Tag Archive: MADRID

Published time: December 13, 2013 09:35
Edited time: December 13, 2013 13:48


Head of the Catalunyan regional government Artur Mas (C) stands during a press conference on December 12, 2013 in Barcelona announcing that political parties in Catalonia agreed to hold a referendum on independence for the northeastern Spanish region on November 9, 2014 (AFP Photo / STR)

Head of the Catalunyan regional government Artur Mas (C) stands during a press conference on December 12, 2013 in Barcelona announcing that political parties in Catalonia agreed to hold a referendum on independence for the northeastern Spanish region on November 9, 2014 (AFP Photo / STR)


The Catalan regional parliament has set November next year for a referendum on the Spanish province’s independence. The government in Madrid blandly said the vote won’t happen, but activists wonder how it might be stopped.

Catalonia’s four pro-independence parties, which hold a majority in the regional parliament, announced Thursday that the rich industrial Spanish province will hold a referendum on whether to gain greater autonomy or even total independence from the country’s central government.

The vote’s preliminary date is November 9, Catalan regional government head Artur Mas said. The people will be asked two questions: “Do you want Catalonia to be a state?” and “Do you want that state to be independent?”

The former question was added for those Catalans who seek to change Spain into a federation, with Catalonia forming part of it. According to a Metroscopia poll in newspaper El Pais last month, 46 percent of Catalans favor separatism versus 42 percent who wish to remain within Spain. The support for greater autonomy, however, is very strong.

Just minutes after the announcement Spanish Justice Minister Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon rejected the idea, saying it would be unconstitutional.

“The vote will not be held,” he said.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy spoke out later in the day, saying his government will not allow the Catalan referendum to happen.


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Catalonia sets date for independence referendum, but Madrid vows to block it

Catalan parties agree wording of proposed November 2014 referendum but Spanish government says it will not allow vote
Artur Mas

Artur Mas announceas that political parties in Catalonia have agreed to hold a referendum on independence next November. Photograph: Josep Lago/AFP/Getty Images

Separatist parties in Spain‘s north-eastern Catalonia region on Thursday agreed the wording of an independence referendum proposed for November 2014 but the Spanish government immediately said the vote was illegal and would not happen.

The Catalan regional government head, Artur Mas, said the vote would ask two questions: “Do you want Catalonia to be a state?” and: “Do you want that state to be independent?”

Spain’s justice minister, Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón, immediately said the vote could not take place because the constitution would not allow it.


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Airplane landing

Thinkstock / Photodisc

European and Spanish health officials released new details today about a Spanish woman who is hospitalized with a Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection after visiting Hajj holy sites in Saudi Arabia, plus efforts under way to identify those who flew with her from Jeddah to Madrid.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said today in an updated risk assessment that the 61-year-old woman with no known underlying health conditions was in Saudi Arabia from Oct 2 to Nov 1. She visited Medina, then Mecca and had no known contact with animals.

Her symptoms began Oct 15 with cough and fever, and she was seen at a hospital emergency department of a Mecca hospital on Oct 28 and 29, where health workers diagnosed her as having pneumonia, based on chest x-ray findings.

Spain’s health ministry told CIDRAP News that it has relayed more details about the case to European health authorities, including that the woman refused to be hospitalized in Saudi Arabia and was hospitalized in Madrid on Nov 1 when she arrived back in Spain.

According to the ECDC, the patient was sick during the flight and needed oxygen treatment while she was aboard.

The health ministry said she was in Medina from Oct 2 through Oct 10 and in Mecca from Oct 11 through Nov 1.

The patient is still listed in stable condition and has not required intensive care, according to the health ministry.  She was placed in a private room on Nov 1, and her medical team instituted respiratory isolation measures on Nov 4 when they suspected the woman was infected with MERS-CoV.

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Nov 06, 2013

Spain’s health ministry today reported the country’s first Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) case, in a woman who had spent October in Saudi Arabia, a development that raises questions about possible exposure at the recent Hajj pilgrimage.

The woman is a Spanish resident who was born in Morocco and was admitted to a Madrid hospital on Nov 1, where she is in stable condition, according to a health ministry statement posted in Spanish. The virus was confirmed in samples tested at the country’s National Microbiology Center.

Spain’s health ministry said it considers the infection an imported case that doesn’t pose a public health risk to Spain, which is now the fifth European country to report an imported MERS-CoV case, in addition to Britain, France, Germany, and Italy. All of the imported infections occurred in people who had recently traveled to Saudi Arabia or other Middle Eastern countries.

A World Health Organization (WHO) official told the Canadian Press today that the woman with MERS-CoV performed the Hajj pilgrimage, got sick in Saudi Arabia, and flew back to Spain where she was hospitalized and tested. Anthony Mounts, MD, the WHO’s technical lead for MERS-CoV, said it’s not clear yet if the woman took a commercial flight or came back on a charter plane, according to the story.

Spain’s health ministry said it and Madrid health officials are identifying all of the woman’s close contacts, based on national and international procedures.

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Spain sees link between quakes and offshore gas storage plant

A platform, part of the Castor Project, located in the Ebro Delta off the coast of Alcanar, stands at sea on October 2, 2013 (AFP, Lluis Gene)



Madrid — Spain’s government said Thursday that a wave of small earthquakes that have rattled the country’s eastern coast could be caused by a large offshore gas storage plant.

Over 300 earthquakes have struck the Gulf of Valencia, a zone not normally known for seismic activity, over the past month, according to Spain’s National Geographic Institute. The quakes have not caused any damage but have frightened residents.

The strongest, a 4.2 magnitude earthquake, hit in the early hours of Tuesday.

Two earthquakes measuring 4.1 struck the region late on Wednesday.

Environmentalists blame the earthquakes on the injection of gas into a giant underground gas storage facility located in the Gulf of Valencia but the government has up to now said there was no confirmed link.

The Castor storage plant aims to store gas in a depleted oil reservoir 1.7 kilometres (1.05 miles) under the Mediterranean Sea and send it via a pipeline to Spain’s national grid.

“There seems to be a correlation, a direct relationship between the gas injection in the underground storage facility which is 22 kilometres from the coast and the microearthquakes that have occurred,” Industry Minister Jose Manuel Soria said in an interview with radio Cadena Cope.

Spanish firm Escal UGS which owns and operated the Castor storage plant stopped injecting gas into the underground reservoir on June 16.


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Kirsten Dirksen

Published on Oct 1, 2013

Architect Camino Alonso wanted to create a small, portable, prefab homes, but she didn’t want it to feel like a shipping container. Camino, along with her husband and siblings (also architects at their firm Ábaton), created ÁPH80, a tiny home that ships like furniture, but has the style and usability of a smartphone.

Their Casa Transportable (“Transportable House”) is manufactured in 6 weeks in a CNC factory in Northern Spain. Their largest model (9 by 3 meters) is still small enough to fit on the back of a truck. The height of 3.5 meters allows for a gabled roof to give it the feel of a real house, but it’s just low enough to fit under bridges and tunnels while on the road.

Once the house arrives at the site, like a shipping container, it is craned into place in as little as 20 minutes. When Ábaton installed their prototype house on an empty plot in a residential neighborhood on the outskirts of Madrid, they had dug a few small holes in preparation for the “foundation footings”: in this case, recycled wood blocks leftover from other construction projects, but cement or a nice rock work as foundation as well.

Ábaton provides instructions and sketches so any crane operator can put the home in place. The home arrive fully plumbed and wired. Their prototype home is the “apartment” with kitchen/living room, bathroom (with full shower) and bedroom (bed included), but they offer other models for those looking interested in simply placing an extra bedroom in their backyard (they offer several combinations e.g. a bedroom/bathroom, 2 bedrooms, livingroom/kitchen, bedroom/living room).

CNC-milled grey cement-board panels lock together to provide not only a sleek exterior, but a ventilated facade. This layered exterior along with 10 centimeters of insulation means the home is thermally efficient – useful for off-grid purposes, but it also means that even without AC on a very hot day in Madrid, the inside of the space stayed cool (we also filmed a video with the Alonso’s at the abandoned stable they turned into a country home).

Ábaton: http://abaton.es/

Original story: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/…


Make yourself at home in a DAY: Architects create a house small enough to be delivered by truck and put up in a few hours… and if you’re worried it looks like a concrete shed, just take a peek inside

By Kieran Corcoran


Loaded up on the back of a lorry, it looks like an unremarkable metal shed.

But this portable home, which can be set up in just one day, is actually a luxury home with a living room, full bathroom and a double bedroom.

The tiny home, which can be set up anywhere, is only 290 square feet, but has everything you need to comfortably house two people.


Moving house: The portable home fits comfortably on the back of a lorry

Moving house: The portable home fits comfortably on the back of a lorry

Mobile: The unassuming grey box can be carried by a lorry and set up within a day

Mobile: The unassuming grey box can be carried by a lorry and set up within a day

Assembled: But peel away the concrete panels and inside is a luxurious home

Assembled: But peel away the concrete panels and inside is a luxurious home

Plush: There is ample living space inside the home

Plush: There is ample living space inside the home

Room with a view: And the glass doors let in plenty of natural light

Room with a view: And the glass doors let in plenty of natural light

Dreamy: The bedroom, to the left of the home, can fit a full double bed

Dreamy: The bedroom, to the left of the home, can fit a full double bed

Cleansing: There is even a bathroom area

Cleansing: There is even a bathroom area

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Published on Feb 23, 2013

Spanish riot police have come to blows with protesters on the streets of the capital Madrid.

The scuffles follow a day of marches against austerity and corruption.

Many demonstrators called for the prime minister to resign.

Al Jazeera’s Rory Challands reports from Madrid.



Earth Watch Report  –  Earthquake

The New Madrid Fault SystemThe greatest earthquake risk east of the Rocky Mountains is along the New Madrid fault system. Damaging earthquakes are much less frequent than in California, but when they do occur, the damage can be far greater, due to the underlying geology.

The New Madrid fault system, or the New Madrid seismic zone, is a series of faults beneath the continental crust in a weak spot known as the Reelfoot Rift. It cannot be seen on the surface. The fault system extends 150 miles southward from Cairo, Illinois through New Madrid and Caruthersville, Missouri, down through Blytheville, Arkansas to Marked Tree, Arkansas. It dips into Kentucky near Fulton and into Tennessee near Reelfoot Lake, and extends southeast to Dyersburg, Tennessee. It crosses five state lines, and crosses the Mississippi River in at least three places.


7km SSW of Trumann, Arkansas

2013-02-23 22:28:38




M3.6 – 7km SSW of Trumann, Arkansas 2013-02-23 22:28:38 UTC

Earthquake location 35.626°N, 90.558°W

Event Time

  1. 2013-02-23 22:28:38 UTC
  2. 2013-02-23 16:28:38 UTC-06:00 at epicenter
  3. 2013-02-23 16:28:38 UTC-06:00 system time


35.626°N 90.558°W depth=14.1km (8.8mi)

Nearby Cities

  1. 7km (4mi) SSW of Trumann, Arkansas
  2. 28km (17mi) SSE of Jonesboro, Arkansas
  3. 49km (30mi) S of Paragould, Arkansas
  4. 54km (34mi) NW of Marion, Arkansas
  5. 186km (116mi) ENE of Little Rock, Arkansas

ShakeMap Intensity Image

Shake Map USGS

Economic News

‘We have no future!’ EU anger unites millions in protest


Massive anti-austerity strikes and protests swept across Europe as millions took to the streets to express their frustration over rising unemployment and dire economic prospects. Many rallies ended with violent clashes with police.

Workers marched in 23 countries across Europe to mark the European Day of Action and Solidarity.

General strikes had been called in Spain and Portugal, paralyzing public services and international flights, in Belgium and France transport links were partially disrupted by strikes and demonstrations, in Italy and Greece thousands of workers and students marched through the streets.

Other EU countries, such as Germany, Austria and Poland, saw well attended union-led rallies.

The Europe-wide strike action, the largest in a series of protests against the austerity policies, was coordinated by the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) and promoted on Twitter under the “#14N” hashtag.

© Agence France-Presse/Anne-Christine Poujoulat
People attend a demonstration called by unions, as part an European day of protest against austerity, on November 14, 2012 in Marseille, southeastern France.

Spain on strike

Spain, which has the highest unemployment rate in the industrialized world, pioneered the action, with protests and clashes starting overnight and dozens of arrests reported by morning. According to the unions, some 9 million workers took to the streets across the nation.

Police fired rubber bullets to disperse protesters in Madrid and Barcelona. More than 142 people were arrested and at least 74 injured, including 43 policemen, Spanish police said.

© Agence France-Presse/Javier Soriano
Protesters attend a demonstration during a general strike on November 14, 2012 in Madrid.

Slogans like “Rajoy Go Home” were chanted by Spaniards outraged over Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s public spending cuts that have led to a 26% unemployment rate in the country.

Leaflets saying “They leave us without future. They are the guilty ones. There are other solutions” could be seen all around Madrid.

© Agence France-Presse/Filippo Monteforte
Riot policemen fight with demonstrators during a protest on a day of mobilisation against austerity measures by workers in southern Europe on November 14, 2012 in Rome

Chaos in Rome

Strikes and violent protests gripped Italy, as tens of thousands protesters took to the streets all over the country rallying against Prime Minister Mario Monti’s austerity measures.

Rome became the center of the chaos, as rioting workers and students brought the streets to a standstill when they confronted the police, throwing rocks, bottles and firecrackers at them.

To scatter the protesters police fired teargas and more than 50 people were arrested. At least 17 police officers were injured.

© Agence France-Presse/Patricia De Melo Moreira
Protesters march in Lisbon during a general strike on November 14, 2012.

‘The Troika does not rule here’

Portugal entered the general strike with anti-austerity rallies in 40 towns and cities throughout the country.

Lisbon froze as people poured into the streets: the subway was shut down, railway strikes left commuters stranded and half of the flights were cancelled.

Thousands of people frustrated by a record 15.8 per cent unemployment rate, gathered in front of the Portuguese parliament building, shouting “The troika does not rule here!”

The clashes broke out as police tried to clear the streets of Lisbon in the evening with protesters throwing stones and rubbish in response.

At least five injuries have been reported by Portuguese police, with one protester taken to hospital. After more than an hour of standoff, the Lisbon demonstrators were dispersed.

After last week’s vigorous 48-hour anti-austerity strike, Greeks gathered in a relatively quiet 5000-strong protest in Athens and called for a three-hour work stoppage in solidarity with the Spaniards, Italians and Portuguese.

People chanted “Athens, Rome, Madrid, Lisbon – everyone in the streets!” as they marched on Syntagma Square carrying flags. There were minor clashes with police, but the demonstration was mainly peaceful.

© Agence France-Presse/Louisa Gouliamaki
Animateurs from a Greek puppet center stage a performance outside the Greek parliament in Athens, during an anti-austerity protest on November 14, 2012.

Meanwhile, in Brussels eggs and firecrackers were thrown at Portugal’s embassy as part of the solidarity protests as crowds of people came to the European Union headquarters to demonstrate.

But although the demonstrations in Belgium were largely peaceful, the unions managed to disrupt transport links as railway workers halted high-speed train services countrywide.

France was hit by 130 rallies against austerity measures, with the French government lashed by the demonstrators.

© Agence France-Presse/Georges Gobet
People shout slogans and carry banners on November 14,2012, in front of the EU Headquarters in Brussels.

The French General Confederation of Labor referred to the 14 November strikes as the first “social movement of this scale” in the history of the EU.

The European Day of Action and Solidarity organized under the slogan “For Jobs and Solidarity in Europe. No to Austerity” was meant to deliver a message to EU leaders to stop raising taxes and cutting government spending.

But despite mounting frustration and public anger, the governments of the crisis-stricken EU countries are showing few signs of abandoning austerity, which they believe is the best method to get their economies out of debt and back on a sound footing.

© Agence France-Presse/Jeff Pachoud
A demonstrator holds a flare during an anti-austerity protest in Lyon on November 14, 2012.

© Agence France-Presse/Cesar Manso
Riot police officers clash with protesters at the end of a demonstration organized by Spain’s “indignant” protesters, a popular movement against a political system that they say deprives ordinary Spaniards of a voice in the crisis, near the parliament building in Madrid during a general strike.

© Agence France-Presse/Filippo Monteforte
Demonstrators march during a protest on a day of mobilisation against austerity measures by workers in southern Europe on November 14, 2012 in Rome.

© Agence France-Presse/Miguiel Riopa
A protester throws stones at police officers during a demonstration outside the Portuguese Parliament in Lisbon on November 14, 2012 during a general strike.

Wars and Rumors of War

World News – War on terror  :  Military Maneuvers

4 US warships to head to Spain as Madrid joins NATO missile shield

A Spanish frigate is seen in 2011 near the Rota naval base. (file photo)

A Spanish frigate is seen in 2011 near the Rota naval base. (file photo)
Four US warships equipped with missile interceptors and Aegis defence systems along with 1,400 American military personnel are set to be deployed at a US naval base in Rota, southern Spain by 2013.

The Spanish government made the announcement on Friday after sealing a deal with the US to participate in NATO’s anti-missile shield.

According to a statement by the government, Spain authorized the signing of the deal at a cabinet meeting on Friday.

“Its principal activity will be to contribute to defending against ballistic missiles,” the statement said.

Following the decision, Spain’s Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria told a news conference that the deal would help boost the economy in the region.

This comes as the left-wing political coalition in Spain has leveled criticism at the move, saying it makes the country “a military target.”

Leaders of the 28-member NATO alliance expressed their support in 2010 for the Europe-wide ballistic missile shield.

The system will later expand to include land-based interceptors in Romania, Poland, Turkey and The Netherlands.


Politics, Legislation and Economy News

Economic News  /  World News  :    Activism – Global Economy- Fiscal Irresponsibility – Excessive Use Of Force – Police Brutality – Blow Back

Published on Sep 25              , 2012 by


Use link above for live updates and to watch 4 streams live Police in Spain viciously beat protestors in Spain demonstrating against harsh austerity cuts to pay for banker bailouts.

Live updates at link.

As Spain teeters on the brink of civil war with the Military threatening treason as the Catalonia is set to hold a vote to secede from Spain thousands of protestors have hit the streets surrounding the Spanish parliament to protest harsh austerity measures.


Those protestors were fired upon with rubber bullets and tear gas and now are being viciously beaten for their protests against the bank bailouts as clearly can be seen on the live stream of three feeds embedded below.

Don’t be surprised if these protests aren’t even mentioned on your television news as such widespread demonstrations across Europe routinely face corporate media blackouts.

Republished upon request in English via http://www.youtube.com/user/FalseAmelie

Spanish Police Fire On #25s Protestors Inside Subway

Published on Sep 25, 2012 by

Watch live: http://blog.alexanderhiggins.com/2012/09/25/police-viciously-beating-peaceful…

Live updates: http://twitter.com/kr3at

Translation of original Spanish:
The riot losing the north and down to the platforms of Atocha firing rubber bullets and clubbing people endangering those of us around. If someone falls to the tracks the same goes something serious.
In the video it looks like someone who was stuck next to a guy in a wheelchair.
In short, Spain .

Los antidisturbios perdiendo el norte y bajando a los andenes de Atocha a disparar pelotas de goma y aporrear a la gente poniendo en peligro a los que estábamos alrededor. Si alguien cae a las vías lo mismo pasa algo grave.
En el vídeo se ve como pegan a alguien que estaba al lado de un chico en silla de ruedas.
En fin, España…

Video Creative Commons:
Original Spanish Version http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XatZ2g_ox0M&feature=youtu.be



Thousands Surround Spanish Parliament in Bid to “Occupy Congress” and Stop Austerity


Thousands of people surrounded the Spanish Parliament in Madrid on Tuesday to protest austerity measures and the loss of public confidence in elected leaders. The “Occupy Congress” protest came as the conservative administration of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy prepares to unveil further austerity measures on Thursday. After hours of protest, police in riot gear charged against demonstrators with batons and fired rubber bullets. Thirty-five people were arrested, and at least 60 people were injured. We go to Madrid to speak with independent journalist Maria Carrion. [includes rush transcript]


Voices From Spain’s “Occupy Congress” Protest, interviewed by Brandon Jourdan and Carlos Delclos.

Maria Carrion, independent freelance journalist based in Madrid.


Rush Transcript