Soltalk January 2018 - Page 20

Drugs bust One of the largest networks trafficking hashish in southern Spain has been broken up by police. Fourteen people are reported detained with 5,100 kilos of the drug confiscated. Police say a well-known businessman from Huelva was behind the importation of hashish by sea for national and international distribution, as well as money laundering and the financing criminal activities. Child porn Two suspected paedophiles arrested by National Police in Barcelona and Almería are reported to have stored over 5,000 photos showing sexual abuse of children between six and ten years of age on a web server in New Zealand. A further eight have been arrested for allegedly distributing child pornography. At least two were identified after complaints from the public to the police. Asteroid falls Part of an asteroid travelling at 140,000 kph crashed into the Mediterranean last month. Observers saw a ball of fire pass across the sky as it burned up in the Earth’s atmosphere. Scientists said it had burned out 52 kilometres in the air before its remains fell into the water between Valencia and the Balearic Islands. Spanish view Spain’s foreign minister Alfonso Dastis views the US recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital as “lamentable” and could have worrying consequences. He said the issue was “extremely sensitive.” The Minister added, “We have always said that the status of Jerusalem must be the result of negotiation,” to create, “two peaceful and safe states, side by side.” Minor smuggled A 65-year-old Moroccan man has been detained after trying to cross the border into Melilla with a 12-year-old boy hidden behind the dashboard of his car. Guardia Civil officers found the boy disoriented and dehydrated during a search of the vehicle. The driver who attempted to smuggle the youngster into Spain is to be charged with an offence against the rights of foreign citizens. Road death A 60-year-old man died in Asturias last month when his car was struck by a large boulder. His two passengers escaped uninjured. They were on the AS-112 road close to the San Isidro ski resort when their vehicle was struck by the rock fall. Rescue and recovery efforts were hampered by thick fog in the area. Disputed artworks return to Aragón A pre-dawn operation last month saw police in Cataluña remove disputed artworks from a museum in Lleida and return them to the neighbouring region of Aragón. Arguments over the ownership of the artefacts have raged since the 1980s when they were purchased by the Catalan government from a 17th century monastery at Villaneuva de Sigena in Huesca province. temporary powers could not be applied to “sacred art,” and insisted the legal battle still has, “a long way to go.” Protestors had gathered outside the Lleida museum in an effort to stop the pieces leaving Cataluña, and a few scuffles were reported when officers arrived at 4.00am. The crowd chanted, “Hands up! This is a robbery!” as 44 works left the museum. In 1923, the Sigena monastery was declared a national monument to protect its archaeological treasures which included altarpieces, murals, choir stalls and royal tombs belonging to 13th century monarchs of the Kingdom of Aragón. Many were removed during the Civil War, but in the 1980s, some were sold to Cataluña’s National Museum of Art in Lleida. Spanish courts ruled in 2015 and 2016 that the sales had been illegal and ordered that the artefacts at the Catalan museum should be returned to the Aragón monastery. The operation was ordered by the Culture Minister, Íñigo Méndez de Vigo, who accepted a petition from a judge in Aragón. Madrid is presently controlling affairs in Cataluña following the region’s illegal independence referendum in October, but the move been disputed by Lleida’s mayor. Àngel Ros said Madrid’s Former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont, who remains in exile in Belgium following his failed independence attempt, has denounced the operation. On his Twitter account he wrote, “Under cover of night and using military police, as always, to take advantage of a coup d’etat to plunder Cataluña with complete impunity.” Doctors set to warn on unfit drivers Spain’s legislators are considering a change in the law which would oblige family doctors to advise the traffic authority if a patient is considered unfit to drive. At present, confidentiality rules prevent GPs giving such warnings to Tráfico, except if the patient is considered to be a danger to herself, himself or others. considers that the mandatory five or ten year health checks required for driving licence renewals in Spain may be insufficient for the detection of such conditions. Class B licence holders, the most common amongst private drivers, are required to be checked every ten years to age 65, and every five years thereafter. The government is in the process of reforming parts of the Road Safety Act and is aiming to improve coordination between Tráfico and health authorities. The Committee on Road Safety in Congress is exploring ways in which GPs could raise the alarm if someone with a driving licence has an injury or suffers from a condition which diminishes their capabilities. Tráfico could then suspend their licence, according to proposals from the Partido Popular. The Committee Other aspects of the traffic laws under debate at the moment include whether it should be compulsory for motorcyclists and moped-riders to wear protective jackets and safe footwear, aimed at outlawing two- wheeled motorists driving in flip-flops. The Committee is also considering upgrading the requirements for crash barriers in an effort to reduce the number of motorcyclists who die every year on Spanish roads as a result of impacting against them. 18