Soltalk May 2017 - Page 22

20 20 NEWS Chacon dies Former socialist Defence Minister Carmé Chacon was found dead at her Madrid home last month. Chacon, aged 46, suffered from a congenital heart disease and is believed to have died from natural causes. In 2008, she became the first woman to head Spain’s Defence Ministry and was one of the key figures during the administration of José Luis Rodrígo Zapatero. Hacker suspect A Russian computer programmer, suspected of cyber espionage during November’s US elections, has been detained in Barcelona. His wife told reporters he had been the subject of a detention order issued by the US. An American investigation claimed that Russia organised hackers to attack computers at the Democratic Party headquarters in an effort to prejudice the Clinton campaign in favour of Trump. Port accident A 59-year-old Moroccan man died last month after his car fell into the sea as it was disembarking from a ferry which had arrived in Ceuta from Barcelona. Reports say the driver failed to follow directions and an emergency operation to rescue him swung into operation. His vehicle was pulled from the water some hours later and an investigation opened into the accident. Cancer prevention Scientists in Valencia who have found a cure for preventing cancer say it cannot be developed because of a lack of funding. The vaccine is reported to be effective in animals if it is administered before the tumour forms, but clinical trials cannot follow for lack of the €50,000 these would cost. They say the treatment deactivates the genes which allow tumours to be tolerated. Tax call Animal protection group PACMA is urging the government not to reduce the VAT on tickets to bullfights. A 100,000 signature petition presented to the Culture Ministry says the tax rate should remain at 21%, not be reduced to 10%, as the government has announced. The group says a financial benefit should not apply to the animal abuse “which is bullfighting” and “which is mostly rejected.” Burned out A body was found inside a burned-out car in Loja last month. Local police in the Granada town said identification of the victim and ownership of the vehicle could not be determined immediately. Forensic teams were quickly on the scene in Camino Bajo, close to the site of a school. M AY 2 017 Leicester fans sentenced Leicester City Football Club says it is working with UEFA to establish the “full facts” behind disturbances involving their fans in Madrid last month. Eight of the English club’s fans have been handed prison sentences following clashes in Plaza Mayor ahead of the team’s Champions League 1-0 defeat against the present champions, Atlético de Madrid, on Tuesday, April 11. About 70 fans were involved as local police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the crowd. However, the authorities’ reactions have been described as over zealous by some who witnessed the event. A reporter for the Leicester Mercury newspaper, Gary Silke, wrote that Madrid’s police and stewards seemed “very eager to stamp down on any minor infraction, with excessive force the first resort,” and accused some of, “vicious, wholly unprofessional behaviour.” Lance Tomlyn, head of the Leicester City Independent Supporters Association, has written to Madrid’s police chief complaining about the way his officers dealt with the situation. He acknowledged that the behaviour of a minority of supporters let the club down but claimed it was the law enforcement officials who displayed most violence. Reports say that the Leicester fans taunted the police with shouts of “Gibraltar is ours” while objects including glass bottles were thrown at officers. El Pais accused the English fans of “mocking” beggars, as well as insulting Spain and the Spanish. Six police officers are reported to have been injured. Eight of the travelling supporters were given four-month prison sentences for their involvement, with six of them handed a second four-month sentence for actual bodily harm against police officers. Custodial sentences of less than two years for a first offence are usually suspended in Spain, but this may not be the case for those awarded two sentences. However, the fans may be able to avoid prison by paying substantial fines. Basic education hindering Spain’s young adults Many young Spanish adults are hampered in finding jobs because of their poor educational achievements, according to a new report from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). It says that, with over third of those aged between 25 and 34 having left school with only a basic education, Spain’s rate of low achievers is more than double the EU average. The report says 41 per cent of adults in the age bracket go on to further education. However, 34.4 per cent have learned only the basics, compared with the average across the EU of 14.9 per cent. This endemic problem has its origins in the late 90s and early 2000s before the construction bubble burst when jobs requiring few qualifications were plentiful. The OECD says that this pool of poorly educated individuals is more likely to suffer poverty, exclusion and health problems. It adds that while many try to raise their level of their qualifications, around 44 per cent in the age group who are unemployed make no such effort. The OECD warned last month that governments are reducing the pace of economic reforms as popular support fades and global growth slows. It cited Spain as one of several count