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Local News

This news is translated from the Spanish Press unless otherwise indicated.

El Cotillo building licences appeal rejected

The Supreme Court has rejected the appeal by the company Oliva Oceánidas SL against the cancellation of six municipal licenses for the construction of  hotel establishments in El Cotillo, in the municipality of La Olivia. The municipal agreement that authorized these hotels was annulled by the Government in 2003 by the Court Superior of Justice of the Canary Islands, as not being legally correct.

Town Hall budgets reduced for 2009

The budget for the Town halls of Fuerteventura in 2009 will be 75 million Euros, a reduction of 11.54% compared to last year. All areas will be affected apart from social services and tourist promotion.

Unidentified body found in La Oliva

The body of a man of 60 has been found near the highway that runs between El Cotillo and Corralejo in the municipality of la Oliva. The doctor of the health center went out and certified his death. At the moment more data of this tragic event is not known, nor the identity of the deceased, an investigation that the Guardia Civil is in charge of.

New bird sanctuaries planned for the island

Fuerteventura will soon have a scientific station that will allow researchers to study the birds inhabiting the island. After identifying the area that the birds inhabit, there will then be a re-creation of traditional dwelling for conservation purposes and for ornithologists to visit the region of the houbara bustard bustard or canaria. Recently completed is the demarcation and protection of an area for conservation and study of birds in the municipality of La Oliva. This reserve is located in the area of Gavias of Garcel-Cervantes and has an area of more than five million square meters. The cooperation of residents has also been significant, as they have sold some of their property in order that complete ownership of the reserve is for the birds. The intervention has helped place more than 11 linear miles of fencing, protecting the five million square meters of area to stop the possible entry of vehicles or animals that could adversely affect the ecosystem of the area.  Also a dam has been built in Los Molinos, in the town of Puerto del Rosario,  which is also considered an important area for the study of birds. Work also includes the protection of all the wetland environment of the dam of Los Molinos and the installation of surveillance booths to monitor the birds, besides the recovery of vegetation and restoration of the site to encourage breeding. One of the main problems affecting the houbara bustard is the human pressure on its habitat.

Iberia wildcat strikes affect thousands of passengers

Although this is not being widely publicised, Iberia flight crews are taking unofficial "sick leave" action which is affecting thousands of passengers. The action was apparently started in early December by pilots, and has now spread to other flight crew. Some sources report that this will affect all Saturday - and therefore subsequent flights by the national airline. Last Saturday, at least one flight was cancelled from Fuerteventura, affecting the travel plans of nearly 200 people. In Mardid the next day, when the rescheduled flights started arriving, choas ensued as thousands of passengers tried to rebook missed onward connections. People had to queue for over 5 hours as the customer service desks buckled under the pressure. Fights broke out as some people tried to queue jump and no Iberia staff were in evidence to give guidance or conduct crowd control.

The planes that did go out were not always full as people could not get to a desk to rebook their tickets in time to catch them. For many people this meant another night at the courtesy of Iberia, meaning that a journey started on Saturday was not completed until Monday.
Inevitably, people and their luggage were not always on the same flight leaving many stranded without their belongings. If you are planning to travel Iberia, get some very good travel insurance that gives you superb compensation for cancellations and delayed baggage and sit back and reap the benefits, which will at least help you through the frustrations opf the rest of the journey!
At a time where airilines are collapsing with frightening rapidity and where most people are desperate to hang onto thier jobs, it is difficult to understand the rationale of  this action which inevitably will lead to a decline in sales and therefore profits for the airline and which may actually lead to their demise - what price those jobs then eh?

Fuerteventura resident arrested on child abuse charges

A 60-YEAR-OLD North Wales man was arrested by police at Manchester airport on suspicion of child sex offences after returning from the Canary Islands.

While he was living at Costa Antigua in Fuerteventura, allegations of child sex abuse against David James John Walls were made to police at Blaenau Ffestiniog by a girl under the age of 16.

Tom Morgan Jones, prosecuting at Dolgellau magistrates’ court, said that the allegations were of indecent assault on a girl under 16 between 2002 and 2004 at Blaenau Ffestiniog.

There was a further allegation of engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child aged under 13, between May 2004 and August 2007.

Walls, 60, formerly of Costa Antigua, Fuerteventura, and now living in Sun Street, Llan Ffestiniog, gave no indication of plea to five charges of indecent assault or to the separate charge of engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child.

Mr Jones asked the magistrates to remit all the charges to the crown court and there were no representations by defence solicitor Linda Roberts.

She told the court that Walls’ passport had been surrendered to the police at the airport and he was now living in Llan Ffestiniog.

Walls was granted conditional bail and ordered not to contact prosecution witnesses either directly or indirectly, or go near their homes.

The committal hearing was fixed for February 5 at Dolgellau magistrates’ court.
http://www.dailypost.co.uk/

Weird News

WEIRD

An 11 year old boy hit his mother with a saw during an argument, lacerating her skull, and then when she threatened to call police, offered her $5 not to. The mother said the kid had previously threateneed to cut his 19 year old pregnant sisters abdomen, to give her a C-section, and once tried to use hair spray and a cigaretter lighter to torch the family cat.

Scotlands Justice secretary cancelled a program after he learned that officials at Saughton prison had set up poker classes, sanctioning games run on paper earning (but which inmates converted intto real trades and favours.) One astonished official said, "Next thing, roulette wheels, then a lap dancing club, because after this nothing would surprise us."

April Westfall, was arrested in Reno when an ambulance crew called the police after spotting driving down the road with a service station's nozzle and severed hose protruding from her petrol tank.

Jeremy Aron was arrested when an off duty officer spotted him driving down the road with a fire hydrant stuck to his bumper.

Since Manolo Blahnik's have become popular, young women are opting for surgery so their toe cascades (the curve from the big toe aroud to the little toe) are correct, also on the ankles to make them shapely enough, with some women opting for liposuction on the lower calf.

An armed robbery suspect died during his getaway, in California, when he fell and impaled himself on his weapon, a screwdriver, severing an artery in his thigh.

The lingerie shop in Japan announced its already sold more the 300 of its new bras for men. They stated they had been getting feedback from customers saying "Wow, we'd been waiting for this for such a long time"

Craft fair a success

A craft fair was held in the heart of Puerto del Rosario on the initiative of the Cabildo majorero. The event has become an exceptional showcase and meeting point for commercial and cultural crafts people. 22 artisans offer visitors a wide variety of items covered by traditional crafts, including drawings, baskets, hats, handbags, backpacks,  pottery, furniture, crocheted goods, leather goods, wood carvings, stone carvings, ceramics and glass.

Canary Islands Consul moves to Andalucia

The British Ambassador, Denise Holt CMG, is pleased to announce the appointment of the new British Consul for Malaga, Stephen Jones, who will replace Consul Bruce McIntyre who retired earlier this month after many years of exemplary service. Stephen Jones has successfully led the consular operation in the Canary Islands for the past two years.

He was appointed British Consul for the Canary Islands in January 2007, where he has made a significant contribution to modernising the services provided by the offices in Gran Canaria and Tenerife. For a brief period of time, Mr Jones also temporarily managed the consular team in Portimao in southern Portugal. Previously, the new consul had a successful career with Thomas Cook’s Holiday Division, where he was regional manager in Fuerteventura, responsible for an operation dealing with 90,000 holidaymakers every year. Stephen Jones will take up his new position after the appointment of a new consul for the Canary Islands to guarantee a smooth transition period and maintain the high quality services provided by the offices in the Canary Islands. The ambassador said: “I am delighted to announce the appointment of Stephen Jones as our new consul in Malaga. Stephen’s appointment is a new step in the ongoing process to modernise and harmonise the services we provide for British nationals in the Iberian Peninsula. I am sure that our customers in Andalucia will benefit from his experience and customer-focused approach.” The British consular operation in Spain is the largest in the world. An average of 17 million Britons visit Spain every year, more than three million of whom choose Andalucia as their main destination. The British population in Spain is estimated at one million, which includes temporary residents. More than half-a-million of these long-term and temporary residents live in Andalucia.
www.euroweeklynews.com

New Year cancelled in Corralejo

The economic crisis hit New Years celebrations in the north of Fuerteventura. Traditionally New Year has been a big reason to celebrate in Corralejo. Bands would play in the main square whilst free grapes and cava were handed out in excited preparation for the witching hour. The countdown with many a stuffed cheek complaining about the grape seeds, was followed by a leisurely amble down to the beach to watch and marvel at the fireworks. This year however, the story was very different. The bands in the square were cancelled and replaced by a DJ who finally managed to wish Happy New Year six minutes late. No grapes, no cava, no fireworks.  In their, perhaps short sighted, wisdom, the ayuntamiento cancelled New Year. Lets hope that the tourists who were here this year were not so disappointed that we have even less tourist, and therefore less funds, next year.

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