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MOUNT TEIDE has been selected by the

Fri, 06/21/2019 - 11:34

MOUNT TEIDE has been selected by the European Space Agency as the location to test a laser, being fired at space debris from old rockets and satellites, left in the Earth’s orbit.

The junk is considered capable of causing damage to satellites, as well as to the International Space Station, and the ESA says the problem is increasing, with collisions becoming impossible to prevent, or even to attempt to control.

The laser is housed in the Observatory at Izaña, in a building in The Optical Ground Station (OGS).

The OGS, installed in the Teide observatory, 2,400 metres above sea level, was built as part of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) long-term efforts for research in the field of inter-satellite, optical communications.

The original purpose of the station, equipped with a telescope (1m aperture), was to perform the in-orbit test of laser telecommunications terminals, on board satellites in Low Earth Orbit and Geostationary Orbit.

The ESA survey of Space Debris in the Geostationary Orbit and the Geostationary Transfer Orbit, since 2001, has also being carried out with a devoted, wide-field camera, attached to the Ritchey-Chretien focus.

Also, around one-third of the observing time is used for basic, astronomical research from ESA and IAC science teams, with dedicated instruments, either in the coudé or in the Ritchey-Chretien foci.

The Optical Ground Station was inaugurated in 1995. The Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, which took part in the integration of the station instruments, has since been in charge of the station operation.

Since January 2001, ESA-ESOC has been carrying out periodic survey campaigns of the space debris in GEO and GTO.

This is ESA’s contribution to the worldwide, common efforts for this task, with NASA and NASDA (National Aerospace and Defence Agency of Japan).

The ESA, preparing a laser telescope to track space junk, is planning to fire it at the debris considered most likely to foster problems, causing it to begin a descent through the atmosphere, where it will burn up and disintegrate.

Rafael Rebolo, director of the Canarian Astrophysics Institute, which incorporates the ESA facility within the Observatory, said: “The new telescope is a prototype experiment to test that the laser can achieve linear communication with a relatively small piece of rubbish (under 10cm), and get it to move and be pulverised in the atmosphere.”

Rebolo hopes the facility will be operational within four years, serving as a basis for other lasers to be used, consistently, to clear the areas most populated by space junk.

 

Travel insurer censured after the death of tourist

Fri, 06/21/2019 - 11:27

ONE of Britain’s biggest travel insurers has been reprimanded for “exceptionally poor” service, following the death of a policyholder, who was denied a medical evacuation flight home.

A report by a Financial Ombudsman Service investigator has criticised Travel Insurance Facilities (TIF), the company behind several major insurance brands, including Flexicover and Boots, for failing to act “fairly or reasonably in such grave circumstances”.

But the insurer “strongly disagrees with the findings” and is asking the ombudsman to review the opinion.

Martin Blake, 72, had a heart attack in Lanzarote last year and was admitted to the local public hospital, which said he needed a coronary angioplasty.

It was unable to perform the procedure because of inadequate facilities, so Mr Blake was put on a waiting list for Gran Canaria’s larger, public hospital.

The doctors told the insurer that Mr Blake would have to wait a month and that there was a risk of complications if he were not evacuated sooner, either to the UK or a nearer, private hospital.

The insurer insisted that Mr Blake was not fit to fly and that it was in his best interests to stay in the local hospital until he could move to Gran Canaria.

At the time, the insurance company declined to organise an air ambulance or private treatment, although it promised a partial refund if the family arranged their own flight.

Mr Blake’s GP told the investigator that the NHS would have operated on Mr Blake “within 48 to 72 hours” if he were brought home.

The FOS investigator said the insurer’s claims about Mr Blake’s fitness to fly “were not consistent with the medical reports”, and also quotes a transcript of a call between the hospital and insurer.

In it, a Spanish doctor said: “The air ambulance is so much better than here. He is not even being monitored here, as I do not have a monitor for him.

“Not even his saturation levels are being monitored; I don’t know if you are understanding… we live next to Africa! We do not have catheterisation.”

The investigator also criticised the insurer for not considering private treatment properly, and, repeatedly, failing to call the family back.

TIF, which said that private treatment was not covered, t paid £350 compensation for poor service. And the investigator’s report supported the insurer in its refusal to pay £220 car-hire costs, because of an exclusion in the small print.

The family eventually paid £22,000 for their own air ambulance, but tragically, Mr Blake died two days later in Wrexham Hospital, having suffered a stroke which had not been identified by the Spanish hospital.

It took the insurer more than six months to refund the cost of the air ambulance, after being contacted by The Times newspaper.

The findings have been sent to the family and insurer for responses. After considering these, the ombudsman will issue its “final decision”.

TIF says it has the deepest sympathy for the family and that decisions throughout were based on medical advice, given by its own team of “experienced specialist doctors with specific medical aviation knowledge”.

The company added in a statement: “There were three medical reports provided by the hospital, and none stated Mr Blake was fit to fly.

“The investigator has issued a clarification and accepted that an insurer would not be expected to arrange a repatriation against its own medical team’s advice. Insurers do not and cannot provide medical care.

“The questions as to whether Mr Blake received the best and most appropriate treatment should be directed to the hospital which had the duty of care.

“We acted fairly and reasonably, in the best interests of Mr Blake. We acted in full accordance with the insurance contract, which is, primarily, a contract of financial indemnification and does not impose a clinical duty of care on the insurer.

“We have already started defamation proceedings against The Times.”

 

 

Mini-quakes will hardly have us jumping around

Fri, 06/21/2019 - 11:27

LAST week’s Canarian Weekly news, about the many mini-earthquakes occurring between Tenerife and Gran Canaria, was followed by a tiny earthquake swarm under the SE flank of Teide volcano on the Friday.

But it proved to be a really weak event, hardly suggesting that the volcano was about to awaken in a near future.

Firstly, IGN’s seismic network located a so-called hybrid earthquake of magnitude 1.9 at 13km depth, in the north-east of Guía de Isora and south-west of Pico Viejo at 2.28pm.

Then, at 5.58pm, another small quake was located in the same area, with similar characteristics (magnitude 1.6), and at 12km depth.

Between these two events, an amazing total of 512 mini-quakes were registered, all of extremely low magnitude (less than magnitude 0.5).

The occurrence of such earthquake swarms in an active volcanic zone such as Teide-Pico Viejo is a completely normal behaviour during dormant periods of the volcano. They mostly reflect fluid movements (mainly water, gasses) in the volcanic system’s interior, and can suggest long-term magma influx.

The seemingly large number of quakes is down to the extreme sensitivity of today’s seismometers, which detect quakes the size of shocks corresponding to a person jumping down onto the ground.

 

 

New-look Gibraltar after Monaco status

Fri, 06/21/2019 - 11:26

THE Gibraltar Government believes that the Victoria Keys complex, which will be built at Coaling Island, inside the historic harbour, will raise the profile of Rock to rival the likes of Monaco.

Luxury flats and new shopping areas, along with offices will be built in partnership with the Government. And Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said proudly: “The development will showcase our benefits to our widest ever worldwide audience.”

He added: “Our international prominence appears to have had a positive influence on the high-net-worth individuals we strive to attract to Gibraltar.”

With current Brexit concerns in Europe, Gibraltar is seen as a stronger investment than owning a Spanish property.

A total of 60,000sq/m of land will be created for the project, via a mammoth, sea-reclamation scheme.

The complicated plan will be taken on by a Government-owned company, guaranteeing safety in the investment, while the £300m cost will be returned to Government coffers once the land has been created.

“It is precisely projects like these which ensure that new businesses wanting to relocate are able to secure accommodation for themselves and their workers,” said the Chief Minister.

“With continued requests for commercial space, and its knock-on demand for residential accommodation, it is essential that we exploit this opportunity to its fullest.”

But he pledged that there would be no reclamation outside of port waters before the end of the current transition period, under the EU Withdrawal Agreement.

He also said. “The scheme will be in keeping with all environmental protection rules.

“Victoria Keys will have an extensive, landscaped, public promenade, solely for pedestrians and cyclists, along the entire waterfront perimeter.”

He added: “There will also be wide, tree-lined avenues, running east to west, retaining the historical views across the bay, and it will become our very own garden city by the sea.”

It will be the second time the current Gibraltar Government has carried out a project of this magnitude. The Westside reclamation of the late 1990s, arguably, created the foundations for the modern Gibraltar economy.

 

 

Terrorists’ fund-raiser network is taken apart

Fri, 06/21/2019 - 11:25

SPANISH police have detained a money-laundering network, accused of raising funds for Al-Qaeda terrorists in Syria.

The Europol-assisted operation involved more than 350 officers, who raided 14 homes and businesses across Madrid, Toledo and Valencia.

The suspects, reported to be of Syrian origin, included relatives of suspected Al Qaeda members.

A Interior Ministry spokesperson said: “The organisation were led by a family clan, which, for years, were said to have used a legal business structure to hide illicit operations, with which they evaded tax authorities and laundered large sums of money.”

The illicit funds were, allegedly, destined for the opposition-held area of Idlib, in Syria “to give support and financial backing to a terrorist militia there”.

The laundered cash was sent, via human couriers and the “hawala” system, which is an informal, trust-based, payment method, far more difficult to trace than bank transfers.

 

Uber preparing for rooftop taxi service

Fri, 06/21/2019 - 11:24

RIDE-HAILING company Uber has unveiled its vision for the future of urban transportation: flying taxis to carry customers from rooftop to rooftop.

The planned UberAIR service will use electric, jet-powered vehicles, part helicopter, part drone and part fixed-wing aircraft, to transport customers around the city.

These aircraft, developed by Boeing and other partners, feature multiple small rotors, capable of both vertical take-off and landing, and rapid horizontal flight.

The on-demand air taxis can be ordered by customers through the smartphone app, in the same way that Uber’s road-based taxi alternatives are hailed.

They will carry four passengers and a pilot, and will take off and land from designated rooftop hubs, known as “skyports”. And, eventually, Uber hopes the machines will be able to fly themselves.

The company claims that UberAIR will transport tens of thousands of people across cities for the same price as a UberX car trip over the same distance.

It plans to use Australia’s second-largest city, Melbourne, as the test site for the group’s flying taxi service.

It will begin the test flights of its pilotless aircraft in Melbourne, as well as US cities Dallas and Los Angeles next year, before commercial operations begin, in 2023.

 

 

 

 

Wastewater towns fined total of €22.355m by EU

Fri, 06/21/2019 - 11:23

SEVERAL towns in Spain have paid a total of 22.355 million euros in fines to the European Commission … and there will be more to come!

The nine towns, each with a population of more than 15,000, were not treating their wastewater in compliance with EU directives, going back to 2001. And, so far, only one of them has solved the problem.

Notification of the first fine arrived last summer, and the Spanish Government’s Environment Ministry calculates that these will continue to arrive until 2023, because the necessary modifications are unlikely to be completed until 2022.

Three of the culprits, Alhaurin el Grande, Coin and Nerja, are in Malaga, while Tarifa and Barbate are in Cadiz. There are two more towns in Huelva, one in Gijon and another in Tenerife capital Santa Cruz

Between them, they have a total of 379,000 residents, and. of the nine offenders, only Tarifa is now treating its wastewater correctly. And, thanks to its improvements, the EU fine was reduced by €595,000.

 

Spain not as peaceful as we’d like to believe

Fri, 06/21/2019 - 11:22

SPANISH citizens are losing faith in government and political institutions, according to an NGO, which claimed the country was becoming less peaceful.

The Institute for Economics and Peace’s (IEP) Global Peace Index ranked Spain 32nd, which was a drop of three places, compared with a year ago. But the country came 21st in Europe, and its overall peace level is still classed as high.

Iceland was recorded as the most peaceful country, while Afghanistan was last. Britain came 45th, which was a

five-place improvement on last year.

Overall, though it might be hard to believe, global peacefulness has improved for the first time in five years, even if the world is not as peaceful as it was a decade ago.

Steve Killelea, head of IEP, told Spanish media that economic hardship, unleashed following the 2008 recession and successive corruption scandals, had bred “disenchantment” with political institutions.

The ranking evaluates countries on such factors as

well-being, confidence in election results and corruption, as well as accepting the rights of others.

A report, released alongside the ranking, stated that the volume of Spanish people, who felt they were free to choose how to live their lives, had fallen.

Also, trust in elections was found to have fallen, along with respect for the rights of others.

But overall, global peace has improved for the first time in five years, according to the report.

 

Week’s free holiday, for Adeje’s cancer sufferers

Fri, 06/21/2019 - 11:22

FOR the third consecutive year, Callao Salvaje’s Atlantic Holiday Hotel is opening its doors to Adeje people with cancer, and their families.

The hotel management has donated 12, all-inclusive holidays, to Adeje residents who are currently undergoing oncological treatment.

The borough’s Department of Health Promotion Councillor Amada Trujillo Bencomo, who has underlined the hotel’s

genuine concern, said: “Initiatives such as this show that one of the successes of our tourism sector is that people come first.

“And that’s thanks to businesses such as this, and business people such as Charlotte Abildtrup, Atlantic Hotel director, who have shown their total commitment to the project.

Charlotte said: “We want to help these people and their families, giving them a week in which they can rest and escape from the stress their cancer is causing.

“We know that these are fighters and that, day after day, they are overcoming so many difficulties. That is why we are delighted to welcome 12 families into our hotel during the summer months, offering them a period where they can relax and enjoy the best we have to offer.”

The hotel has large holiday apartments, plus salt and freshwater pools, playgrounds, tennis courts, a park, a gym and restaurants, as well as a first-class service.

 

 

 

Fraudsters rake in billions!

Fri, 06/21/2019 - 11:21

FAKE products are costing Spanish businesses the equivalent of 10.6% of their sales, a new report has found.

At least €6.7bn worth of sales are lost in Spain each year to counterfeit goods, according to the report by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).

According to its latest data, the global trade in fake goods rose to €452.9bn in 2016, representing 3.3% of world trade. In the previous report, based on 2013data, the figure was €338bn, or 2.5%.

Worst hit is the fashion industry, with losses totalling €28.4bn billion in Europe, adds up to 9.4% of total turnover. Pharmaceuticals are the second hardest-hit, suffering losses of €9.6bn, followed by cosmetics, on €7bn. And counterfeit wines and spirits cost companies 5.9% of their business, or €2.4bn overall.

The impact of fake products is worse in Spain than the EU average in several sectors, especially the country’s fashion industry, which sees 14.9% of sales lost to counterfeit goods, pharmaceuticals 4.5%, wines and spirits 8.3% and smartphones 10%. I

In real terms, analysts say it costs the EU 480,000 jobs, which, in turn, leaves the bloc missing €16bn a year in tax revenue.

It is not surprising then, that across the EU, the total, economic impact of fake products is estimated at around €92bn.

 

School bullying not always investigated

Fri, 06/14/2019 - 12:16

AMNESTY International has issued a warning of unseen bullying in Spanish schools, with several cases not being followed up.

This bullying is not always seen, yet it affects thousands of children and their families every year, according to a human rights NGO.

Amnesty International said in its new report on the issue that several cases of bullying, reported to the Education Ministry, had not been followed up.

Esteban Beltran, Amnesty International’s director in Spain, said measures to detect bullying were not working, which means the issue is not being handled properly.

“We are only seeing the tip of the iceberg, because thousands of cases are not officially registered, either through

data-collection errors, or by a lack of training for teachers and families to spot the signs of bullying,” said Beltran.

The director added that bullying was a human-rights issue, resulting in lower self-esteem, as well as health and education problems for victims.

“They have a right to grow up, happy and without fear,” he stressed.

There were 25,366 reports of bullying made to the Education Ministry on its 2017 helpline, in its first year. Almost 7,510 of them were identified as possible cases of bullying but just 278 cases, adding up to 3.7% of the total, were referred to the Educational Inspectorate.

 

Spanish tourist may be out of his depth!

Fri, 06/14/2019 - 12:14

OFFICIALS in Rome have recently updated the capital city’s public action laws, concerning improper behaviour.

And these new rules might have caught out Spanish tourist Remi Sanz, who was on a stag-do at the popular Italian tourist destination, with friends.

He dressed up as a Roman Centurion to mark the trip, complete with plastic sword, fake armour and helmet, and was enjoying the sights of the city around the popular Trevi Fountain. But he may well have broken a new regulation.

Local authorities have rewritten the legislative laws to update them with modern culture, to help clamp down on disruptive and uncouth behaviour.

As well as fancy dress, other infractions have been updated to include eating messily and leaving litter, dragging wheeled suitcases down historical stairs, walking around bare-chested, as well as pub crawls, public singing and drunks.

It also includes improper use of public water fountains for example, wrapping your lips around the nozzle when drinking.

Marco Cardilli, Deputy Chief of Staff and Security Delegate on Rome’s City Council said: “Old regulations have been updated to the needs of a modern society.”

 

Remote water-meter readings are so easy

Fri, 06/14/2019 - 12:12

DETAILS of a new, telematic, meter-reading system, which will allow for remote readings of individual water meters, used by local clients, have been published by Adeje Council.

Carmen Rosa Gonzalez and Esther Rivero Vargas, the Council representatives, saw the system operated in the control centre of the town’s system management.

They were accompanied by Emilio Fernández, from Aqualia, Daniel Blanco, and Pedro Antonio Gómez, Entemanser head of Adeje services.

A pilot project phase, operating in El Puertito, has enabled the company to help clients control consumption, improve the service, detect leaks, and save on energy costs.

There is no additional cost to the client, 50 of whom are already seeing the benefits.

The next phase will probably see new meters installed in El Galeón or Armeñime later this year. Major consumers, such as hotels and complexes, will also see the new system installed over time, with advanced options and maximum precision.

Pedro Antonio Gómez said: “The new service means that we can meet the needs of consumers, 365 days a year. And we hope to be using the new system to control 55% of water usage.”

The objective is also to gather more information from, and about, water-users, which, in turn, will assist in improving the service, without having to go to each meter. “It eliminates potential human error as well,” said Daniel Blanco.

The new technology installed will allow clients see their hourly water-consumption levels, receive alerts if there are leaks, or even if someone is trying, illegally, to access their water network.

And, via the Aqualia Contact, they will be able to receive a daily usage update.

 

 

Spain’s independent pharmacies lead way

Fri, 06/14/2019 - 12:11

AN annual study, conducted by the General Council of Official Associations of Pharmacies (CGCOF), shows that Spain has now surpassed Germany and France as having Europe’s largest, independent network of pharmacies.

At the end of 2018 when the report was carried out, a total of 22,071 establishments were recorded in the “Annual Report of Collegiate and Pharmacies’.

The figure showed a slight rise in previous years, with 50 new pharmacies opening, and 26 closures. Some 35.7% of the sites feature in provincial capitals, while the remaining 64.3% are situated in municipalities.

On average, each pharmacy has a client base of 2,117 customers, which shows Spain as having one of the best ratios of clients-per-location in Europe.

In total, Spain has 74,043 registered pharmacists, of which 71.6% are female and 45.5% are under the age of 44.

Of the total number of pharmacists registered with the CGCOF, just 59,659 are active and working, with 51,959 (87.1%) working in community pharmacies.

 

God, won’t call on your mobile!

Fri, 06/14/2019 - 12:10

A PRIEST in Galicia has been able to ban mobile-phone use in his church, and warn against it while driving, using a humorous message which has gone viral on social media.

Xosé Manuel Lence, the vicar in A Ramallosa, a tied hamlet or parish of Nigrán, in the Pontevedra province, since 2013, became fed-up with constant ring tones during Holy Mass, so he put this sign on the church door:

“On entering this church, it’s possible you’ll hear ‘God calling’.”

“But it’s not likely he’ll be calling you on your mobile.”

“Thank you for switching off your phone.”

“If you want to talk to God, enter, find a quiet corner and talk to him.”

The final message was a serious nod to safe driving, which, said Father Lence, was “mainly in jest”.

He wrote: “If you want to see God, send him a WhatsApp message while you’re driving.”

Father Lence said it was “a friendly reminder”, and felt that humour was the way to do it. But he was not expecting to see it doing the rounds on Twitter, gaining hundreds of “shares” and thousands of “likes”, as well as several hundred comments, nearly all positive.

At least Twitter users gave Father Lence a ‘bravo’ for his incidental road-safety message, when sharing a photograph of the sign.

 

Iconic tourist magnet has planning permission now

Fri, 06/14/2019 - 12:10

IT has taken a staggering 137 years and €4.6m, but Barcelona’s iconic, as-yet-unfinished, Sagrada Familia basilica has finally been given planning permission.

In a process that old hands in Spain might recognise, following a series of corruption cases, which led to a tightening of regulations, building of the Barcelona landmark started in 1882, which was a full three years before a construction permit was first requested.

But things then seemed to go a little quiet when it came to the legalities. Building work carried on at its own leisurely pace, as finances allowed, and no-one worried too much about the paperwork.

After all, it had been applied for… so “just carry on building until someone tells you stop,” was the message given, and one so familiar to Spanish people in the past.

Over the years, the basilica grew and grew, eventually becoming the Catalan city’s biggest tourist attraction.

Eventually, though, it was realised that although an application had made, no one saw any record of permission actually being given to construct the enormous church.

It was a tricky situation, so Barcelona City Hall decided that the application had to be processed.

After all, halting construction, or even ordering demolition, was hardly an option!

The permit has now been given, but it will cost the foundation carrying on construction work millions of euros.

It has agreed to pay the city council €4.6min fees for building permits, which will last until 2026, which should be enough to complete the present phase.

One of the central towers to be completed in this time-scale will make La Sagrada Familia, Europe’s tallest religious structure at 172.5 metres.

Antoni Gaudi, the original architect, envisioned 12 such towers, one for each disciple, but it is unlikely that they will all be finished.

Around 4.5 million tourists pay up to €50 each for a guided tour of the edifice each year, with a further 20 million estimated to see it from the outside, according to the city council.

At least they now know it is not yet another of the “illegal builds”, which are so common in Spain.

 

Indian organised a trail of immigrants to Spain

Fri, 06/14/2019 - 12:09

A MAN from India is understood to have organised the human trafficking of immigrants, between the Asian continent and Spain, via Morocco.

The accused was living, illegally, in Tangier, Northern Morocco, when his property was raided. He was found to have 16 immigrants living with him.

They were from India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, and were said to have paid between 1,000 and 7,000 dollars to enter Europe.

The illegal group will be interviewed to determine the route they took to get to Morocco, while the Indian man, apparently,  responsible for bringing them people to the country, will be investigated and will, presumably, face a trial if there is a case against him.

In recent years, there has been an increasing number of immigrants from Asia, but the bulk of them still originate from sub-Saharan regions.

Moroccan authorities say that so far this year, they have deported a total of 30,000 immigrants, while in 2018, some 89,000 illegals were sent back.

 

Furniture chain’s big plastic-waste scheme is far from a novelty

Fri, 06/14/2019 - 12:00

BUDGET furniture chain Ikea has engaged the help of 1,500 fishermen in Spain, and a Comunidad Valencia-based interior designer, Inma Bermúdez, to fulfil a unique plan.

The former are paid to collect plastic waste from the sea and deliver it to the Ikea factories in Alicante and Valencia, and Inma turns it into brilliant household items, which will appeal to customers, even if it were not for the impending, environmental disaster of this non-biodegradable rubbish floating around in the oceans and rivers.

Tablecloths, cushion covers, handbags, marine themes, as well as simple and modern designs, with geometric shapes, are all part of a new Ikea range, to be released next February in Spain and Italy, and all created from refuse, fished from Spain’s shores.

Eventually, the plastic-waste, interior decorations, will work their way around the rest of the world, to every country in which Ikea has a presence.

The main material used is Polyethylene Terephthalate (PETE or PET plastic, or PET Polymer), the chemical name for polyester, which is the most common type.

The material, transparent, lightweight and hard-wearing, is used for packaging, drinks bottles, carrier-bags and even clothes.

And for every kilo of it fished out of the sea, another nine kilos of other waste, including various types of plastic, plus metal, glass and rubber, are caught up in nets, according to the Seaqual association of fishermen, involved in the project.

And, said Caroline Reid, head of sustainable development at Ikea: “Sea rubbish could be the manufacturing material of the future.”

The more companies use it to create products, the more it is removed from the sea. And it is hoped, demand for the material will eventually outstrip the supply in the world’s oceans.

Last October, Ikea joined the NextWave scheme, which involves corporations, charities and scientists collecting up plastic from the sea and using it to create consumer products.

And, in addition to focusing on ocean waste as its main raw material, the company plans to scrap all single-use plastics from its product range by next year.

It is already under way in all its stores worldwide, and their ultimate aim, said Ms Reid, is for plastic and plastic waste to become a circular economy by 2030.

 

Such hard labour for rocky police officers

Fri, 06/14/2019 - 11:59

POLICE had to smash up nearly 19 tonnes of rock with sledgehammers to find 785 packages of cocaine, which had been disguised as stone.

Officers had learned that a 188,000kg shipment of stone was being used to smuggle the drug into Spain. The cocaine had been mixed with a rocky mixture which, when set, made it indistinguishable from the authentic shipment.

Despite online pleas for prisoners to be brought in to break up the rocks, National Police officers rolled up their sleeves, and set about some serious hard labour with sledgehammers, to find the packages, each one holding more than a kilo of cocaine.

Eleven suspects, a mixture of Colombians and Venezuelans, were arrested in Humans de Madrid.

 

Rock-throwing trio endangered drivers

Fri, 06/14/2019 - 11:55

A DANGEROUS prank, which could have had serious consequences, was played out in the early hours of last Wednesday, by three youngsters.

The teenage boys, who were throwing small rocks and stones at passing cars on the La Laguna road, were arrested and detained by the National Police for committing a serious road-safety crime. It resulted in one of their victims losing her desire to continue driving.

The minors were accused of throwing the missiles, from the top of the tunnel in the Verdellada area, at passing vehicles as they drove on the Via de Ronda. Two of the detained individuals are aged 15 and 16.

Officers said in a statement that one victim’s car was heavily damaged, and the driver was so severely affected by the shattering attack that she refused to drive again.

The police were informed immediately, via a 091 call, and the police attended the scene to investigate.

Upon arrival, they saw the three youngsters behaving suspiciously and detained them. The trio, identified as minors, were taken home to their parents or guardians, and told to present themselves at the police station the following morning, to give their official statements.