A 16 strong group of alleged neo-nazis from Valencia , have been acquitted after a judge ruled that the recorded telephone conversations used at the trial , were unreliable .It had been alleged that the gang had beaten up third parties based on their race or sexual orientation .The trial was carried out under very strict security to avoid any confrontation between gang members or against other people .
The gang was known as the Anti-System Front and they recruited from a flat in Valencia .The gang was run on an extremely tight hierarchical regime and the underlings who did not obey the bosses were punished by physical violence .
The Guardia Civil used telephone tapping to discover information about when attacks were going to take place .The group sold weapons online and weapons were seized at the headquarters .Two pressure groups were against these gangs plus two political parties and they brought private prosecutions against the nazi group .Yet all charges were dropped when the court declared that the telephone tapping exercise which provided most of the evidence , was not valid .
The red palm weevil has been a scourge on the palm trees along the Costa Blanca and controlling it has become a bit of a nightmare as the palms are well on the way to destruction by the time people realise that it is infected .The beetle will lay its eggs inside the trunk of the palm and when the eggs hatch into larvae , it is these that eat the palm from the inside out .By the time the poor palm starts to look bedraggled , it is too late .
Now , in Benidorm , they have had to cut down and destroy a very tall palm in one of the main streets of the town .They did try various treatments on the palm during the last two years but it all came too late and the palm had to be removed .In fact its core had become so weak , it was at risk of falling down .They are hoping to plant another palm once they are sure that all traces of the beetle have disappeared .
This particular palm had been growing in its position for at least 40 years .The replacement palm will be 4 metres high .
It appears that the Spanish airport operator AENA is saying that they are going to privatise some Spanish airports .This has caused furore amongst the airport personnel .Now there are strikes threatened for the weekend staring the starting August 15.
Friday August 15 is a national holiday across Spain and so any such action will disrupt domestic travelas well as international flights .
The airports involved were basically in Madrid ( Barajas ) where operational staff such as fire fighters , doctors and police officers were due to stop work on the 15th at between 3pm and 8pm .On the Saturday and Sunday they were due to walk out between 7am and 11 am and again between 8pm and 11pm .
The airport at Tenerife was going to be similarly affected as well as on August 27 to Saturday August 30. Stoppages will also affect Malaga , San Sebastian, Pamplona and Ibiza .
So far , no industrial action has been announced for Alicante-Elche or Valencia .The staff are saying that privatisation will lead to more taxes and so more expensive air fares .This in turn could affect their jobs .
The State would retain 51% of AENA under the present proposals but the shareholders would press for higher profits and start putting higher demands on AENA .This could include outsourcing , leading to huge job losses and reduced health and safety standards .
Tourists who have been visiting Benidorm on the Spanish Costa Blanca recently have found it increasingly difficult to use their mobile phones .
There has been such a huge demand on the mobile phone networks that carrying out very basic things has been a major issue and has been a struggle for most people .Uploading a photo onto a social networking site has taken a very long time instead of being done in seconds .
Even residents in certain areas haven´t found it any easier and the excessive demands caused by visitors has also left them without access for long periods .
Of course it isn´t only individuals who have suffered but businesses too and payments by debit or credit cards have been extremely difficult to do .
Benidorm has a councillor for technology and he has stated that the town´s 3G network is very underpowered and that the 70 antennae that support it are just not enough .The council has been in touch with the various mobile phone companies to try and find a solution and this has led to Telefonica installing a number of micro-antennae or ” smart cells ” which also distribute a 4G signal as part of a pioneering project in Spain .
The Spanish Navy training vessel Juan Sebastian Elcano has been found to have a large amount of the drug cocaine aboard .Three sailors have been detained in relation to the discovery .
The Guardia Civil had to confiscate 127 kilos of cocaine which was discovered during a search at Cadiz harbour on the Costa de la Luz .
The three sailors were arrested last July when the boat came into Spanish waters in Bueu , Galicia .The three stand accused of transporting drugs from Cartagena de Indias , Colombia ti New York for their subsequent sale .
They were at first arrested by the military police and they were then handed over to the Guardia Civilin whose custody they will remain until the case is heard .
When the boat reached Cadiz the police decided to search it once again and that is when they discovered the secound haul .They were hidden amongst the sails in the ship´s store .Two of the three suspects had access to this area .It is now suspected that there might be others involved and so the investigation is ongoing by both the military and the civil police .
The town of Reus in Tarragona has become the first one in Spain to impose a ban on the covering of the face in public places .This includes any kind of veil to cover the face .Other town halls have imposed such a ban when the person has been on council premises but none has previously barred use of the burqa ,niqab or similar headgear in the street .
The recent vote was carried by councillors representing the PP and the CiU Catalan Nationalists , while the opposition socialists voted against .
The original draft of the bylaw included a fine of 750 euros for anyone who offended but this was dropped because of the perceived difficulty of applying the penalty .The council is awaiting legislation from a higher level before they can apply these fines .
The town council was relieved when a similar ban in France was upheld and the European Court in Strasbourg felt that such a ban was good for security and generally good for coexistence .
Next year there will be an election and opposition party members feel that this is a ploy to gain votes .They also pointed out that in 2013 there was a Supreme Court ruling which stated that people could not be fined for covering their faces in public for religious reasons .
Posidonia is a sea grass which grows in meadows under the sea along the Costa Blanca in Spain .Now volunteer divers and experts from the Institut de Ecologia Litoral have been carrying out a check on the condition of the Posidonia beds in Cala de Raco in Calpe .
During the survey a series of sample collecting stations were set up enabling data to be collected and analysed to monitor the growth of the sea grass .The actual density of the grass was measured at 7 and 12 metres depth .
Samples were also taken which were then sent to the laboratory for analysis and the results will be published shortly .
Initial reports are saying that the sea grass meadows are in excellent condition and that there is no sign of any foreign invasive algae .This grass forms part of an extremely delicate and complex eco-system in the Mediterranean .Many species of marine life live and breed amongst the grass .This grass can only be found in the Mediterranean and one has to remember that this is a grass and not a seaweed .
An argaric culture is one which used bronze at an early stage and gave them an advantage over those tribes which used copper .There was such an agaric culture in La Bastida in Totana , Murcia .The excavation of the town there dates back almost 5000 years .The site has now been opened to the public with strict rules to preserve the archaeological remains .
During the Bronze Age , La Bastida , was one of the most important military towns in Europe . It was a huge fortress with thick stone walls and towers of up to 7 metres .Almost 3 metres remain of some of the towers .
There have been some surprising discoveries such as the advanced knowledge these people had of design and engineering .Their designs were also very similar to other civilisations .
They have also discovered about 30 tombs , most of them children buried in pottery caskets .Visitors will be asked not to touch anything when they visit .Visits are restricted to 200 people a day including children on day trips .Entry is free but advanced booking is needed .
The summer holidays in a country such as Spain can cause children to be subjected to very high temperatures .The very old and the very young often have problems controlling their body temperatures , so they need help and support in doing this .Health professionals have been giving advice on the topic .
Babies and very young children have very sensitive skin and if exposed to the sun then their skins can burn ,They recommend a high factor of sun protection cream to be applied every 2 hours .Children under the age of six ought not be exposeed to the sun at all .
Young children are also at greater risk of dehydration which can easily lead to heatstroke .So keeping youngster well hydrated is vital in hot weather .Heatstroke will affect blood pressure , vision , breathing , dizziness and can produce fever .
As well as the sun there are dangers in the sea and parents ought to be looking out for these so that their children are protected .Sea urchins , jellyfish and rocks can cause distress and injury .
Insect stings are another possible cause of injury for childrenand if the child is allergic then medical help ought to be sought .
All parents shought find out just what they need to do if the worst happens to their children while they are on holiday .Too many people are totally ignorant .
Last year the Mediterranean beaches were awash with jellyfish and the first aid posts on beaches were treating many people every day .
This is not the case this year as there are many fewer of these marine creatures in the seas around the coast .These are statistics announced by the Spanish Institute for Oceanography in San Pedro del Pinatar .
Diving schools and sailing associations keep a very careful lookout for shoals of these creatures but so far this year there have been few sitings .Normally between February and June there have been 10 to 12 warnings but so far in 2014 there have been none .Last year there were over 100 reports .It is thought that the lack of rain has stopped fertilisers being washed into the sea and these help the jellyfish to propagate .
The association is saying that people ought to be wary and people should keep their eyes open for the odd one as a sting can be extremely painful and if you are in the sea then the stings can cause cramps and tachycardia .
Portuguese man-o wars are the most dangerous and usually enter the Mediterranean by February but none have been sighted so far .
The best treatment for a sting is intense cold , such as an ice -pack and warned not to apply fresh water but to seek help from professionals .
Most people agree that there is a huge need for a by-pass around Oliva .However it now seems unlikely that this will be built in the forseable future .Also a by-pass around Cullera and Favara will not be completed due to a lack of funds .
This has come as a huge blow to residents and councillors as it will condemn them to many more years of traffic jams on the N-332 and through the towns .The alternative is to pay the toll fees on the AP-7 .
The incompleted A-38 just ran out of money and will not be extended to the coast .The funding will go to extending this new dual carriageway in a southerly direction instead , to form a bypass for Xeraco , Gandia and Oliva ( La Safor ) as far as El Verger .
The council at Cullera and Favara was reminded that the toll road will become free in 2020 .This would eradicate the need for a bypass .
Other councila are now campaigning for the bypasses to be completed or for the tolls to be scrapped now .
The crime victim support centre in Javea on the Spanish Costa Blanca is only the fifth of its kind along the coast .It is for tourists and part time residents .A help desk will open shortly at the Local Police station in the port next to the Tourist Information Centre .
It is designed for tourists who suffer violence , theft or any other crime .At this office they are able to report and seek advice about what to do next .
Most people who suffer crime in Spain are faced with a huge amount of bureaucratic and linguistic barriers .This office will help foreign visitors through that maze .
People working in the office will speak a number of languages and will help to fill in the first statement for the police They will also be given advice about how to stop a recurrence of a crime .
Javea town council wants their visitors to feel safe .
When visitors have their passports or credit cards stolen then it can be particularly difficult.They are confronted with the fear of not being able to get home .
Similar offices have been set up in Alicante city , Orihuela , Finestrat and Alfaz del Pi .It has been operating in Benidorm for quite a while and has been very successful .These offices will be open throughout the summer and for seven days a week .
Denia is a port town on the Costa Blanca and regularly runs ferries across to the Balearic Islands .Now it is hoping to play host to luxury cruise ships within the next two years .The ferry company Balearia is behind the massive investment in expanding the port .
There will be space for ships with up to 500 passengers .These boats may either start their cruising from Denia or may visit the town while destined for other destinations .
The two years timescale will give the company time to build the facilities required for these numbers .Balearia has pledged 23 million euros to revamp the port to make it suitable for those ” upper middle class ” clientele .
A boarding lounge will be built near the Marques de Campo .Here there will be an outdoor and an indoor area where passengers will be sheltered from whatever the weather throws at them .The new structures are likely to be in place by the end of 2014 .
Balearia is also branching out into retail as it wants to set up shops along the esplanade to attract these wealthy customers to purchase from them .
The ferry company which runs ferries out of Denia on the Spanish Costa Blanca , has purchased whas complete then the 500Kw Rolls Royce engines will be replaced with a 4000Kw liquid gas engine . The Rolls Royce engines will be fitted to one of the ” fast ferries ” owned by the company .
The current running costs are 50,000 euros a month which includes 25,000 euros for fuel .The running costs will drop considerably when the new gas engines are fitted .The speed will drop from 60knots to just 20 .King Juan Carlos stopped running it because of the high running costs .
When it was first built it cost 18 million .It was tough dealing that brought the asking price down from 10 million to 2.2 million . It is not known what the yacht will be used for and many say that it was really purchased for its engines .
The yacht is currently berthed in Mallorca where it costs 10,000 euros a month to moor .
Francisco Pizarro is a man who might be described as famous or infamous , depending on your point of view . It was he who defeated the Incas in what is now known as Peru .
Pizarro was born in Extramadura .He was the illegitimate son of an army officer and a local poor woman .He was illiterate and in his 30´s he joined an expedition to South America .Initially he was stationed in Panama but became very interested in the lands to the south of Panama .
He made two attempts to conquer the Incas in 1524 and 1526 .At those times he became very aware of the wealth of these peoples .He was determined to make a third attempt .He did not have the support of the governor of Panama and so had to return to Spain to seek the support of the King of Spain .
Eventually he was given permission and given license to exercise authority over the conquered lands .He persuaded a large number of his family and friends to accompany him .
When in Peru they were called the ” Children of the Sun ” because their armour shone so brightly .Eventually 200 Spanish soldiers conquered 80,000 Incas and eventually they captured Atahualpa the Incan emporor and held him to ransom for a room filled with gold . The emporor kept his side of the bargain but Pizarro did not and he had the emporor executed and he then too the empress as his wife , renaming her with a Spanish name .
He later took the capital city and renamed it Lima .Pizarro made a lot of enemies on his own side and eventually he was also executed by the son of one of his old enemies .
Peruvians do not remember Pizarro with anything but negativity .However in his home town in Extramadura there is a staue and also a grand mansion built by his family .