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January 30th 2008

Low cost airlines are the main reason for the huge increase in visitors to Spain. Over the past year these airlines have brought 24 million passengers to Spain, which is an increase of 34% on the previous year. Ryanair are the overall leaders in Spain with 5.4 million travellers followed by EasyJet with 4.2 million. In some areas, six out of every 10 visitors have travelled on a low cost airline. And the country remains the second most popular tourist destination in the world. In 2007, there was a record 59.2 million visitors from overseas, an increase of 1.7% on 2006, when there was 58.2 million visitors. The Industrial, Tourism and Trade Ministry reported that Andalusia was among the most popular destinations last year. The main market for Spain remained the UK with Britain accounting for 27.5% of all foreign visitors last year. Spain also became increasingly popular with US visitors. The number of arrivals from the United States rose 22% to 1.1 million.

A little publicised move on the part of the Spanish Government means that people living in more rural areas may not get their post delivered. Correos has been given permission to abandon deliveries to homes that are more than 250 metres from a main road. A decree from the Ministry for Development now allows Correos to cancel the delivery of letters and packages to homes where there is a low density of housing or to isolated homes.

The Spanish National Anthem is back in the news – the search for lyrics has been postponed until after the Beijing Olympics. "We have not given up on the idea, but with an election coming up and the Olympic Games to prepare for, now is the time to be calm," Spanish Olympic Committee chairman told a news conference. The Spanish national anthem has been played without words since 1978, when lyrics approved by dictator General Franco were dropped.

About 400 people gathered last Saturday to protest at the activities of administration with regard to the coasts. Various buildings have been demolished, including one in Los Molinos.

It’s not only ‘ordinary’ people who are being forced to see their properties demolished; the actor, Antonio Banderas, has been given notice to demolish part of his beachfront holiday home which he bought 11 years ago. A court in Malaga has said that one wing of the six-bedroom mansion near Marbella was built by the previous owner without the proper licence. The edge of the property extends onto a sandy beach in the exclusive residential area of Los Monteros in Marbella. According to reports, the only option now is an appeal to the Constitutional Court.

British children do very well in Spanish schools despite the major differences, according to a recent report. It’s now being recognised that these children have to adapt to playing two roles – behave in a British manner at home and a Spanish culture in school. This of course is not merely speaking a different language; it’s an entire cultural difference. Eating customs are different, the Spanish speak louder, and they have to forget how to queue! And the report adds that when parents make a decision to move countries, for an eight-year-old this is traumatic. However, it seems children cope extremely well

It’s fiesta time in La Oliva next week so check out the event guide. One worth going to is the Cuban music on Saturday 9 in the Corralejo Auditorium where the various traditional genres of the music will be the theme. The music is based principally on stringed instruments and percussion.

La Oliva municipality will be represented at the forthcoming FITUR travel show in Madrid. And visitors to the stand will be given all kinds of freebies to take home – calendars with 12 photos of the area, pens, mouse pads, fridge magnets, to name but a few. There will also be big screens in various areas of Madrid with 20-second advertisements. Information about the various events happening in La Oliva throughout the year will be available.
And in fact, a wide range of celebrations is being planned, not just for visitors. St Valentine will be celebrated on February, while the Irish will be able to celebrate their national feast day, St Patrick’s Day on March 17.


How the other half lives!
Michael Windisch, proprietor of the Maltermeister Turm restaurant in Goslar, Lower Saxony, Germany, solved what has become a crisis for other restaurants since the state extended a smoking ban in August. Windisch opened three holes in an outer wall so that, in cold weather, a smoker need not venture outside but can stick his head and arms through the holes and puff away while remaining inside (according to a December report in Der Spiegel).

In December, the city of Bangalore, India, staged its fifth annual marathon, with an elite group of runners that officials thought would bring the city recognition in the world racing community, but problems occurred, the least of which were the city's ubiquitous potholes and pollution. At about the 20 km mark, the leaders were chased down the street by barking dogs snapping at their heels. Twice during the race, runners were forced to stop and take breaks because impatient motorists were disregarding traffic controls to reclaim their roads.

A startup Massachusetts dating service has the usual questionnaires about likes and dislikes, but bases compatibility specifically on how one person smells to another (straights and gays accommodated). Eric Holzle's ScientificMatch.com tests each person's "major histocompatibility complex" (MHC) genes, the science behind which dictates how one person will translate the scent of another (with similar-processing people less compatible). (In one famous study, women preferred the smell of T-shirts from men whose MHC was the most different from their own.) Holzle predicts a higher success rate than for ordinary dating agencies, but at a fee of $1,995 per client

 

January 23rd 2008

There has been a huge increase in the number of library users since the new library opened last November. Not only have all the original users faithfully returned, there are new users, including an increased amount of foreigners. But books are not the only reason that people have been using the library. There has been even more of an increase in recent weeks since the installation of broadband Internet services. Internet use and email checking are the services that are most in demand. According to the chief librarian, people are coming to the new library to get information and check their emails. The new facilities at the library include four computer terminals with laser printers. Users can check for specific information and documents and print them, carry out online conversations, access email and use all Internet services. Using a free Internet service is fundamental in these days, and provides a complementary service to the books. So those using the library have all means at their disposal to get up-to-date information. This has resulted in many more people taking out library membership. Another service offered by the library is that you can take your own laptop there and use the WIFI zone to access the Internet. This brings the total number of free Internet access points for those who live in the La Oliva area, with two others in the Corralejo area and the others in various villages.
 

Teachers on the islands may strike in February unless they agree a deal currently on the table. Voting takes place at the end of this month on a new pay offer that has been put forward by the Education Department. Unfortunately, the deal is not as good as expectations, with a heavier workload part of the package. A spokesperson says that teachers with 24 years experience will see a rise of just €400 with very little for others.  If the deal is rejected, teachers will strike between 19-24 February. Their demands bring them into line with other civil servants n the islands.

If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands…..it seems that 91 % of  Brits who emigrated to Spain are happy that they made the decision. A recent UK poll by UkForex, an online foreign exchange company, reveals that 80 % of adults who left the UK to start a new life abroad say they made the right decision. Top spot for emigrants is Oz, with Spain, New Zealand, the US and Canada next in line.  The poll found that most people left hoping for a better quality of life. Statistics show that in 2006, some 207,000 British people moved abroad permanently.

Football hooliganism in Europe may soon be a thing of the past if the EU has any say in it. The union is proposing to send hooligans on ‘adventure holidays’ to try to instil them with a better sporting spirit. Hug a hooligan is the name of the game with these so-called fans going off on activities such as rock climbing and canoeing.

If you are travelling between the islands to cultural events, check to see if the day is a designated C-Day. If  it is and your particular event is part of the deal, you may get 50 per cent discount with Fred Olsen ferries, Islas airways, Binter and Garajonay Express. Discounts on hotels and car may also be available. Check out www.diasc.com/diasc/

February 14 saw the dissolution of the Spanish parliament in preparation for the general election taking place on March 9. The parties have until February 4 to finalise the list of candidates. The campaign will start on February 22 and continue till March 7. There will be two televised debates between Zapatero and Rajoy, the PSOE and PP leaders, on 23rd February and 4th March.

After all the hype about the words to the Spanish national anthem, the new lyrics have now been dropped. Critics said they hinted at the country’s right-wing past and did not reflect its rich cultural diversity. The contest for lyrics was held just last June and received 7,000 entries. Four entries rhat were announced last week as official candidates have also been shelved because of ‘a lack of consensus’. A gala event that had been scheduled for January 21 – at which world famous tenor Placido Domingo was to sing the new lyrics – was cancelled. The search for new lyrics continues.

An ancient document stolen from Spain's National Library has been discovered in an antique dealer's in London. It is part of the 15th century edition of the 'Etymologiae' encyclopaedia compiled by Isidore of Seville in 636. The first printed edition was produced in 1472 and this is where the document came from. The antique dealer is collaborating with the authorities and will probably hand it over to Scotland Yard in the near future.

Spanish PM Zapatero’s idea of an alliance of civilisations took a step forward this week with the first forum opening in Madrid. Jointly opened by him and the Turkish PM Erdogan, representatives of more than 60 countries will discuss ideas concerning young people, education and immigrant migration in order to debate ways to avoid misunderstandings between cultures.

Spain is predicted to see a further increase in the number of foreign visitors this year. This year, Spain expects foreign tourists to grow by 1.8% to 60.7 million in 2008 from an estimated 59.7 million in 2007, a rise of 2.2 percent over 2006. The chairman of the tourist industry association, Exceltur, said Spain was benefiting from an extension in routes offered by low-cost airlines and a greater interest in urban tourism, however, the country's traditional beach resorts were starting to feel the effects of stronger competition from the Eastern Mediterranean. He said demand in this area of the market increased by only 0.7% in Spain last year, compared with growth rates for Turkey and Egypt of around 18%.

Spain and Morocco are to make a decision this year about the tunnel under the Gibraltar Strait to link Spain and Morocco. Since 2006 experts have been preparing geological and technical reports to build a railway tunnel under the sea with the results due to be presented some time this year. The timetable has been delayed slightly due to the diplomatic crisis between the two countries caused by the King and Queen of Spain’s visit to Ceuta and Melilla last year. Now, however, the Moroccan ambassador to Spain has returned to Madrid and relations seem to be back to normal. The proposed project is expected to cost a minimum of 5 billion euros and take at least 20 years to build.

NEW YORK - Fashionistas from Naomi Campbell to Carrie Bradshaw have made embarrassing missteps on the catwalk. But model Sarah Welch trumped them all when she fell through a hole during an L.A. Fashion Week show.
A video of Welch's dramatic drop -- a sensation on YouTube -- shows her walking the runway at last week's presentation of the fashion line Shadang. She stares blankly ahead, not noticing the gaping hole left where a martial arts performer had cracked open the floor with a flip.
"As a runway model, you have to keep your head up, you know," Welch, a former contestant on "The Bachelor" reality series, told KABC-TV. "So I didn't look down for a hole, particularly.” Then came the plunge. In the video, the crowd is heard howling with apparent shock. Welch, waist-deep in the hole, struggles to lift herself out, and is helped by "Heroes" actor Jimmy Jean-Louis, who modelled at the event. She regains her footing and exits stage left, raising her fist to seemingly signal that she's OK.
The video of the tumble, posted Thursday, had more than 1 million views on YouTube by Monday afternoon.
Welch, now an Internet celebrity, has a good sense of humour about it.
"It is just a really funny mishap. And I hope they're enjoying watching it just as much as I am," she said.


SILVER SPRINGS SHORES, Fla. - A suspected thief trying to help himself to convenience store goods instead wound up crying for help after becoming stuck in an air shaft for 10 hours.
Jeffery Mumani, 25, was rescued Tuesday. He removed an air conditioning cover at a CVS store Monday night and tried to enter the store via the shaft but became trapped, Marion County Sheriff's Capt. James Pogue said. He began calling for help about 8 a.m. Tuesday.
"I heard a cat in the thing. I was trying to chase the cat," Mumani told the Ocala Star-Banner. He denied attempting to steal prescription drugs. "No, sir, it's a feline cat -- a little animal."It took firefighters an hour and a half to rescue Mumani, but he suffered only minor cuts and was in stable condition, Fire Rescue spokeswoman Heather Danenhower.
Mumani has been charged with commercial burglary, possession of burglary tools and felony criminal mischief, Pogue said. Online records with the Florida Department of Corrections indicate Mumani has previous convictions in South Florida for burglary and drug-related crimes.
He was convicted in Palm Beach County for possession of the prescription painkiller Oxycontin, according to a Marion County Sheriff's Office report. Mumani also was arrested earlier this month on an arson charge.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Jeepers, it was just one of those creepers. An investigator specializing in all things bizarre has debugged the mystery of the Santa Fe Courthouse Ghost -- a specter captured on a blurry surveillance videotape.
"Whooooooooooooo....," Benjamin Radford said in his finest ghostly Halloween howl.
"In the end, it was in fact a bug or inspect of some sort that was on the lens of the surveillance camera," said Radford, an Albuquerque-based professional scientific paranormal investigator and managing editor of Skeptical Inquirer magazine."To my mind, it's a case of where people typically say something is unexplained and all that means is they haven't worked hard enough to look for an explanation. They've given up," he said.
The image -- a glowing spot drifting in front of a patrol car parked beneath some trees -- generated more than 132,000 hits on YouTube since Santa Fe County Deputy Alfred Arana first noticed the image June 15.
"There were a wide variety of theories on what it was," said Radford. "Some said it was a ghost. Some said it was drifting cottonwood fluff. Some said it was a prank."
But the one that stuck was a ghost, he said.
Radford drove to Santa Fe to watch the original video, ruling out a couple of theories.
"If it was a reflection, what would be reflecting and why was the sun in the wrong place?" he said. "And why would someone conduct a prank on courthouse surveillance with deputies with guns watching. That didn't make sense."
Radford narrowed it down to drifting seeds from cottonwood trees or an insect.
"I took some plastic tubing (June 19) and blew some cottonwood fluff into the air in front of the camera. That experiment was not successful. It basically looked like cotton fluff."
Radford then visited an Albuquerque nursery for some creepy-crawlies, shelling out $9 for 1,750 ladybugs.
"So basically, I then put the bugs on the camera casing (the next day) to see if by any chance they would duplicate the ghost and eventually, sure enough, we got the ghost," he said.
"It was kind of touch-and-go there for a while. If these bugs don't walk across the lens, I could be in big trouble," he said.
The object in the surveillance video was purposely moving, not floating, Radford said.
It was blurry because it was close to the camera lens and it was glowing because direct morning sun hit the lens from a low angle, he said.
Radford said it's a rare definitive answer in his line of work investigating haunted houses, crop circles, psychics or Big Foot.
"This case was solved through logic, scientific analysis and methodology," he said.

 

January 16th 2008

A deal to allow passengers travelling between the islands to use their Binter tickets on Islas Airways and vice versa has been put on the table. The general manager of Islas Airways, Andreas Blass, has proposed an inter airline agreement to his counterpart Juan Antonio Escudero, general manager of Binter. He reckons it would make good sense, both for passengers and the airlines.
Primarily, the deal would allow passengers who have missed their flight to take the next available plane, no matter which company it is. It would also accommodate passengers if there were any interruptions in either airline. The result would be better inter-island access. According to Andreas Blass commercial agreements such as this are common practice between Spanish, European companies and on a global scale. Islas has agreements of this type with Air Europa and Spanair ”.

And this week’s news from Binter is that it is offering special deals to Madeira for January’s two big events, themed on nature and walking, from €96 each way. There are also deals to Marrakech so you can drop in to the food market there – from €155. Airport taxes and issuance charges included.

While there has been a general drop in the number of people killed on Spanish roads, (see below) here in Fuerte the road at El Matorral has the worst record on the island for accidents. There are five particular stretches where accidents occur most frequently and El Matorral has the highest number with 25 incidents.
The Cabildo, in conjunction with the traffic department, has done a study of all the main highways on the island to determine where accidents occur most often. They have come up with five stretches and the Puerto del Rosario road to the south accounts for 55%. Between the years 2001 and 2006, there were only nine accidents on this road so it is now a cause for concern.
The second highest number of incidents occurred on the road to Agua de Bueyes, in the Gran Tarajal direction, which has seen nine accidents last year, with victims in four of them. In third place is the Villaverde road to Corralejo with 10 incidents but no victims. Most of these take place at the road exits. Although the El Matorral road with 25 and Los Gorriones with 19 have the highest number of incidents, the gravity of the incidents has not been too bad.
The analysis of these statistics will provide the Cabildo with all the necessary information for planning the roads infrastructure. For example, this year’s budget includes a roundabout at the Los Gorriones exit. Last year, some of the curves on the El Matorral road were eliminated.
In areas where the gravity of the accidents is more severe, work will be carried out to reduce speed, particularly around the Puerto area. In Agua de Bueyes, the area will be declared an urban stretch, with reduced speed limits and traffic lights. At Villaverde, measures will be taken to reduce speed and increase visibility.

For the first time since 1968 the number of people killed on Spain's roads fell below 3,000 last year. This drop is due largely to the new points-based driving licence introduced in 2006. In total, 2,741 people died in traffic accidents in Spain last year, 915 less than in 2006. Since 1968, the number of deaths on Spanish roads had consistently remained above 3,000 as increasing numbers of vehicles on the roads offset gains in car safety. Police fined 812,449 drivers last year, withdrawing more than 2.5 million points. In the last few weeks of 2007, changes to the Penal Code meant that there could be prison sentences for driving drunk or speeding further improved road safety.

The price of tobacco is set to rise again in Spain with Marlboro, L&M and Chesterfield up in price by between five and ten cents. The means that a packet of Marlboro will reach 3 euros. All the brands to be increased in price are from the US company, Phillip Morris. Other brands, such as Fortuna, Ducados, Camel and Winston are likely to follow with there own increases.

If you’re interested in taking a pitch at the new MUNICIPAL MARKET in Puerto del Rosario, you have until January 21 to get sorted out. You will need to go to the Department of Judicial Services in the Ayuntiamento offices to get all the necessary information and to fill in the required forms. The market is for the sale of fruit and vegetables.

The municipality of Antigua is making its presence felt in Holland in the biggest tourism fair there this week. Last year, this fair had 1,600 exhibitors and 135,000 visitors. The organisers are hoping for an increase in this number this year. Apparently, the public travel between twice and three times a year either on short or long distance trips, spending some €2,700. The team from Antigua includes tourism councillor Columba López. They are promoting attractions of the area including golf, water sports, quality hotels, rural tourism, nature, and gastronomy. As with most tourism fairs, the first day is trade only

The 24th Festival de Música de Canarias opened earlier this week with a major concert in the Auditorium in Gran Tarajal. The Hungarian quartet Keller Quartet were in concert, having taken over from the German group, Leipziger Streichquartt, who were unable to perform for technical reasons. This music festival began in 1985 in the main islands and the first performance here was in 1993, thanks to the hard work of the Cultural department. It has succeeded in its original endeavours – to enrich the musical culture in the different municipalities. This year there are four concerts on the programme taking place on Fuerteventura during January and February.
Canarian pianist José Luís Castillo, will perform on February 19 capital’s Auditorium, and the Orquesta de Cámara de Berlín, on February 5 in the Auditorium of Corralejo. See the events page for more details.

Odd news
SPRINGFIELD, Ore. - A number of gnomes have taken sanctuary at the Springfield police station. Somebody apparently collected 75 lawn ornaments from around town and then, on the night of Oct. 17, placed them meticulously on and around the lawn of one house. Among the plastic and porcelain geese, deer and frogs are gnomes, such as a weather gnome outfitted with a rain gauge. Police want to find the rightful owners.
"We need to get them out of here," Capt. Richard Harrison said. "Every time I leave my office they're sitting in my chair, working on my computer. I can't seem to get rid of the darn things." There will be a public viewing Tuesday.
"If they come here and they can identify it," Harrison said, "we're more than happy to let the gnome go home."
After that the gnomes, and any other ornaments, will be sold at auction.
(Readers note this item is from Springfield – could Bart be up to his tricks again?)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - A man was arrested on Thursday after a bizarre series of events that included him crashing his car, getting shot by a homeowner, breaking a restaurant window and stripping to his underwear.
Police said it all started when the man crashed his car into a pole and started banging on the door of a nearby house. After he kicked in a window, when homeowner Leroy Bruce shot him.
Bruce said the man ran off and left his pants and other clothing behind. The bleeding suspect fled to a McDonald's and threw a rock through the front window.
Witness Lisa Fuqua told WMC-TV that the man was easy for police to identify and that he 'had to be on some high-powered something."
The suspect, who wasn't identified, was taken to the Regional Medical Centre. Police said they would charge him when he's released.
Officers said when they found the man at the restaurant, he had stripped to his shirt and undershorts.

FAIRFIELD, Conn. - Fairfield police say thousands of dollars worth of bras have been stolen from the Victoria's Secret store in recent weeks. In the latest theft, last week, someone stole 50 bras from the lingerie store. Lt. Michael Walsh says the bras were valued at a total of about $4,000.
Earlier this month Victoria's Secret reported the theft of seven to eight drawers full of reversible bras.
The lingerie store also reported the theft of 100 bras, from its pink collection, earlier this month valued at $4,000.
Walsh say he doesn't know if the bra thefts were prompted by a fetish, but says "We have some people who steal strange things."

PORT ALLEN, La. - With a councilman saying underwear "is called underwear for a reason," another Cajun-country town has banned saggy pants from its streets.
The ordinance, passed unanimously Monday by the Port Allen City Council, requires pants to be secured at the waist so they do not fall below the hips, expose underwear or create indecent exposure.
Violators could be fined $25 to $250 for a first offence, and $250 to $500 for repeat offences.
Council member Ray Helen Lawrence said she voted for the ordinance only because she got numerous calls from constituents who consider the look a fashion faux pas. Many said they associate droopy outerwear with crime, she said.
Stephanie DeLaney, one of two women asking the council to reject the proposal, said light-heartedly that she has lost weight, so she sometimes wears baggy pants. "I'd hate for someone to call the cops on me for that," she said.
Seven other Louisiana communities have passed similar droopy drawers ordinances: Eunice, Shreveport, Alexandria, Delcambre, Mansfield, Lafourche and Pointe Coupee parishes. Two others -- Lake Charles and the St. Mary Parish town of Baldwin -- are considering them.
The city of Natchitoches rejected a similar proposal.
 

January 8th 2008

It’s Sales time in Fuerte! The official winter reductions take place between January 8 and March 7, inclusive. The rules state that everything on sale must have already been available to buy for at least a month previously at an original price. This is to prevent establishments bringing in reduced-price or damaged articles, which is against the law.
But consumer protection groups advise all buyers that
- A bargain is only a bargain if you need the particular item!
- Keep in mind the quality as well as the price
- All sale items must have the goods prices in the windows and inside.
- All goods on sale must have two prices – the original price and the reduced sale price.
- Check out the returns and change policy. If the product is defective, the establishment is obliged to accept a return of the goods.
- Check that the items are not being sold off as they are defective.
- Remember that your rights are not changed in any way when buying sale goods.

The Greens have requested that more time be given to the public to check put the Tindaya Project. They are seeking an extra month and they would also like the Project to be available for consultation in other places. The party have also requested the relevant Councillor to have the necessary information put on computer.
They have complained about existing restrictions to examine the Declaration of Environmental Impact of the so called Monumental Project Mountain of Tindaya, which is costing public money.
They warned that the conditions in which the declaration of environmental impact is exhibited does not allow civil democratic access to the information and that everyone has a legal right to the information. They make the points that:
- It limits the consultation to just one place on the island (Ayuntamiento de La Oliva), even though the project is declared of general interest to the entire archipelago.
- It limits the consultation hours to 30 days between 9 and 14 hours, a time when most people are working.
- The amount of information is huge - 17 volumes with thousands of pages, photos, schemes, etc. - that it would be impossible to check it during the time available.

Good news for air passengers - from Monday 7th January, some airports will allow passengers to carry two pieces of hand luggage. One piece of hand luggage has been the rule in many UK airports since August 2006. Even your handbag has to be stuffed into a case being taken through security. Rules have been relaxed at airports that have complied with extra security checks, including Heathrow, Stansted, Glasgow, Manchester and Cardiff. But the one-bag regulation will remain at some major British airports - including Luton, Leeds Bradford and Liverpool - as these airports have not demonstrated to the Department for Transport that they can cope with an easing of the restriction. Easyjet and Ryanair have said they plan to retain a one-bag-per-passenger policy at 22 UK airports that will allow passengers to carry two bags per person from today. However, Easyjet said there was "massive scope" for confusion and that it would restrict its passengers to just one bag.

A MILLIONAIRE Lotto winner was arrested today after shunning a court case to go on holiday.
Chippie worker Leah Sumray, 21, was due to be a key prosecution witness in a domestic violence trial at Truro Crown Court, Cornwall.
But she jetted off to Fuerteventura instead – despite being told not to.
The case collapsed and Mark Rodriguez, 38, of Carbis Bay – who denied assaulting Janine Harkins, 24 – was acquitted.
The judge issued an arrest warrant for Sumray’s contempt of court.
The scratchcard winner, of St Ives, was detained when she returned to Bristol airport last night. She faces an unlimited fine or jail.

The Canary Islands remain a favourite for holiday travel by Finns: a quarter of a million package tours were booked to the islands last year.
Gran Canaria and Tenerife remain the top draws, but increasing numbers are choosing Lanzarote and Fuerteventura, and some independent travellers have explored the smaller islands such as La Gomera and La Palma.


Helicopters and a rescue team with sniffer dogs searched the mountainside after an avalanche occurred in an off-piste area near the Spanish resort of Formigal in the Pyrenees. Three skiers lost their lives as a result. The first skier was found 45 minutes after the avalanche and the second 20 minutes later. Rescuers later found the body of the third skier. An avalanche warning had earlier been issued for off-piste areas at the Formigal ski centre, where heavy snow in recent days has closed some runs, the centre said.

The British Vice consul Esther Martin will be available at the Blue Bay Hotel (Formerly called Atlantis Palace) between 09.00hrs and 13.00hrs. Tuesday 15th January.

If you want to see some judo, make your way to the Pavilion Jose Perdome Umpierrez In La Oliva on January 15, starting at 10.30. Participants are from Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Lanzarote as well as the municipal schools


The Cabildo has denounced the coincidence of works beginning in the Pozo Negro area and the Christmas break and has asked for it to come to a standstill.
Cabildo President Mario Cabrera has gone to the General Director of Coasts in the Department of the Environment, warning that there have been many complaints from the residents in the area due to the work.
The Coastal Demarcation department had opened up talks and consultation during the Christmas and New Year festivities. Mario Cabrera explained that to discuss such an important item during those two weeks when many people are on holiday would not seem to be in everyone’s best interests. Both the Ayuntamiento de Antigua and the Canarian Government have asked for the work to stop and that a meeting is held at the end of January to listen to all sides.

The budget for the Water Council for 2008 has been increased by nearly 9%, giving them a total of 2.050.010 euros as against last year’s 1.883.908 euros. This will allow for the following improvements:

- Station sewage treatment plant of Residual Waters of Betancuria: 52.000 euros.
- Networks of Water distribution: 440.016 euros.
- EDAR, Networks of Impulsion and water pre-treatment: 459.468 euros.
- Investments in areas for new infrastructures: 100.000 euros.
- Sewage treatment plants of residual waters: 120.000 euros.
- Help to works of private initiatives: 74.448 euros.

Valencia may be taking over as the major province for the British buying property, according to reports from the area. The average property values in Valencia have experienced a 186% increase since the year 2000; however the house prices are still undervalued in comparison to other Spanish cities.

Weird news
Robin Handel, 44, was arrested in Rowlett, Texas, in December and charged with conspiracy after allegedly convincing her mother to kill Robin's husband to protect a romance she was having via the Internet. (The small-caliber handgun that the mother used failed to inflict life-threatening wounds, either to the husband or when she shot herself as police closed in.)
Exciting Japanese Products: The clothing company Konaka announced that it will start selling press-free men's and women's suits in February that can be cleaned by hanging them under a warm shower.
Not actually for sale is bra-maker Triumph International's prototype "chopstick bra," shown in November in Tokyo as an environment-friendly demonstration project. The bra houses two reusable chopsticks (to publicize a national campaign to discourage use of disposable ones), which can also be positioned to enhance the wearer's cleavage.
Leading Economic Indicator: Evangelical Christians, among all people of faith, seem excited to purchase products that reinforce their religious values, according to a marketer cited in a December Denver Post report, with the result an explosion of Jesus-themed merchandise such as Jesus riding a bull, surfing and playing soccer, Jesus air-fresheners and Grapes of Galilee wine. (Among the tackier products, according to a November report in London's Daily Telegraph, are "thongs of praise" underwear with an image of the Madonna and child, and a template to place on a bread slice in an oven to create toast with the Virgin Mary's likeness.)

 

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