Soltalk May 2017 - Page 34

32 32 NEWS Red force Europe’s highest and fastest roller coaster opened to the public last month at Ferrari Land in PortAventura World, south of Barcelona. Red Force accelerates from 0 to 180 kph in five seconds before climbing to 112 metres and then plunging downwards. The G force rises to 4.5 on the accelerator, which is more than is experienced by an F1 racing driver. Concerns growing A poll taken in March suggests that concerns over corruption in Spain are growing. The Centre for Sociology Studies says 72.3% of respondents continue to worry about unemployment, but the problem of corruption has risen by eight points in a month and was mentioned by almost 45%, with 19% describing it as Spain’s biggest concern. In November 2014, 64% said it was their main concern. Gypsy culture Spain’s gypsy community has asked for their history and culture to be taught in schools. Celebrating the International Day of Gypsy People last month, their State Council said the move would help improve gypsies’ social image and would eliminate stereotypes and prejudices which lead to discrimination. Events on the day honoured the gypsy victims of the Nazi genocides and other persecutions over the years. Frieze found A sculpted frieze, missing from Alcalá de Henares cathedral, has been found in a London auction catalogue. Interpol intervened to stop the sale of the 15th century alabaster artwork, considered to be one of the finest examples of Spanish Gothic art. It disappeared at the end of Spain’s Civil War in 1939 and the cathedral has launched an appeal for €10,645 to buy it back. Found guilty The man charged with killing an American tourist walking the Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage route has been found guilty. Denise Pikka Thiem disappeared two years ago, and a local man, Miguel Ángel Muñoz Blas, was arrested and charged five months later. Following last month’s jury verdict finding him of guilty of murder and aggravated robbery, he now faces up to 25 years in jail. Tobacco haul Three people, thought to have been responsible for 192 shipments of illegal tobacco to 172 outlets across Spain, have been detained in Toledo. The arrests followed last month’s discovery of six tons of tobacco leaves with a value of about €1 million at an industrial unit in Ontígola. Guardia Civil investigators say its sale would have defrauded the Treasury of around €3 million in duty. M AY 2 017 Antequera honours British scientist A bust of the British scientist and astronomer Michael Hoskin has been unveiled on a new viewpoint in Antequera. The site overlooks the city’s world-famous megalithic tombs, the Dolmens, which thanks to his scientific investigations, are now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Mr Hoskin and his family travelled to Antequera for last month’s ceremony and told his hosts that the city is his “second home.” The mayor of Antequera, Manuel Barón, said it was right to pay “homage and gratitude” to someone who “gave us ways for the world to recognize the value of Antequera.” It was Michael Hoskin who first recognised the special qualities of the Antequera Dolmens. His years of painstaking research determined that two of the three megaliths, El Romeral and the Menga, break the pattern followed by all other funerary constructions of that time which are oriented towards the sunrise. Menga faces the rock known as Peña de los Enamorados while El Romeral faces El Torcal, making them unique. His 2001 book, “Tombs, temples and orientations,” detailed his findings and the rarity was cited as part of last year’s successful application to UNESCO. Hoskin was awarded Spain’s Gold Medal of Merit by the Culture Ministry in 2015. Brexit fear linked to Madrid woman’s UK death A Spanish woman who was found dead in the UK during January was concerned that she would be deported because of Brexit. The body of 42- year-old Miriam Macarron’Arroyo, who lived in Bristol, was found in the Avon Gorge four days after she was reported missing. A coroner’s court was told last month that the care worker had suffered depression but found there was no conclusive evidence she had intended to take her own life. However, her housemate told the inquest that the victim was “worried about Brexit” and feared she “would be deported one day as a result.” Macarron’Arroyo, whose mother lives in Madrid, had lived and worked in Bristol for about 12 years but suffere