which was opened in 1997, only five remain.
The market used to be in a large square with stalls placed on 100-year-old stone stands, but local authorities decided to completely revamp and modernise the building, moving the market into what used to be the fishermen's store room.
Stallholders complained at the time that they did not have enough space to carry out their trade and that there would be no room for future stands.
This said, the Tuesday and Friday market in Xàtiva in the open air, which was in fact inaugurated by King Jaime I in 1250, continues to be a hive of activity.
Ontinyent-Fontanars road to open next month
GREAT news for residents in Ontinyent and Fontanars dels Alforíns – the main road connecting the two towns will be open within a month.
The CV-660 works have lain dormant for four years due to 'problems' with the company carrying out the development, according to the ministry of public works.
Figure show that up to 2,000 vehicles a day use the existing road linking the towns, and up to 40 per cent of these are heavy goods vehicles.
It means there are constant traffic jams, which the CV-660 is expected to put an end to.
Residents were calling for the new highway to be built for 25 years, but when work finally started in 2006, it was left unfinished until now.
Ministry blocks luxury golf development in Villena
PLANS for an 18-hole golf course and an urbanisation of 1,234 luxury villas with a five-star hotel have been thrown out by the regional government.
The project, which was promoted by tennis player Juan Carlos Ferrero, was approved by Villena council four years ago.
But the ministry for the environment, water and town planning has blocked the plans on the grounds of 'unacceptable environmental damage' that would be caused by going ahead with the complex.
They say the land chosen for the development is particularly fertile and with a high water retention, making it a gold mine for farmers.
Normally, land is only approved for building on if it is of low agricultural quality and is not a green-belt area.
The complex was to be developed by Prosport Golf, which is half-owned by Juan Carlos Ferrero's company, a tennis school.
'Dangerous' interchange in Sax needs a roundabout, say residents
PARENTS of pupils at a primary school in Sax have complained that the main road running past it is dangerous both to themselves, their children and other road-users.
Poor vision on the interchange and no priority system means cars make risky manoeuvres, say mums and dads whose kids go to the school on the newly-revamped Avenida Historiador Herrero.
They say the council should have installed a roundabout, which would make it much safer.
This road is heavily frequented both by vehicles and pedestrians, often several hundred at a time, and is particularly dangerous during the rush hour.
Sax town council agrees with the parents, as do motorists.
But nothing can be done until the regional government approves it.
However, mums and dads who take their own and their children's lives into their hands when they cross the road every day to get to the school say they want to see an interim measure put in place to regulate the traffic until the roundabout gets the green light.
Although there is usually a police officer on duty stopping the traffic in the mornings when kids are on their way to school, there is no other form of control during the rest of the day.
Bikers race round Alzira fiestas
THE streets will be sizzling next month in Alzira when a popular motorbike race revs up the local patron saint fiestas.
Now in its 19th year, the Sant Bernat Speed Trophy is organised jointly by Alzira Motorcycle Club and the local authority.
It will take place on the industrial estate where the auction market is located, since the streets are wider, allowing for greater room for movement for riders.
And this year, for the first time, entrance is free.
The race takes place on July 25.
Reduced rubbish rates to encourage recycling
SIXTY-ONE town councils in the Comunidad Valenciana have agreed to reduce rubbish collection taxes if more waste is recycled.
The added cost of transporting rubbish for recycling to the plants in Llíria and Caudete, and its  treatment, is likely to be absorbed as a result of points systems and discounts across the region, which will be in place from next year.
The towns that fall within the scheme include Utiel, Requena, Buñol, Chiva, and surrounding areas, as well as the municipalities within the districts of Camp de Túria, Serranía, Cortes de Pallás and Millares, mostly in the north and north-west of the province of Valencia.
Experts study eradication of invasive species in Pego-Oliva Marjal
PREVENTING invasive species of wildlife and plants from entering the Pego-Oliva Marjal was the subject of a conference last week run by the ministry for the environment.
They explained what types of exotic, invasive species had been found in the wetlands, how to stop them from getting into the Marjal and how to control and eradicate them.
When certain exotic plants that are not native to the area begin to spread, they kill off the natural flora and can lead to its extinction.
A study excursion is due to be held soon by the ministry, in which participants learn from experts how to identify the main species of flora and fauna in the Marjal, as well as the invasive ones.
They will also help with studying the population of the samaruc, a stickleback-type fish native to the Comunidad Valenciana, and the European Pond Turtle.
Townspeople encouraged to 'hold protest marches' over suspension of hospital works
RESIDENTS and employees at Ontinyent hospital are being encouraged by socialist councillors to demonstrate in the streets.
Plans to build access roads to the new hospital have been scrapped in favour of constructing a new bridge.
Despite mayoress Lina Insa's assurances that the work on the hospital will start 'before the next elections', spokesman for the opposition Jorge Rodríguez called for the people of Ontinyent to 'go out on the street without fear'.
Fellow PSPV member Rebeca Torró said residents, unions and employees of the hospital are 'very concerned' that 'a project as important as the hospital' is in danger.
“They must try to make themselves heard, be it via the media, or by organising demonstrations,” Torró stressed.
Rodríguez reminded Insa that the hospital is the 'biggest service-providing company' in Ontinyent and that unless the works went ahead, around 100 jobs could be lost – as well as another 100 in terms of the builders who would have been taken on to carry out the project.

RENFE assures 'minimum' services during rail strike

THE railway board has assured that 'minimum' services will still be provided throughout three quarters of the planned strikes.

Workers will down tools throughout the month of June over working conditions, hours and pay.
But the RENFE says the worst-hit times will be Mondays and Wednesdays between 07.00hrs and 09.00hrs, and from 18.00hrs to 20.00hrs.
Tuesdays and Thursdays could see disruptions between 08.00hrs and 10.00hrs, and between 19.00hrs and 21.00hrs.
Fridays and Sundays are likely to be affected between 07.00hrs and 11.00hrs, and later between 16.00hrs and 20.00hrs.
It is mainly the high-speed long-distance trains that will be hit, including the Madrid-Sevilla, Madrid-Málaga, Barcelona-Sevilla and Barcelona-Valencia routes.
Medium-length trips, including the Madrid-Ciudad-Real and Madrid-Puertollano services will only be working at 65 per cent, whereas 75 per cent of remaining services have been assured.
Urban train services will not be affected.
Euribor rises for second consecutive month
THE Euribor sat at 1.249 per cent at the close of May – the second-highest figure since September 2009.
But this second consecutive monthly rise still means that homeowners will save an average 340 euros a year if their mortgage is on a variable rate.
Financial data for the month of May – which is due to be confirmed shortly by the Bank of Spain – indicates that the consistent fall in the Euribor that started in October 2008 with the Lehman Brothers' collapse is a trend that has come to an end.
A mortgage of 150,000 euros over a 25-year period and a 0.25 per cent differential has been an average of 340 euros cheaper per year over the past 12 months.
Bank of Spain applauds government's cutbacks
THE Bank of Spain has expressed its support for the state funding cuts on the cards in order to reduce the country's debt to the maximum permitted of three per cent of the GNP.
It says the chances of this happening in time for the 2013 deadline would be 'substantially reinforced' by the public sector salary cuts announced.
In a bulletin issued by the Bank of Spain and published this week, economists predicted that 'confidence in the Spanish economy' would 'continue to grow'.
They expect the five-per-cent decrease in public sector workers' salaries, a freeze on pensions in 2011, the scrapping of the 2,500-euro 'baby cheque' and the reduction in public investments would save 5,000 million euros this year and 10,000 million next year.
Although the Bank of Spain is still not sure of the wider impact of these funding cuts, it believes that confidence in the Spanish economy will grow in the second quarter of this year.
Woman drowns in river on walking trip
A 34-YEAR-OLD woman from Morell (Tarragona) lost her life this week after falling into a river whilst out walking.

She was on a trip with the Boltanya mountaineering group in Fanlo (Huesca) when she slipped and fell into the river Bellos.

The victim, Celia G.M., was carried away by the current.

She was found unconscious and airlifted to San Jorge hospital in Huesca city, but they were unable to revive her.

Uni protests over nuclear waste plant
AROUND 100 teachers, 500 students and 50 administration workers from Tarragona's Rovira i Virgili university staged a protest march this week over plans to set up a nuclear waste plant in Ascó.

In their manifesto at the end, the demonstrators said Ascó was high on the list of candidates to house the plant since it was in 'a nuclear area', with three active reactors close by, and is easily accessible by road and rail.

It will take an estimated 250,000 years for the nuclear waste to biodegrade, which those against the move say could cause untold damage to health due to the accumulation of toxic and dangerous materials.

British burglary suspect arrested in Tortosa
NATIONAL police in Tortosa arrested a 40-year-old British man on Tuesday who is thought to be behind numerous break-ins which netted him a six-figure sum of money.

W.L.U., who hails from Leicester, was found in a farmhouse in Tivenys after having fled the UK to escape the course of justice.

An international arrest and extradition order has been hanging over him after he jumped bail.

He is said to have broken into a number of high-street business premises in the UK in 2008, believed to be as many as 20.

The suspect is believed to have amassed around 164,000 pounds (190,000 euros) by forcing open safe deposit boxes using a hammer.

'Latest generation' speed cameras set up in Tarragona
TARRAGONA Local Police have set up over 20 'high-tech' speed cameras throughout the city.

They have mainly targeted the roads leading into and out of Tarragona.

According to the city council, the speed cameras will be 'visible' because their aim is 'not to rake in money' but to 'make the roads safer for drivers'.

The speed cameras use digital technology, are designed in the USA and are undetectable by any gadget.

Having speed-camera detectors in a vehicle is illegal and can result in a heavy fine if caught, but police are no longer checking motorists for these, since they cannot pick up the presence of the new cameras.

As for those caught by the speed cameras, fines range from 100 to 500 euros depending upon the severity of the offence.

The average speed-merchant tends to be fined 200 euros for exceeding the speed limit by 25 per cent, police say.

And the most common offence is driving at 70-75 kilometres per hour in a 60-kilometre limit.

First forest fire of the year takes two days to put out
FIREFIGHTERS spent two days attempting to bring one of this year's first forest fires under control this week in Benifallet.

They were called out on Monday when the blaze was discovered in the Font Dendé area, the causes of which are not yet known.

It took them 36 hours just to bring the flames under control, and a further 14 hours to completely extinguish it.

The exact extent of the damage is not yet known.

Black mosquito plague will be remedied this week
REGIONAL government officials have been working all week on how to combat the black mosquito plague that has hit the river Ebro.

Various ministries have agreed to put up the funds to eradicate the insects, which will cost 390,000 euros.

It will involve throwing 2,000 litres of an anti-larva product into the water, via helicopter, but can only be done in the right weather conditions.

In the past year, health centres in the four districts bordering the river have attended to more than 400 people suffering from black mosquito stings.

Two arrested over Onda burglaries
GUARDIA Civil officers arrested two Romanians in Onda last Thursday, suspected of having burgled five houses in the town.

Investigations which led to the arrest of the two expatriates, aged 22 and 24, began after police noticed an increase in reports of muggings in the street.

Witness descriptions suggested that they could have been carried out by two youths living in the town.

Three of the houses burgled were uninhabited, a fourth was empty whilst the owners were on holiday, and the fifth was under construction.

Urgent crime prevention needed in Vinaròs, say PP
CRIME is on the up in Vinaròs and urgent measures need to be taken to combat it, the right-wing PP party stressed this week.

They called for the mayor to 'stop pressurising MPs about public sector wage cuts' and to 'ask for more police officers' instead.

PP spokesman Juan Bautista Juan said reports from the state prosecution service showed that crime had increased in the province of Castellón for the fourth consecutive year, making it 'one of the least safe provinces in Spain'.

Most of the rise in crime relates to burglaries in the town centre and its rural surroundings.

Benicarló lays down the law over Peñíscola-Càlig road-link plans
BENICARLÓ has called for funding so it can get on with building the main road to Peñíscola and Càlig, which has lain dormant for over a year.

The mayor was told by the Valencian regional government that although all plans had been approved and barriers to the road's progress lifted, it would now not go ahead because of 'lack of funding'.

Mayor Marcelino Domingo stressed to the director-general of infrastructure in Valencia that his 'political future depended' upon the road being built.

“Promises are made to be kept, and the excuse that there is no money is not good enough,” stated Domingo.

He told the regional government that 'the council had done its bit' and that it was 'now up to them' to fulfil their side of the bargain.

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Времени на слова, сожаления и прочие "physx последни версия скачать"церемонии уже не "флэш игра пьяный человек паук"было.

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Старик, читающий стихи, находясь под водой, закусывая и дерясь с акулами.

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