Volume 78

Cristina Sanchez
Saturday, 23 September 2006 - No. 97
1Casa Topical Digest of News and Views from the Andalucia Area in Spain
Haze in Concert
Haze will be in concert tonight Saturday 23 September along with Los Compadres de Alora at the Municipal Swimming Pool, Alora.  The concert starts at 10.00 pm.  Tickets are €10 from the ticket office.
New Hairdressing Salon
A new British hairdressing salon has opened in Alora this week.  Andersons Hairdressing is located on Calle Vera Cruz (next door to the British food store.)  The salon is open from 10.00 am until 2.00 pm and 5.00 pm to 8.00 pm Monday to Friday, 10.00 am to 2.00 pm Saturday.  Tel: 648 169 829.
Day of the Almond, Almogia
Almogia will celebrate its second Day of the Almond on Sunday 1 October.  Events will begin at 11.30 am with a performance by the Verdiales Group of Almogia and afterwards there will the opportunity to try out the ajoblanco, stew and fig bread.
Celebrities Attend Cudeca Walkathon
The fourth annual Cudeca Walkathon is being held in Benalmadena on Sunday 8 October to raise funds for the cancer care hospice and preparations are well underway for what promises to be a fun and entertaining day. There is an easily accessible network of distribution and registration points in 14 towns in Malaga province from as far as Nerja in the east, Sotogrande in the west and Alora in the North.
A special bus will be provided to get to the set off point and tickets can be bought for five euros from Cudeca Charity Shops.  Registration is at 10.00 am and walkers will set off at 11.00 am from Sunset Beach in Benalmadena. The most ambitious can complete a 10 kilometre beach and hill walk with the other less energetic choices being a 5 kilometre beach walk and a 2 kilometre wheelchair friendly route along the promenade.
Alan Ball, MBE; the UK's first million pound footballer, Trevor Francis; Spain's gold medallist walker, Paquillo Fernandez, and members of the Malaga's Unicaja basketball team, who recently became national champions, are all attending.
The Costa's infamous rhythm and blues singer Mel Williams; blues guitarist, Mama Paula; Ireland's singing acoustic duo, Birds of Paradise, the Bellini Restaurant's resident singer, Frankie Valentine and many more accomplished professional singers from Spain and overseas will be playing live music from 10.00 am to 3.00 pm.  For further information ring Lyndy Moore Eggleton on 952564910 or e-mail: pr@cudeca.org.
International Fair of Cultural Tourism Malaga
More than a hundred tourist destinations will be presented from Thursday 21 to Sunday 24 September in the Trade Fair and Congress Centre of Malaga (Palacio de Ferias y Congresos de Malaga) at the 3rd International Fair of Cultural Tourism.  The fair will be open from 11.00 am until 8.00 pm, Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 September.
Malaga 2016
Malaga's City Hall is to launch a website to support its bid to become the European Culture Capital in 2016 and to convert the city into a European cultural tourist destination. The site will have a cultural list of all the related activities and events happening in the city.
More Passengers for Malaga Airport
Malaga airport came fourth in Spain with the increase of numbers of passengers during August. A total of 1,429,211 tourists passed through the terminals, which is a 3.2% increase on the same month last year.
According to the Spanish airport authority (AENA), only the airports of Madrid, Palma de Mallorca and Barcelona registered a larger growth rate in passengers during the busiest holiday month of the year.  The growth in national tourism has meant that a total of 13,335 flights landed and took off in Malaga and 354,643 passengers were on domestic flights.  With reference to international flights, the British continued to travel in the greatest numbers at 40%.
Malaga has Highest Number of Registered Foreign Workers
According to latest figures, Malaga is the province where most foreigners are signed up to the Spanish Social Security system.  With a total of 70,539, the number is more than a third of the total for Andalucia which comes in at 188,324.  Of these 140,000 are from non-EU countries and 48,182 are from Europe.
Gibraltar Agreement Signed
Britain and Spain signed an historic agreement over Gibraltar last Monday, which ended decades of animosity and antagonism over the Mediterranean colony. Geoff Hoon, Miguel Angel Moratinos and Peter Caruana, sealed the first deal over the Rock. At a summit in Cordoba, the agreement opens Gibraltar airport to flights from Spain and the rest of Europe for the first time. Pension rights for Spaniards who worked in Gibraltar until the border was closed by General Francisco Franco in 1969, will also be settled.
Julio Iglesias Releases New Album
Julio Iglesias has just released his first album in English since 1994, with Romantic Classics. The new CD contains 11 songs written and made famous by artists such as Elvis Presley, The Bee Gees, Burt Bacharach, Frank Sinatra and George Michael.
Almodovar Wins Spanish Award
Pedro Almodovar won the Fipresci critics prize at this year’s San Sebastian Film Festival in Spain for his new movie, 'Volver.' The winner was selected by 350 critics from around the globe. Almodovar won his first award in 1999 for 'All About My Mother,' which also won the best foreign film Oscar.
World Heart Day
On 26 September we celebrate World Heart Day, there are now  800 billion overweight adults with 300 million of them classified as obese versus 800 million that are undernourished, we have become more aware of how unhealthy are modern lifestyles are making us. Nearly a third of all 1 to 5 year olds in the industrialised world are overweight, making them at high risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
In Britain, where up to 15% of children are overweight, 40 to 69% of all children do not get the minimum amount of exercise, one hour per day, as recommended by doctors. Organisers believe that even a slight change in our diets and lifestyle by cutting down on saturated fats, quitting smoking and getting at least 30 minutes exercise a day can decrease your chances of getting heart disease, see more at www.worldheartday.com
Most People in England have Spanish Descendants!
Scientists have discovered the British are descended from a tribe of Spanish fishermen, DNA analysis has found the Celts, Britain's indigenous population have an almost identical genetic "fingerprint" to a tribe of Iberians from the coastal regions of Spain who crossed the Bay of Biscay almost 6,000 years ago. People of Celtic ancestry were thought to have descended from tribes of central Europe. But Bryan Sykes, professor of human genetics at Oxford University, said: "About 6,000 years ago Iberians developed ocean-going boats that enabled them to push up the Channel. Before they arrived, there were some human inhabitants of Britain, but only a few thousand. These people were later subsumed into a larger Celtic tribe. the majority of people in the British Isles are actually descended from the Spanish."
Spain Ends Catholic Church Subsidy
The Spanish government announced yesterday, (Friday 22 September) that it would no longer offer a direct subsidy to the Catholic Church, adding to the worsening relations between Rome and the governing Socialist Party.
According to the Deputy Prime Minister, the church would still receive government funding, because taxpayers would still be allowed to direct a percentage of their taxes each year to the church, but the government would no longer add to the amount given by taxpayers to guarantee a minimum level of state financing for the church. In exchange for the ending of the direct subsidy, the government said it would increase the maximum percentage that taxpayers can contribute from 0.525 to 0.7%.
The Spanish government has funded the Catholic Church since the death of General Franco in 1975. The church receives about €135 million a year from the government. The direct subsidy that is to be eliminated accounts for about €30 million. Spain's Conference of Catholic Bishops declined to comment on the announcement.
The Spanish Catholic Church is also going to have to pay VAT for the first time in line with European law, after the European Commission threatened legal action.  It will mean they will be charged VAT on churches, pews and even the wine used during communion.
Spain Cements Imports
Spain is now the largest European importer of cement, which gives some idea of the still booming construction industry here. Worldwide, America is the largest importer of cement.
Dreissena Polymorpha (The Zebra Mussel)
Environmental experts have warned that all of Spain's waterways are at risk of being infected by the zebra mussel, the National Commission for the Protection of Nature said the mussel was a national problem, it has been detected in Spain's biggest river, the Ebro, between Burgos and Vitoria, along with other rivers. The Commission agreed to draw up an action plan to tackle the effects of the outbreak.
The mussel, originally from Russia, drinks large amount of water and removes most of the food for microscopic zooplankton and filter feeders, Measuring little more than two to three centimetres in length, it can starve birds and fish which depend on this zooplankton to survive.
Wine Hotel in Spain
The architect Frank Gehry, already a major presence in Spain with his Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, now has a hotel. In the heart of the Rioja wine region, about 80 miles from Bilbao. 
The hotel, the Marques de Riscal is set at a 150-year-old winery, and some of Mr. Gehry's touches reflect that influence.
The hotel, part of the Starwood organization, has 43 rooms and suites in two buildings connected by a suspended footbridge. There are also a cooking school and two restaurants one run by the Michelin-starred chef Francis Paniego.  A Caudalie Vinotherapie Spa will offer wine therapy treatments.
Malaga CF
Malaga lost for the second time in a row last week, to a 1 -2 defeat by Numancia in Division 2, however they went on to beat Ciudad Murcia by 2 goals to 1 in the second round of the Copa del Rey last Wednesday (20 Sept).  Malaga's game this weekend is against Sporting Gijon in the north of Spain and their next home game is on Sunday 1 October against Las Palmas.
Nadal Holds off Seppi to Bring Spain Level in Davis Cup
World number two Rafael Nadal put Spain level with Italy at 1-1 in their Davis Cup World Group playoff after overcoming a determined Andreas Seppi 6-0, 6-4, 6-3, Nadal won in a new outfit of red and gold worn especially for the occasion.
Ryder Cup
The European team took its usual early lead in the 36th Ryder Cup yesterday, forging a 5-3 advantage at The K Club in Straffan, Co. Kildare.  Spain's Garcia and Olazabel lead Europe's charge as they dominate the Ryder Cup fourballs.  Other scores at the tournament make sorry reading for US fans, as Darren Clarke and Lee Westwood stay 2 up over Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk and Paul Casey and Robert Karlsson have a one-hole lead.
Autumn Already
Summer gave way to autumn at 6.03 am this morning and will be followed on Sunday 29 October with the clocks going back an hour.   We will remain in autumn until 22 December at 1.22 am. 
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