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Local News

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

New highway completed

The Infrastructure Council of the Town hall of Fuerteventura has announced the end of the works to improve the highway between Morro Jable and  Puertito de Jandía, as well as the beginning of work to Cofete, both routes being in the Natural Park of Jandía. The machinery being used for the job is the RM-500, a older vehicle, acquired by the Town hall in September of 2008, that renews the dirt roads using existing material in its way.

Santa Cruz declares a state of social emergency

The municipality of Santa Cruz in Tenerife has declared a state of social emergency as they cannot keep up with the demand for benefits. This means that any claims received after 10th February are likely to be halved. They are also going to introduce a system of credits against which the claimants circumstances will be rated, to ensure that the most needy are catered for first. The need for these measures has been caused by exceptionally high unemployment in the region, higher than the national average.

Medical Services to go on strike

The State Confederation of Medical Unions (CESM) has summoned a strike for fifteen minutes in all the health centres in the Canary Islands. This will occur on the 21 of May in protest against breaches to the agreements signed in 2007 and 2008 with the Council of Health of the Canary Government.

Euribor reaches an all time low

The Euríbor, the indicator used in Spain to fix the price of mortgages, reached an all time low this month when it hit 1.676%. The cash interest rate is now 1%. The cuts have been made to stimulate the economy and increase consumer spending.In March the Euribor was cut to 1.909% and in April to 1.771%.

Fuerteventura recommended as a Responsible Travel destination

Fuerteventura soon will be distinguished as the only destination in Europe recommended by "Responsible Travel", the first virtual operator in the United Kingdom dedicated to ecotourism products, it has been revealed. This recommendation is made possible through an exclusive agreement that has been agreed between the operator, considered a leader in the sector (300,000 unique visitors per month on their website), and the Cabildo of Fuerteventura, with the aim of promoting the island as a destination. This agreement will allow Fuerteventura to be shown to the world as a destination noted for a respect for the environment, conservation of natural biodiversity and sustainable tourism and as a Biosphere Reserve. Nick Haslam, a journalist specializing in tourism and a regular contributor to publications such as The Daily Telegraph, the Financial Times and the BBC ended a journey, organized by the Tourist Board, that has led to  an in depth knowledge to the natural values of the island. Haslam said that the nature of the island it had seemed "very impressive", to which he added that "Fuerteventura is not just sun and sand." "I could not imagine that I would find landscapes like Cofete or Isla de Lobos, and found the turtle-related project very interesting."
Haslam said he knew before his visit, that Fuerteventura was a popular destination for lots of British tourists, but in the end found that many places were still untouched, something highly appreciated by the responsible tourist profile. The visit of the journalist will be implemented soon in the realization of a professional tour guide of some 30 pages focused  on responsible tourism in Fuerteventura. This guide will be used as promotional material at various events, fairs and conventions by the board, while Responsible Travel is committed to providing the widest circulation during the term of the agreement. Responsible Travel was the first company worldwide to talk about responsible tourism and the first operator in promoting ecotourism.

Call for better travel links

The president of the Chamber of Commerce, Gregorio Perez, has reiterated the need to boost air and sea links from the island of Fuerteventura to facilitate the movement of tourists and businesses around all the Canary Islands. The president said that the southern piers needed a continuous flow of ferries because it will be easier it is to receive a flow of visitors.  The connection affects the whole fabric of the tourism and transport network.
The Municipality of Tuineje hope to open a new culture centre, in the next 7 months. This is to be situated 8 kms from Gran Tarajal, in El Cuchillete.

Weird News

When asked to leave a bar because you are behaving badly, just leave. Don’t copy Mr Brunson, Florida, who decided to show his displeasure by urinating on the bar. The cops were called and rearranged his face.

The fridge was so nasty that 911 was called, a hazmat team dispatched at a San Jose call centre. 325 people were evacuated, 7 being hospitalised, for two and a half hours while the odourous  leftovers were laid to rest.

Recently 118 local government councils conducted formal tests on their cemeteries gravestones to see how susceptible that  are to toppling over and hurting people.

A circus clown performing in Liverpool was ordered not to wear his classic oversized shoes because he could trip and injure someone.

At a soccer match in Iraq, as a player with the ball approached the goal to attempt a tying goal late in the game, an overenthusiastic spectator drew his gun and shot him dead.

Corralejo gets the Blues

The Corralejo Blues Festival was held last weekend with spectacular performances by Veronica Sbergia, accompanied by Max De Bernardi, and Kellie Rucker Band. Also performances by the Andy J. Forest Band, one of the great blues harmonica players, El Hijos Roberto, from Tenerife, Nardo Brito and Albie Donnelly's Supercharged, the best European band for R & B. In Imagine Bar a Master Class was held, taught by Heggi Vezzano, one of the most sought after guitarists in Europe.

Cruise ships cause problems at the port

The limitations of the wharf for cruise ships in Puerto del Rosario were in evidence once again. This was caused by two liners coming to the port at the same time. One of which had to berth in the commercial part, close to the area where the ferry, Armas unloads. Therefore the passengers disembarking off this ship,had to walk through containers and working machinery

Brian and Tina Johnson's murderer found guilty

The trial of Juan Carmelo Santana Alamo began this week. This is the person accused of murdering two ex-pats in El Cotillo. Juan has admitted that he killed them with a hammer, and even recounted how he covered the bodies in plastic, hid them under his bed and got rid of them the next day. However, Juan Carmelo Santana Álamo, 42, does not know why he committed the double murder. The incident occurred on July 11, 2006, in the rented house where Juan Carmelo Santana lived with his son. He was 3 months behind with rent but he states there was no argument over money. When she told me I had to vacate the house in August, I flipped but I do not know exactly what happened. The defendant explained that the first killing was of Tina Jane Johnson, 58. Then he did the same to her husband, Brian Johnson, 60, who arrived shortly after to see where his wife was. The medical examiner who performed the autopsy found it difficult to specify the number of hammer blows. "They suffered so many blows that can not be accounted for, but there were more than ten," he said while stressing the severity of injuries. "The cause of death was from the head injuries inflicted and many of the injuries were unnecessary," added the doctor. The coroner also argued that the death of the woman was not immediate, even stated that "she might have lived if she had received medical care." The accused then wrapped their heads in plastic "to stop the bleeding," and hid the bodies under the bed. That evening he invited his friends,Cristina and Luis, round for a bottle of wine but neither of the guests knew that Carmelo had killed that morning, or that he had hidden the bodies under the bed. Cristina said "He behaved like any other day, and I did not notice anything unusual." Luis said the same as of his friend, "I did not see anything strange while at the house of the accused." The next morning the accused moved the bodies which were found four days later by a hunter in a field, covered with stones.
The findings of a psychiatric report rejected he is suffering from a mental illness. This "explosive reaction" was triggered by the announcement that he had to leave his home. Carmelo claimed a number of reasons to try to justify the atrocity of his conduct.. "I put the blame on alcohol and drugs, because they provoke violent outbursts," said Carmelo. "I had no intention to kill. It was all a coincidence." He added: "I am a cool person because I've seen dead bodies at work and my wife died in my arms." The prosecution recalled the "cruelty" of the facts to claim the maximum sentence: 25 years for each offense.
The jury did not accept Carmelo's excuses for his behaviour and unanimously found him guilty as charged.
The couple's son Sam said he was happy a conviction had been secured and would now try to move on with his life.
"I am pleased at the outcome but nothing can ever bring my parents back," he said.
"At least I now know this man will spend a long time behind bars for what he did. I am less happy at the wording of the verdict, particularly the distinction drawn between my mother and father in terms of their suffering. What level of suffering did Mum need in order to be equated with my father? My father died instantly but she was left there to die and might possibly be alive today if she had received medical attention."
He added that while his mother serviced the flat where Santana lived and collected the rent, she was not his landlady.
Mr Johnson added that he would try to get his parents' bodies flown back to Wales. They had been buried temporarily in Fuerteventura in 2006 in case more forensic tests were needed.

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