GIRL OUT OF COMA
A SCOTTISH girl who was pulled unconscious from a swimming pool in Spain four months ago has come out of a coma. Four-year-old Cally Simpson has been slowly removed from the coma by hospital staff reducing her medication but she still remains seriously ill after the holiday tragedy in Salou on June 23.
Spanish retailer Mango has recalled a blouse from their European stores after customers complained that the lightning bolt pattern resembled an insignia worn by soldiers in Nazi Germany. The blouse contained a tiny lightning bolt pattern that Twitter users, especially in Germany, said resembled the "Siegrune," a symbol sported by Nazi SS officers on their uniforms during World War II
A British man who was on the run from drugs charges in Spain has been captured by armed police as he left his girlfriend's flat. Conrad Toland, 47, an alleged member of a Hells Angels gang, was tackled to the ground by officers outside a restaurant in Madrid. Toland was allegedly the mastermind behind a drugs ring. He is also accused of supplying cocaine to the Hells Angels in Bruges and belonging to an armed gang, according to a Civil Guard spokesman.
SPAIN TAKES ON ‘IS'
Over 300 Spanish soldiers who will form part of the international coalition to stop the advance of the Islamic State (IS), will be deployed to Iraq by the end of 2014, Spanish Defense Minister Pedro Morenes said Wednesday. Spain will "bring more experience" to the military training of the Iraqi army, La Vanguardia quoted Morenes as saying. Furthermore, Morenes said that Spain has also allowed the international coalition to use its military bases if needed the fight against the IS.
The Councillor for the Orihuela Costa, Martina Scheurer, has confirmed that the legal action to reopen the walkway at the Bellavista urbanisation is nearing the end of the allowed time period. “As with all administrative procedures in Spain, these things take time, and we want to make sure that we don´t take shortcuts that could cause problems in the future”, she told The Leader, “but the final phase of consultation is nearing the end, at which point the councillor for infrastructure, Antonio Zapata, will appear before the press to announce when action will begin”. Many residents in the area have been fighting for years to have the public walkway reopened, and so the anticipation this close to realising that goal is becoming increasingly exciting for many.
GAY TEENS STONED
Gay groups have called for tougher anti-homophobia laws in the wake of an incident which saw a gay teenage girl left unconscious after she was pelted with stones after leaving school in the Murcian town of Caravaca de la Cruz on Monday. When the young boy turned to the aggressors and told them to leave him and his friend "in peace", the three school students began to pelt the homosexual pair with stones.
The Orihuela socialist group have chosen Carolina Gracia as their party leader to fight the next elections, thus assuming her to become mayor in the event of the PSOE becoming unanimously victorious. As one of the younger politicians in Orihuela, Gracia has the support of the younger end of the political spectrum already, and sat on the table of elders who prevented the censure motion in January that would have allowed the Partido Popular to oust the government.
A man died on Monday after falling in the hilly area of Pico del Águila, between Orihuela and Santomera. The alarm was raised with the emergency services at around 7pm on Monday, resulting in a helicopeter being dispatched from the Alcantarilla air base. The Guardia Civil and Local Police also attended but could do nothing other than to assist in the removal of the man´s body from the scene.
The Partido Popular of Torrevieja have decided unanimously that should they win the next local elections in May, they would elect the current mayor, Eduardo Dolón, as the head of the municipality once again. This of course is considering the fact that the proposed electoral reforms suggested by the central government will not be implemented in time.
Torrevieja´s Sports City now attracts some 2,500 people every day, thanks to a new wave of initiatives and courses being run at the facility, as well as the improved facilities. The site is now being used by all of the local schools for sports events, as well as being attended by private groups and individuals keen to partake in the wide range of sports on offer.
ELLO ELLO ELLO
A new book was released in Spain this week telling some of the success stories that the National Police has had through its Twitter account. With well over a million followers, the @policia account shares vital information on safety, security and alerts throughout the country.
A stray dog found in Scotland has been traced back to her owner – in Spain. Carmen, thought to be an Estrela mountain dog, was found wandering around Airdrie, North Lanarkshire, last Friday and handed to the Scottish SPCA. When her microchip was scanned, the SPCA discovered Carmen was from Spain. It was not clear whether the SPCA has yet attempted to contact the address in Spain.
A BIG SLICE
Telepizza, the Spanish fast food chain, has announced a refinancing package from investors which they say will allow them to re-launch the brands and cuts debts in half. Private equity firm KKR and other investment funds had acquired a 49% of the company, whilst private equity house Permira and investment vehicle Carbal hold 51%. The company now has just 285 million euro debts and a 10 million euro revolving credit line.
In their latest overseas expansion move, Spanish construction firm Ferrovial has offered 687 million euro in order to purchase Australian firm Transfield Services, which rejected the bid as poor value, whilst considering the possibility of further possible negotiations. Transfield Services runs maintenance and construction operations across various industries in 10 countries. Ferrovial, who were hit by the construction bust in 2008, now holds a 25% stake in London's Heathrow, one of the world's busiest airports.
Spain is fast becoming a must-see country for many Muslim travellers, considered an ideal bridge between Europe and Islam, especially given the five century history of Arab rule. In 2013, tourism started to show a significant growth, with an 85% increase in Saudi arrivals compared to the previous year, Algerian visitors rose by 30%, and a 57% rise in Turks. “People think that Islamic tourism is half travelling, half praying, but they're wrong. Muslims want to see the things that interest them, but without sacrificing their religious practices,” says Fazal Barhadeen, owner of CrescentRating.com, a website which ranks hotels and restaurants according to their adherence to Islam. Plans for an Islamic version of Trip Advisor are also well underway. According to an American company, Muslim tourism is a billion euro market, set to rise to 1.4 billion by 2018, with Muslim visitors also spending more per person than the average visitor to Spain.
The Alicante regional government is holding a course for young people, aimed at training them to qualify as Community Managers. Attendees of the 20 hour course in Torrevieja, which runs from the 24th to the 28th of November, will learn about matters relating to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and other social media platforms, enabling them to acquire the key skills in communication via social media.
An Indian Special Forces officer has been declared an “absconder” by the Indian Army, after he went missing while on holiday in Spain in August. Army sources said that Major Sharyf Bhonsle, who was serving as an Aide de Camp to the Arunachal Pradesh governor, had gone to Spain without apparently informing the authorities. He had taken leave in June and failed to report back on duty in August.
A 50 year old grandmother from Guyana was arrested last week after she allegedly attempted to send a quantity of cocaine through the postal system to an address in Valencia, Spain. The woman was convicted for being in possession of 274 grams of cocaine which she had hidden in beauty products prior to posting.
According to a report from the United Nations, Swedish furniture Ikea has donated more towards the fight against Ebola than Spain, Norway and Luxembourg combined. Ikea has donated 5.3 million euro, according to the report, compared to the 3.2 million donations from the 3 countries. Britain has donated 157 million and Ireland 16 million. Spain has been battling the virus on domestic shores after a nurse was the first person to show signs of infection.
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