Headlines 

Judge reinstates Madrid’s low emissions zone

New rightwing council fails to reverse policy of former mayor Manuela Carmena Barely a week after Madrids rightwing council began rolling back the citys low emissions zone, a judge has ruled that the traffic restrictions must be maintained. As of Monday, drivers of non-exempt vehicles will once again be fined 90 if they enter the 1.8 sq mile zone in the centre of the Spanish capital. The zone, known as Madrid Central, Ecologists in Action. Former mayor Manuela Carmena introduced the Madrid Central low emissions zone in November 2018. Photograph:…

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Catalan leaders did not engage in rebellion, Spanish court told

Defence rejects claim actions amounted to coup as landmark proceedings draw to close Lawyers for the Catalan separatist leaders on trial over their alleged role in the regions failed independence bid have flatly denied their clients engaged in violent rebellion against the Spanish state as unilateral independence referendum on 1 October 2017 and the Catalan parliaments subsequent the 12 defendants who include the former Catalan vice-president Oriol Junqueras, the former speaker of the Catalan parliament Carme Forcadell, and two influential grassroots activists, Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Snchez are accused of…

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Were just proud to be Spanish: why the far right is finding fertile ground

Vox could sway some 10% of voters in todays election, many of them from neglected towns like Parla near Madrid The tramline that snakes through Parla passes an Extremaduran food shop dense with chorizo, cheese, ham and honey, a billboard for a real estate company catering to the Chinese community and the Titanic grocery shop, which offers couscous and not just halal meat but 100% halal meat. On either side of its winding tracks, on shopfronts, on faces, on clothes and in the conversations overheard on the streets, is written…

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Odds and Ends 

Spanish anti-Uber taxi strike ends after government agrees new regulation

A national six-day taxi driver strike in Spain has ended after the government agreed to pass regulation that will allow the country’s autonomous communities to cap the number of private hire vehicle permits within their cities. The VTC licenses are used by Uber and local ride-hailing rival Cabify to offer professional driver services in the country. So the government’s decision looks likely to limit the size of their businesses in regional markets which choose to uphold the cap. Previous decisions by European courts have essentially closed down Uber’s p2p (non-professional driver)…

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World Cup 2018 power rankings: Brazil and Croatia lead the way

At the end of the group stage we rank the 32 teams at the World Cup in Russia, with Brazil top, England in 10th and Panama last 1) Brazil It is hard to shake the feeling that Brazil are the best-balanced side at this World Cup. win over Serbia and they look capable of raising things further. thumping win over Argentina. A meeting with Spain in the last eight looks likely and Zlatko Dalics side cannot be ruled out of doing something special. 3) Belgium Whether or not they really…

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Italian minister declares victory as Spain accepts rescue boat

Matteo Salvini, who refused to let ship carrying 629 refugees and migrants to dock, says: We have opened a front in Brussels Matteo Salvini, Italys far-right interior minister, has declared victory after a standoff over the fate of 629 people on a humanitarian rescue boat prompted Spain to agree to accept them. The impasse, after the populist and far-right government in Italy refused to allow the MS Aquarius to dock over the weekend, suggested that Europe could face a humanitarian crisis this summer as it comes to grips with the…

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Spanish government swears in historic female-dominated cabinet

King Felipe VI and Pedro Sanchez Swearing-in ceremony of new Cabinet.Image: JAVIER LIZON/POOL/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock Spain’s new government has only just been sworn in, but it’s already made history. That’s because the women in this cabinet outnumber the men.  King Felipe VI of Spain swore in the new government on Thursday, with women occupying 11 of the 17 cabinet posts.  SEE ALSO: Canadian leader Justin Trudeau’s cabinet is 50% female ‘because it’s 2015’ That equates to 61.1 percent women—the highest proportion of women in government since the country became a democracy in…

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Barcelona protest calls for release of jailed Catalan independence leaders

Hundreds of thousands of independence supporters march through city after eight former Catalan government members jailed by Spanish high court Hundreds of thousands of Catalan independence supporters lined one of Barcelonas main avenues on Saturday to demand the release of separatist leaders held in prison for their roles in the banned independence referendum. Wearing yellow ribbons to signify support, they filled the length of the Carrer de la Marina, which runs from the beach to Barcelonas Sagrada Familia church, while the jailed leaders families made speeches. Catalonias two main grassroots…

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Want to Stay Safe While Traveling? Wear a Rolex

Explorer and conservationist Philippe Cousteau is the grandson of ocean-mapping legend Jacques. Co-founder of EarthEcho International, an environmental nonprofit aimed at inspiring young people to work on sustainability, he travels the world filming documentaries from Sumatra to South Africa. In Cousteau’s latest show, the Travel Channel’s , he and his wife—former host Ashlan Cousteau—investigate stories of lost plunder across the Caribbean. He travels about 200,000 miles a year, usually on United Airlines. “I get Economy Plus for up to half a dozen people traveling with me automatically, if they’re on the same ticket,”…

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Odds and Ends 

Every Year this Entire Town Shuts Down to Have Dinner Together in the Streets

Photograph by C. Viera/Ultimahora.es Every year, on the 3rd Friday of September, the small village of Binissalem, Mallorca shuts down to have dinner in the streets. People from all over the island converge in this small town—best known for its incredible wine—to drink and be merry. Photograph by M. À. Cañellas/Ultimahora.es The event is known locally as ‘Sopar a la fresca’ and city council estimates that nearly 20,000 people participate in the communal meal—a huge turnout considering the town itself only has a population of approximately 8,000 people. The annual…

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Microsoft and Facebook’s big undersea cable is now complete

Marea cable headed towards the oceanImage: microsoft More than 17,000 feet below the ocean’s surface, there now lies the “most technologically advanced subsea cable,” providing up to 160 terabits (Tbps) of data per second — beating Google’s alternative, now poorly named, “Faster.” The cable is the handiwork of Facebook, Microsoft, and Spanish telecommunication company Telxius.  Construction on the cable, which stretches 4,000 miles from Virginia Beach, Virginia to Bilbao, Spain, began in August 2016. Microsoft announced its completion on Thursday, but it won’t be operational until early 2018.  SEE ALSO:…

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Spain honours Ladino language of Jewish exiles

Royal academy sets up Judeo-Spanish branch dedicated to preserving language spoken by people expelled 500 years ago More than five centuries after King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella expelled Spains Jewish population, the still-spoken language of the exiles is to be formally honoured by the countrys leading linguistic authority. The Association of Spanish Language Academies. Through these nine academics we can now [lay the foundations] for a Judeo-Spanish academy to be based in Israel, just as we did in the 19th century with the Latin American academies. He added: The idea…

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Diego Costa: Antonio Conte has told me I am not wanted at Chelsea next season

Diego Costa has claimed he has been told by Antonio Conte that he is not wanted at Chelsea next season, with the Spain striker admitting he will have to find a way out of Stamford Bridge Diego Costa has claimed he has been told by Antonio Conte that he is not wanted at Chelsea next season, with the Spain striker admitting he will have to find a way out of Stamford Bridge. Costa, who is away on international duty after helping Chelsea to win the Premier League title last season,…

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Russian computer programmer held in Spain ‘under US warrant’

Pyotr Levashov reportedly suspected of being involved in hacking attacks linked to alleged interference in 2016 election A Russian computer programmer has been arrested in Barcelona, a spokesman for the Russian embassy in Madrid said on Sunday. It was unclear why Pyotr Levashov was arrested. The embassy spokesman declined to give details and Spanish police and the interior ministry were not available for comment. RT, the alleged interference in last years US election. Peter Carr, a spokesman for the criminal division of the US justice department, said: The US case…

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‘It has been done’: Eta hands over weapons in France

The separatist group is thought to have given French authorities information on the location of arms stashes The Basque separatist group Eta, which has promised to give up all its remaining arms by Saturday, has handed over the weapons to members of civil society in France, one member of the group has said. We have the political and technical responsibility for Etas disarmament, and it has been done, Txetx Etcheverry, a Basque environmentalist, said on Friday. Eta has handed over its weapons to civil society. They are on French soil,…

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