1Casa News from Spain - No. 86
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The International Space station was seen travelling across the night sky over the Malaga area, including Alora, last night (Friday 7 July). At approximately 10.35 pm the ISS (with the space shuttle, Discovery, connected to it) crossed the sky. It looked like a fast moving plane that appeared to be on a collision course with the moon.
The poster for the August Feria has now appeared and this year the poster is somewhat unconventional. Rather than a painting it takes the form of a photographic montage by Juan Ramon Reina. This young person, responsible for Digital Álora, has won this year's competition organized by the Fiestas Committee of the Town Hall. In his photographic montage, Juan Ramon has managed to join together elements that are most characteristic of the August Feria (2 - 6 August). At the presentation of the winning poster, according to Fernando Vila, Councillor with responsibility for Fiestas “the Moorish arch of the castle, the guitar and the human element, in this case a girl, are the very essence of our Feria”.
The election of the Queen of the Feria will take place next Friday, 14 July from 9.00 pm at the Casa de Cultura.
Malaga Eurofolk 2006
The final phase of "Malaga Eurofolk 2006" continues until Sunday. The competition is a youth initiative aimed at promoting European culture. Groups which perform, create and revive traditional and folk based music have been participating in the event in the municipalities of Cuevas de San Marcos, Cuevas Bajas, Villanueva del Trabuco and Archidona (Malaga-Spain). All the concerts will begin at 10.00 pm.
Slow Blues at Jaen's Cazorla Festival
Hear some real blues in Cazorla, near Jaen, now in its 13th year of bringing some of the best blues musicians in the world to the small Andalusian town of Cazorla in Jaen province, the Blues Cazorla Festival pulls out all the stops this edition with a performance by soul legend Solomon Burke.
Other big names include the Chicago house rockers Little Charlie & the Nightcats, Britain's Paul Lamb and the Kingsnakes, the Duke Robillard Band and The Fabulous Thunderbirds.
A mammoth barbeque party kicks off the festival on 27 July for two days of music.
The Area of Malaga Under Bricks and Mortar has Risen by 18% in Only 3 Years
“Between 2003 and 2005 the urban growth in the province of Malaga has only been exceeded in Osaka in Japan and Shanghai in China”. So said Ignacio Trillo, Provincial Delegate for the Environment in the Junta de Andalucia, at a recent public meeting. According to Trillo, “this situation rings alarm bells in relation to the limited natural resources available”. He also pointed out that between 1999 and 2003 the increment of the built area was 16.48% while between 2003 and 2005 it accelerated to 18%. “..an ever increasing rate; a built area which impoverishes our landscape and depletes our natural resources”. The delegate also pointed out that “Malaga is the Andalucian province with the most building activity on its shoreline. In the strip 0 - 500 m from the shoreline, 60% is built-up and from 500 - 1000 m 40%”. Cadiz, the second most built-up province with respect to its shoreline, is well behind with 0 - 500 m, 30% and, 500 - 1000 m, 28%.
Pope Benedict Visits Valencia
More than a million Roman Catholic faithful are expected to greet Pope Benedict as he visits Valencia this weekend. In his third visit abroad as pontiff, Benedict is in Valencia today (8 July) for a conference on the family. He will also meet the Spanish king and Prime Minister Zapatero, but the prime minister will not attend the mass the pope is celebrating on Sunday in Valencia.
The festive atmosphere was turned into one of mourning on Monday after a Valencia subway train derailed killing 42 people in Spain's worst underground accident. Despite the tragedy, many devout Spaniards held out great hopes for the papal visit. The pope is expected to honour the victims and stop to pray at the Jesus subway station where the train derailed. Concerts and street events were cancelled after the accident. People here say they hope the pope's arrival will help them get over the tragic event.
The pope will preside over a large outdoor mass to close the Catholic Church's World Meeting of Families. Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to attend.
Space Walk for Piers Sellers
Astronaut Piers Sellers will today take a daring stroll 220 miles above Earth to help repair the International Space Station, the former Edinburgh University student will be tethered to the station as it orbits at a speed equivalent to covering 74 football fields every second. "You are out there climbing around on the outside of this little white space station which is hurtling through the cosmos, Earth is ripping by you at five miles a second below, so it's easy to be distracted," he explained.
"It really is an extraordinary place to be...just like an ant crawling on the outside of a tree, you can go up this branch or that branch, upside down, on the top, sideways - it's a totally extraordinary sensation." Today, he and American colleague Mike Fossum will repair a broken cable on the space station's exterior, carry out shuttle repair techniques and test a 100ft boom by standing on it and bouncing up and down. "What you have is a 100ft-long system of bendy stick with two big fat heavy guys standing on the end."
Last night, Discovery's crew used a robotic camera to carry out a closer inspection of two pieces of material - known as gap fillers - which are protruding from the shuttle's thermal heat shield, Dr Sellers may be sent to pull the pieces out.
Injuries in Pamplona
An American man was partially paralysed after a mock bullfight following the first running of the bulls on Friday in Pamplona, seven more people were hospitalised after being gored or trampled. ‘‘He is paralyzed in the legs, and will have partial use of his arms,’’ said Pello Pellejero, a Pamplona government spokesman. ‘‘He is in very serious condition.’’
Gorilla Born in Madrid Zoo
A new gorilla has been born in Madrid Zoo for the first time in 14 years. The birth took place 27 June and the female weighed about 1.5 kilos at birth. The Zoo keepers had kept the mother and baby, along with an aunt, separated from the rest of the family for the baby’s own protection but now the family are back together again. Baby gorillas are totally dependent on their mothers until two years old and by four they are totally independent. The new arrival is still to be named.
Spain Records First Case of Bird Flu
Spain has recorded its first case of H5N1 bird flu. The grebe was discovered in a marshland area close to the northern city of Vitoria, the government confirmed yesterday, 7 July. Officials are trying to determine where the bird came from and if the virus is similar to the strain that has proven lethal to humans in Asia and elsewhere.
As bird flu spread to several European countries late last year, officials said it was only a matter of time before the disease came to Spain, which is on the route of birds migrating north from Africa. Preventive measures have included banning outdoor poultry farming within a 10-kilometre radius of marshlands where migratory birds tend to gather. No human H5N1 cases have yet been reported in Europe, although surveillance for the virus has been heightened significantly in recent months.
Jellyfish Population Explosion Predicted for the Mediterranean
Scientists are predicting a population explosion of jellyfish in the Mediterranean, which is expected to peak in September. The disappearance of larger fish and the warming of the sea both favour a growth in jellyfish numbers and they are unaffected by increasing pollution. In addition, the rise in the number of people living by the coast has led to a growth in the coastal zooplankton on which the jellyfish feed and the building of more reservoirs means that less fresh water reaches the sea, causing the sea to become saltier, also enjoyed by the creatures.
Spain's Defeat Upsets Antonio Banderas
Antonio Banderas's passionate support for Spain's World Cup team was so loud police were reportedly called to his California home. Neighbours were so concerned by "unearthly screams" coming from the Malibu home of Malaga-born Banderas as his team went out of the tournament in the second round against France, they called the police. When officers arrived, his wife Melanie Griffiths told them, “Oh, that’s just Antonio yelling for Spain in the World Cup.”
Rafael Nadal Through to Wimbledon Final
Rafael Nadal has made his way into the Wimbledon final and will play Roger Federer on Sunday afternoon. Nadal becomes the second Spaniard, after Manolo Santana in 1966, to play a Wimbledon final.
Spain's Alejandro Valverde Has Surgery
Spanish cyclist Alejandro Valverde is recovering from successful surgery after breaking his right collarbone in a crash in the third stage of the Tour de France. Valverde was operated on Wednesday in Vega, Spain, after crashing in Tuesday's third stage. The 26-year-old Spaniard had been considered a possible contender to win the first Tour after seven straight victories by American Lance Armstrong, who retired last year.
Madrid to Bid for 2016 Olympics
Madrid has said it will bid for the 2016 Olympics, after losing out in the competiton to host the 2012 Games. The Spanish capital was the last but one city to be knocked out in the race for the 2012 Games last year. London was the eventual winner for the 2012 Games after beating Paris in Singapore but International Olympic Committee president indicated that European cities would still have the chance to bid for the 2016 Games.
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