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GIBRALTAR Jurisdiction nightmare as tense standoff between RGP & MOD causes two hour delay Page 31

WHAT’S ON Festive festivities for February and beyond Page 34


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HEALTH & BEAUTY Nip. tuck, lift and shape Page 45

FOOD & FINE DINING The Ultimate Comfort Food Page 48


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SPORTS Liverpool ban The Sun over Hillsborough coverage Page 58



Spain’s Constitutional Court have quashed a resolution by Catalonia’s regional parliament calling for a referendum on independence this year, a ruling that will further stoke tensions with Madrid.


HE parliament of Spain’s wealthy, northeastern region, which has a majority of separatist lawmakers, had adopted the resolution in October, pledging to hold a vote in September 2017. But after suspending it in December, the Constitutional Court in Madrid said that it had cancelled it altogether, ruling it “unconstitutional”. Separatists in Catalonia have for years tried to win approval from Spain’s central government for an independence vote like Scotland’s 2014 referendum on independence from Britain, which resulted in a “no” vote. Catalonia’s former president Artur Mas tried to hold such a referendum, which was also banned by the court.


Issue 29 Feb 16 - Mar 01, 2017


NON-BINDING He countered by calling a symbolic, nonbinding independence vote, which was also stopped by the court. But in November 2014 he went ahead anyway, with more than 80 percent choosing independence -- though just 2.3 million people out of a total of 6.3 million eligible voters took part. Mas’s move got him and two others charged with serious civil disobedience and misconduct, and they stood trial last week. Prosecutors want Mas and his former associates banned from holding public office for nine to 10 years. The court’s 2014 ban on holding a referendum is permanent, but the Catalan parliament had decided to give it another try last October -- ultimately failing.

Prosecutors will now decide whether regional officials such as parliamentary speaker Carme Forcadell “committed an offence by approving the decision” to submit the resolution. Catalans have nurtured a separate identity for centuries, with their own language and customs. Their long-standing demands for greater autonomy have been exacerbated by Spain’s

economic downturn, with many Catalans resenting the taxes they pay to the central government in Madrid to subsidise poorer regions. Calls for outright independence have increased in recent years, and polls show that Catalonia, which accounts for almost a fifth of Spain’s economic output, is roughly split in half over breaking away.

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If the EU wants to be the bastion of liberal democracy, it too must stop demonising refugees and migrants BY NANDO SIGONA


UROPEAN Union officials have not been shy to express condemnation of US President Donald Trump’s permanent ban on Syrian refugees, and temporary ban on all other refugees and rightly so. The vice president of the EU Commission Federica Mogherini, intervening in the European parliament, said: The EU will not turn back anyone who has the right to international protection. This is where we will continue to stand. But we should not lose sight of what the EU and its member states are actually doing on the ground. Huge resources have been deployed to stop refugees and vulnerable migrants from reaching the EU by sealing the Aegean route from Turkey to Greece, the Balkan route from Greece to Germany, and the Western Mediterranean route from Morocco and Senegal to Spain.

LIAISING WITH LIBYA One main route is still out of control: the Central Mediterranean route via Libya. This is not down to a lack of will from the EU to compromise on its fundamental principles by striking deals with regimes with dubious human rights records such as Sudan and Eritrea. It is to do with the ongoing political and military struggle in Libya, which means control over the territory and coastline is fragmented. Libyan coastguards exist on paper but have a rather limited territorial reach. In late January, ahead of a meeting on February 3 of EU leaders in Malta, which currently holds the presidency of the EU Council, the EU announced that Libyan authorities will step up their efforts to stop migration across the Mediterranean. Thanks also to a €200m cheque from the EU, the UN-backed Libyan government has also agreed to allow EU and NATO ships involved in the anti-smuggling mission Operation Sophia to operate alongside the national military coastguard in Libyan waters. This is where many of the shipwrecks that have caused the deaths of thousands of migrants have happened in the last few years. Given the ongoing political uncertainty, stopping sea crossings altogether may be out of reach for the time being. What is more likely to happen is that, in order to deliver at least a reduction of migration flows, the Libyan authorities will be prepared to further compromise the human rights of refugees and vulnerable migrants. If sealing the Central Mediterranean route means to close both eyes to this violence, the situation for refugees and migrants is likely to get even worse in the future. If the enhanced Libyan role in stopping boat migration also involves downsizing the EU’s commitment to search and rescue, migrant deaths at sea are likely to increase, a trend emerging also in the latest Inter-

national Organization for Migration data on missing and dead migrants in the Mediterranean.

FORTRESS EUROPE AND TRUMP’S WALL Moral condemnation has been levied by EU politicians against Trump’s plans to build a “physical, tall, beautiful and powerful wall” between the US and Mexico. Mogherini characterised Trump’s wall as the opposite of what the EU stands for with these words: We have a history and a tradition and an identity based on the fact that we celebrate when walls are broken down and bridges are built. We heard similar grandstanding rhetoric in 2015. This time the target was an EU member state, Hungary, and the occasion was the construction of a wall to stop refugees crossing via the Balkan route. Again, rightly so, but then like now, EU officials seem to suffer, rather conveniently, from selective memory loss. In that case, they were forgetting that EU member states had previously built fences using similar technology to Hungary’s in Greece, Bulgaria, and in Calais, France. In fact, EU states have built similar walls since (without the EU’s rebuke) – for example, at the borders between Greece and Macedonia, Austria and Slovenia, and Croatia and Serbia. So while the rhetoric is certainly diverging between the US and EU since Trump took office, in practice there are many substantial points of convergence between the two sides of the Atlantic as far as the treatment of refugees and migrants is concerned. What we are witnessing instead is the use of refugees and migrants as a rhetorical device in a war of words that underpins a more substantial geopolitical shift. This is one in which the EU feels threatened on several fronts, not least by a Trump-led US, and wants to position itself as the bastion of liberal democracy in the global battle for hearts and minds. In a recent letter to EU Council members, the European Council president Donald Tusk discussed the strategic challenges ahead for the EU. He explained: Only together we can be independent. We must take assertive and spectacular steps that would change the collective emotions and revive the aspiration to raise European integration to the next level. Early signs are that a number of member states are not prepared to follow the EU lead and are more inclined, whether out of conviction or electoral expediency, to embrace the populist anti-immigration turn championed by Trump. Article provided courtesy of

Issue 29 Feb 16 - Mar 01, 2017



Police officers patrols the Greek-Balkan corridor (Photo:

Issue 29 Feb16 - Mar 01, 2017



Landmark EU-US data privacy court case opens in Dublin T

HE landmark case in Ireland, where the US tech giant has its European headquarters, will have serious repercussions for personal privacy policies and trans-Atlantic business. The US government will be allowed to make representations to the court, underlining the importance of the case. Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) is asking the country’s High Court to refer the mechanisms used to transfer data between the EU and the US to the European Court of Justice, saying that such issues cannot be decided at national level. The legal action follows a complaint to the DPC by Schrems about Facebook’s use of so-called standard contractual clauses (SCCs) to transfer personal data from Europe to the US. In a provisional finding, the watchdog last year said Schrems’s argument against the tech giant was “well founded”. SCCs are now widely used by data exporters and are intended to allow for the legal transfer of data from EU citizens as long as “adequate protection” is in place. Mason Hayes & Curran, the Dublin-based legal team acting for Facebook, earlier warned in a briefing note of the negative impact a defeat would have on its client and other multinationals. “The widespread interest in this case arises, in part, from the potential economic and commercial consequences that could flow from a ruling that the SCC decisions are invalid,” it said.

A campaign by Austrian privacy lawyer Max Schrems against Facebook’s transfer of personal data from Europe to the US is being heard in an Irish court, the latest twist in a long legal battle. The lawyers quoted estimates saying that if services and cross-border data flows were to be disrupted, the European Union’s gross domestic product (GDP) could be hit by as much as 1.3 percentage points.

NO REDRESS? Facebook argues there is nothing wrong with the current system and that there is no need for a referral. It was forced to switch to SCCs last year after the European Court of Justice ruled in 2015 that the Safe Harbour framework, which had governed the EU-US flow of personal data, contravened EU law because the privacy of European citizens could not be guaranteed in the US. The SCCs are considered as something of a stopgap measure designed to allow the transfer of data, pending agreement on a more comprehensive regime. Schrems, whose complaints eventually led to the demise of Safe Harbour, is a party to the proceedings alongside Facebook. He argues that the Irish watchdog already has the power to stop data transfers from Facebook and should use it.

EU must defend against ‘alternative facts The European Union is ready to defend threats to “European values” in the face of fast-changing political landscapes on both sides of the Atlantic, said European Commission vicepresident Valdis Dombrovski. “We should be ready to defend longstanding European values when they are threatened or when evidence based policy is assaulted by alternative facts,” he said in a speech at a London event hosted by Bloomberg. Kellyanne Conway, an aide to Donald Trump, used the term “alternative facts” to defend White House press secretary Sean Spicer’s claim that the US president’s inauguration drew “the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration -- period -- both in person and around the globe”. Reflecting on Britain’s vote to leave the EU and Trump’s election win, as Europe faces growing support for populist and anti-immigration political parties, Dombrovskis added: “Last June’s referendum result -- which we

regret but respect -- means we are now preparing for a new EU-UK relationship. “The recent American elections have caused further uncertainty, and shaken many well established assumptions,” he said. Dombrovskis warned that both could have financial consequences. “America has every right to change its approach, to redefine its national interest,” he said. At the same time, he added that “Europe is entitled to gently suggest international cooperation on financial governance is in everyone’s interest”. “What would happen if financial sector rules in New York, Hong Kong, London, Paris, Frankfurt or Singapore were very different?” He added: “The EU will uphold the reforms introduced to protect financial stability in Europe. And we will be ready to take the necessary measures to protect and strengthen these achievements.”

He also says that the SCCs offer no redress for European citizens in the US in the event of their data being accessed by a third party, such as US intelligence services, or compromised in some other way. The hearings in Dublin are due to last several weeks.

EU PROBES FIRMS FOR CROSSBORDER SHOPPING CURBS EU regulators have launched a series of probes against firms that allegedly block online bargain hunters from grabbing good deals from across European Union borders. Video game companies, electronic manufacturers and tour operators were all targeted by the European Commission, the EU’s anti-trust enforcer. It accuses the companies of preventing consumers from enjoying cheaper prices available to shoppers that surf the web from other EU nations. “We are looking into whether these companies are breaking EU competition rules by unfairly restricting retail prices or by excluding customers from certain offers because of their nationality or location,” said the EU’s Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager in a statement. In the first of three separate cases, the EU turned on video game providers such as Japan’s Namco and Capcom. They are accused of illegally using an anti-piracy verification software to in fact block cross-border purchases of popular video games. In the second case, the EU alleges that four con-

sumer electronics manufacturers -- including Japan’s Pioneer and Dutch firm Philips -- illegally restrict online platforms such as Amazon from setting their own prices. The EU is also looking into reports by consumers that Europe’s largest tour operators -- including Kuoni, TUI and Thomas Cook -- collude with Spain’s mega-hotel chain Melia to rig prices based on a customer’s location. The probes are part of a far wider digital market strategy that aims to tear down cross-border barriers online so that companies treat shoppers from anywhere in the EU as domestic buyers. The European Commission strongly believes in the economic benefits of a proper digital single market across all 28 bloc countries, especially at a time when the EU is facing economic fragmentation with Brexit. At the moment, only 15 percent of consumers shop from another EU country and only seven percent of small businesses sell across borders, EU figures showed.

Issue 29 Feb 16 - Mar 01, 2017





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EU’S JUNCKER SAYS HE WON’T SEEK SECOND TERM IN 2019 “It was a fine election campaign” in 2014, Juncker told Deutschlandfunk radio, according to extracts of an interview that was be broadcast last weekend. “But there won’t be a second one, because I won’t be putting myself forward as a candidate for a second time.” He also admitted to fearing that Britain’s negotiations to leave the European Union could open up splits in the bloc. “The British are going to succeed, without too much difficulty, to divide the 27 other EU countries,” he said.

INFLUENTIAL “The British know very well how to achieve this,” he added. “You promise one thing to state A, another to state B and something else to state C and you end up with no united European front.” Germany’s influential Chancellor Angela Merkel said last week that European leaders may commit to a union of “different speeds” when they make a major declaration on its future at a summit in Rome next month. Juncker, 62, a conservative former prime minister of Luxembourg, took office on November 1 2014 after a long spell at the helm of the Eurogroup, gathering ministers of countries which share the euro. Presidents of the Commission are appointed for a five-year term, which is renewable once.

Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Union’s powerful executive Commission, has confirmed that he would not seek a second term when his tenure expires in 2019.

The post is elected by the European Parliament, on a proposal by the European Council, which comprises heads of state or government. Juncker was chosen despite fierce objections by Britain, which regarded him as too federalist. In other comments, Juncker urged the 27 EU countries -- the entire bloc minus Britain, which wants to leave -- to face its challenges with strength and unity, but admitted to “se-

rious doubts” that its members shared the same goals. “Has the time come for when the European Union of the 27 must show unity, cohesion and coherence?” he asked. “Yes, I say yes, when it comes to Brexit and (US President Donald) Trump... but I have some justified doubts that it will really happen.” He added: “Do the Hungarians and the Poles want exactly the same thing as the Germans and the French? I have serious doubts.”

EU to end barriers to Netflix, BBC iPlayer in 2018 THE EU has taken a major step toward allowing people to use their online entertainment such as Netflix or BBC iPlayer all across Europe, officials claim. Europeans spend about one billion nights in other EU countries every year but face a frustrating inability to access subscription services while outside their home country. The European Commission, the bloc’s executive arm which proposed the change, reached a compromise with negotiators from the European Parliament and the European Council of 28 member states, virtually guaranteeing that the measure will succeed. Once formally approved, EU consumers on the move will be able to enjoy entertainment as if at home in early 2018, the com-

mission said. “Today’s agreement will bring concrete benefits to Europeans,” said Andrus Ansip, the commission’s vice-president for the Digital Single Market.

STREAMING “People who have subscribed to their favourite series, music and sports events at home will be able to enjoy them when they travel in Europe,” As it stands, a subscriber to the Netflix or Amazon streaming service in, for example, France, will only have access to the service as it is available in a country they are visiting, where the movies or series often drastically differs to their home version.

In another example, digital subscribers to Sky Sports in London are unable to access Premier League football matches on their iPads or laptops when travelling abroad. “This is very good news for EU consumers,” said Monique Goyens, head of Brusselsbased the European Consumer Organisation. “Artificial barriers blocking you from using your online video, music or game subscription contradict the very principle of a single market,” Crucially, the measure puts a zero limit on the amount of time travelling Europeans can enjoy their home-based subscriptions. This is unlike the EU’s free roaming promise for mobile phones that comes into effect in June, but comes with a list of restrictions.

Wind blows by coal in Europe

WIND power has overtaken coal as the second largest form of power generation by capacity in Europe, according to industry data recently published. WindEurope, the industry lobby group, said in its annual review of the sector that Europe had installed 12.5 gigawatt (GW) of gross additional wind capacity in 2016, bringing the total installed capacity to 153.7 GW. “Wind energy has now overtaken coal as the second largest form of power generation capacity in Europe.” Coal facilities capable of producing 152 GW were on line last year, according to WindEurope. Europe’s wind power generation capacity was still behind gas-fired power plants, which are capable of producing 186 GW. In terms of electricity consumption, wind power covered just 10.4 percent of Europe’s electricity demand last year, down from 10.7 percent in 2015, the body said. Wind accounted for 51 percent of all new power installations in 2016, WindEurope said. Germany was the largest market in new wind power capacity installation, with 44 percent of the total EU installations, WindEurope said. The bloc’s economic powerhouse was also the EU country with the largest installed wind power capacity, followed by Spain, Britain and France. Five EU member states had a record year in new wind energy installations in 2016: France added 1.6 GW in capacity, the Netherlands 887 megawatts (MW), Finland 570 MW, Ireland 384 MW and Lithuania 178 MW. “Wind energy is now a mainstream and essential part of Europe’s electricity supply,” said WindEurope chief executive Giles Dickson. “It is also a mature and significant industry in its own right, now providing 330,000 jobs and billions of euros of European exports.” Nevertheless, “government policy on energy across Europe is less clear and ambitious than it was a few years ago. Over half the member states invested nothing in wind energy last year,” he complained. Total investment in the sector amounted to 27.5 billion euros ($29 billion) in 2016, up from 26.4 billion euros in 2015, WindEurope calculated.

Issue 29 Feb16 - Mar 01, 2017




JAM’s continue to feel the pinch

The Brexit vote and election of Trump make Britons ‘anxious’

NEARLY a third of the population of Britain is living below the poverty line a new study shows. Research conducted by Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) finds that at least 19 million people are living on less than the Minimum Income Standard (MIS) due to rising food and fuel prices. The MIS a benchmark of our living conditions set by experts at Loughborough University for 2016 showed that for a single person of working age a reasonable income should be £286.53 per week before bills, equivalent to £14,899 a year. For couples, it was £353.21 a week, or £18,366 a year. For a couple with two children, it was £776.28 a week, or £40,366 a year. Among the 19 million said to be below the MIS are six million children, representing 45% of all children in Britain and 56% is attributed to families with children and just one parent in work. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation warns that this trend is only set to get worse, with rising inflation and slow wage growth meaning more families will have to make their money stretch further and further. The government has already promised to tackle this issue, after Theresa May identified those within this bracket as “just about managing”- JAM’s


HE Brexit vote and the election of US President Donald Trump have made many Britons anxious, according to a recent poll released by mental health charities dealing with the fallout. Relationship counsellors have reported couples arguing over Brexit, while children’s support services have said they too have registered calls on the landmark votes. A YouGov survey for the Mental Health Foundation (MHF) found that 49 percent of respondents reported experiencing some level of anxiety in relation to Trump’s election. Some 43 percent were found to have experienced some degree of anxiety over Britain’s vote to withdraw from the European Union. “There is a relationship between what happens in the world and how people feel about it. That needs to be taken seriously,” MHF director Mark Rowland said. The foundation said it had seen five times as many visitors to its anxiety support page compared to before the Brexit referendum in June, prompting the MHF to commission a survey to see whether the increase could be linked to world events. YouGov surveyed 1,714 British adults online and found that 29 percent

DIFFICULTIES According to the latest data, there are currently about 2.26 million EU nationals working in Britain. “The survey data... suggest that a fall in the supply of EU nationals may heighten

recruitment difficulties in the year ahead,” the CIPD wrote in its Labour Market outlook report. Job vacancies in the UK economy remain well above historical average levels and the report emphasises that a fall in the supply of EU nationals would hit some specific industries hard. These include low-skilled sectors such as wholesale, retail, accommodation and food services as well as human health and social work, which employ large number of EU workers. More than 1,000 employers were polled for the survey. British Prime Minister Theresa May, who is expected to start the divorce proceeding


Anxiety develops through a combination of perceived threat, making catastrophic predictions about the future and escalating fear about the implications of decisions or events, Rowland said. Symptoms include difficulty sleeping or controlling breathing, while some people find it harder to conduct their daily lives. “We’re concerned that people have the tools and the information to prevent it becoming something more serious,” he said. The highest results per category experiencing either a great deal or a fair amount of anxiety over Brexit, and also over Trump, were for women, the 18 to 24 age group, Londoners and higher social classes. At the opposite end of the scale, the highest figures for people experiencing not much or no anxiety were found among men, the 65 and over age group, people in Scotland and lower social classes. For some in Britain, the country’s decision to leave the EU has been affecting their personal relationships. A survey of 300 counsellors carried out last year by the organisation Relate found nearly a fifth (19.4 percent) had seen clients who had mentioned the referendum as an issue in their relationship. Arabella Russell, a Relate counsellor, said some couples would bring up Brexit over fear and uncertainty following the referenwith the EU before the end of March, has dum, while others struggled because they said she wants to guarantee the rights of voted differently. EU citizens who are already living in Britain. “When it turns out our partner has a different But uncertainty over what that would view to us, that can be quite scary,” she said. entail and whether visa restrictions would Russell found disagreements over Brexit be enforced is also prompting some EU were usually “the tip of the iceberg”, with nationals in the UK to consider relocating. wider problems at play, while couples who Almost one in three British employers voted the same way were reassured to find surveyed by the CIPD say they have one area they agreed on despite arguing evidence that the EU nationals they about other topics. employ have looked to leave their She advised using the political debate to talk organisation and/or Britain in 2017. about how to cope with differences: “RecThe issue of immigration was at the heart ognising that the future of the relationship of the EU referendum campaign last year can’t hang in the balance of what happens in which 52 percent voted for Britain to with this (Brexit), but using it as an opportuleave the European Union. nity to see how we deal with it”.

UK faces worker shortage as EU nationals stay home BRITISH businesses are struggling to fill in vacancies because of a drop in the supply of European Union nationals following the Brexit vote, reveals a new report. The survey by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) highlighted that the growth of EU nationals in employment halved to just 30,000 in the final quarter of 2016.

of people said they had suffered either a great deal or a fair amount of anxiety over Trump, with a further 20 percent reporting low-level anxiety. The respective figures for Brexit were 20 and 23 percent.


Issue 29 Feb 16 - Mar 01, 2017




PECULATION is mounting that Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will declare her intention to hold a rerun of the September 2014 vote, as a poll recently published revealed rising support for independence ahead of Britain’s departure from the European Union. “We don’t believe that there should be a second referendum. There has been a referendum, it was clear, decisive, it was legal, and both sides agreed to abide by the results of that referendum,” May’s spokesman told journalists. Downing Street was responding to a report that it had told Scottish newspaper The Courier it was holding “contingency” talks to deal with a referendum announcement. Scotland rejected independence by 55 percent in 2014, but 20 months later it voted to remain in the European Union by 62 percent, sparking calls for a fresh vote. The battle over Scotland’s constitutional future is now almost an even split, according to a new poll released Wednesday. Support has risen to 49 percent, excluding undecided voters, with 51 percent in favour of staying in the British union, a BMG poll for the Herald newspaper said. The poll was conducted after May confirmed her intention to take Britain out of the European single market.

GAME ON Sturgeon, leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP), has said a second independence referendum is now “highly likely”, and allies

UK govt ‘does not believe’ in second Scottish referendum The British government “does not believe there should be a second referendum” on Scottish independence, Prime Minister Theresa May’s spokeswoman said, following reports that she is making contingency plans for another vote. have suggested it could be as early as 2018. Former SNP leader Alex Salmond tweeted a picture of the Herald’s front page story on the poll, saying: “Game on...” The SNP said the latest poll showed the independence debate is now “a virtual dead heat”. “If the Tories continue with their blind pursuit of a hard Brexit, ignoring the clear view of an overwhelming majority of people in Scotland, then more and more people will see independence as the option delivering certainty and stability,” said SNP chair Derek Mackay. Conducted among 1,067 voters aged over 16, the poll asked: “Should Scotland be an

UK ‘CONCERNED’ BY RUSSIA OPPOSITION GUILTY VERDICT BRITAIN has stated it was “concerned” at the guilty verdict against Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, saying it raised questions about the rule of law. Navalny was recently found guilty of embezzlement and given a five-year suspended sentence that threatens to end his bid to challenge President Vladimir Putin in next year’s presidential elections.

JUDGEMENT “We are concerned at the conviction handed down to Russian opposition politician, Alexei Navalny,” Britain’s Foreign Office said in a statement. “The judgement once again raises questions about the selective application of the rule of law in Russia.” The ministry said the case reflected “a worrying trend in Russia” of opposition voices being silenced. “The UK urges Russia to uphold the principles of democracy and support political pluralism.” A judge in the provincial city of Kirov found the Kremlin critic and anti-corruption campaigner guilty at a trial that he insists was aimed at knocking

him out of the election expected in March 2018. Navalny condemned the verdict as a “telegram from the Kremlin”. The court was holding a retrial after Navalny and his co-defendant, businessman Pyotr Ofitserov, were convicted of alleged embezzlement in 2013. The European Court of Human Rights last year quashed the ruling, saying the men did not have a fair trial. But Russia’s supreme court then ordered that Navalny and Ofitserov face a retrial. British Prime Minister Theresa May earlier Thursday demanded international pressure on Russia over an upsurge of violence in eastern Ukraine. During a meeting with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, May “emphasised the UK’s continuing concern over Russia’s aggressive and destabilising actions and the drastic deterioration in the humanitarian situation. “It is vital that the international community continues to exert pressure and that we continue to maintain sanctions on Russia until the Minsk agreements are fully implemented.”

independent country?” with 43 percent saying “Yes” and 45 percent saying “No”. The remainder were undecided or would not say. It represents a three-point swing towards independence from a similar BMG/Herald poll conducted in December. However, the survey also found 56 percent of Scots do not want another independence referendum before the conclusion of Brexit negotiations, expected in 2019. The Scottish parliament, in a symbolic motion, voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to reject Britain’s march towards the EU exit, with the semi-autonomous government warning Scotland would not be “humiliated”.

The Scottish government said the vote —backed by nearly three quarters of Scottish lawmakers from across the political spectrum —- is one of the most important in the parliament’s 18-year history. May warned Wednesday that an independent Scotland “would not be in the European Union.”

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FAKE NEWS A New Threat Last year will go down in history as the year in which fake news really took centre stage. It played a decisive role in major events such as the outcome of the US elections and the British Brexit vote.


HE common denominator of fake news – fictional pieces of information or narratives – has been that lies are used to discredit individuals, as well as their viewpoints and agendas. Fake news, misinformation, propaganda and hoaxes are a problem – not just for the individuals involved, but for society as a whole. Fake news is often seized on, repackaged and or even republished verbatim by the news media. Such fake news has also been referred to as “alternative news” or “post truths”. The proliferation of fake news raises the age-old question of trust in the news media. Can journalists and news organisations still be relied on as credible intermediaries in sorting what’s true from what’s false?

What are the manifestations of fake news (globally as well as nationally)? Who drives these supposed “news stories”? What purpose or agendas do some of the examples of fake news serve, and what can be done about it? And, importantly, what are the grey zones between the real and the fake, facts and perception?

AN AGE-OLD PROBLEM Arguably, fake news is premised on deception and is little more than propaganda. Hoax news, propaganda and misinformation have been around for as long as people have communicated. This has been evident through the coverage of wars dating back to media reports on the outbreak of the Crimea War in

WIKIPEDIA EDITORS BAN ‘UNRELIABLE’ DAILY MAIL AS SOURCE WIKIPEDIA editors have voted to ban the use of articles from British tabloid The Daily Mail and its globally popular website as sources, calling them “unreliable”, according to a statement. English-language editors of the online encyclopaedia cited the newspaper’s “reputation for poor fact-checking, sensationalism, and flat-out fabrication”, said the statement posted on Wikipedia Wednesday. The vote means the tabloid’s use as a reference should be “generally prohibited”, it said.

‘reliable source’ The Wikimedia Foundation, the not-for-profit organisation that runs the Wikipedia website, acknowledged the vote in a statement cited in The Guardian, but said it was up to its unpaid editors. From now on, it said “the Daily Mail will generally not be referenced as a ‘reliable source’ on English Wikipedia, and volunteer editors are encouraged to change existing citations to the Daily Mail to another source deemed reliable by the community”. The National Enquirer, a US tabloid, is the only news publication that “should never be used”, according to editors’

guidelines. Content on Wikipedia is written and edited by a global network of volunteers who must base their articles on “reliable, third-party, published sources with a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy”. The guidelines also highlight that special care should be taken when sourcing from state-associated news organisations, including the Chinese press agency Xinhua, North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency, and Press TV in Iran. They warn they may be propaganda organisations, but do not outwardly ban them. The Daily Mail’s reliability had been the subject of debate among Wikipedia editors since January 2015. Some opponents of the move argued that “singling out one source does not deal with the other poor sources that are currently permitted”, and that historically the British tabloid may have been accurate. The Daily Mail, Britain’s second biggest-selling daily newspaper, has previously been accused of racism, sensationalism and inaccuracies. Its online operation, MailOnline, is considered to be the world’s largest English speaking newspaper website with 24.5 million monthly unique visitors.

1853 as well as the two World Wars. Phillip Knightley in his widely cited book -The First Casualty - The War Correspondent as Hero and Myth-Maker from the Crimea to Iraq, shows how governments have used the media for their own propaganda purposes ever since the Vietnam War which ended in 1975. Knightley took his cue for the title of his book from American Senator Hiram Johnson who, already in 1917, coined the expression “The first casualty of war is truth.” No matter the label, hoax news and fake news are an integral part of modern warfare, whether on battle fields or in contemporary “war rooms”. These involve dedicated teams employing overt and covert spin doctoring tactics and political communications strategies in contemporary political campaigns. Of course, their efforts have been amplified through the advent of modern communications, the spread of mass media, and maybe most pertinently, the growth of social media platforms and the internet. Barack Obama in his outgoing statement as US President stated that he believes “fake news” is a threat to democracy. The outgoing speaking at a conference in Germany said he was worried about the way that “so much active misinformation” can be “packaged very well” and presented as fact on people’s social media feeds. If we are not serious about facts and what’s true and what’s not, if we can’t discriminate between serious arguments and propaganda, then we have problems. But how do we distinguish between facts, legitimate debate and propaganda? Since the Brexit vote and the Donald Trump victory a huge amount of journalists’ ink has been used up discussing the impact of social media and the spread of “fake news” on political discourse, the functioning of democracy and on journalism. Detailed social science research is yet to emerge, though a lot can be learnt from existing studies of online and offline behaviour.

WHAT’S TO BE DONE? What’s clear is that “fake news” has become an industry on its own and that it won’t be possible to stop it. The best way to counter its effects is for credible news media to set itself apart through increased vigilance to ensure it doesn’t lend credibility to hoax stories. This will require strict adherence to media ethics and professional codes. Where these are lacking, they must be strengthened. The media also needs to actively expose the sources of negative propaganda and lies.After all, verification has always been the trademark of credible journalism. In other words, journalists need to show the makers of fake news that they cannot fake it till they make it. Likewise, consumers of news need to be more discerning about what news they consume and believe. As victims of fake news, here at the Weekend World we set ourselves apart form our contemporaries and only bring our readers fact based - thoroughly investigated news and would welcome a more rigid code of conduct as it seems that once some journalists hit the shores of the Costa del Sol all media ethics and professional codes are thrown out of the window!

Issue 29 Feb16 - Mar 01, 2017



AIRBnB imposes limits on rentals in Barcelona HOMEOWNERS in central Barcelona will only be able to rent out one place on Airbnb as part of new rules announced this week by the home rentals website, at loggerheads with local authorities. The new limits come as the popular Mediterranean resort struggles with ever-increasing numbers of tourists that are exasperating locals, threatening to drive out poorer residents due to a spike in rental prices and spoil the charm of Spain’s second-largest city.

WARPATH As such, the city hall, led by former anti-eviction activist Ada Colau, has been on the warpath against the US company, fining it 600,000 euros ($640,000) last year for marketing lodgings that lack permits to host tourists. On Tuesday, Airbnb announced that those who have property in the city centre will only be allowed to post


ORE than 155,000 people voted in a party primary, putting an end to months of bitter divisions between Iglesias and his deputy over how to steer one of Europe’s leading radical left parties. Such were their differences that they morphed into party-wide in-fighting, threatening to seriously weaken a party that managed to harness the anger of millions stung by Spain’s economic woes and rise at meteoric speed to national-level politics. Born in 2014 out of the Indignados protest movement that swept Spain during a severe economic crisis, Podemos, an ally of Greece’s Syriza, went on to win millions of votes in two elections to become the country’s third party. “The wind of change continues to blow,” Iglesias shouted Sunday in the Vistalegre concert arena in Madrid to a cheering crowd of thousands, standing on a stage flanked by large purple flags, the colour of Podemos. As the vote results were read out on the second day of a party congress, the crowd shouted “yes we can” and “unity”, applauding and shouting in a deafening roar. More than 89 percent of those who cast their ballot in a week-long, online vote backed Iglesias as secretary general, while 56 percent endorsed his vision for Podemos. They also picked a large majority of the candidates he proposed for the party’s leadership council.

one rental listing on the website. Travellers will automatically have to pay a tourist tax when they book a flat or house, it added.

Airbnb has already introduced such as system in 220 places around the world, allowing it to collect more than 170 million euros in taxes which it then passes on to local authorities, the group said in a statement. The measures will be implemented in May, a spokeswoman for the company confirmed. But Agusti Colom, head of tourism at Barcelona’s city hall, described Airbnb’s measures as a “joke”, calling on the company to respect the law and stop allowing lodgings that lack the necessary permits to be listed on the website. Airbnb has come under mounting criticism in a number of cities around the world, with critics arguing that such services exacerbate local housing shortages, squeeze the long-term rental sector and lack the legal and tax constraints of commercial enterprises. New York, Miami and Berlin are just some of the cities that have cracked down recently.

Spain’s leftist Podemos leader wins battle for party soul Supporters of Spain’s Podemos party have handed Pablo Iglesias (below) a clear victory in a battle for the far-left party’s direction, re-electing him as leader and backing his call to return to the streets as a protest movement.

‘Clarity’ at last Buoyed by promises of radical change for a more egalitarian society, Podemos won 71 seats in parliament in 2016 as part of a wider leftwing coalition. But it soon found itself at a crossroads that divided its pony-tailed chief and his deputy and once close friend Inigo Errejon, creating a rift over how to achieve the goal of replacing the Socialists as the main opposition and eventually taking power. Should Podemos activists and supporters take to the streets again in droves as an antiestablishment group -- as well as work for change from within parliament -- as wanted by Iglesias? Or should it shed an “enfant terrible” image that may be scaring away voters now that it

has become a credible political force, and work purely from within parliament as Errejon proposed? In the end, activists made the final decision.

“It’s good because we now have clarity,” Podemos co-founder and lawmaker Carolina Bescansa said. Claudia Otero, a 21-year-old student, con-

curred. “It seemed to me that the Vistalegre congress was going to be the beginning of the end, like the Titanic sinking, but I think we are going home calmer and more united,” she said.

Time to move on? Iglesias, 38, had been almost assured of being re-elected given he was only up against a low-profile lawmaker, but his list of candidates for the leadership council met with stiff competition. Errejon, who is 33, had presented his own list, as had others. But Iglesias had pledged that if his list was rejected, he would step aside, precipitating another crisis for the party. “Pablo won by threatening to leave,” complained Tristan Duanel, a 30-year-old unemployed Podemos activist, disappointed at the recent display of in-fighting. The new leadership council is composed of a majority of those on Iglesias’s list, even if some of Errejon’s team are also included, including the number two himself. On Sunday, Iglesias hugged each of the new members of the council on stage. He took an extra minute to embrace Errejon, who gave a weak smile. Iglesias and Errejon have pledged that come what may, it will be business as usual for Podemos from Monday, putting divisions firmly behind them. Daniel Montero, a 36-year-old supporter of Iglesias, said he hoped this would be the case. “I think that Inigo Errejon is the most intelligent person in the party,” he said of the bespectacled Podemos deputy. “It would be a shame if he bowed out.”

Issue 29 Feb 16 - Mar 01, 2017


Issue 29 Feb16 - Mar 01, 2017



Spanish court jails ex ruling party officials, businessmen SEVERAL former officials from Spain’s ruling Popular Party (PP) and businessmen close to the grouping have been sentenced from three to 13 years in jail, in what is only part of a wider corruption scandal. The scandal revolves around Francisco Correa, a businessman accused of showering PP lawmakers and civil servants in several places with bribes in exchange for public contracts for his companies or those of his friends. The corruption network is suspected of having embezzled tens of millions of euros in public funds between 1999 and 2005. The case is just one of a series to have hit the PP over the past years, damaging its reputation to such an extent that it lost its absolute majority in recent elections, even if it remains in power as a minority government. This particular sentence focuses on 11 people in the eastern region of Valencia and contracts linked to Fitur, Spain’s largest tourism fair -- the trial of which took place between March 2015 and March 2016. It is only one section of the wider scandal surrounding Correa, who is also on trial in Madrid along with 36 other defendants in a similar case that also involves two former PP treasurers. In a statement, the High Court of Valencia said Correa had been sentenced to 13 years in jail for influence peddling and bribery, among other charges. Milagrosa Martinez, the former head of tourism in Valencia, was given a nine-year prison sentence.

EX-CHIEF OF SPAIN’S CENTRAL BANK CHARGED OVER BANKING SCANDAL The former head of Spain’s central bank has been charged for allowing the troubled Bankia bank to list on the stock exchange in 2011, despite alleged “repeated warnings... that the group was unviable.” Miguel Angel Fernandez Ordonez, in charge of the central bank from 2006 to 2012, was charged over a failed listing that saw small investors lose millions of euros in investment, as was the former president of Spain’s CNMV market regulator Julio Segura, a court order revealed. Bankia was bailed out in May 2012 less than a year after its listing, and is accused of misrepresenting its accounts ahead of the flotation. Rodrigo Rato, a former economy minister and ex-International Monetary Fund chief who headed up Bankia at the time of its listing, has also been charged over the scandal. Spain’s top-level National Court said it had ordered the investigating magistrate to charge Fernandez Ordonez, Segura and six other central bank and CNMV officials at the time -- an order it insisted was final and could not be appealed. But it is as yet unclear exactly what the charges are. The National Court validated conclusions made by prosecutors who concluded that when “an unviable entity has been listed on the stock market, its administrators or auditor should not shoulder all the responsibility.”

They added that “the participation of other players, such as officials in the central bank” should also be looked into. - ‘Serious inaccuracies’ The investigating magistrate had initially decided not to charge Fernandez Ordonez and Segura, but Spain’s CIC union appealed the decision, leading to Monday’s ruling by the National Court. In its court order, it laid out allegations by the plaintiffs who claim that an investigating team at Spain’s central bank had warned repeatedly “that the group was unviable and that... the listing should not be approved.” Bankia was created in 2010 at the height of Spain’s severe economic crisis from the merger of seven troubled regional savings banks. Spain’s Supreme Court said last year that “serious inaccuracies” in the information provided by Bankia for the listing led investors into error -- opening the way for hundreds of millions of euros in compensation. Accordingly, the state-rescued lender has had to pay out millions of euros in compensation to small investors. Rato is also on trial in a separate case related to his time at Bankia, for allegedly misusing funds when he was head of the group.

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Issue 29 Feb 16 - Mar 01, 2017




OURGETTE prices are soaring, but shoppers are also thinking twice before shelling out for pricier tomatoes, peppers and aubergines. Some British supermarkets have even resorted to rationing sales of broccoli and lettuce in light of plummeting harvests. The vast fields along Spain’s Mediterranean coast usually stay warm enough to produce year-round, even in winter. But torrential rains hit the region late December, followed by shock snowfalls in January -- areas near Murcia, in the heart of the farming zones, had not seen a snowflake in 34 years. For most of the year, Spain supplies around 30 percent of the main fresh fruits and vegetables on European shelves. In winter, this proportion rises to half -- and to a whopping 80 percent when it comes to lettuce. After the bad weather hit, a Spanish federation of agricultural exporters reported a 30-percent drop in European shipments. The COAG farmers’ union says output has halved in the worst-hit regions. Some farmers “have lost their entire crop”, said Andres Gongora, COAG’S Almeria director. The province of Murcia, which exports twothirds of Spanish lettuce, a trade worth 423 million euros ($450 million), has been particularly hit. Young lettuces, growing in open fields after sprouting from seeds in greenhouses, were destroyed. After the foul weather receded, a thick coat of thawed mud held up replanting in many places. “We won’t be able to plant here this year,” said Javier Soto, manager of spinach and melon growers Agrar Systems near the town of Murcian town of Torre Pacheo, pointing to a field gouged out by a muddy torrent. Adding to the veggie crunch has been heavy snowfall in northern Italy, another major supplier to Europe. Thousands of growers there have lost their crops, with expected losses of to around 400 million euros, according to Italy’s main farmers’ union.

EUROPE FEELS PINCH AS SPAIN’S VEGETABLE FIELDS SUFFER Vegetable lovers across Europe have been making hard choices this winter after storms battered fields in southeast Spain, the continent’s main fruit and vegetable patch.

Luxury lettuce The double whammy is now being felt in European stores. Lettuce prices have doubled in Germany, and even tripled in Finland. In France, courgettes fetched four to five times their normal price in mid-January. Spanish supplies of iceberg, romaine and other types of lettuce had already been hit

by a dry autumn, and artichoke harvests had fallen by a fourth. Many shoppers have vented their anger on social media, using hashtags like #lettucecri-

sis and #courgettecrisis. Laureano Montesinos, a marketing director at Fruveg, a producer near Murcia, said British supermarket chains had not immediately

grasped how dire the situation was. In Germany and northern Europe, produce stalls are not as packed as usual, but stores have managed to avoid drastic measures. “We’ve had some supply problems with iceberg lettuce these past weeks. But until now, we’ve been able to offer enough for our clients”, said Kirsten Gess, communications director for the Aldi-Sud discount chain. Spain’s agriculture minister expects production to recover in a few weeks, with producers aiming to be back on track by early March. But for lettuce grown in open fields, the wait could extend into April. For Alan Clarke, a strategist at Scotiabank in London, the price increases could spill over into processed food products, such as veggie burgers and other ready-to-eat meals. “More generally, restaurant prices face upside risks, especially because spring/summer menus are due for imminent update”, he added. So even though higher produce prices may prove short-lived once Spain’s harvests recover, diners may be paying the bill for months.

Issue 29 Feb16 - Mar 01, 2017





DEADLY bacteria that infected thousands of olive trees in Italy has been detected in Spain’s Balearic Islands where authorities are racing to contain it, a regional government official has confirmed. Mateu Ginard, head of the regional government’s agriculture department, has advised that authorities had decided to declare the entire archipelago a zone affected by Xylella fastidiosa after olive, cherry, almond trees and other plants were found to be contaminated.

BANNED “The number of positive results we have is very high,” he said, adding exports of live plants had been banned in order to contain any possible spread of the bacteria to the mainland. Xylella fastidiosa, which emerged in 2013 in southern Italy and has also been detected in France, had until recently not been reported in Spain, the world’s top producer of olive oil. The bacteria was first detected in October last year during a routine check in a garden centre in the island of Majorca, in a cherry tree. Further checks found more cherry trees affected, and authorities decided to implement a so-called eradication protocol, destroying all plants affected as well as those in a 100-metre radius that could potentially be infected. Altogether, more than 1,900 were destroyed. But Ginard said further tests done in Majorca as well as Ibiza, another island in the archipelago, came back positive, indicating the bacteria was more widespread than initially believed. So far, authorities in the archipelago have detected two strains of the bacteria that are different to the more virulent version that contaminated an estimated one million olive trees in Italy. But Ginard said the strain that had infected olive trees in the Balearic Islands had yet to be determined. All were detected in plants in the wild “outside cultivations,” he said, and so far farmers have been spared any contamination. Ginard said that authorities had decided to destroy each and every plant contaminated by the bacteria, which causes some specimens to become stunted, leafless and ultimately lifeless. But for now, they will forego the eradication protocol as this would imply wiping out all the specimens around the diseased plant, which would be a “disaster” for the archipelago’s environment, he added.

Spain buses lose competition case against ride-sharing BlaBlaCar is not guilty of “unfair competition” as alleged by Spanish bus companies, a court ruled, in a first legal victory for the ridesharing firm which has run into problems in the country.


HE Spanish Confederation for Bus Transport (Confebus) had brought the case against the Frenchfounded company, which expanded to Spain in 2010 at the height of the economic crisis and has become hugely popular. It argued that BlaBlaCar was in effect providing the services of a transport company and that this was unfair competition as ride-sharing -- coupled with rail travel -- had contributed to a drop in the number of people travelling by coach. BlaBlaCar, though, insists it is not a transport firm but a social network that brings drivers and passengers together to share the costs of a trip, from which the firm takes a fee just like Airbnb does on each flat or house reservation. In a ruling last week, a Madrid court said it had not found evidence of any unfair competition. It argued that the drivers on the BlaBlaCar platform are not employed by the company, nor do they belong to another firm seeking to make a profit. “They are individuals who offer their services on the platform of their own accord and at their own risk, looking for people who

are interested in going on the same trip and paying,” it said. It concluded that these passengers were not paying any form of levy or service, but were merely paying for the cost of the trip. The court acknowledged that some people on the platform may try and make a profit out of offering trips, but added these cases appeared to be “exceptional” and were not what BlaBlaCar aimed to do. While Confebus can appeal the decision, this is nevertheless the first legal victory for the ride-sharing firm in Spain, where it has also been targeted by authorities in Madrid. The regional government there has threatened to fine BlaBlaCar and two drivers for “transporting passengers without a licence,” a first for the firm. It claims that the two drivers overcharged ride sharers by asking for more than just a proportional share of petrol and road tolls, while BlaBlaCar says both deny the charges. The group, which is now present in 22 countries and boasts more than 30 million users, has reported the case to the European Commission.

PROSECUTOR RECOMMENDS JAIL FOR FRENCH DEFENDER SPAIN’S public prosecutors have asked for a sevenmonth prison sentence to be handed down to Atletico Madrid’s French defender Lucas Hernandez. Hernandez, 20, was arrested after his girlfriend was taken to hospital with minor injuries following an altercation between the pair. Neither party made a complaint against the other but the public prosecutor has asked for both to be sentenced, with Hernandez’s partner facing a six month sanction. Even if convicted, neither will likely spend any time be-

hind bars as sentences under two years are normally suspended for first-time offenders in Spain. “The public prosecutor accuses the Atletico Madrid defender of having committed a presumed act of domestic violence and causing light injuries,” said Madrid’s High Court in a statement. Pending their trial, the two have been banned from being within 500 metres of each other. Hernandez and his younger brother Theo, 19 and on loan from Atletico to Alaves, are both French youth internationals.

Issue 29 Feb 16 - Mar 01, 2017



Spanish dock workers stage strikes A LONG-RUNNING dispute between the government  and the country’s dock workers has resulted in a planned threeday strike next week. Spain’s trade unions plane to go on strike on Feb. 20, 22 and 24 across dozens of Spanish ports. The strike is in response to the governments planned reforms to the Spanish Port System the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) informed and could result in more than 6,000 dock-workers losing their jobs and was called after the Spanish government announced plans to reform the sector that were unpopular with the unions. The overhaul would allow companies to hire their own personnel instead of unionized staff, who earn 70,000 euros per year on averPort of Cadiz


age according to a PriceWaterhouseCooper study. The reform is necessary to bring Spanish regulations into line with the rest of Europe as Spain has had to pay about 27,000 euros a day in fines since 2014 due to its failure to reform the system in accordance with European Union requirements, a government source said.

QUADRUPLE The fines could more than quadruple if the reforms are not implemented quickly as the EU punishes Spain for delays, the source said. However, unions say the planned reform rips up the rules that govern Spanish ports and protect workers. “The Spanish government is tearing up the rule book with a callous disregard for Spanish jobs, Spanish prestige and international conventions. Their plans are beyond belief,” a docker representative at the International Transport Workers’ Federation, Paddy Crumlin, said in a statement. Spain’s export sector is worth more than 330 billion euros ($352 billion) a year, or about a third of economic output. Some two thirds of those exports pass through the country’s ports. The strike will be especially painful for the automobile industry, given that Spain is the second largest car manufacturer in Europe. More than 80 percent of the approximately 7,800 vehicles produced every day are sent abroad

POLICE in Spain have arrested a gang that has been converting old Toyotas into fake Ferraris and Lamborghinis before selling them on to unsuspecting buyers on the internet. Spanish National Police have detained three people for operating a workshop in the town of Sils, near Girona for modifying up to at least 14 vehicles. Upon entering the workshop police found badges, stickers and body kits designed to transform the vehicles into replicas of the Ferrari F430 and various cars in stages of transformation, including four Ferraris that were already prepped for sale. Police managed to track down the warehouse after one of the replica vehicles was placed for sale in Benidorm for 40,000 Euro ($42,290 USD).

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Issue 29 Feb16 - Mar 01, 2017



Catalonia’s former separatist leader Mas warns of backlash On trial for holding a symbolic independence vote, Catalonia’s former leader Artur Mas warned Madrid against implementing drastic measures to stop another such referendum -- binding this time -- from taking place as planned by his successor.


N an interview this week, Mas said any attempt to take away powers from Catalonia to stop such a vote from taking place would likely create a “strong” backlash in a region led by a government backed by a majority-separatist parliament. But he also sought to ease fears about secessionist plans in the north-eastern region at a time of global jitters.

-- although just 2.3 million people out of a total of 6.3 million eligible voters took part. “These 2.3 million people who went to vote exceeded all forecasts, irritating the Spanish government which was accused of being soft and sparking an over-reaction,” he said. “Essential and basic democratic rights such as citizen participation and the right to freedom of expression are being violated.”



Mas, a 61-year-old former economist, said he thought the trial was merely taking place because of the “big success” of the symbolic, non-binding referendum held in November 2014 when he was still president of Catalonia. He and two former members of his government are accused of severe civil disobedience and misconduct for holding the vote after it was banned by Spain’s Constitutional Court, which had declared it illegal. More than 80 percent of those who cast their ballot in the vote did so for independence

Mas, Catalan president from 2010 to 2016, has now been replaced by Carles Puigdemont, the former mayor of Girona. Resolutely pro-independence, he has pledged to hold a referendum in September -- a binding one this time, with or without Madrid’s consent. But how exactly it will go ahead is unclear, as the central government has vowed never to allow an act that would risk the unity of Spain. Last week, reports emerged that Madrid was considering drastic measures to stop a

vote, such as closing schools where polling booths could be set up or taking control of the police, which is normally managed by regional authorities. The government neither confirmed nor publicly denied the reports. “Those who are considering interfering in Catalan autonomy should think twice, as they don’t know what the Catalan reaction will be,” Mas said. “Depending on how aggressive (the interference) will be, the reaction of Catalan society could also be very strong. It will be democratic and peaceful, but it will be very strong.”

GLOBAL JITTERS Mas acknowledged that there was currently a lot of “commotion” in the world at a time when the region’s pro-independence government is trying to take steps towards splitting from Spain. The rise of far-right parties in Europe, Britain’s shock decision to exit the European

SPAIN’S FCC QUADRUPLES LOSSES IN GOVERNMENT-LESS 2016 CONSTRUCTION giant FCC has confirmed its losses almost quadrupled in 2016 due to a lack of public procurement in Spain, which went 10 months without a government. FCC said in a statement that it booked a net loss of 165 million euros ($177 million) last year, compared with a loss of 46 million euros ($49 million) a year earlier. The group -- majority-owned by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim -- said revenues declined by eight percent to 5.9 billion euros, impacted by the “continued fall in demand in Spain’s construction sector due to the persistent contraction in investment demand in public works.”

Spain was left without a fully-functioning government for 10 months last year as rival parties were unable to come to any coalition deal following two inconclusive elections.

FROZEN During that time, and until conservative Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy took power again at the end of October at the head of a minority government, public procurement was all-but frozen. As such, FCC’s cement division registered a loss of close to 178 million euros and its construction branch saw a loss of around 66 million euros. By contrast, its waste management and

water treatment divisions recorded profits of 88 million and 76 million euros respectively. The group’s order book, meanwhile, contracted by nearly six percent. FCC suffered hugely during Spain’s economic crisis, sparked when a property bubble burst in 2008. But it was able to reduce its debt considerably in 2016, down 34 percent to 3.6 billion euros. The group employs 55,000 people in 25 countries. It turned to international markets during the Spanish crisis, which saw the construction sector paralysed, and now makes nearly half of its turnover abroad.

Union, or Donald Trump’s election to the US presidency, pledging more protectionism, have sent jitters round the world, with people fearful of more instability. But Mas sought to allay fears over Catalonia’s intentions. “We’re in favour of the European project, the European Union, the euro, of welcoming refugees,” he said.

STREET POWER Mas said that Catalonia’s pro-independence authorities may be up against the state and its institutions, but still have the power to call people onto the streets. Millions have protested over the past years to demand greater autonomy and outright independence, and some 40,000 people showed up at the start of Mas’s trial in Barcelona on Monday. “Europe and the world must understand that this is not a movement organised by Catalan politicians, it’s a movement channelled by some Catalan politicians but rooted in the people.” Still, the Catalans are very divided over the issue -- 44.9 percent want independence while 45.1 percent don’t, according to a recent poll conducted by a Catalan public institute. A large majority, however, wants a referendum to have their say, once and for all, the survey said.

Issue 29 Feb 16 - Mar 01, 2017




Avda del Sol, (Waterfront Hotel Sunset Beach, Benalmádena) C / de la Cruz 75 (Torremolinos) Avda de las Palmeras, 61 (Estepona) C / Josefina Samper, 2 (Estepona) Shopping Center Pier 1 (Málaga) TM Burger King Corporation. © 2015 Burger King Europe GmbH. All rights reserved.

Issue 29 Feb16 - Mar 01, 2017





Issue 29 Feb 16 - Mar 01, 2017



Le Pen echoes Trump with ‘France first’ pledge W

ITH polls showing her now leading the first round of the election race, the head of the National Front (FN) attacked “mass immigration”, globalisation and “Islamic fundamentalism” and said she wanted a country “which owes nothing to anyone”. In a speech in the central city of Lyon less than three months before voting begins, Le Pen praised Britain for choosing to leave the European Union and urged the French to emulate Trump voters “who put their own national interests first”. She compared globalisation to slavery, saying it meant “manufacturing with slaves to sell to the unemployed”. The FN “will be all about the local, not the global,” the 48-year-old said to cheers from a crowd of around 3,000 people. “The impossible is becoming possible,” she said, “just as it’s possible for presidents like Donald Trump to not only be elected in the face of a system ranged against them, but also that they keep their promises.”

Far-right leader Marine Le Pen has vowed she would be a president who puts France first as she formally launched a campaign echoing many of the themes that propelled Donald Trump to the White House. THE PEOPLE’S CANDIDATE Opinion polls have shown for months that Le Pen will win enough votes in the first round on April 23 to reach the runoff, but they currently show she will be defeated in the second round on May 7. With former investment banker Emmanuel Macron appearing increasingly likely to be her ultimate opponent, Le Pen told supporters that “faced with the cash-rich rightwing and the cash-rich leftwing, only I am the candidate of the people”. She was also referring to the previous frontrunner, conserva-

Berlin to fit suspected jihadists with ankle bracelets GERMANY’S government on Wednesday approved the use of ankle bracelets to monitor extremists considered potentially dangerous as it moves to get tough on suspected jihadists after the Berlin truck attack. The proposed measure would allow the federal criminal police to electronically track the movements of a person deemed a security threat, even before they have been convicted of a crime.

SURVEILLANCE “Ankle bracelets are not a panacea but they are an important instrument to facilitate the surveillance of dangerous people,” Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said after the cabinet agreed to a change in the law to allow the measure. The proposal still has to be approved by parliament. It comes as part of a series of security reforms announced in response to the December 19 attack in which Tunisian national Anis Amri plough a truck into a crowded Christmas market in Berlin, killing 12 people. The attack was claimed by the extremist Islamic State group,

with Amri shot dead by Italian police in Milan several days later. Public anger quickly erupted after it emerged that Amri was already on the radar of intelligence services and was known to have links to Islamist radicals. As a failed asylum seeker, he should have been deported months before the attack but Tunisia failed to send the necessary paperwork in time. The German government has since vowed to speed up deportations and mooted plans to place rejected asylum seekers who are considered a threat in detention ahead of their expulsion. German security services have a list of more than 550 Islamists considered “threats to public security” who have lived or currently reside in Germany. Interior ministry spokesman Johannes Dimroth declined to speculate how many suspects might now face electronic monitoring. “How many of them could in the future be affected by such a measure is a purely hypothetical question,” he told reporters in Berlin.

tive candidate Francois Fillon, who is embroiled in revelations his wife drew hundreds of thousands of euros in salary as his parliamentary assistant but never actually worked. An incident at the Louvre museum in Paris on Friday, where a man wielding two machetes and shouting “Allah Akbar” (God is greatest) was shot after attacking a group of soldiers, has shifted the focus onto Le Pen’s preferred subjects of security, Islam and immigration. “We will not expect the French people to get used to living with terrorism,” she said, promising a massive increase in spending on law and order. Speaking in the city where she once compared the sight of Muslims praying in the street to the Nazi occupation, Le Pen said: “We do not want to live under the tyranny of fundamentalism.” She promised a “zero tolerance” approach to crime with the recruitment of 15,000 extra police, focusing attention on the troubled suburbs of French cities. Foreigners who commit crimes will be drummed out of France, she said. Turning to the EU, she said she wanted to “release France from the tyranny” of Brussels. If the bloc refused to accept large-scale reforms, she pledged to call a referendum on membership within six months of taking office. In the crowd, 21-year-old student Gregoire Laloux was delighted. “I am attracted by what she says about patriotism, her definition of French identity and culture and her wish to put France back among the big international players,” he said. Michel Ducreux, 54, a farmer, also liked Le Pen’s nationalist stance “and her policies for creating jobs for those who have the least”.

PEOPLE ARE WAKING UP But there were empty seats in the hall, in contrast to the packed venue in the same city on Saturday where 39-yearold Macron addressed 8,000 supporters with thousands more watching on a giant screen outside. The FN’s influential deputy leader Florian Philippot insisted that the momentum was with Le Pen and not the fast-rising Macron. “People are waking up. They see Brexit, they see Trump and they’re saying to themselves: ‘It’s worth going to vote’,” he said before her speech. A former economy minister under unpopular Socialist President Francois Hollande, Macron is also running as a candidate outside the political establishment and has founded his own movement, En Marche (On The Move). Macron said Le Pen “did not speak in the name of the people” and he took aim at nepotism in the FN, which was founded by her father, anti-Semitic former paratrooper Jean-Marie Le Pen.

Issue 29 Feb16 - Mar 01, 2017



What is #Penelopegate and will it upend France’s election? of his five-year term as prime minister. The Canard Enchaine reported that the consultancy had paid Fillon an after-tax salary of 757,000 euros since 2012. Opponents are demanding he reveal the source of the money.

HERE is the furore explained in six key questions:

Who is Francois Fillon? He was prime minister from 2007-2012 under rightwing president Nicolas Sarkozy, the high-point of a nearly 40-year career in politics. He emerged as the surprise presidential nominee for the Republicans party in November, promising to slash public spending, cut bureaucracy and adopt family-friendly policies. Since his victory in the primary, polls had consistently shown him as the most likely winner of the two-round election in April and May.

Francois Fillon, the rightwing Republicans party candidate for the French presidential election, is ensnared in a corruption scandal that has been dubbed “Penelopegate”.

What does Fillon say? In media interviews and in a defiant speech at the weekend flanked by his stony-faced wife, he accused his opponents of using Penelope to attack him. He has called the revelations a “plot,” “mudslinging” and an “institutional coup” but has yet to present evidence publicly of his wife’s work. He is cooperating with fraud investigators who interviewed him and Penelope for five hours on Monday. On Tuesday, the investigators seized documents from Fillon’s parliamentary office.

What is he accused of doing? On January 25, the Canard Enchaine weekly, which mixes satire and investigative reporting, broke the news that Fillon had employed his Welsh-born wife Penelope as a parliamentary aide. Citing pay slips, it said she was employed from 1998 to 2007 either directly by Fillon, or by the man who stood in for him in parliament during Fillon’s time in government. Penelope was also paid around 5,000 euros ($5,370) a month between May 2012 and December 2013 by the magazine Revue des Deux Mondes, owned by a friend of Fillon, the newspaper said. The Canard initially estimated Penelope’s pre-tax income at around 500,000 euros, but in this week’s edition said the family’s overall pre-tax income from the contracts was around 1.0 million euros. Fillon also paid his two children Marie and Charles 84,000 euros as parliamentary assistants from 2005-2007, the paper said.

Is this illegal? Employing a family member as a parliamen-

How might this affect the election?

tary aide is a widespread practice in France and not illegal, unlike in Germany or at the European parliament. Fillon admits to paying his wife and children. But there are suspicions that Penelope did no work for her parliamentary salary, which reached over 10,000 euros pre-tax a month in 2007, and that she contributed very little to the literary review. An investigation was launched last week into the possible misuse of public money, a criminal offence. Penelope had neither a parliamentary security pass nor a work email account. Moreover, she has been a low-key political wife known to prefer life at the couple’s country chateau with their five children and horses

than among the Parisian chattering classes. “Up until now, I was never involved in my husband’s political life,” she said last year. What she meant to say, Fillon claimed last week, was that she never played a frontline role.

Is that all? No. Investigative website Mediapart and newspaper Journal du Dimanche reported that the 62-year-old candidate pocketed 25,000 euros in funds earmarked for parliamentary aides between 2005 and 2007. During that time he was a member of the upper house, or Senate. There is also renewed public interest in a consulting firm he set up in 2012 at the end

Fillon’s approval ratings have fallen sharply and a new survey published on Wednesday suggested for the first time he would crash out in April’s first round. In this scenario, the main beneficiary would be 39-year-old centrist Emmanuel Macron who would overtake Fillon to go through to the run-off against far-right leader Marine Le Pen. Le Pen might benefit too, but her party is embroiled in its own expenses scandal at the European parliament. Much will depend on the investigation into Fillon, which he said Wednesday would be completed in the next two weeks. If he were to withdraw -- a prospect being discussed among senior Republicans -- the party would have to nominate a new candidate. This process is still unknown and could lead to either a new primary, a vote by party members, or a nomination by the senior leadership.

Assange urges UK & Sweden to ‘restore his liberty’ WIKILEAKS founder Julian Assange made a renewed plea for Sweden and Britain to respect a United Nations panel ruling that said he was being arbitrarily detained. “I call on UK and Sweden to do the right thing and restore my liberty,” Assange said in a statement, issued on the one-year anniversary of the ruling. The 45-year-old founder of the secret-spilling website has been at the Ecuadoran embassy in London since 2012, having taken refuge to avoid being sent to Sweden where he faces a rape allegation that he denies. He fears Sweden would extradite him to the United States over his website’s leaking of diplomatic cables and other classified documents.

Assange said Britain and Sweden were in breach of their international obligations under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In February 2016, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention found Assange was being “arbitrarily detained” by Britain and Sweden, a decision it reaffirmed in December following an appeal by the British government. “Julian Assange is not, and has never been, arbitrarily detained in the UK,” Britain’s junior foreign minister Alan Duncan said in a statement at the time. Last month, Assange said he was willing to travel to the US to face investigation after one of WikiLeaks’ main sources, Chelsea Manning, was given clemency by then president Barack Obama. But he said he would only do so if his rights were “guaranteed”.

Issue 29 Feb 16 - Mar 01, 2017


Issue 29 Feb16 - Mar 01, 2017



Trump to meet NATO leaders in May

Amnesty accuses Syria of mass hangings in infamous jail

T DONALD Trump will meet fellow NATO leaders in May, the White House has confirmed after the president’s call with the alliance’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. Trump expressed “strong support for NATO” but called on European members to pitch in more, the White House said in a statement, adding that Trump “agreed to join in a meeting of NATO leaders in Europe in late May.” “The parties agreed to continue close coordination and cooperation to address the full range of security challenges facing NATO,” the White House statement said. The United States provides significant funding to NATO, and Trump has previously urged other member nations to step up their contributions. “The leaders discussed how to encourage all NATO allies to meet their defence spending commitments,” Sunday’s statement added. European leaders are concerned about Trump’s virulent criticism of NATO -- he has dubbed the transatlantic military alliance “obsolete” -- at a time when it stands as the main defence against Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. According to the White House statement the parties also discussed “the potential for a peaceful resolution of the conflict along the Ukrainian border.” Kiev and the West have accused Russia of supporting eastern Ukrainian rebels and deploying troops across the border, claims that Moscow refutes. Trump’s friendly stance toward Putin has been under scrutiny since he won the US election in November. Trump took office with US-Russian ties at new lows amid accusations by American intelligence agencies that the Kremlin hacked Democratic Party emails as part of a pro-Trump campaign to influence the election.

HE damning report, titled “Human Slaughterhouse: Mass hanging and extermination at Saydnaya prison” near Damascus, goes into excruciating detail about the gruesome ritual of mass hangings between 2011 and 2015. At least once a week, up to 50 prisoners were taken out of their cells for arbitrary trials, beaten, then hanged “in the middle of the night and in total secrecy”, the report said. “Throughout this process, they remain blindfolded. They do not know when or how they will die until the noose was placed around their necks.” Most of the victims were civilians believed to be opposed to the government of President Bashar al-Assad. “They kept them (hanging) there for 10 to 15 minutes,” a former judge who witnessed the executions said. “For the young ones, their weight wouldn’t kill them. The officers’ assistants would pull them down and break their necks.” Amnesty said the mass executions amounted to war crimes and crimes against humanity, but were likely still taking place. Hamid, a former army officer who was jailed in 2012, told Amnesty he was simultaneously horrified and relieved when he saw prisoners being taken to be hanged. “I felt happy that their suffering would come to an end.” In comments published Tuesday, Assad insisted that “defending” his country in a time of war was more important than a potential case against his government at the highest UN court in The Hague. “We have to defend our country by every mean, and when we have to defend it by every mean, we don’t care about this court, or any other international institution,” he said.

ALL YOU SEE IS BLOOD Amnesty’s report comes just weeks before a new round of talks is due to take place in Switzerland aimed at putting an end to nearly six years of civil war. “The upcoming Syria peace talks in Geneva cannot ignore these findings. Ending these atrocities in Syrian government prisons must be put on the agenda,” said Lynn Maalouf, deputy director for research at Amnesty’s Beirut office. Thousands of prisoners are held at the military-run Saydnaya prison, 30 kilometres (18 miles) north of Damascus, one of Syria’s largest detention centres. Amnesty accused Syria’s government of car-

Amnesty International have accused Syria’s government of hanging up to 13,000 people at a notorious prison over five years in a “policy of extermination”, weeks before planned peace talks.

rying out a “policy of extermination” there by repeatedly torturing detainees and withholding food, water and medical care. “All you see is blood: your own blood, the blood of others,” Salam, a lawyer from Aleppo who was held in Saydnaya from 2012 to 2014, was quoted as saying. Prisoners were raped or forced to rape each other, and guards would feed detainees by tossing food onto cell floors, which were often covered in dirt and blood, Amnesty said. A twisted set of “special rules” governed the facility: detainees were not allowed to speak and were forced to assume certain positions when guards entered their cells. “Every day there would be two or three dead people in our wing... I remember the guard would ask how many we had. He would say, ‘Room number one -– how many? Room number two –- how many?’ and on and on,” said Nader, a former detainee whose name was changed in the Amnesty report. After one fierce day of beating, 13 people died in a single wing of the prison, he said. - ‘Hidden, monstrous campaign’ “If you put your ears on the floor, you could hear the sound of a kind of gurgling,” said Hamid, the military officer. “We were sleeping on top of the sound of people choking to death. This was normal

for me then,” he told Amnesty. The watchdog has previously said that more than 17,700 people were estimated to have died in government custody in Syria since the conflict erupted in March 2011. That figure did not include the up to 13,000 people executed in Saydnaya.

TORTURE “The horrors depicted in this report reveal a hidden, monstrous campaign, authorised at the highest levels of the Syrian government, aimed at crushing any form of dissent within the Syrian population,” said Maalouf. “The cold-blooded killing of thousands of defenceless prisoners, along with the carefully crafted and systematic programmes of psychological and physical torture that are in place inside Saydnaya prison cannot be allowed to continue,” she said. Amnesty said it gave the names of 87 prison officials and guards responsible for the atrocities to unspecified “bodies capable of conducting credible investigations” into the killings. A UN investigation last year accused Assad’s government of carrying out a policy of “extermination” in its jails. More than 310,000 people have been killed in Syria since the civil war began.

Issue 29 Feb 16 - Mar 01, 2017



Russia detains nine ‘hackers’ over $17 million bank thefts RUSSIA has detained nine people alleged to be part of a cybercrime ring accused of stealing some $17 million dollars from bank accounts, the interior ministry announced. The detentions followed a nationwide manhunt. The FSB security agency launched a major operation last year against the alleged 50-strong “hacker group” that pilfered more than one billion rubles ($16.8 million, 15.8 million euros) since 2013, the statement said. “Nine individuals suspected of participating in hacking attacks were detained on January 25,” ministry spokeswoman Irina Volk said. One was placed under arrest.

A total of 27 members and organisers are being investigated, with 19 of them now under arrest in pre-trial jail, the ministry said.

LEGENDARY Unnamed security sources on Wednesday told Russian agencies that the latest arrests are connected to a case against legendary hacking collective Lurk that was targeted by law enforcement agencies in a sweep last year. According to cybersecurity giant Kaspersky, the group was reportedly suspected of stealing some three billion rubles from commercial organisations

Denmark seeks harsher punishment for ‘revenge porn’ Denmark has presented plans to curb “revenge porn”, the sharing of nude pictures or videos of people online without their consent, including raising the penalty from six months to two years in prison. “Nude photos of ex-lovers are being shared online to a shocking extent,” Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen said on his Facebook account. “The victims get scars on their souls which they have to bear for the rest of their lives,” he added. The posting of nude or explicit pictures without that person’s consent is dubbed “revenge porn”. In Denmark, 17 percent of men and 13 percent of women aged 15-25 have had nude photos of themselves shared or published

online, according to government figures. However, there’s no data on how many of those have been published without their consent. The Danish government’s proposals -- presented by the ministers for justice, gender equality and education -- also include informing victims of what to expect when they report their case to the police. Traffickers earning money by selling naked images or exchanging them in chat rooms will also face harsher penalties. The government also said it would launch a study on youth’s perception of gender, body, sexuality and digital behaviour, as well as an education and awareness programme in schools.

that included banks. Russian hackers are in the spotlight over their alleged involvement in cyberattacks targeting the US presidential election campaign but experts say the vast majority of cybercrime in the country is financial. The FSB itself is also currently caught up in another murky scandal that has seen at least two of its top Currencies or make a payment to another cybersecurity experts arrested for treason linked to Direct also has a be over £150), they’ll set up beneficiary. Many customers unique agreement with Caixa Direct Debit for you. It can use online transfer systems like aBank in Spain, so they’re able the United States, a lawyer be weekly, monthly, quarter- involved in the case has this for smaller transactions to open a free CaixaBank acly or yearly. Leaving you free but prefer to speak directly to count exclusively for all their to sit back and enjoy the view said. a person when making larger customers, which allows them transfers. With Currencies Di- to have immediate transfers That treason case has also seen arrest of from Ruslan rect it’s the up to you. Spain to UK with no transfer fees. This can save you Today’s rates look good, Repatriating funds Stoyanov -- the head of Kaspersky’s cybersecurity unit thousands! but you don’t need to transfer Let’s face it. We know Spain your money for – say – three is fantastic - there’s a reason Peace of mind that probed Lurk. months? No problem. A Forwhy you invested and moved When looking for an exbe over £150), they’ll set up a Direct Debit for you. It can be weekly, monthly, quarter ly or yearly. Leaving you free to sit back and enjoy the view

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Issue 29 Feb16 - Mar 01, 2017

Issue 29 Feb 16 - Mar 01, 2017



The world’s longest-reigning monarchs Queen Elizabeth II, now aged 90, has clocked up 65 years on the British throne as she celebrates her Sapphire Jubilee. Here is a list of the world’s longest-reigning national monarchs:

BRITAIN: Queen Elizabeth II, born on April 21, 1926, inherited the throne on February 6, 1952 following the demise of her father, king George VI. She became the world’s longest-reigning monarch upon the death of Thai king Bhumibol Adulyadej in October 2016. Her 65-year record also applies to Australia, Canada and New Zealand and she is queen of 12 other Commonwealth countries.

BRUNEI: Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, 70, is one of the richest people on the planet. Bolkiah has reigned for 49 years over the small enclave on the north coast of Borneo since his father abdicated on October 4, 1967. He has 12 children from three wives.

OMAN: Sultan Qaboos, 76, took the throne 46 years ago on July 23, 1970 after ousting his father for allegedly being too conservative. The absolute monarch has set about reforming the small sultanate, which with Iran controls the strategic Strait of Hormuz, but his health is failing and he has no publicly-designated heir. Since 2014, he has been hospitalised several times in Germany.

DENMARK: Queen Margrethe II, 76, became head of Europe’s oldest kingdom 45 years ago on January 14, 1972 following the death of her father, king Frederik IX. A chain smoker and an accomplished painter, she has two sons and eight grandchildren.

Next on the list are King Mswati III of Swaziland (30 years), Emperor Akihito of Japan (28 years), Prince Hans-Adam II of Liechtenstein (27 years), King Harald V of Norway (26 years) and King Letsie III of Lesotho (20 years).

STOLEN VAN GOGHS GO ON SHOW IN NAPLES TWO Van Gogh masterpieces stolen in Amsterdam in 2002 and recovered last year in Italy are being shown in Naples until February 26. The brief exhibition at the Capodimonte museum has been organised as a thank you to the southern city for the local police’s role in tracking down the two small but hugely valuable and historically significant oil paintings. The works had gone unheard of from the time they were stolen in a daring raid on the Van Gogh Museum until they turned up last year at the house of a notorious mafia boss. The 1882 “Seascape at Scheveningen” and the 1884/5 “Congregation leaving the Reformed Church at Nuenen” were among the Dutch master’s first oil paintings and, as such, are of enormous interest to art historians. How exactly the paintings ended up in Italy remains a mystery. They were found in September during a raid on a property belonging to fugitive mobster Raffaele Imperiale, at Castellammare di Stabia, southeast of Naples.

SWEDEN: King Carl XVI Gustaf, 70, has been on the throne for 43 years, having succeeded his grandfather, Gustaf VI Adolf, on September 15, 1973. He is known internationally for presenting the Nobel Prizes. He and Queen Margrethe are first cousins.

The area is a notorious hotspot for the nefarious activities of the Neapolitan mafia, the Camorra. The paintings were stolen in December 2002 with the thieves using a rope to get in and out of the heavily fortified building after getting on to the roof by ladder. Giorgio Toschi, a general with Italy’s financial and customs police, said the theft had ranked on the FBI’s top ten of art crimes. “More than ever we are seeing art works being used by criminals either as safe haven investments or as a way of making payments or guaranteeing deals between organised criminal groups,” he said at the unveiling of the two paintings.

Qatar Airways launches world’s longest flight

QATAR Airways has launched the world’s longest scheduled commercial service with a flight from Doha to Auckland. The Boeing 777 flight will take 16 hours and 20 minutes, pass over 10 time zones, five countries and travel 14,535 kilometres (9,032 miles) before reaching Auckland. In March last year, Emirates airline launched what was then thought to be the world’s longest non-stop scheduled commercial flight, with a service from Dubai to Auckland, spanning 14,200 kilometres (8,824 miles).

Issue 29 Feb16 - Mar 01, 2017



A COUNTRY WITH PURE TRANSPARENCY In Norway, everyone’s tax info is just a click away


HE fact that a billionaire could take over the White House without providing his tax returns, or that a French presidential election frontrunner could be rocked by revelations that he paid his family handsome sums for suspected phoney work, are inconceivable scenarios in this Scandinavian country. “In Norway there’s a culture of openness on these issues, which makes it unlikely to get elected without being transparent about your tax situation and earnings,” the head of the Norwegian Tax Administration, Hans Christian Holte, said. Each year, the tax agency publishes key information on all taxpayers -- including earnings, wealth, and tax payments -on its website. The thinking in this Protestant country is that there’s more incentive to chip in your “two cents” to the communal pot when you see that everyone else is doing the same. A media frenzy erupts every October, as newspapers publish lists of the richest or best-paid celebrities, sports stars and politicians. But Norwegians can also see how much their bosses, or their colleagues in the office, are earning. The practice dates back to the 19th century, when citizens could go to city hall or the local tax office to consult the tax lists.

How much does my neighbour, my colleague, the leader of my country or his wife earn? In Norway, a champion of transparency, that information is available to all, just a few clicks away. NORDIC VIRTUE “The transparency translates into very high faith in the tax administration here,” Holte said. So high in fact that his agency won a prize in 2015 for having -- believe it or not -- the best reputation. “It also plays a role in discussions on societal and economic issues, like wage gaps between men and women or between different professions,” Holte added. The Nordic countries, known as fierce advocates of egalitarianism, traditionally top Transparency International’s ranking of least corrupt countries. In Sweden and Finland, it is also possible to obtain a person’s tax information by simply picking up the phone or going to the tax office, but not on the internet like in Norway. For just a few euros, the Swedish company Ratsit provides access to almost any information on a person, enabling people

Pakistan high court bans Valentine’s Day A PAKISTANI court banned public celebrations of Valentine’s Day in the capital Islamabad, the latest attempt by authorities to outlaw a holiday seen by many in the traditional Muslim society as vulgar and Western. The Islamabad high court issued the order after a petitioner declared love was being used as a “cover” to spread “immorality, nudity and indecency... which is against our rich traditions and values”. The ruling, greeted with approval by Islamist parties, also called for the electronic and print media to stop promoting Valentine’s Day. However preparations appeared muted in more conservative areas such as Peshawar, capital of northwestern Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, where only a handful of shops were selling Valentine’s Day-themed goods. The annual occasion is increasingly popular among young Pakistanis, many of whom seize the chance to celebrate romance by giving cards, chocolates and gifts to their sweethearts. But the country remains deeply conservative, and many disapprove of the holiday as an indecent Western import. Last year, Pakistan president Mamnoon Hussain had urged the nation to refrain from celebrating Valentine’s Day, saying it had no place in the Muslim-majority nation. Other officials blasted it as “vulgar and indecent”.

Pakistani vendors preparing baloons at a roadside for the upcoming Valentine’s Day in Islamabad, Pakistan

to see if they have any bank loans or if they have ever had an unpaid bill. For Finns, paying taxes is a matter of pride: Ilkka Paananen, the chief executive of Supercell which invented the hit mobile game Clash of Clans, earned respect for paying a whopping 54.1 million euros in tax in 2013.

BURGLARS BE WARNED Incidentally, the practice of transparency has also helped fill the Norwegian state’s coffers, by deterring cheats. The publication of tax records online, introduced in 2001, has bolstered public revenues by about 500 million kroner (56 million euros, $60 million) annually, according to Thor Olav Thoresen, a researcher at Statistics Norway. “If I were tempted to try to avoid paying taxes, I would be dissuaded by the fact that those who can observe my lifestyle can also easily check how much I earn,” Thoresen said. The tax agency said it gets about 3,000 to 4,000 tips a year, most of them from private people. There are some drawbacks to the system, however. The practice can lead to snooping -- especially since online searches were for a while anonymous. Norwegian media have reported cases of pupils teased at school over their parents’ high or low incomes. And burglars have also been arrested in possession of their victims’ tax data. “We even saw some apps that displayed the wealth of the residents of a street when you drove down that street, or that automatically displayed the wealth of your Facebook contacts,” lamented Rolf Lothe of the Taxpayers’ Association. As a result, some controls were put in place. As of 2014, someone seeking tax information can no longer do so anonymously, and the person whose information is being given out can easily find out who was checking up on them. The number of checks has since plummeted: from 16.7 million in October 2013-October 2014 -- more than three times the Norwegian population -- they fell to just 1.5 million in October 2015-October 2016.

Issue 29 Feb 16 - Mar 01, 2017



ARGENTINIAN WOMEN DROP TOPS TO PROTEST TOPLESS BAN SCORES of women have taken to the streets in Argentina in a bare-breasted demonstration of solidarity with women recently confronted by police for going topless on a South Atlantic beach. The demonstrations in Buenos Aires, in Mar del Plata and Rosario, were prompted by an incident two weeks ago in Necochea, 500 kilometers south of the capital. Three women in bikini bottoms were ordered by 20 police officers to put on their tops or head out. Many in Argentina, once one of the world’s wealthiest countries, were stunned. Now used to struggling with economic woes and corruption, they are increasingly tired of what some see as the authorities’ overreach. “There is this macho way of thinking that just has to end,” said a protestor named Noelia, 28, who declined to give her family name. “We are the owners of our bodies and we can show our bodies if we like. We are not consumer goods.” As older men in suits and ties scrambled out of nearby offices during the protest, some stopped to stare. A few laughed or giggled. “You can’t miss a chance to see a bit of tit, can you?” said one man, aged around 60, to nods from others. “Get out, man! Get out!” some demonstrators chanted, with

Eiffel Tower to get 2.5m glass security wall

slogans painted on their skin in lipstick. Some of the men took selfies with the demonstrators, perhaps not necessarily in solidarity. The leftist politician Vilma Ripoll said, “All people want to see tits on television. The real ones bother you.” Last July, thousands of women took part in topless protests across the country after a woman was kicked out of a public area near the capital for nursing her child, triggering widespread outrage.

A GLASS wall 2.5 metres (eight feet) high will be erected around the Eiffel Tower in Paris this autumn, part of a multi-million euro plan to prevent attacks on the iconic monument, the city has confirmed. The wall will replace the metal fences thrown up around the 324-metre (1,063-foot) Iron Lady during the Euro football tournament last year. “The terror threat remains high in Paris and the most vulnerable sites, led by the Eiffel Tower, must be the object of special security measures,” said deputy mayor Jean-Francois Martins. The wall will prevent individuals or vehicles storming the site visited by six million people each year, he added. Security has been boosted after a string of jihadist attacks that claimed 238 lives around France between January 2015 and July 2016.

Issue 29 Feb16 - Mar 01, 2017



To recreate what nature intended is never easy… IF something happens to your natural teeth, what do you do? In the past dentures really were the only solution however, over the past two decades the increase in dental implants has grown dramatically and today many people now are benefitting from a safe, medically proven alternative that delivers confident living and a beautiful smile. Dental implants have changed the face of dentistry over the last 25 years and today Straumann & Branemark dental implant systems define this revolutionary procedure. A dental implant is actually a replacement for the root or roots of a tooth. Like tooth roots, dental implants are secured in the jawbone and are not visible once surgically placed. At The Dentists – Sotogrande we offer a variety of stateof-the-art techniques to permanently replace missing teeth, tissue and bone. Dr Manuel Fernandez Lopez our specialist in surgery and the surgical placement of implants delivers precision treatment using only the best products placing an emphasis on enhancing the look and function of your mouth, your confidence and your lifestyle. As with most treatment procedures in dentistry today, dental implants not only involve scientific discovery, research and understanding, but also application in clinical practice. The practice of implant dentistry requires expertise in planning, surgery and tooth restoration; it is as much about art and experience as it is about science. Located in the quiet area of Paniagua in Sotogrande, The Dentists – Sotogrande is at the pinnacle of Total Dental Health Care, Specialist Dental Services and Aesthetic Enhancement. Your visit will be an altogether unique and uplifting experience, You are simply required to relax into an environment that allows for the ultimate in time, privacy and luxury, while we deliver a truly positive experience that will improve your quality of life for a lifetime.

Issue 29 Feb 16 - Mar 01, 2017




Jurisdiction nightmare as tense standoff between RGP & MOD causes two hour delays THE tarmac of Gibraltar’s airport was recently at the centre of a judicial stand-off when Royal Gibraltar Police Officers prevented a Royal Air Force transport plane from taking off as part of an ongoing criminal investigation. Local police officers investigating an alleged offence committed in Gibraltar were notified a person of interest who is a serving member of the British military was aboard the plane yet upon trying to serve a warrant senior MoD personnel refused access to the plane, insisting it was a military investigation. The unnamed British serviceman was also in possession of computer equipment which was wanted for forensic investigation. Eye witness accounts state that the heated became in-


A SENIOR employee at Jyske Bank has given evidence in Gibraltar’s Supreme Court in the ongoing Marrache & Co fraud case. The Marrache brothers Benjamin, Isaac and Solomon ran one of Gibraltar’s largest law firms until it was placed into liquidation owing an estimated £28.4 million to clients in 2010. The brothers have subsequently been found guilty of fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud and have each been given custodial sentences with Issac Marrache recently freed on parole. Liquidators in the case Chantrey Vellacott are claiming Jyske Bank the law firms main bank assisted the brothers deception by failing to report to relevant bodies the way client accounts were being managed and in particular allowed client accounts to go overdrawn which under the Solicitor Accounts Rules, Rule 13 is not prohibited. When questioned Greg Walker, Compliance and Risk Manager at Jyske Bank advised the court that he had no knowledge of the Solicitor Accounts Rules. The trial continues and is expected to last a further two weeks.

creasingly heated and at one stage as the plane a A400 prepared to taxi down the runway, an RGP vehicle positioned itself on the runway to prevent the plane from taking off. The stand-off which latest for nearly two hours was finally brought to an end when the British serviceman was finally removed from the plane and the computer equipment was seized but the fracas resulted in a large number of cross-border commuters stranded at the at the runway barrier crossing for hours after a hard day’s work and several flight delays. Because of the nature neither the Royal Gibraltar Police or the MoD were able to provide us with any comments.

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Issue 29 Feb16 - Mar 01, 2017


EU intervention is required to end ongoing airport dispute LUXURY YACHT CHARTERS RYA TRAINING CENTRE YACHT MANAGEMENT



THE 300-year old political dispute over Gibraltar has escalated further will Spain signalling it will seek to block the United Kingdom’s access to the EU’s single aviation market which is worth over £60 billion following Brexit unless the terms exclude Gibraltar’s international airport. In a report published in the Financial Times an unnamed Spanish Diplomat stated that “Any EU agreement with the UK on aviation cannot apply to the airport of Gibraltar. A deal that is applicable to the airport of Gibraltar would imply recognition of the legal right of the UK to the territory.”

Spain has long argued that Gibraltar belongs to Spain and that its airport is illegally located on Spanish land. It claims the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht, which handed over the rights of the Rock to Britain in perpetuity, did not include the rights of the land on which the airport strip is built. Britain argues that there is no legal basis for this claim and has stated that under a 2006 Cordoba agreement between London, Madrid and the Gibraltarian government, Spain agreed to stop seeking the exclusion of Gibraltar airport from EU aviation measures.


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SITUATED alongside La Reserva’s signature golf course, the newly opened La Reserva Tennis Club provides a much needed tennis experience with a range of quality products and personal services. With four competitive clay courts and prestigious facilities, the Tennis Club Reserve has been developed for all levels of age and experience and offers professional advice and tutoring at the hands of former tennis pro Elizabeth Thomas and her team with in-house coaching, comprehensive video analysis of the game and individual tennis swing and racket customization to optimize performance. Members of La Reserva Tennis Club whose

rates start from as little as €90.00 will benefit from a host of privileges including initial assessment and follow up meeting with their in-house coach, free court usage with preferential time reservations, monthly private classes, special tariffs on further classes for adults and children, preferential guest rates and discounts at its Clubhouse restaurant, L’Olive and the pro shop. The tennis club adds to La Reserva’s distinctive lifestyle offering an experience similar to that enjoyed by the best tennis professionals. For further information call or email the club for details about membership and sport days. Phone: +34 663 020 792 Email:

Issue 29 Feb 16 - Mar 01, 2017






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en Almenara Golf. ***En ABONO STANDARD de 1400 €, para todas las contrataciones o renovaciones que se realicen antes del 31 de enero de 2017 además de incluir el buggy, se les ofrece el uso de la academia. ***PREMIUM MEMBERSHIP worth €1,950, all contracts or renewals before 31 January 2017 will include the buggy and academy, and a pack of 8 green fees at Almenara Golf.


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Issue 29 Feb16 - Mar 01, 2017


VO Cinema Showings Please check with the cinema for any last minute time changes.


Cines Teatro Goya Avenida Julio Inglesia, Puerto Banus Tel: +34 951 196 666

Broadcasting from Nerja to beyond Calahonda on 106.2FM and from Elviria to Gibraltar via 106.8FM

Ballerina 19.30

Multiple 22.15 Resident Evil – The FInal Chapter 17.50

n Color obstacle rush 19 February - 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Malaga Sports Palace 15 insanely funny obstacles, 5 stations of colors and music that will accompany you all the way. These are the ingredients for the craziest race ever.

Cinesur Miramar Avenida De La Encarnacion, Fuengirola Tel: +34 952 198 600 Thirty Shades Darker 16.30, 18.50, 21.15 16.00, 18.30

Muliple 21.00 King’s Bastion Cinema Line Wall Road Gibraltar Tel: +350 200 72272 The Space between Us 16.30 The Lego Batman Movie 17.00

Due to its striking Impressionist style, its evident Wagnerian influence especially in the orchestration, its ideal structure, its characters perfectly constructed and extraordinarily described by the music ... for this, for all and in spite of the initial disapproval of the critic, the Tosca’s success was immediate. Tosca ‘s argument is of a political nature and the action takes place in Rome in just twentyfour hours of the month of June 1800 when Napoleon defeats Austria at the Battle of Marengo.

Ballerina 16.305

La La Land

mixed between the emotions and desires of its protagonists.

You can participate in the Color Rush Obstacle if you are 12 years old or elder. Now, inflatable obstacles are made for adults, so some can become difficult for children. Participants under 12 to 14 years must be accompanied by a parent or guardian who is of legal age (18 or more) at all times

T2 – Trainspotting 19.00

n OPERA: PUCCINI’S TOSCA, 25 & 26 February, Calle Ramos Marín, S/N, 29012 Málaga, Spain. TEL: 952 22 41 09 -

Fifty Shades Darker 19.15, 21.45

Opera in three acts by Giacomo Puccini on libretto by G. Giacosa and L. Illica according

Loving 21.30

to the work of the same name by V. Sardou. The fifth of Puccini’s twelve operas, as well as one of the peaks of his musical production, marks an important transition in the evolution of the composer’s music. If his previous title, La bohème , is the last portrait of the ravages and broken dreams of the working classes, Tosca will be the return to the purest tragedy. Cheating, jealousy, betrayal, blackmail and torture are

Soloists Melanie Moussay / Michelle Francis Cook / Chrystelle Di Marco, David Baños / Eduardo Sandoval / Javier Palacios, Giulio Boschetti / Paolo Ruggiero / Julien Veronese, August Metodiev, among others. Symphonic Orchestra and Choir Opera 2001 Scene direction Roberta Mattelli Escolania Narciso Pérez del Campo. Musical direction Martin Mázik - Dominique Rouits. n JURASSIC EXPO Until 26 February. Recinto Ferial de Málaga, Camino de San Rafael, 121, Málaga, 29006, Málaga

Expo Jurásico has landed in Malaga and will be on show until 26 February. More than 20 life-size animatronic models that simulate the behaviour of dinosaurs. An exhibition

that offers a unique journey to prehistory, complete with a documentary featuring new discoveries about these mysterious animals. You will also have access to an interactive zone where children can play at being palaeontologists. n SEMANA BLANCA – DAY CLUB Fantasyland Playhouse La Caa Urbanización Los Prados del Golf, Parcela 18, 29649 Mijas, Málaga, Spain From 27th February, till Friday the 3rd March 2017. Day Club for children aged 3 to 10 years old. Fantasy Land Parque Infantil is a great place for the kids with loads of fun activities to enjoy. Outdoors and indoors there are an unlimited list of super fun things to get up to. This is a fun, safe, clean and well lit facility that families are sure to enjoy and recommend. Booking with 50% fee personally at Fantasy Land or email info@ n PABLO PICASSO. SUSANNA AND THE ELDERS, 1955 , Meseo Picasso, Malaga until 26 March Since the Museo Picasso Málaga first opened its doors, numerous successive loans from Fundación Almine y Bernard Ruiz-Picasso para el Arte have helped to publicize and provide insight into Picasso’s work, complementing the permanent collection as well as various temporary exhibitions. This show features a selection of the works by Pablo Picasso that have enriched the museum’s permanent collection over the last six years courtesy of FABA, now exhibited together and independently for the first time. MuseoPicassoMalaga is open daily from 10am-6pm


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Issue 29 Feb 16 - Mar 01, 2017


A Night of Shenanigans with the Goldies

SPONSORED BY CITY FM MALAGA Broadcasting from Nerja to beyond Calahonda on 106.2FM and from Elviria to Gibraltar via 106.8FM n Day of Andalucía in Spain 28 February The Day of Andalucía (Día de Andalucía), also known as Andalucía Day, marks the anniversary of a referendum held on February 28, 1980. A large majority of voters supported this referendum for Andalucía to become an autonomous community in Spain. What Do People Do? Many people spend the day quietly with family or close friends. However, some people organize or attend private parties with traditional music, dancing, food and drink. Some municipalities hold communal meals with traditional foods, drinks and entertainment. Local politicians may present people with certificates or medals for service to the community. Public Life The Day of Andalucía is a public holiday in the autonomous community of Andalucía on February 28. Public life is generally quiet and many businesses and other organizations are closed. Many stores are closed but some bakers and food stores may be open. Public transport services generally run to a reduced schedule but there may be no services in rural areas.

Background The autonomous community of Andalucía shares international land borders with Portugal and Gibraltar. Within Spain, it borders the autonomous communities of Castile-La Mancha, Extremadura and Murcia. People in Andalucía voted for the region to become an autonomous community of Spain on February 28, 1980. However, the Spanish Parliament only accepted Andalucía as an historic nationality in 2006. Symbols Andalucía’s flag is widely displayed on the Day of Andalucía. It consists of three equal horizontal bars. The top and lower bars are dark green and the middle bar is white. Andalucía’s coat of arms is at the center of the flag. Andalucía’s coat of arms consists of an image of the mythical Greek hero Heracles between two columns. The columns represent the Pillars of Heracles.

at the Millenium

Charity Through Music in its Third Year Saturday 18th March

Do ors ope n at 6.30 p.m . Sh o w s t arts at 7p.m . Limi te d numbe r of t icke ts t his ye ar ! Acts appearing on the night; Sam Oliver, Deborah Dee, Reality International Duo, Jochen Janz, Tina Hall, Marinella Graitsis, Carl Coulton, Susan Mohr and One Wish Steve

Tickets only

10 €

Next to Miel y Nata Restaurant, Calahonda

Tel: 952 934 793 organizado por / organised by

patrocinado por / sponsored by

en beneficio de / in aid of

These are the rocks on either side of the Straits of Gibraltar.

D-Wine’s Ecological Wine festival will offer visitors 12 Spanish Ecological Wines and Tapas made of organic ingredients, new products from traditional Spanish wine regions will be introduced during the event. The programme also includes a special guest presentation of an organic winery popularising the organic lifestyle, as well as live music , all in a relax environment. The event also aims at drawing attention to healthy eating and wine drinking which greatly contributes to the healing of your body and soul, which is easier to achieve with the help of meals and wines resulting from ecological practices . All the wines presented at the event will be available to buy including a 10 % discount for all participants.

“Wine is the most healthful and most hygienic of beverages.” Louis Pasteur

C a l l e A n a d e A u s t r í a, M a r b e l l a, S p a i n w w w . d -w i n e c o l l e c t i o n . c o m 9 52 81 4 4 46




Issue 29 Feb16 - Mar 01, 2017



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Issue 29 Feb 16 - Mar 01, 2017


United Kingdom - Financial Markets


Eurozone growth hits 0.4% in 4th quarter of 2016

Growth in eurozone remained resilient in the fourth quarter of 2016, but slightly less than an earlier estimate, according to date released. The EU’s Eurostat statistics agency said growth in the euroMost Active Stocks zone landed at 0.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016, re Name Last Prev. High Low Chg. % Vol. vising down the 0.5 percent estimated on January 31. The figures show that recovery in Europe remains on pace s Lloyds Banking 67.50 66.49 67.54 66.51 +1.53% 48.40M s Barclays 239.97 235.25 240.30 234.80 +2.04% 15.63M despite the significant unknowns of Brexit and the policies of the new Trump administration in the US.  s Glencore 328.30 326.40 328.85 325.55 +0.58% 8.54M The data still meant that the eurozone economy grew by 1.7 s Vodafone Group PLC 196.32 196.05 197.30 196.10 +0.15% 6.04M percent in 2016, exceeding the United States which gained s HSBC Holdings 706.100 697.200 706.800 698.400 +1.28% 5.26M 1.6 percent last year. The 28-member EU as a whole grew by 1.8 percent, Eurostat s RBS PLC 246.700 241.000 246.900 240.600 +2.41% 4.95M said. Faster growth came on a spike in consumer demand in s BT Group 309.500 305.750 309.650 306.650 +1.23% 3.79M t BP 459.50 459.50 463.65 458.40 0.00% 3.68M France and  Spain  while Germany’s export-driven economy remained on a solid course. t Rolls-Royce Holding. 704.50 710.50 720.00 701.50 -0.84% 2.55M In Spain, GDP increased by 0.7% between October and Des Legal & General 246.500 243.900 247.000 244.200 +1.07% 2.31M cember 2016 compared to the third quarter. In addition, the Spanish economy grew by 3% compared to the fourth quarter of 2015.  Eurostat also includes growth data from other Top Gainers Top Losers countries for comparison , and notes that US GDP increased Name Last Chg. Chg. % Name Last Chg. Chg. % by 0.5% between October and December to the previous s Ashtead Group t Tui AG 1,712.00 +46.00 +2.76% 1,148.00 -70.00 -5.75% quarter, after having grown 0.9% in the third quarter.  The growth spurt will put pressure on the European Central s BHP Billiton PLC 1,426.50 +34.50 +2.48% t Capita 519.00 -8.00 -1.52% Bank to scale back its controversial stimulus measures. s RBS PLC t Reckitt Benckiser 246.700 +5.700 +2.37% 6,859.00 -67.00 -0.97% The ECB, led by its chief Mario Draghi, is at pains to stress that s Barclays 240.15 +4.90 +2.08% t Next 3,916.00 -37.00 -0.94% despite the series of positive economic signals, it may be too s Standard Chartered 812.800 +14.000 +1.75% t Rolls-Royce Holdings 704.50 -6.00 -0.84% soon to pull back on the programme.

Spain - Financial Markets

Spanish banks borrow €1.45 billion from ECB OSE 3.37%

The debt of Spanish banks to the European Central Bank (ECB), rose by 3.37% in January according to provisional data published by the Bank of Spain. The debt which has grown Name Last Prev. High Low Chg. % Vol. by 8.74% over the same period of the previous year and now s BBVA 6.397 6.224 6.470 6.354 +2.78% 18.08M stands at a whopping €144,583 billion compared to €139.9 billion for December . s Santander 5.247 5.171 5.277 5.205 +1.47% 12.67M s Banco Popular 0.852 0.844 0.854 0.844 +0.95% 8.15M s B. Sabadell 1.500 1.482 1.507 1.484 +1.21% 8.02M s Bankia 0.968 0.959 0.973 0.961 +0.94% 5.75M s Caixabank 3.398 3.366 3.414 3.390 +0.95% 4.15M s Telefonica 9.248 9.196 9.325 9.199 +0.57% 3.66M s Iberdrola 6.055 6.012 6.089 6.010 +0.72% 2.12M t IAG 5.892 5.920 5.942 5.884 -0.47% 1.02M Prosegur security group has announced its intention to seek s ArcelorMittal 8.614 8.595 8.648 8.534 +0.22% 901.63K the flotation of its main cash management division which is worth between 3,500 – 4,000 million. Prosegur Cash, the seTop Gainers Top Losers curity armor’s subsidiary, is expected to debut on March 16, Name Last Chg. Chg. % Name Last Chg. Chg. % according to financial sources, although the final date will des BBVA 6.398 +0.174 +2.80% t Mediaset 11.120 -0.225 -1.98% pend on the approval of the CNMV to the prospectus of the s Santander 5.246 +0.075 +1.45% t Amadeus 42.477 -0.628 -1.46% transaction, and whenever market conditions permit Prosegur Cash generates two thirds of its revenues in Latin s B. Sabadell 1.500 +0.018 +1.21% t DIA 5.114 -0.025 -0.49% America and despite strong organic growth in this region, s Banco Popular 0.852 +0.008 +0.95% t IAG 5.895 -0.025 -0.42% the turnover in euros of this division fell in 2016 due to strong s Bankia 0.968 +0.009 +0.94% t Acerinox 13.610 -0.030 -0.22% exchange turbulence in Argentina and Brazil therefore Prosegur Cash will be listed on the Madrid, Barcelona, ​​Valencia and Bilbao stock exchanges Euro exchange rates Last year Prosegur Cash closed with a net debt of 520 million euros and an Ebitda of 382 million euros, equivalent to a net 8.86 Norwegian Krone 7.44 Danish Krone 1.37 Australian Dollars debt / EBITDA ratio of 1.4 times. Its maximum leverage ratio 9.46 Swedish Krona 8.19 Hong Kong Dollar 0.85 British Pounds stands at 2.5 times net debt / EBITDA, the company said in 3.88 UAE Dirham 120.84 Japanese Yen 1.38 Canadian Dollars its filing. 1.06 US Dollars 1.47 New Zealand Dollar 7.25 Chinese Yuan

Most Active Stocks

Figures correct at 15.02.2017

Prosegur set to go public



Issue 29 Feb16 - Mar 01, 2017


Ian Scholes Associate Wealth Consultant de Vere Spain (Marbella) hosts a Brexit Updates seminar at the glorious venue of Magna Café.


OLLOWING the recent news of Theresa May’s Tory Government finally publishing a detailed and official document outlining its Brexit plans following the bombshell decision in the Supreme Court made by Justice Lord Neuberger who revealed Prime Minister Theresa May “does not have the power” to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. Now Britain cannot leave the European Union without the consent of MPs in a new parliamentary vote. Theresa May lost in the Supreme Court by a majority of 8 to 3. She is still trying to push it through again by the end of March. Should this happen it could make serious waves across the Costa del

Sol for non-residents and indeed even holiday makers visiting the glorious sunshine coast of the Costa del Sol.

POSITIVE NOTE On a more positive note, Theresa announced that she was going to investment 500 million pounds into high tech research jobs in the North of England in particular on the basis of her new industrial strategy. Therefore this was irrefutably the perfect time for one of the largest ‘independent financial advisers worldwide deVere to hold their monthly Marbella seminar especially in light of what could be termed as a life-changer for many

Eurozone outlook raised despite ‘exceptional risks’ Europe’s economic recovery remains on track but vulnerable to the “exceptional risks” of Brexit and the new Donald Trump administration, the EU has announced. Brussels raised its growth forecasts for the eurozone through to 2018 but warned that the European Union as a whole was navigating “choppy waters”. “The European economy has proven resilient to the numerous shocks it has experienced over the past year,” EU economic affairs commissioner Pierre Moscovici said. “Yet with uncertainty at such high levels, it’s more important than ever that we use all policy tools to support growth.” The 19-country eurozone will grow by by 1.6 percent in 2017 followed by 1.8 percent in 2018, the European Commission said in its winter economic forecast. That is compared with predictions made in autumn of 1.5 percent in 2017 and 1.7 percent in 2018. Bailed out Greece, which swung out of recession last year but is now at the centre of fresh fears for the eurozone, was forecast to grow by 2.7 percent in 2017 and 3.1 percent in 2018. The 28-nation bloc as a whole would grow by 1.8 percent in both 2017 and 2018, the commission said. But the forecast warned darkly of the “exceptional risks” from Britain’s vote to leave the EU and uncertainty over Trump’s policies. “The particularly high uncertainty surrounding this winter forecast is due to the still-to-be-clarified intentions of the new administration of the United States in key policy areas,” it said.

Tilted to the downside The report also cited “the numerous elections to be held in Europe this year and the upcoming ‘Article 50’ negotiations with the UK.” “And although both upside and downside risks have increased, the overall balance remains tilted to the downside.” Expected next month, the triggering of Article 50 of the European Union’s Lisbon Treaty begins two years of potentially

European Commission vice-president Valdis Dombrovskis

acrimonious talks with Britain on how it will leave the EU. Elections are meanwhile due in the Netherlands, France and Germany. Britain would grow by 1.5 percent this year, instead of a far lower 1.0 percent forecast earlier on fears that Brexit would destabilise the economy. But this remained far lower than the 2.0 percent growth forecast by the Bank of England last week. The commission also said that inflation was creeping higher in the eurozone as energy prices lifted from historic lows. The EU warned that this could lead the European Central Bank to end its massive stimulus programme that has strengthened the economic recovery in Europe. Overall, the commission said inflation in the eurozone would increase from a low 0.2 percent in 2016 to 1.7 percent in 2017 and 1.4 percent in 2018. “With inflation picking up from low levels, we cannot expect current monetary stimulus to last forever,” said European Commission vice-president Valdis Dombrovskis.

residing here following recent events which unfolded in the UK. Consequently it was hardly surprising that the seminar was extremely well attended by a large group of Expats. As the saying goes ‘Forewarned is forearmed’ but principally ‘knowledge is power’. Firstly he addressed Brexit residency. UK citizens currently have freedom of movement. That may now change. Immigration laws may affect holiday makers and non-resident in Spain and some may require residency. Spanish residency cannot be retrospectively removed. Next topic was Income tax. In Spain you are liable for income tax returns to be submitted annually (Jan – Dec) submitted by July then there is the all-important Modelo 720 - declaration of Worldwide Assets. Many people are unaware of this. They now have to declare on Property, Cash and Investments. There will be heavy Penalties for NON declaration but pensions are not included.

DOUBLE TAXATION Inheritance Tax Planning. UK Tax is on the estate. In Spain it is on the beneficiary. UK Allowance is £325,000 for husband and wife totaling £650,000. UK Citizens residing in Spain are liable for inheritance tax in the UK and Spain as a result of the double taxation legislation. Impacts on UK private & state pensions. What could happen after Brexit is that pensions will be frozen, no option will be given to transfer them, imposed death tax on pension of 50%, the removal of inflation proofing (RPI) scrap Double Taxation Agreement (as Denmark) massive UK deficit £958Bn and increasing Normal retirement from 55yrs. deVere can give you control without costing you a penny with SIPP encashment, private Pension QROPS. You can transfer it to Spain now through an overseas pension scheme due to the tax advantages on the pension drawdown and death benefits. Pensions funds left in the UK are heavily taxed and in some cases up to a staggering 45%. They also undertake a pension tracing service. Tax Efficient Investments. deVere will ensure these are Inheritance and Government Protected, will oversee personal Risk Profiles, select the ones for your needs with deposits and Access designed for you With regards to the US dollar and sterling with your investments. The US and UK interest rate was expected to rise prior to Brexit. The interest rate then halved to 0.25. The borrowers are happy but the savers distraught. The rate is expected to drop again to 0.1%. However deVere on an hourly basis check the rates of exchange to safeguard your assets and ensure that you making the most out of your money. Finally the vital healthcare issue. Negotiations are underway – there are no guarantees post Brexit. Your Taxes and National Insurance payments provide you with health care support in the country where you make those contributions. If you reside in Spain and pay your taxes here then your healthcare with be unaffected but returning to the UK for healthcare alone might not be allowed. In a nutshell, the guests who departed from the seminar departed armed with not only all the knowledge they need following Brexit but helping them to create a sustainable financial future. Ian Scholes, Associate Wealth Consultant deVere Spain Marbella. Integrity/Energy/Excellence. Office: 952 903 205 Mobile: 603 224 101 email: ian.scholes@

Issue 29 Feb 16 - Mar 01, 2017


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Rolls-Royce logs record £4bn loss BRITISH engine maker Rolls-Royce slumped into a record £4-billion annual net loss in 2016, ravaged by a Brexit-fuelled collapse in the pound and a corruption fine. The loss after tax, equivalent to $5.0 billion or 4.8 billion euros, contrasted with a slender profit of £84 million in the 2015, the company said in a results statement. Rolls took a vast £4.4-billion hit from the drop in the value of the pound in the wake of Britain’s shock EU exit referendum, alongside a £671-million penalty to settle bribery allegations. The London-listed company, whose engines are used in Airbus and Boeing aircraft, added that underlying pre-tax profits almost halved to £813 million. Rolls-Royce, which also makes power systems for use on land and at sea, stated it was on track with efforts to slash costs and expected a “modest” performance improvement in 2017. “2016 has been an important year as we accelerated the transformation of Rolls-Royce,” said chief executive Warren East, who has overseen a radical restructuring. “We have made operational progress and performed ahead of our expectations for the year as a whole. “At the same time, we have delivered major changes to our management and processes and, while we have made good

progress in our cost cutting and efficiency programmes, more needs to be done to ensure we drive sustainable margin improvements within the business.” The huge annual loss also follows a tough past few years for Rolls, which faced a string of profit warnings on the back of weak demand in its aerospace and marine markets. The company was fined £671 million in January to settle bribery and corruption claims probed by Britain’s Serious Fraud Office and authorities in Brazil and the United States. Rolls will pay the penalty over five years but has taken the full cost as an impairment charge against its 2016 profits.


Analysts remained bullish over the firm’s performance. “The company chalked up one of the biggest losses in corporate history -- but it’s not as bad as it looks and that is perhaps why we’re seeing the stock coming back a tad after the initial kneejerk,” said Neil Wilson at trading firm ETX Capital. “Rolls took a £4.4-billion hit from the weak pound following the EU referendum last June and it was fined £671 million to settle bribery charges. Strip those out and the results do not look half as bad.”

Inflation won’t lead ECB to change course soon SPIKING inflation will not prompt the European Central Bank to end its ultra-loose monetary policy sooner than planned, its president Mario Draghi has confirmed. “Support from our monetary policy measures is still needed” to drive inflation towards the ECB’s target of just below 2.0 percent, Draghi told the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee at a quarterly appearance in Brussels. After months in the doldrums, inflation in the eurozone picked up to 1.1 percent in December before climbing to 1.8 percent in January. That pick-up is largely the result of recent increases in energy prices, Draghi said. There is “subdued” underlying pressure on prices in the 19-nation eurozone, including persistently high unemployment and sluggish productivity growth, he said. “We should not react to individual data points and shortlived increases in inflation,” he said. Although inflation has jumped in the last two months, Draghi said the central bank would act with a view to the “mediumterm horizon”. An increase in inflation must meet four criteria for the ECB to alter its policy, he said: It must be durable, self-sustained, evident across the entire eurozone, and likely to last for several months. ECB policymakers decided in December to extend the bank’s mass bond-buying policy beyond a previous deadline of March 2017, to December, albeit at 60 billion euros ($64 billion) per month from April, down from the present 80 billion. Along with cheap loans to banks and record-low interest rates, such “quantitative easing” is designed to pump cash into the financial system and, indirectly, to companies and households -- which are then expected to spend the money and drive up inflation. The latest jump in inflation would not prompt the ECB to revise its asset-purchasing plan, Draghi said. “Draghi does not look like a man intending to change tack any time soon,” said Howard Archer, analyst at IHS Global Insight. ECB policymakers face increasing pressure to respond to rising inflation from some member states, especially Germany. The central bank’s policy is “too loose for Germany,” Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble told Berlin’s Tagesspiegel newspaper.

Issue 29 Feb16 - Mar 01, 2017

Easy money drives down the value of the currency and means that “the exchange rate is too low for the competitiveness of the German economy”, Schaeuble said.

NOT CURRENCY MANIPULATORS “It’s understandable that politicians, especially at the time of elections, express their views about monetary policy,” Draghi said, referring to the German general election slated for September. “But it’s also understandable that independent central bankers hear them but don’t listen,” he said. Schaeuble’s remarks followed allegations from Peter Navarro, a trade advisor to US President Donald Trump, that Germany was exploiting an “undervalued” euro. “We are not currency manipulators,” Draghi responded when questioned about the claims. He pointed to a US Treasury report from October that found neither Germany nor the ECB were manipulating foreign exchange markets. Draghi appeared to allude to the Trump administration when he told the lawmakers that “risks to the euro area outlook remain tilted to the downside and relate predominantly to global factors,” and that the ECB stood ready to further ease its monetary policies if necessary. He also described as “worrisome” a recent executive order signed by Trump to review banking regulations introduced after the 2008 financial crisis. “I don’t see any reason to relax the present regulatory stance, which has produced a much stronger banking and financial services industry” in Europe, Draghi said.

WALT Disney is planning to take full ownership of its Disneyland Paris subsidiary in a bid to turn around its flagging fortunes, the company has announced. The announcement came as Euro Disney, which operates Disneyland Paris, said visitor numbers were up in the first quarter, despite the state of emergency that has been in place in France for over a year. Initially, Walt Disney would increase its stake in the theme park to 85.7 percent by buying shares currently held by the billionaire Saudi prince Al-Walid ben Talal. After that it would launch a public offering to acquire the remainder of Euro Disney’s shares, it said. Walt Disney said the offer price of 2.0 euros ($2.13) per share was a 67-percent mark-up on Euro Disney’s closing price on Thursday. It is nevertheless, a long way below the share price of 11 euros when Euro Disney went public in November 1989. Walt Disney said that Euro Disney’s financial condition “has been significantly and negatively impacted” by Islamist attacks on the French capital in November 2015, which killed 130 people. Business conditions have also remained challenging in France and the rest of Europe since then, it said. The buyout offer “affords maximum flexibility to shareholders, addresses the group’s financial needs and reflects its ongoing support for the long-term success of Disneyland Paris,” Walt Disney said.

Situation ‘improving’ Meanwhile, Euro Disney said it is observing a pick-up in visitor numbers. “After a difficult year, the Paris tourism environment remains challenging, with the year-long state of emergency still in place. However volumes at both our parks and hotels are improving,” said Euro Disney chief executive Catherine Powell. Euro Disney, which operates its business year from October to September, said revenues were up five percent at 354 million euros ($377 million) in the three months to December. Park revenues rose by three percent to 194 million euros thanks to a six-percent increase in attendance, the company said. That was because the year-earlier period had been “impacted by a four-day closure of the parks following the November 2015 events in Paris,” it said. In the October-December period, most of the additional guests came from France and Britain, while there were fewer visitors from Belgium and the Netherlands. Nevertheless, the increase in attendance was “partially offset by a three-percent decrease in average spending per guest... primarily due to lower average ticket rates,” Euro Disney explained. Revenues generated by the hotels and Disney Village business grew by four percent to 141 million euros, “mainly due to a three-percentage point increase in hotel occupancy.” Euro Disney said Disneyland Paris was scheduled to celebrate its 25th anniversary in March and was hoping that would attract more visitors.

Issue 29 Feb 16 - Mar 01, 2017

Troubled Italian bank BMPS reports net loss of €3.38bn


HE world’s oldest bank, BMPS, which is due to be bailed out by the Italian state, has announced a net loss of 3.38 billion euros ($3.6 billion) for 2016, far worse than analysts had expected. Market forecasters had expected a loss of around two billion euros, according to a consensus of analysts compiled by Factset Estimates. As of December 31, BMPS had only seven billion euros in liquidities a decline of 17 billion euros compared with a year earlier, the bank added. Founded in Siena in 1472, BMPS -- Monte dei Paschi di Siena -- is due to be temporarily taken over by the state to help forestall a crisis that could sweep through Italy’s banking sector. The bank said the 2016 loss was due to a writedown in the value of its loan portfolio. Income in 2016 fell back 18.4 percent to 4.25 billion euros, against 4.4 billion euros expected by analysts. For 2015, BMPS had recorded a profit of 390 million euros, its first in five years. On December 29, the Italian central bank said the state would foot 6.6 billion of the 8.8 billion euros needed to recapitalise BMPS. The funding target had previously been set at five billion, but was hiked after an attempt to raise the money on the open market



failed. Under the government’s plan, BMPS will be saved by dipping into a debt-financed 20-billion-euro war chest. However, the rescue will add to the country’s already massive debt burden and to borrowing costs.

SALES CLOSE TO 10 MILLION IN 2016 RENAULT-NISSAN has announced it sold nearly 10 million vehicles worldwide as the group faces up to accusations that Renault participated in an emissions scandal. Renault-Nissan, which has aspirations to become one of the world’s top three carmakers behind Volkswagen and Toyota, said in statement that unit sales jumped by nearly 17 percent to 9.96 million vehicles last year. German giant Volkswagen is the world’s biggest in terms of units sales, with 10.3 million vehicles sold last year. Japanese rival Toyota sold 10.18 million vehicles, while US giant General Motors has yet to publish its 2016 sales figures. Renault-Nissan said the strong rise in overall sales came despite the disappointing performance of Mitsubishi, the Japanese unit that was added to the group last year when Nissan took a 34-percent stake. Overall, Renault-Nissan’s sales accounted for about one in nine of the cars sold in the world last year. The Nissan arm said solid demand in China

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BAILOUT EU regulators have warned they will keep a close eye on the bailout, in line with new rules to ensure that taxpayers are not left permanently on the hook for saving banks. BMPS has been in trouble since 2007, when it made the disastrous purchase of Antonveneta bank at twice the estimated value. It then drifted into scandal when its management team was accused of fraud and misuse of funds. In 2016, the bank’s roster of bad debts fell by around four billion euros, 2.2 billion of which occurred in the last quarter. However, its so-called CET1 ratio -- a benchmark of financial health that compares topquality capital against risk-weighted assets -- also fell. At the end of 2016, its CET1 ratio was only eight percent, compared with a threshold of 10.75 percent set by the European Central Bank. Its CET1 ratio at the end of 2015 was 12 percent.

and the United States helped it to sell 5.6 million vehicles in 2016, a 2.5-percent increase. For its part, Renault said earlier this month it had benefited from buoyant markets in Europe, India and -- increasingly as it opens up its markets to the West -- Iran. It saw a 13-percent surge in sales. Mitsubishi is struggling though, with a 13-percent drop in sales last year, partly because its Japanese market was hit by admissions that some of its workers had falsified fuel performance data for years. It sold just over 934,000 vehicles. Renault-Nissan also boasts of being the world leader in electric cars with nearly 425,000 sold last year, led by the Nissan Leaf model. A year and a half after Volkswagen’s “dieselgate” scandal erupted, Paris prosecutors announced last month that they are probing Renault over possible “cheating” in diesel emissions. Renault’s commercial director Thierry Koskas has said the group was moving swiftly to address those concerns.

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L’Oreal mulls selling The Body Shop French cosmetics giant L’Oreal is exploring the possibility of selling The Body Shop for one billion euros ($1.1 billion), the Financial Times reported earlier this week. Quoting two sources close to the French company, the newspaper said that L’Oreal was “working with bankers at Lazard on a review of its options for the unit with an outright sale among the most likely outcomes.” When contacted, neither L’Oreal nor Lazard would comment on the report. Set up in 1976, The Body Shop says on its website that it it has more than 3,000 stores in 66 countries. L’Oreal acquired it in 2006 for 652 million pounds, or 940 million euros at the time.

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Deutsche Bank reports loss of 1.4 bn euros in 2016 TROUBLED German banking giant Deutsche Bank on Thursday reported a net loss of 1.4 billion euros ($1.5 billion) for 2016 as it struggles with the impact of mammoth fines, lower revenues and restructuring costs. The fourth quarter alone saw a loss of 1.9 billion euros, affected largely by $7.2 billion the bank agreed to pay in fines and compensation in the US over its involvement in the mortgagebacked securities crisis of 2008. The Frankfurt-based lender was last month forced to slash bonus payments for a quarter of employees, as it continues to face headwinds from low interest rates as well as increased regulation and higher capital requirements introduced in the wake of the financial crisis. The result is worse than the 200 million euro loss forecast by analysts FactSet, but an improvement on the 7 billion euro loss recorded in 2015. The US settlement was the largest payout any financial institution has so far paid for misconduct relating to the 2008 crash, but well below the initial $14-billion demand

from the US Department of Justice. Adding to Deutsche Bank’s woes, on Tuesday it was hit with yet another penalty as New York and British authorities slapped it with nearly $630 million over alleged money laundering in Russia.

MODERNISE Chief executive John Cryan has launched a tough restructuring plan to shed 200 branches in Germany and some 9,000 of its roughly 100,000 full-time employees. “Our results for the year 2016 were heavily impacted by decisive management action taken to improve and modernise the bank, as well as by market turbulence for Deutsche Bank,” Cryan said Tuesday in the bank’s results statement.

EU gives ‘virtually bankrupt’ Gambia €225m aid THE European Union announced aid worth 225 million euros ($240 million) for Gambia’s new government as President Adama Barrow said his nation was “virtually bankrupt” due to economic mismanagement by the former regime. The EU froze assistance to The Gambia in December 2014 over the dire human rights record of ex-president Yahya Jammeh, whose security services were accused by rights groups of extrajudicial killings, torture and forced disappearances.

VICTORY Barrow’s victory in December’s election is seen by foreign donors as a new chance for human rights and the rule of law to be better respected in the tiny west African nation. Neven Mimica, EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, hailed “a peaceful democratic change in The Gambia” and said it was “fully committed to engage with President Barrow and his government”. Immediate financial assistance of 75 million euros would target food insecurity, unemployment and the poor condition of the nation’s roads, the European Commission said

in a statement. Further aid worth 150 million euros would be disbursed following a future visit by an EU delegation, it added. President Barrow said in a speech given at the signing of the aid deal that his nation had just two months of foreign exchange reserves left, and described “an economy that is virtually bankrupt and in need of immediate rescue.” “Most public enterprises are debt-ridden and underperforming including the energy sector,” Barrow said, adding that youth unemployment had rocketed. Jammeh is accused by Gambians of land grabs and taking over businesses for his personal gain, while new Interior Minister Mai Fatty alleged last month the ex-president took $11 million from state coffers before heading for exile in Equatorial Guinea. Meanwhile Foreign Minister Ousainou Darboe said human rights concerns would be “speedily addressed” by the new administration, and that the process of rejoining the International Criminal Court would soon begin. The Gambia notified the United Nations in November it would withdraw from the legal body on Jammeh’s orders.

Issue 29 Feb 16 - Mar 01, 2017


Private Banking on your doorstep We are located in the Main Street in Gibraltar; but we want to bring our bank to you. At Jyske Bank, you have a relationship manager, tailor-made solutions and an open andrelaxed atmosphere. Feel free to contact us. We’ll be happy to pay you a visit and tell you more.

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Issue 29 Feb16 - Mar 01, 2017

Issue 29 Feb 16 - Mar 01, 2017





YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Men especially, find it difficult to talk to a doctor and even more so when it comes to their sexual prowess or in some cases lack of it. MEN Solutions, a new medical clinic working within the world class Hospital Ceram specializes in solving the problems of male sexual dysfunction of any kind. With more than 20 years of experience providing solutions Men ‘Solution have successfully treated thousands of men. There is no need to suffer in silence any longer because they will help find the cause and specify a treatment for you, without any embarrassment, judgement or complications.

DID YOU KNOW? Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is much more common than you would think. Recent studies suggest that approx. 52% of men between the ages of 40 – 70 years have at some time in their life suffered with ED.

SO WHAT IS ED? Erectile dysfunction is classified as the inability to get and keep an erection firm enough for sex. Having erection trouble from time to time isn’t necessarily a cause for concern, but if erectile dysfunction is an ongoing issue it can cause stress, affect your self-confidence and contribute to relationship problems it could also be a sign of further underlying health condition that needs treatment and a risk factor for heart disease down the road. Some people believe that ED is just a part of getting older – it’s not. It’s caused by a physical or psychological problem that can be treated. And because it’s such a personal issue, many feel awkward about seeking help but don’t worry: ED is very, very common and is very treatable.

BUT WHAT CAUSES ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION? A number of factors can increase your risk of ED. Attaining an erection involves the brain, hormones, muscles, nerves, and blood vessels. A problem with any of these components can block the normal functioning of the penis. Some common causes of ED include:

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Issue 29 Feb16 - Mar 01, 2017


Cosmetic surgery thrives


HE global market grew by 8.3 percent in 2016 to an estimated value of 8.5 billion euros ($8.9 billion) -- the GDP of the Bahamas, according to data released Friday at the IMCAS aesthetic industry conference in Paris. In 2017, people are projected to spend 9.2 billion euros on face and body upgrades, growing to nearly 12 billion euros in 2020. “There’s a general acceptance that doing, whether it’s surgery or less invasive procedures... to make you feel better, look better, it’s much more accepted,” Nolan Karp, a New York surgeon and board member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Demand in Asia is exploding, practitioners say, driven by a rapidly growing middle class and a quest for more Caucasian features. Behind the United States and Brazil, South Korea was the third biggest market for aesthetic treatments in 2015, with 1.2 million procedures out of a global total of 21.7 million, according to data from the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS).

Demand for cosmetic surgery is showing no sign of abating, with a boom in Asia as the procedures become more affordable and less of a taboo, experts said. While breast augmentation and liposuction are the most popular procedures in America, Brazil, Mexico and most of Europe, demand in South Korea is for eye, nose, cheek and chin re-sculpting. “They (clients) will be treating areas of the face that will make them look like Europeans or Americans,” Laurent Brones, and industry expert. IMCAS data shows the Asia Pacific region will be the fastest grower, at 12 percent in the coming four years -- overtaking Europe for the first time in 2020 to represent a quarter of the global market at over three billion euros.

MACHINES OVERTAKING SCALPELS Less-invasive procedures such as laser treatments to tighten or “rejuvenate” skin, toxin injections to paralyse face muscles and ease frown lines, chemical peels, and freezing and killing unwanted fat, are fast overtaking traditional surgery. More and more clients opt for procedures that require no anaesthesia, less recovery time, and present fewer risks. “The growth of non-surgicals is pretty much exponential,” ISAPS president Renato Saltz said. “The technology, the money invested in research and development, is just mind boggling. If you look at the industry, they don’t make money with a scalpel, but they do make money with machines.” In 2015, Botox injections were the most popular procedure with 4.6 million performed by plastic surgeons, followed by hyaluronic

acid injections (2.9 million) to iron out wrinkles and plump up lips. Surgical breast augmentation was in third place with 1.5 million procedures, followed by liposuction with 1.4 million and operations to lift and shape eyelids at 1.3 million. Some foresee that more and more men, who make up about a tenth of clients today, will be drawn in. Slowing or reversing hair loss, for example, “is a huge potential market,” said Bernard Mole, a Paris-based plastic surgeon. Balding can be very distressing for many men, he said. Hair implantation technology has improved and there is a drug that promises to boost growth -- but these are expensive and take a long time -- leaving a huge gap for a “miracle” hair drug. Genital resculpting is another wide open field. “The demand is not there yet, but 10/15 years ago there was also no demand for female genital rejuvenation,” said Mole. Today it is among the most popular procedures, “and I believe that in five to ten years we will see the same trend in men.”

Issue 29 Feb 16 - Mar 01, 2017


Issue 29 Feb16 - Mar 01, 2017





Winter, Spring, Summer or Autumn - within each issue we will look at what fruits and vegetables are in season

The Ultimate Comfort Food With Pancake Day fast approaching it offers the perfect excuse to tuck into a stack of steaming hot pancakes drizzled in lemon and sugar or for those with a sweet tooth syrup - but there’s no need to just stick with the classic British variety. Here we present some great alternatives from around the world... Savory Dutch Baby

Indian potato pancakes

The savoury Dutch baby is like a large satisfying Yorkshire pudding which can be filled with either sweet or savoury

Inspired by aloo paratha, Indian potato bread, these pancakes are loaded with flavorful herbs and spices.



3 large eggs, room temperature ¾ cup whole milk, room temperature 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, slightly cooled, divided ½ cup all-purpose flour 2 tablespoons cornstarch ½ teaspoon kosher salt ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

4 tbsp olive oil 2 shallots, finely chopped 1 tsp mustard seeds ½ tsp turmeric 1 green chilli, deseeded and chopped into small pieces 1 tsp finely grated ginger 1 garlic clove, crushed 300g potatoes chopped into small chunks 400g can green lentils drained 4 pre-made pancakes 80g bag baby spinach

PREPARATION Place a medium ovenproof skillet, preferably cast iron, in center of oven and preheat oven to 450°. Let skillet heat at least 25 minutes total (prepare your toppings while you wait). Blend eggs in a blender on high speed until very frothy, about 1 minute. With motor running, gradually stream in milk, then 2 Tbsp. butter; blend another 30 seconds. Add flour, cornstarch, salt, and pepper and blend just to combine. (This batter doubles well if you want to scale up.)

Carefully remove skillet from oven and swirl remaining 1 Tbsp. butter in skillet to coat. Immediately pour batter into skillet (butter will brown quickly, so have batter at the ready to prevent burning). Bake pancake until puffed and brown around edges, 20–25 minutes. It will begin to deflate as soon as it comes out. Top as desired. Topping Ideas Fried eggs, avocado, and shaved ham. Smoked salmon, crème fraîche, and sliced spring onions. Sautéed kale, crispy bacon, and aged cheddar.

mustard seeds, turmeric, chilli, ginger and garlic, and cook gently until the shallots are soft. Add the potatoes and continue to cook slowly for 15-20 mins, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are soft. Stir through the lentils, season and continue to cook for another 2-3 mins to warm them through. Pile a quarter of the mixture into each pancake and fold the sides in to make a triangle. Pop the spinach in the pan while it’s still hot, just to wilt it, and serve on the side, with mango chutney and yogurt, if you like.

To Serve mango chutney, to serve (optional) natural yogurt, to serve (optional) PREPARATION Heat the oil in a large pan over a low heat. Add the shallots,

Crisp Hoi An Pancakes These hot and crunchy filled crepes are known as banh xeo in Vietnam.


Batter 1 cup rice flour ½ teaspoon ground turmeric ½ teaspoon kosher salt

Batter Whisk flour, turmeric, salt, and 1½ cups water in a large bowl until smooth. Cover and let sit at room temperature 1 hour (this allows the rice flour to hydrate; the batter will get creamier as it sits).

Assembly 5 tablespoons (or more) vegetable oil, divided 4 oz. small shrimp, peeled, deveined Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 6 scallions, thinly sliced 4 oz. mung bean sprouts (about 1 cup) Large green-leaf or Bibb lettuce leaves and mixed tender herbs (such as mint, cilantro, and Thai basil; for serving)

Assembly Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp, season with salt and pepper, and cook, tossing often, until cooked through, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Wipe out skillet and return to medium-high heat. Add remaining 4 Tbsp. oil. Mix batter to reincorporate rice flour, pour ½-cupful into skillet, and swirl pan to evenly spread


out batter. (Be careful: Batter will splatter.) Cook pancake, shaking pan occasionally, until almost cooked and edges begin to curl, about 4 minutes. Top with one-fourth of scallions, one-fourth of bean sprouts, and one-fourth of shrimp and cook until pancake is golden brown and crisp, about 1 minute. Using a spatula, fold pancake in half, forming a half-moon. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Repeat with remaining batter (mixing before adding to pan), scallions, bean sprouts, and shrimp to make 3 more pancakes, adding more oil to skillet as needed. Cut pancakes into wedges. To eat, tuck each wedge inside a lettuce leaf along with some herbs and dip in Nuoc Cham.

Issue 29 Feb 16 - Mar 01, 2017


Korean-style prawn & spring onion pancake A light savoury pancake alternative INGREDIENTS 75g plain flour pinch of chilli powder 1 egg 1 garlic clove, crushed 1 tbsp oil4 4 spring onions trimmed and shredded lengthways 100g small cooked prawns For the dipping sauce 2 tbsp rice vinegar 1 tbsp soy sauce 1 red chilli, finely chopped pinch of sugar

PREPARATION Mix all the dipping sauce ingredients together and set aside. In a bowl, mix the flour, chilli powder and a pinch of salt. Beat together 100ml water, the egg and garlic. Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the water mixture, beating all the time to make a smooth batter. Heat the oil in a medium non-stick frying pan and cook the spring onions for 1 min until beginning to soften. Scatter over the prawns, then pour on the batter to cover. Cook on a medium heat for 3-4 mins or until the bottom is fully set and turning golden, and the top is beginning to set. Flip over and cook the other side for 3-4 mins more until cooked through. Slice into wedges and serve with the dipping sauce.

Italian pancake cannelloni Give pancakes a savoury twist with this Italian-style meatball, spinach and ricotta filling, topped with gooey mozzarella that’s ideal for Shrove Tuesday or everyday dining. INGREDIENTS 420g pack free-range pork meatballs 400g bag fresh spinach 2 tbsp basil pesto 250g tub ricotta 1 egg , beaten ¼ tsp ground nutmeg 8 pre-made pancakes 500g carton passata 1 garlic clove, crushed 125g ball mozzarella, torn 1 bunch of basil, leaves only

PREPARATION Heat the grill to high and cook the meatballs for 12-15 mins on a baking tray or following pack instructions. Cut each one in half and set aside. Tip the spinach into a large colander over the sink. Pour boiling water over to wilt it and leave to drain thoroughly. When cool enough to handle, squeeze out any excess liquid and chop finely. Mix the spinach with the pesto, ricotta, egg and nutmeg, then season to taste. Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Pour the passata over the bottom of an ovenproof dish and stir in the garlic. Divide the spinach mixture between the pancakes, spreading it out in a long strip in the centre. Add meatball pieces to each one, then roll the pancake up to seal in the filling. Lay the

stuffed pancakes on the passata base and top with the mozzarella. Bake for 30 mins until the cheese is melted and bubbling. Scatter over basil leaves to serve.


A great pancake topping! In Granada, Southern Spain, there is chestnut, rosemary, thyme, avocado and orange blossom honey, which were already being made back in the 14th century. In Castile-La Mancha, the honey produced in La Alcarria from rosemary and lavender has been famous since the 17th century. These are guaranteed by a Protected Designation: Miel de Granada PDO and Miel de La Alcarria PDO. In Northern Spain, in Galicia, honey is made from eucalyptus, chestnut, blackberry or heather, and covered by the Protected Geographical Indication Miel de Galicia PGI.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT New evidence suggest a Mediterranean diet may protect your brain in old age Amid the contention about diets and detoxes, sugar and fats, there is at least general agreement that a Mediterranean diet – fruit, vegetables, olive oil, grains, fish – is a good thing. Now, a new study based on brain imaging in over 400 people seems to show that we have even more reason to celebrate this diet and, more importantly, to stick to it. The researchers found that over a three-year period – from the age of 73 to 76 – adherence to a Mediterranean diet is associated with a reduction in the inevitable loss of brain volume that occurs with age.

OK… so the difference in volume loss associated with the diet is not large about 2.5ml (half a teaspoon) and it only accounts for a very small fraction of overall volume variability. But, who’s to say what you might achieve with that extra half teaspoon of brain? If these results prove reliable, there is surely an incentive to stock up on family-sized bottles of olive oil. We already have evidence that the Mediterranean diet, and particularly higher fish and lower meat consumption, is associated with increased brain size, and while the researchers in this latest study did not carry out a randomised trial, they have nevertheless provided important insights by gathering repeat data, allowing them to compare brain size not in terms of absolute values but of changes across time. These findings are consistent with the heartening possibility that the right diet has a genuine impact on brain tissue loss. In any case, keep eating the legumes. Even if it turns out that the Mediterranean diet doesn’t stop your brain from shrinking, there are still plenty of other benefits to be had.

Jack Daniel’s introduced a whiskey-flavored coffee FOR most of us, there’s nothing like a good Cup of coffee to kickstart the day and now thanks to Jack Daniel’s our coffee now offer a little more punch! The Tennessee-based Bourbon giant has launched its first ever whiskey flavoured coffee. The product a unique blend of

gourmet coffee made with 100% Arabica coffee has been infused with Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 Tennessee Whiskey taste but is thankfully alcohol-free so everyone can enjoy it. According to Jack Daniels the coffee is available in regular and decaffeinated

with a choice of package options including a 8.8oz pack, a collectible tin or a 1.5oz gift bag. It is currently available to buy online from the Jack Daniel’s store, with plans in place to roll it out to stores across America and the UK.



Issue 29 Feb16 - Mar 01, 2017

Taberna del Alabardero Beach




WAS unaware that this typically Spanish Tavern laid out a sumptuous buffet, only available on a Friday for only €17.50 per head for three courses. Feeling a little shame-faced, I remembered the many happy occasions meeting my friends and spending afternoons sipping cool rose wine, dipping in and out of their secluded swimming pool. The buffet was impressive and featured a selection of fabulous Andalusian dishes. Mainly comprising seafood, the menu was abundant in local flavour and the house specialty being paella served on a cast iron platter, was a lot for the eye to behold as it was carried passed us on the way to a neighbouring table. It was clear that the chefs were highly proficient in their preparation and delivery of all menu selections, so we took our seats at a table facing the sea and settled in for our culinary afternoon. The Manager Miguel Contreras, who I had known for a long time welcomed us and suggested a couple of wines from the menu. Lynda ordered a bottle of crisp white – a Mediterranean grape from Cataluna, which was exceptionally light and a perfect choice to drink with our food selections from the buffet.

It may have been an unusual choice during this somewhat unseasonal weather, but living just within a stone’s throw from Taberna del Alabardero restaurant, I decided to pop in for a quick drink (purely to get out of the cold, of course!) with my dear friend Lynda Woodin. This one drink turned into a blissful afternoon departing once the sun went down. Waiter Alfredo Trujillano Lopez

I have to say, not having a great appetite, I astounded myself by returning to the buffet four times. It was irresistible and the six paella dishes suited all tastes and palates, even the children were diving into large plates and returning to the buffet. Selections included shelled prawns and diced fish, black squid ink paella with baby octopus and squid bull tails, baby beans and wild mushrooms and vegetable paella. In addition, fish and seafood with wet rice, rice with large red ‘scarlet’ prawns and for those who prefer an alternative to rice small noodles with King Prawns and local clams. ‘Truly sensational’. They also have a Menu del Dia from Monday to Friday at 7.50 Euros plus iva. However, should clientele wish to opt for the A la Carte menu, it is extensive with over twenty starters including Carpaccio, fish and seafood soup, garlic King prawns with garlic bread, marinated tuna fish with Wasabi Mayonnaise and crackers cookies with main courses from traditional fish and chips. Other dishes fea-

PHOTOS: Lynda Woodin

SIMPLY DELICIOUS Lynda being a ‘Bon Viveur’, felt the buffet was simply delicious and with a particularly large choice of fresh fish, paella and crustacean made it difficult to choose what to have. As an ‘Amuse Bouche’, which was an unexpected surprise, we were given a complimentary plate of fresh prawns to accompany our first drinks. There followed a range of three starters including Boquerón’s (Anchovies), a wonderfully fresh tomato, onion and tuna salad and a ratatouille dish with a fried egg on top; all absolutely heavenly and traditional to this part of Spain. We then went up to help ourselves to their range of paellas – surprisingly as much as one can consume and six from which to choose. Miguel suggested that we should have two or three spoonful’s of each, with a generous squeeze of fresh lemon and some traditional aioli sauce. The staff were attentive and helpful, always ready to advise about the different courses and what delights lay within. On being presented with the bill, we were very surprised to see how incredibly priced it was for an exceptional lunch”.

tured are grilled sea bass, turbot and cod. For meat lovers, beef tenderloin “Solomillo de Buey’, a particular favourite of mine (if I had not had so much paella!) lamb chops or cheek of Iberian pork.

TREAT Spaniards are quite often happy to give a local drink on the house and in this instance Miguel gave us some Magno cognac which is a favourite of Lynda’s husband James and for us Pachiran or lemonchello, one of my alltime favourites, a ‘Sorbetto’ (fruit flavoured sorbet with Vodka). I opted for the lemon and Lynda had the mango. A lovely end to a fabulous lunchtime treat. Taberna del Alabardero is heavily patronized by the Spanish locals which always defines a great restaurant in their homeland, together with an international crowd including French, Scandinavian and the British expat community. The restaurant is not only established nationally with sister restaurants in Madrid, Marbella, Seville and Malaga, but

also globally in Washington DC, where the establishment has been awarded accolades for their outstanding cuisine, two years in a row. The restaurant is not only established nationally with sister restaurants in Madrid, Marbella, Seville and Malaga, but also globally in Washington DC, where the establishment has been awarded accolades for their outstanding cuisine, two years in a row. Without a shadow of a doubt, I will be making Taberna del Alabardero a very regular lunchtime venue. I am only surprised that I hadn’t realised the food, the service, the ambience and the unbelievable cost for such lovely food, lay only a short distance from my doorstep.

Taberna del Alabardero Beach, Urb. Castiglione, s/n, San Pedro de Alcantara, Tel: 952 78 05 52. Opening hours 1.00pm – 11.00pm.

Issue 29 Feb 16 - Mar 01, 2017


Tel: 952 92 95 78 · · Calderón de la Barca s/n, Nueva Andalucía, Marbella ·


Issue 29 Feb16 - Mar 01, 2017



SUDOKU Sudoku is one of the most popular puzzle games of all time. The goal of Sudoku is to fill a 9×9 grid with numbers so that each row, column and 3×3 section contain all of the digits between 1 and 9. As a logic puzzle, Sudoku is also an excellent brain game. If you play Sudoku regularly, you will soon start to see improvements in your concentration and overall brain power.

WORD SEARCH ACROSS 1 Casino game 5 “Casey __ Bat” 10 Failure; disaster 14 __ tea; summer refresher 15 “Don’t __ on me”; words on an old flag 16 Dubuque, __ 17 Get rid of 18 Very stubborn 20 Lay a lawn 21 Majors and Marvin 22 Dishwasher cycle 23 Detroit team 25 VP Quayle 26 Perfumes 28 Smart 31 At all __; by any means necessary 32 Brown ermine 34 Upper limb 36 Besides 37 Street talk

38 __ market; swap meet 39 Singer __ Tillis 40 __-in; substitute 41 Couches 42 Respiratory or circulatory 44 Distance from end to end 45 Actor __ Cruise 46 Vital artery 47 Up and about 50 Snatch 51 JFK’s successor 54 Like a watch able to endure being dropped 57 Sticky stuff 58 Eccentric one 59 Silly as a __ 60 Harbor town 61 __ up; arranges 62 Puff __; deadly reptile 63 Blyth and Jillian

Solution to puzzle from issue 28

DOWN 1 Smooch 2 Resound 3 To no purpose 4 Unusual 5 Greek capital 6 Joyce Kilmer’s famous poem 7 Soothing drinks 8 “I’ve __ it!”; cry of disgust 9 Ames & Asner 10 Canning an employee 11 Diving bird 12 Possesses 13 Leaf of a book 19 Characteristic 21 Plenty 24 4 __ 12 is 3 25 Boring event 26 Con game 27 Nat and Natalie 28 James __; 007

FFind and circle all of the Movie Actors that are hidden in the grid. The remaining letters spell the name of a movie for which Jeremy Irons won an Oscar. 29 30 32 33 35 37 38 40 41 43 44 46 47 48 49 50 52 53 55 56 57

Two quarts Actor Williams Close angrily Light brown Alda’s sitcom Flower stalk Letter style on a computer Baby carrier? Many a Kosovo native Adheres Slip-on shoe Got up Inquires Oxford or clog Sound the horn “__ grief!” Scorch Fast planes Golfers’ assn. Curtain holder Student’s avg.

Solution to puzzle from issue 28


BACON, Kevin BARDEM, Javier BLACK, Jack BRIDGES, Jeff CAINE, Michael CARREY, Jim CHAN, Jackie CLOONEY, George COSTNER, Kevin CUSACK, John DAMON, Matt

DANIELS, Jeff DEPP, Johnny DICAPRIO, Leonardo DOUGLAS, Michael DUNCAN, Michael Clarke FORD, Harrison FOXX, Jamie GIBSON, Mel GOLDBLUM, Jeff GRANT, Hugh GYLLENHAAL, Jake



Issue 29 Feb 16 - Mar 01, 2017




Joey the squirrel may not be as big as a guard dog, but he’s definitely just as protectively vicious. Adam Pearl never suspected that his pet rodent would be much of a threat until someone robbed his house in Meridian, Idaho on

Tuesday night. After coming home to find doors opened and scratch marks around the safe lock where he kept his guns, Adam called the police. When officer Ashley Turner arrived on the

CODEWORD Codewords are like crossword puzzles - but have no clues! Instead, every letter of the alphabet has been replaced by a number, the same number representing the same letter throughout the puzzle. All you have to do is decide which letter is represented by which number! To start you off, we reveal the codes for two or three letters.






4 15


12 21 5 5 1 6 5 9 3 1 5 9 14 5




4 14 13 23



5 1

12 1 3 22 3 23 21 14 1 16

scene, however, she was surprised to see Joey scurrying around the house. She asked if he tended to bite people. “I said, well, he usually doesn’t bite but you never know cause he is a squirrel,” Pearl told KIVI. The officer found the culprit and returned a few hours later with his stolen belongings. “She said while she was questioning the individual he had scratches on his hands so she asked him ‘did you get that from the squirrel’ and he says yeah, damn thing kept attacking me and wouldn’t stop until I left,” said Pearl. In honor of Joey’s efficient guard work, he was rewarded with some special treats and national praise for his good deed.


An elementary school teacher went above and beyond for her students with sensory issues just by using paint, a hot glue gun, and a few tennis balls.

25 9 21 9 22 16 15 5 9 16 13 12 14 17


14 13 20 7 9 18

1 9 14 7 21 8 6

12 10 7 16 3 26 3 8 8 16 13 2 14 11 7 14 12 7 3 21 17 5 19 8 7 13 17 6 16 9 22 16 16 26

Solution to CODEWORD from issue 27


18 26 15 4 26 7 16 7

9 9 2 14 14 14 25 17 7 24 14 17 22 16 12

15 14 12 17 3 22





21 22

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 1 14






4 17




6 19

WORD BLOCK From the 9-letter grid, find words of 4 letters or more. Words must contain the middle letter, and there is at least one nine-letter word. Target: 24 words

7 20

8 21




A family pet saved its owners from an early morning blaze after their mobile home caught fire in Alberta, Canada. At about 3:30 a.m., firefighters were called to Clairmont where a mobile home’s underside was on fire. The parents and two children were asleep at the time when the cat came into the parents’ bedroom and bit the mother on the arm to alert her to the fire. The family escaped and called the fire department. “It’s pretty interesting to see that it was the cat that did alert them that there was an issue,” said fire Chief Trevor Grant. Firefighters were able to contain the fire to the underside of the mobile home and extinguished it quickly.

footprint - portion - tortoni - forint - intort option - potion - profit - pronto - proton tinpot - triton - front - nitro - pinto - piton point - potto - print - troop - font - foot fort - frit - into - onto - otto - pint - port - rift riot - root - tint - tiro - toft - toot - topi - tori torn - tort - trio - trip - trot

1 13 6 9 9



Solution to Wordblock puzzzle from issue 28

9 23 6 16 5 8 16 23 3 12 7 12

lation.” Maplethorpe says that the chairs will assist 15 to 20 students in the school. Children have reportedly already shown improvement since they started using the special seats during class.

10 23

11 24





Amy Maplethorpe, a first grade speechlanguage pathologist at Raymond Ellis Elementary School in Round Lake, Illinois created special textured chairs for her students with Down syndrome, autism, or sensory processing disorder. She reportedly got the idea when she came across a similar project on Pinterest. “Sensory seating is used for students who may have difficulty processing information from their senses and from the world around them,” wrote the school on Facebook. “Tennis balls on the seat and backrest provide an alternative texture to improve sensory regu-


25 7 17 4 4 6 16 20 5 16 7 25 16 1


16 19 2 11 7 13 16


7 16 24 19 1

26 22 26 7 25 13 16 19 10


24 26 6 2 13



26 2 15 20 24 26 6









20 19 7 12 9 9 12


7 2 19 12 6 5


8 7 16 24 6 19 21

11 26 18 2 12 21 16


8 17 17 18 7


24 12 5 16 24 16 21 25 20

22 26 21 23 20


16 26 26 20 25 19 22


14 12 24 2 19 16

24 19 20 3 17 12 25 16


14 22 10 4 17 5 21


12 2 20 16 20 20

25 15 22 16 9 26 20 25


Solution to SUDOKU puzzles from issue 28


9 12 24 2 26 25


26 12 4 15 5 26 26


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Issue 29 Feb 16 - Mar 01, 2017


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Issue 29 Feb16 - Mar 01, 2017



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Issue 29 Feb 16 - Mar 01, 2017

d on y e m o b fro t rja and .8FM e N M 06 1 F m ro 06.2 via f r g 1 tin on alta s ca nda ibr d oa aho to G r B al ia C vir El


Issue 29 Feb16 - Mar 01, 2017


Barclays Premier League Table

P Team P W D L F A GD Pts 1 Chelsea 25 19 3 3 52 18 34 60 2 Man City 25 16 4 5 51 29 22 52 3 Spurs 25 14 8 3 46 18 28 50 4 Arsenal 25 15 5 5 54 28 26 50 5 Liverpool 25 14 7 4 54 30 24 49 6 Man Utd 25 13 9 3 38 21 17 48 7 Everton 25 11 8 6 40 27 13 41 8 West Brom 25 10 7 8 34 31 3 37 9 Stoke City 25 8 8 9 30 36 -6 32 10 West Ham 25 9 5 11 34 43 -9 32 11 Southampton 25 8 6 11 28 31 -3 30 12 Burnley 25 9 3 13 27 36 -9 30 13 Watford 25 8 6 11 29 42 -13 30 14 Bournemouth 24 7 5 12 35 47 -12 26 15 Swansea City 25 7 3 15 31 54 -23 24 16 Middlesbr. 25 4 10 11 19 27 -8 22 17 Leicester City 25 5 6 14 24 43 -19 21 18 Hull City 25 5 5 15 22 49 -27 20 19 Crystal Palace 25 5 4 16 32 46 -14 19 20 Sunderland 25 5 4 16 24 46 -22 19

Sky Bet Championship Table

All results as at 14.02.2017

P Team P W D L F A GD Pts 1 Newcastle 30 21 2 7 58 23 35 65 2 Brighton 30 19 7 4 51 25 26 64 3 Huddersfield 30 18 4 8 39 33 6 58 4 Reading 31 17 6 8 44 39 5 57 5 Leeds United 31 17 3 11 42 32 10 54 6 Sheffield Wed. 30 15 7 8 37 28 9 52 7 Norwich City 31 15 5 11 55 43 12 50 8 Derby County 30 13 8 9 33 25 8 47 9 Fulham 30 12 10 8 49 35 14 46 10 Barnsley 31 13 7 11 48 44 4 46 11 Preston 31 12 9 10 42 39 3 45 12 Birmingham 31 10 10 11 32 42 -10 40 13 Ipswich Town 31 10 9 12 32 39 -7 39 14 Cardiff City 31 11 6 14 36 44 -8 39 15 Brentford 30 10 7 13 42 42 0 37 16 Aston Villa 30 8 12 10 29 33 -4 36 17 Notts Forest 31 10 6 15 43 53 -10 36 18 Wolves 30 9 8 13 38 41 -3 35 19 QPR 31 9 7 15 30 44 -14 34 20 Bristol City 30 9 5 16 41 44 -3 32 21 Burton Albion 31 8 7 16 31 45 -14 31 22 Blackburn 30 7 8 15 35 47 -12 29 23 Wigan Athletic 30 6 8 16 28 38 -10 26 24 Rotherham 31 4 5 22 28 65 -37 17



Liverpool ban THE SUN over Hillsborough coverage Liverpool have banned The Sun’s reporters from their stadium and training ground over the tabloid’s coverage of the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, a source familiar with the matter has confirmed.


claims were false and part of a police cover-up, drawing an IVERPOOL fans have boycotted the paper ever since apology from The Sun. it published damaging and subsequently discredited Fresh inquests into the deaths last year concluded the 96 vicfront-page allegations four days after the tragedy, in tims were unlawfully killed. which 96 of the club’s supporters were crushed to death. The decision is understood to have been taken now folDAMAGE lowing talks between the club’s American owners Fenway Sports Group and victims’ families. Famed for its bawdy humour and provocative front pages, Margaret Aspinall, whose son James died at Hillsborough, The Sun is Britain’s best-selling daily with a circulation of was said to be “pleased” about the decision on the Twitter around 1.7 million. page of the Hillsborough Family Support Group. In a statement on Friday, the centre-right paper said banning “I don’t want to give that scum any further publicity so have its journalists was “bad for fans and bad for football”. no other comment,” she was quoted as saying. It added: “The Sun deeply regrets its reporting of the tragic Liverpool declined to comment publicly on the matter after reevents at Hillsborough and understands the damage caused ports appeared on the websites of several British newspapers. by those reports is still felt by many in the city. The deadly crush at Sheffield Wednesday’s Hillsborough sta“A new generation of journalists on the paper congratulate dium occurred during an FA Cup semi-final between Liverthe families on the hard-fought victory they have achieved pool and Nottingham Forest in April 1989. through the inquest. In an article headlined ‘THE TRUTH’, The Sun claimed Liv“It is to their credit that the truth has emerged and, whilst Spanish BBVA La Liga Table erpool supporters had attacked police officers tending to we can’t undo the damage done, we would like to further a P Team P W D L F A GD Pts stricken fans and stolen from dead bodies. dialogue with the city and to show that the paper has respect 1 Real Madrid 20 15 4 1 54 18 36 49 A report into the disaster in September 2012 revealed the for the people of Liverpool.” 2 Barcelona 22 14 6 2 61 18 43 48 3 Sevilla 22 14 4 4 44 28 16 46 4 Atl Madrid 22 12 6 4 39 18 21 42 5 Real Sociedad 22 13 2 7 36 31 5 41 6 Villarreal 22 9 9 4 29 15 14 36 7 Eibar 22 10 5 7 36 29 7 35 8 Athletic Bilbao 22 10 5 7 28 26 2 35 9 Espanyol 22 8 8 6 30 29 1 32 10 Celta Vigo 21 9 3 9 33 36 -3 30 11 Las Palmas 22 7 7 8 31 33 -2 28 12 Alavés 22 6 9 7 21 28 -7 27 13 Real Betis 21 6 6 9 21 31 -10 24 14 Malaga 22 5 8 9 29 36 -7 23 PORTO have activated a 20-million-euro clause to make midfielder Oliver Tor15 Valencia 21 5 5 11 29 40 -11 20 res’s loan move from Atletico Madrid permanent in the second biggest deal in 16 Dep Coruña 21 4 7 10 26 34 -8 19 the history of the Portuguese league. The 22-year-old Spaniard’s move is just two million euros shy of the record 17 Leganés 22 4 6 12 15 37 -22 18 transfer of 22 million euros that Benfica paid Atletico for Mexican internation18 Sporting Gijón 22 4 4 14 24 43 -19 16 al Raul Jimenez in 2015. 19 Granada 22 2 7 13 17 48 -31 13 Porto coach Nuno Espirito Santo has started Torres in 27 matches this season. 20 Osasuna 22 1 7 14 24 49 -25 10


Issue 29 Feb 16 - Mar 01, 2017



It has been a source of great mirth for the fans of Manchester United’s rivals that despite a run of 16 games without defeat, Jose Mourinho’s side have been in sixth place since the first weekend in November. But while the gap between United and the Champions League places stretched to nine points in early December, their current run has seen them move to within a point of the top four and two points of second-place Tottenham Hotspur. It will be a source of frustration, then, for Mourinho, whose side comfortably beat Watford 2-0 on Saturday, that FA Cup and League Cup commitments mean his team do not have another league game until March 4.

Fortune favours under-fire Wenger Faced with mounting criticism from Arsenal fans amid talk he was planning his exit strategy, Arsene Wenger was a manager under siege ahead of Saturday’s clash with Hull City. Fortunately for Wenger, Alexis Sanchez was able to ease the pressure with a helping hand that put Arsenal on course for a 2-0 victory. Sanchez’s 34th-minute opener was allowed to stand despite the ball ricocheting into the net off his hand and he added a second goal with a stoppage-time penalty after Sam Clucas had been dismissed for a handball the officials did spot. Wenger was quick to dismiss Arsenal great Ian Wright’s claim that he is ready to end his 21-year reign at the end of the season, and with luck like this, who can blame him for wanting to stick around?

Five things we learned in the Premier League With no Premier League matches until 25th February the last round of premiership matches were eventful, leaders Chelsea were held up by Burnley, Arsenal and Liverpool got back on track and Leicester City’s title defence took another turn towards disaster. Here are five things we learned in the Premier League: Mane makes Liverpool’s world go round Left for dead in the title race after failing to win any of their previous five league games, Liverpool got back on track against Tottenham thanks to a Sadio Mane masterclass. Following the Senegal winger’s departure for the Africa Cup of Nations, Liverpool went into free-fall, losing touch with leaders Chelsea and crashing out of both domestic cups. Mane looked a little off the pace when he returned in Liver-

SPANISH LEAGUE WANTS LEGAL ACTION IN ZOZULYA SCANDAL THE Spanish football league said they were pursuing legal action against 10 fans of Rayo Vallecano who accused Ukrainian international Roman Zozulya of having “neoNazi” sympathies. Zozulya, 27, spent just 24 hours on loan at the club from Spanish rivals Real Betis before being recalled following Vallecano fans greeting his arrival with banners reading: “Vallekas is not the place for Nazis.” But La Liga on Thursday said they were bringing a criminal case against 10 fans “on charges of coercion”. Zozuya insisted he was “not linked to or a supporter of any paramilitary or neo-Nazi group.” However, he did admit to “collaborating with the Ukranian army to help protect his country.” Zozulya has only made six appearances for Betis since joining on a free transfer from Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk at the start of the season.

pool’s embarrassing 2-0 loss at Hull, but he was back to his dynamic best with a quick-fire first-half double that gave his side a 2-0 win. Catching Chelsea still looks a pipedream, but manager Jurgen Klopp has challenged his team to win all their remaining league fixtures and this swaggering performance suggested a strong finish is not out of the question.

Home is where the heart is for Burnley Only one of Burnley’s 30 points this season has been picked up away from home, but when their home form is as impressive as it is, that may not matter. Their 1-1 draw with leaders Chelsea means the Lancashire club have gone six top-flight games unbeaten at home for the first time since September 1975, and it was no backs-tothe-wall effort. Pedro put Chelsea ahead in the seventh minute, but Burnley more than held their own after home debutant Robbie Brady had equalised with a fine 24th-minute free-kick and prevented Antonio Conte’s league leaders from registering a single shot on target in the second half. It was only the third time Chelsea had dropped points in 19 games.

Leicester are making the wrong kind of history

Nine months on from their astonishing 5,000-1 title triumph, Leicester City continue to make history, but now it is for all the wrong reasons. Their 2-0 defeat at Swansea City made them the first English champions to lose five successive games since Chelsea in 1956. A point and a place above the relegation zone, they are in increasing peril of becoming the first defending champions to go down since Manchester City in 1938.


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Cup commitments untimely for Man United

Issue 29 Feb16 - Mar 01, 2017




JOE Root has been named as new Test captain of England, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced Monday. Yorkshire batsman Root, previously England’s vice-captain, had been the overwhelming favourite to replace Alastair Cook ever since the Essex opener resigned as Test skipper after a national record 59 matches in charge last week. Root, who made his England debut under Cook, is now widely regarded as England’s leading batsman. “It is a huge honour to be given the England Test captaincy,” Root said in an ECB statement. “I feel privileged, humbled and very excited.” d on ey m b o to fr rja nd 8FM Ne M a 06. 1 m F ro 6.2 ia g f 10 tar v n i n l t as a o ibra dc nd oa aho to G r B al ia C vir El

Murray warns Scotland-bound Federer off deepfried Mars Bar Scottish star Murray will face Federer in a charity exhibition match in Glasgow on November 7. Scotland is notorious for having one of the worst average diets in Europe, with the deep fried Mars bar -- where the chocolate bar is shoved into hot oil and coated with the kind of batter more commonly seen covering fried fish -- one of its most infamous dishes. Murray and Federer may be rivals most of the time but that didn’t stop the 29-year-old from offering his Swiss visitor some advice about the local ‘cuisine’. “Don’t try the fried Mars bars,” Murray joked. “I tried one of them for the first time last year and it was horrific. Stay away from them.” Federer won his 18th Grand Slam singles title at last month’s Australian Open, beating

Andy Murray has warned Roger Federer to avoid sampling the questionable delights of a “horrific” deep-fried Mars bar after the tennis great accepted an invitation to play in Scotland for the first time. old foe Rafael Nadal in a Melbourne final few pundits had foreseen. Murray, by contrast, suffered a shock fourth round defeat at the hands of the unheralded Mischa Zverev. Federer’s success in Australia, at the relatively advanced age, in tennis terms, of 35 came following a long spell out with injury and a self-imposed break. And double Olympic champion Murray, 29, said he might now reduce his schedule in a bid to prolong his career. “It’s incredible what he did in Australia after such a long break,” Murray, a three-time Grand Slam-winner, said. “We play so much, a lot of the year. Sometimes coming to events fresh can have some huge advantage. “Him and Rafa were both coming back from a pretty significant period of time out and they both played extremely well. Maybe that’s something we can all learn from moving forwards.” Federer decided to take up Murray’s invitation after the Scot took part in the Swiss ace’s charity event in April. Such is Federer’s global popularity that sellout-crowds at Glasgow’s 10,800-capacity SSE Hydro are expected. “I saw a little video where he was wearing a kilt when he was announcing that I was going to play in his event over in Switzerland,”

said Murray. “He’s returning the favour in November. It’s really good he’s doing it. “He’s just extremely popular. He’s one of the best players that’s ever played the game. “It’s not just how much he’s won, but the way he plays and how he carries himself.” Federer will be helping raise funds that will be shared equally between UNICEF, the United Nations’ children’s fund and an as yet unnamed local Scottish charity. “Last year was such a fantastic night and to raise over £300,000 for UNICEF and Young People’s Futures (a Glasgow-based children’s charity) in our first year was amazing,” said Murray, a UK ambassador for UNICEF. “This year is going to be even bigger and better and I am so pleased to be able to bring Roger to play in Scotland for the first time.”

YORK’S RICHEST-EVER RACE GETS EVEN RICHER THIS year’s Group One Juddmonte International York’s richest-ever race will this year have a prize fund of £1million, eclipsing the previous £850,000 prize fund of previous years. The 10-furlong contest, the opening day of York’s Ebor Festival which attracts a plethora of stars and has been won by the likes of Frankel and Sea The Stars, is Britain’s highest rated race according to the average three-year rating by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities. The Ebor Festival also hosts two other feature races of the week, Thursday’s Darley Yorkshire Oaks and Friday’s Coolmore Nunthorpe, which have also seen there prize-money increases this year making them worth £350,000. View all bets Speaking about the injection of funds, York Racecourse Chairman Lord Grimthorpe said, “Attracting the best horses to run in competitive races on the Knavesmire is what we are all about; so I am pleased that the unstinting support from long standing sponsors has allowed us to increase prize money for our feature races again this year “The Juddmonte International will reach a notable landmark demonstrating the generous support of Prince Khalid for a race that I know he cherishes.”

Issue 29 Feb 16 - Mar 01, 2017



ALL CHANGE: Formula 1 - 2017 MERCEDES:

The new Formula 1 season is bearing down upon us and it seems there have been changes across the board. Ecclestone’s reign has ended, Manor Racing has gone into administration and both Jenson Button and Nico Rosberg have retired. Here we detail the new driver line-up and car changes for 2017: MCLAREN:


Lewis Hamilton (GBR) and Valtteri Bottas (FIN)


Romain Grosjean (FRA) and Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Kevin Magnussen replaces Esteban Gutierrez, who failed to score a point for the outfit in 2016, for the U.S.-based team’s second year in the sport.

Following the announcement that Nico Rosberg was retiring after winning the World Championship, Mercedes have replaced him with Valtteri Bottas from Williams


RED BULL: Sergio Perez (MEX) and Esteban Ocon (FRA)

Fernando Alonso (ESP) and Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL) Stoffel Vandoorne finally secures a full-time ride replacing Jenson Button at McLaren, although Button has the option to return to the team in 2018. Max Verstappen (NED) and Daniel Ricciardo (AUS)

Esteban Ocon moves over from Manor Racing to replace Nico Hulkenberg, who has moved to Renault. RENAULT: Marcus Ericsson (SWE) and Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Moving over from Manor Racing, Pascal Wehrlein replaces Felipe Nasr at Sauber for the 2017 season.


The Red Bull Racing team, along with Ferrari and Toro Rosso, is one of just three teams to retain the same driver line-up with which it ended 2016.

Nico Hulkenberg (GER) and Jolyon Palmer (GBR)

FERRARI: Felipe Massa (FIN) and Lance Stroll (CAN)

For the factory team’s second year back in the sport, Kevin Magnussen leaves for Haas F1 while Nico Hulkenberg moves over from Force India.

Apart from team changes there have also been many changes and regulations brought into play regarding the cars. The new regulations have been cited as the biggest overhaul of the last decade and will very likely shake up the pecking order among the teams.

Rookie Lance Stroll was meant to team with Valtteri Bottas at Williams while Felipe Massa was set to retire. However, following Nico Rosberg’s retirement, Bottas left for Mercedes allowing Massa to return.

Sebastian Vettel (GER) and Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Remains the same TORO ROSSO:

Carlos Sainz (ESP) and Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Remains the same

So how have the cars changed? ENGINES: The hybrid turbo V6s that were introduced in 2014 are there to stay at least until 2020. However, the token system has been eliminated, giving teams more room to develop their engines throughout the season. On the downside, a ‘boostpressure’ constraint will be introduced and only four engines will be allowed per season instead of five, putting even greater emphasis on reliability and cost-cutting. AERODYNAMICS: This area is by far receiving the biggest changes. The front and rear wings will be significantly wider, the rear wing will be lower, the body will be wider, and the nose will be longer. As a result, the new cars are expected to be several seconds faster per lap than in 2016. They’ll also be harder to drive

around narrow circuits like Monaco and Singapore, as their larger dimensions will make them more difficult to keep out of the walls. TYRES: As aerodynamic downforce increases, so too does the load on the tires; in fact, the 2016 Pirelli tires would not be able to handle the extra downforce produced by the new cars. For 2017, the tires will be much bigger than they have been in decades—about 25% wider at the front and 30% wider at the rear compared to the 2016 tires. This will increase mechanical grip, which like the aerodynamic changes will make the cars faster per lap. Pirelli has also promised to make the tires last longer, which will likely switch up the way teams approach pit strategy over a Grand Prix weekend.

Issue 29 Feb16 - Mar 01, 2017




Five sporting fairytales with an unhappy sequel Premier League champions Leicester’s shambolic defence of their title leaves them in real danger of relegation - but - they would not be the first to have seen a fairytale sporting success quickly decline into a nightmare. HERE we take a look at five other examples of sporting highs followed by monumental lows:

SO far only one of the Russian athletes stripped of Olympic medals for doping has given it back to the International Olympic Committee, claims a senior Moscow sports official. Runner Anton Kokorin, who won bronze in Beijing in the men’s 4X400m relay team, is the only athlete to have returned his Olympic medal, Yelena Ikonnikova, the anti-doping coordinator of the athletics federation (RusAF). The IOC has ruled that all the athletes who were stripped of their medals over doping violations must give them back. Ikonnikova confirmed that Russia’s athletics federation has received a list of the athletes concerned and passed it on. “We’ve distributed the list and the IOC demand for the return of Olympic medals to all the athletes and the regional (athletics) federations concerned,” she said. Ikonnikova added that RusAF has served as a mediator between the Russian Olympic Committee and the international one and the athletes. Last week Russian Olympic Committee chief Alexander Zhukov said that it “was continuing with its work” to return the medals. “Although only few athletes have agreed to return medals, we are continuing to work on this. We are contacting them via their sports federations,” he told TASS agency. Aleksandra Brilliantova, the ROC legal department chief, complained however that the ROC had no leverage to force the country’s athletes to return their Olympic medals. “The ROC doesn’t have any established procedure for returning medals, and this is a serious problem,” TASS agency quoted Brilliantova as saying. Media reports said that 13 Russian athletes who won medals at the 2008 Beijing Games and eight who were medal winners at London in 2012 have tested positive for banned substances and have been ordered to return their gongs to the IOC. Some of the doping violators have already retired and are seeking to defy the order and hold onto their Olympic medals, causing additional friction between the IOC and the ROC.

Boxing Buster Douglas James ‘Buster’ Douglas tamed the fearsome ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson in Tokyo in 1990, the 42/1 outsider inflicting his first defeat and becoming undisputed heavyweight world champion. Douglas -- whose preparation had been upset by the loss of his mother -- was unable to summon up that same intensity nearly a year later as his first defence ended in defeat to Evander Holyfield, who knocked him out in the third round. The only intensity he came up with was to balloon in size till he came close to dying. That sparked him out of his lassitude but despite winning several bouts on returning to the ring there was never a likelihood he would regain the golden touch that for just one memorable night in Japan had earned him his place in the history books.

Cricket England team In a bizarre piece of scheduling there were two Ashes series set for 2013. England generally outplayed Australia in the series they hosted winning 3-0 and came close to a first ever 4-0 success. That Aussie side were labelled the worst to have toured England. Months later England were to return shellshocked as the revitalised Aussies -- not far removed from the same group of players humiliated in England -- had turned things round in remarkable fashion and whitewashed them 5-0 Down Under in a series that stretched into 2014. Until the recent 4-0 series loss to India it was probably the lowest point of England’s fortunes under skipper Alastair Cook.

Golf Ian Baker-Finch Debonair Australian golfer looked to be on the trajectory to greater things when he captured the 1991 British Open aged 31. However, it was to prove to be the peak as very rapidly he descended into the

equivalent of Dantes Inferno in terms of his game and form. He won a couple of times on the less competitive Australia tour but in the cauldron of the PGA Tour and the Majors he played without any confidence at all. He reached his nadir in the 1997 British Open shooting an opening 92 and in despair in the locker room he cried and then announced tournament golf was over for him. “I felt like I was walking naked, like the grass was taller than me,” Baker-Finch told “I tried to walk with my head high. It was really hard.”    

Racing Norton’s Coin Fairytale win in the 1990 Cheltenham Gold Cup the ‘blue riband’ of steeplechasing for the unglamorous 100/1 shot, trained by Welsh dairy farmer Sirrell Griffiths, whose stable ran to just two horses and which clearly impressed avid racing fan the Queen Mother, who presented the trophy. “She said to me ‘I think it’s marvellous to think that you’ve only got two horses and you can win a race like this,” recalled Griffiths in 2015. Norton’s Coin won just once in 18 more starts, not even riding legend Lester Piggott could conjure some magic out of him when he ran over the flat at Royal Ascot.

Football Nuremberg Nuremberg made sporting headlines in 1968 when they captured the Bundesliga title under coach Max Merkel. However, Merkel unlike Claudio Ranieri with his Leicester squad didn’t retain faith in them and sold many of the title winners -- including leading scorer Franz Brungs -- whilst bringing in 11 fresh faces. However, it rebounded on him catastrophically as they struggled from the start and whilst they were far from certainties to go down he was sent packing with several games remaining -- internal unrest was suspected to be the final straw. His departure did not stop the trot and they were relegated at the end of the season.

Issue 29 Feb 16 - Mar 01, 2017



Chinese superclub Evergrande to end foreign signings

Brook’s returns to welterweight divison CHINESE champions Guangzhou Evergrande have announced plans to field a Chinese-only squad by 2020, official media said on Tuesday, in a surprise turnaround after years of success based on big-money foreign signings. Evergrande have won the Chinese Super League for the last six season, plus the AFC Champions League in 2013 and 2015, with the help of mainly South American firepower and top foreign managers. Evergrande, sometimes tagged the “Manchester United of Asia”, have been imitated by other well-heeled Chinese teams with spending on players soaring over the past year. But club boss and real estate tycoon Xu Jiayin said he planned to strip out all foreign players by the end of this decade, according to China’s Xinhua news agency. “In my view, the ideal all-Chinese squad for Evergrande is composed of a world top manager and all native players,” Xu was quoted as saying at an event before the start of the Chinese season.

“Our purpose... is to contribute to the development of Chinese football and all our work needs to be focused on this.” Xu’s comments follow an official crackdown on “irrational” spending after Chinese clubs broke the Asian transfer record five times in a year and reportedly made Oscar and Carlos Tevez the world’s best paid players. Chinese authorities said they would rein in transfer fees and cap wages, while cutting the number of foreign players each team can use from four per match to three. In 2016, China was one of the world’s top five spenders on international football talent, doubling its payouts from the previous year to $451 million. While the mind-boggling deals put Chinese football in the international spotlight, they also drew condemnation from domestic fans, who called for teams to spend more on cultivating home-grown talent. China’s national team is currently ranked a lowly 86th in the world, just behind Qatar with its population of around 2.6 million compared with China’s 1.3 billion.

BRITAIN’S Kell Brook will defend his IBF world welterweight title against American Errol Spence Jr, promoter Eddie Hearn has announced. Terms are yet to be revealed but Hearn has stated that the will be held in the UK in May Brook, 30, will return to the weltwerweight division after suffering the first loss of his career in September after stepping up two divisions to face middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin. Many had thought that Brook’s next fight would be a big money fight against British countryman Amir Khan, but when a deal with Khan fizzled in part because of Khan’s demand for 70 percent of the money Brook at junior middleweight, he opted to fight Spence, a dangerous rising contender. Unbeaten Spence Jr, 27, who was part of the USA team that came to London for the 2012 Olympic Games, has as yet not had a chance to face a top opponent but many view him as the toughest opponent of Brook’s career besides Golovkin with 18 KO’s under his beltt.



LOYD Mayweather has shot down rumours of a deal to fight martial arts star Conor McGregor, insisting he is content to remain retired. The 39-year old American took to his social media Instagram account, telling his fans that he wanted to set the record straight. “There seems to be several rumours floating around media recently however, let the record show, there hasn’t been any deals made in regards to a fight between myself and any other fighters. I am happily retired and enjoying life at this time. If any changes are to come, be sure that I will be the first to let the world to know.”

Mayweather’s statement may be sincere or it may not be. He has been known in the past to often stretch the truth announcing several times that the fight of the moment would be his last only to use that ploy as a bargaining tool to try and sell more tickets.

BOOST The possibility of a fight between boxer Mayweather and McGregor appeared to get a boost as Ultimate Fighting Championship boss Dana White said he’d pay $25 million to each. White, president of the popular UFC mixed martial arts brand

in which Ireland’s McGregor stars, seemed to indicate in his comments on a Fox radio broadcast that the two would meet in a boxing ring, not the UFC octagon. Mayweather, who retired in 2015 with a perfect 49-0 record, is considered one of the greatest fighters of all-time. McGregor has never fought a professional boxing match. McGregor became the first man to simultaneously hold UFC titles in two weight divisions when he beat Eddie Alvarez in New York on November 12. At the end of November he was issued a California boxing license in a development that fuelled speculation about a showdown between the two.

Issue 29 Feb16 - Mar 01, 2017



Turkey seeks to host Euro 2024




TURKEY has announced an ambitious bid backed by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to host the Euro 2024 football tournament, brushing off concerns over security and infrastructure. The football authorities hope it will be second time lucky for the bid after losing out to France to host the 2016 event by one vote, but Turkey is likely to face strong competition from Germany.Turkey in 2014 withdrew its bid to host final stage matches of Euro 2020 -- which uniquely will be held across Europe -- in favour of focusing on a one country bid for 2024.

Turkish Football Federation (TFF) chief Yildirim Demiroren (above) said the bid would be formally presented to UEFA on March 2, just before the March 3 deadline for candidates.”This time it is our right to host the championships,” he told reporters at TFF headquarters.

BEST STADIUM Sports Minister Akif Cagatay Kilic said that Turkey now had the best stadium infrastructure in Europe and its only rival in terms of recently built venues was the United States.”In the last years, Turkey has made a great step forward in terms of stadiums,” he added. “Turkey is able to organise anything on a world sporting level.”Turkey has in the last years embarked on a massive spree of stadium building, opening a new 42,000 seat venue in Konya in 2014, a similar size venue for Istanbul side Besiktas last year and most recently a new stadium for Trabzonspor by the Black Sea. The country has seen in the last years a massive overhaul of its infrastructure in projects spearheaded by Erdogan as he seeks to make Turkey a top 10 global economy.

CHEATS NEVER PROSPER Lance Armstrong to head to court in US suit A

judge has cleared the way for the doping-disgraced cycling icon Lance Armstrong to go to court, saying the US authorities’ allegations against him merited trial. The US Justice Department is seeking nearly $100 million in damages from Armstrong, charging that he cheated the government when the US Postal Service sponsored the team he led. The decision by US District Judge Christopher Cooper, in Washington, DC, comes as a major blow to Armstrong, who had requested the case be thrown out. He claims the lawsuits were unfounded and that the US Postal Service benefited from his lucrative sponsorship deal. Cooper overruled that argument in his 37-page decision, arguing that the issue of injury suffered by the United States must be decided by a jury.

The US Postal Service paid more than $32 million to Tailwind Sports Corporation, the now-defunct Lance  Armstrong cycling team.  Former Armstrong teammate Floyd Landis filed suit in 2010 for fraud and was subsequently joined by the government under the Misrepresentation Act, which authorizes individuals to sue a person or company for misleading the federal government. Armstrong in October 2012 was stripped of his seven victories (1999-2005) in the Tour de France after the American AntiDoping Agency (USADA) accused him of actively taking part in one of the most sophisticated doping programs ever seen in sports.  After years of denials and despite his suspension for life, Armstrong  in January 2013 finally acknowledged to American television host Oprah Winfrey that he took part in doping. 


Issue 29