Volume 53

Cristina Sanchez
1Casa News from Spain - No. 70
A Topical Digest of News and Views from the Andalucía Area in Spain
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Today is our 70th Anniversary!
Álora Half Marathon and Urban Run
Tomorrow, Sunday 5 March, Álora will hold the VIII Half Marathon and the XII Urban Run. The half marathon will begin at 10.00 am and is a distance of 21 kilometres. As in previous years, it is expected that at least 300 competitors will take part. The participants of the urban mile will leave 10 minutes later.
The Road to the Properties in the Canca, Álora
The work to improve the condition of the Canca road, an old road belonging to the Southern Hydrographic Confederation, which had been demanded by the residents of Álora for some time, has now been completed. The main works consisted of the improvement of the of the drainage ditches and the placement of new asphalt to re-inforce and prolong the surface. The length of the works was 4 kilometres including a stretch not previously planned. The cost  was 60,000 Euros. Not ALL the track has been re-suraced yet.......
Valle de Abdalajís
Abdalajís will welcome the first event of the Adventure Sports and Active Tourism of the Guadalhorce Valley on 11 and 12 March, which has been organised by the Town Hall and The Group of Rural Development (GDR). The Mayor of the Municipality stated that the choice of the municipality for this encounter was due to the special characteristics of the area for the development of adventure sports such as, hang gliding, Delta Wing and climbing. The technical director of GDR said that during this event people will be able to participate in these sports and others such as walking, mountain biking, horse riding, orienteering, paint ball, kite flying, nocturnal walking and astronomy. The president also announced the celebration of the IV Jornada of Active Tourism of the Valley de Guadalhorce, which will also take place in Valle de Abdalajís between 9 and 19 March. This meeting will serve to analyse the potential of the area for this type of tourism.
New Renfe Station, Málaga
The new Renfe station at Málaga will be a great hub of interchange for travellers on the AVE, Cercanías, the buses and the new Metro. An agreement was reached this week, which will modify part of the route of lines 1 and 2 of the Metro, so that they come together between the train station and the bus terminal. This change will not involve delays in the works on the Metro.
Málaga XVI International Week of Fantasy Movies
The XVI International Week of Fantasy Movies began in Málaga this week. The festival will last until 10 March and take place in the Theatre Alameda.
Cirque du Soleil to Perform in Málaga
The spectacular Cirque du Soleil is to perform in Málaga for the first time in its history. The company, which began in Canada in 1982, is to bring is production "Dralion" to the city's new Convention Centre from 22 June 2006 for five weeks. Shows will take place every day except Monday with tickets priced between 27 and 60 Euros.
Easyjet Expects to Finish the Year as First Airline in Malaga
Easyjet predicts it will reach an historic milestone at Malaga airport in 2006. The company expects growth in the order of 20% and will also inaugurate four new routes from the city to the UK, Germany and Italy. The airline expects to surpass two million passengers for the first time, the highest number obtained by any company at the Pablo Picasso airport. In 2005, Easyjet obtained first position in the non charter ranking at the airport, leadership that it shared with Iberia with both companies reaching 1.5 million passengers.
The first of the new routes inaugurated will be to Milan this month and will be the first Easyjet connection between two southern cities of Europe. Later they will operate flights to Berlin and Dortmund. In July they will begin their connection with Glasgow.
British Airways Extends its Connections from Málaga to London and Manchester
BA, through their subsidiary GB Airways, announced last week that from May it will double the frequencies of flights between Gatwick to four daily flights. Also, they will maintain two flights a week between Málaga and Heathrow and a daily flight between Málaga and Manchester.
Earthquake in Málaga Province
Residents of Cañete la Real and Ardales were among those who felt the earthquake which measured 3.2 on the Richter scale. The tremor was centred on the village of Cuevas del Becerro and occurred last Monday evening at about 11.30pm according to the National Geographic Institute.
Free Annual Check Ups on the Health Service in Andalucia for Over 65's
The Junta de Andalucía has announced that from next week all people over 65 years of age will be able to have a free health check-up. It follows the widening of a new decree which was approved by the regional government earlier this week.
Included in the check-up are vaccinations, an eye test and blood tests for the early detection of any conditions. The new measures will be put into effect gradually and it is expected that 40% of the over 65’s will get to see their doctor this year with the remainder to be seen the following year.
Sex Discrimination at Work to be Banned in Spain
Spain's Socialist government has set out a draft bill to ban sex discrimination at work. The proposed law will oblige companies with more than 250 workers to introduce "equality plans" aimed at eliminating discrimination against women in pay, promotion and benefits. It also introduces eight days of paternity leave for men.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development found women's wages in Spain are almost 20% lower than men's. In addition, women are more likely to be stuck in low-paid, short-term work. Female unemployment, at 11.6%, is twice as high as male unemployment, perhaps because men are twice as likely to hold full-time jobs as women.
The draft bill drew protests from Spain's business confederation, which warned that companies might become more reluctant to employ women. "The threat of sanctions is the worst possible method to achieve equality," the business confederation said. The bill also failed to satisfy trade unions and feminist groups, which said it did not go far enough in promoting women's rights.
The New Luna Rossa en Route to Spain
Luna Rossa ITA 86 left the boatyard in Nembro Italy on Friday and started her transfer to Valencia, Spain, where Luna Rossa's configuration will be finalised with the fitting of the mast and appendages then the first fine tuning test will take place.
The construction has been carried out by a 28 person Team Luna Rossa staff, seven months and 25.000 hours of work have gone by since they received the first sketches. The launching will take place in Valencia on the 22nd of March at the new Team Base planned for PRADA and Telecom Italia by Renzo Piano.
Eurovision Song Contest
The Ketchup sisters will represent Spain in the forthcoming Eurovision Song Contest in Athens. The Ketchup girls are from Cordoba, their song "Bloody Mary" was chosen from 245 entries that were sent to RTVE the national Spanish broadcaster. There will a special dance routine along with unique choreography in the style of Asereje.
"Bloody Mary" is about a guy they meet on a night out on the town and they try to conquer him, they order "Bloody Mary" and declare that their heart is "Duty Free". The girls are very excited and looking forward to represent Spain in Athens. Their dresses will be most probably designed by a top Cordoba based designer who is famous for both her modern outfits and trendy flamenco dresses.
The Ketchup sisters are one of Spain's most internationally acclaimed and famed performers. Their song "Asereje" was a huge hit worldwide.
Paul McCartney
"Chaos And Creation In The Back Yard," Paul McCartney’s 20th studio recording since The Beatles, marks an end to a nearly four-year hiatus since his last studio recording, 2001’s platinum certified "Driving Rain."
The new 13-track album is co-produced by Nigel Godrich (Radiohead, Travis and Beck) and McCartney, and was recorded in London and Los Angeles over the course of the past two years. Its release coincides with the September 16th launch of McCartney’s all new 37-city "US" Tour, his fastest selling concert tour ever.
Enigma Finally Cracked After 64 Years
The Enigma machine that eluded Allied code breakers for years since World War II are finally being cracked, helped by thousands of home computers. The codes resisted the best efforts of the celebrated Allied cryptographers based at Bletchley Park during the war. Now one has been solved by running code breaking software on a "grid" of internet -linked home computers.
The complex ciphers were encoded in 1942 by a new version of the German Enigma machine, and led to regular hits on Allied vessels by German U boats.
Allied experts initially failed to deal with the German adoption in 1942 of a complex new cipher system, brought in at the same time as a newly upgraded Enigma machine. The advancement in German encryption techniques led to significant Allied losses in the North Atlantic throughout 1942. The three unsolved Enigma intercepts were published in a cryptography journal in 1995 and have intrigued enthusiasts ever since.
Microsoft Moves Into Hardware? 
Rumours abound about a new Microsoft gadget with the code name of "Origami." these are based on a leaked video, the device appears to be a handheld multi function wireless tablet, evidently it runs on XP too, Microsoft expands into hardware it seems.
Apple Expands Again
Apple took another big step toward consumers living rooms recently, unveiling a computer designed to be a home entertainment hub and a portable stereo system for its immensely popular iPod music player.
Apple is hoping it can jump start the nascent home entertainment computer business just as it did with the portable digital music business.
BlackBerry Patent Suit Settled for $612.500,000
RIM paid $612.5 million to NTP to end the long-running dispute and keep its BlackBerry's running. NTP that had threatened to shut down RIM’s popular BlackBerry email devices, the agreement is intended to eliminate any further court proceedings between the companies.
"We are pleased to have reached an amicable settlement with RIM," said Donald E. Stout, NTP’s co-founder. "We believe that the settlement is in the best interests of all parties, including the U.S. government and all other BlackBerry users in the United States."
The settlement was announced after the U.S. markets closed for the day, but shares of RIM jumped $14.07 to $85.99 in after-hours trading.The settlement should be a great relief to legion RIM fans, who call the devices "crackberrys" because they are so addictive. Analysts also expressed relief that the settlement had finally been concluded.
Editors comment If 612.5 miillion dollars is amicable, what would it have been if they were unhappy with each other?
Long Shot?
If a Canadian golf equipment company gets its way, a Russian cosmonaut will beat hands down, the longest drive record later this year, this time by three billion kilometres more or less!
Plans are afoot to have the cosmonaut blast a special golf ball into space from the International Space Station with a 6 iron made by Element 21 Golf Co.
Some critics, however, argue that not only would such a stunt be in questionable taste given the cutbacks that NASA has made to legitimate space research, but could also be dangerous if the ball were to strike the space station. Could this also be deemed out of bounds?
Atlético 5-0 Málaga
A dismal game for Málaga, losing by five goals and also a sending off. Málaga play Valencia at home on Sunday 5 March, kick-off 9.00 pm.
Spain 3 - Ivory Coast 2. Spain came from behind twice to beat the Ivory Coast 3-2 in their international friendly last Wednesday.
F1 Teams Prepare for Bahrain After Final Testing
Honda and Renault are in confident mood after wrapping up their final testing sessions before next week's season opener in Bahrain.
Honda's British test driver Anthony Davidson set an unofficial lap record at the Valencia circuit in eastern Spain on Thursday and said the car felt good."We're all looking forward to Bahrain now, I think we'll be strong there."
Renault, winners of both titles last season with Fernando Alonso becoming the youngest champion at the age of 24, have also been pounding the Spanish test tracks.
Ferrari's Michael Schumacher, the seven times world champion, is also confident and would be contenders at Sakhir on March 12."We were happy with the car's speed before, and now we can be satisfied with the reliability as well," he said.
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