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MON AM DEC 17

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Hunger Strike
A jailed Catalan separatist leader on hunger strike for two weeks has been hospitalised in the prison where he is held on rebellion charges.
Jordi Turull, former spokesman for the regional Catalan government of Carles Puigdemont, began a hunger strike on December 1 in prison north of Barcelona.
Turull and other Catalan leaders are in custody pending a trial on charges ranging from sedition to rebellion after they attempted to break away from Spain last year by staging a referendum.… Read all the news

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FRI PM DEC 14

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Barcelona
More than 9,000 law enforcement officers will be on duty in Catalonia next Friday, when the Spanish Cabinet is scheduled to meet in Barcelona rather than at its usual location in Madrid.
the Barcelona municipal police, the Mossos the National Police and the Guardia Civil – will be tasked with keeping the peace on a day when separatist groups are expected to stage public protests against the meeting and in favor of Catalan independence.
The self-styled “Committees for the Defense of the Republic” or CDR is calling for a street “battle” on December 21.… Read all the news

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FRI AM DEC 14

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Illegal Immigration
FOUR people accused of facilitating illegal immigration and worker exploitation, have been arrested in Palma.
Three of the detained are Pakistani, and the fourth a Spanish businessman based in Mallorca.
Sources revealed middle-aged Pakistani men were being brought to the island with the offer of good jobs. Instead they were working up to 16 hours a day on low wages .. and were threatened with violence if they reported their situation to the police.
A police operation resulted in raids on various addresses, and documentation related to fictitious companies seized, together with an NIE obtained using a passport that had apparently been stolen from a British citizen.… Read all the news

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THU PM DEC 13

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Catalunia
Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said yesterday he would stand firm against what he called “inflammatory” Catalan separatist rhetoric, hardening his stance towards the region.
The speech was closely watched for signs of whether Sanchez would make concessions to Catalan separatists to secure their backing for the budget and help him stay in office for the rest of a parliamentary term due to run until 2020.
But he took no such step.
Sanchez also said that national police could be sent to Catalonia if local authorities did not do more against protests like one that shut down highways at the weekend.… Read all the news

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THU AM DEC 13

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Missing British Tourist
A BODY has been found in the hunt for a British tourist who went missing in Spain – two days after he was mugged.
Nixon Smith, 23, from Stourbridge in the West Midlands, was due to catch a flight home from Madrid on November 19.
Two days before his scheduled flight, Nixon was mugged and lost all of his personal possessions.
He was given an emergency passport from the British Consulate in Malaga but failed to return to the UK.… Read all the news

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WED PM DEC 12

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Terror Threat.
Terrorist group Daesh or Islamic State have issued a video threatening future terror attacks on Spain, allegedly citing a return to Barcelona.
The video message, picked up by cyber-analysts, reportedly claims “cells are ready and the objectives are designed”.
The video has not yet been released to the public.
The Daesh video reportedly lasts six minutes and features two tweets from the former Interior Minister, Juan Ignacio Zoido, in which he proclaimed the dismantling of terrorist cells in Spain.… Read all the news

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WED AM DEC 12

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Catalonia
The government has warned the Catalan authorities that national police could be sent to their region if they tolerate separatist blockades.
The warning – in three letters from ministers – followed a protest on Saturday by separatists who blocked the AP-7 motorway connecting France to Catalonia’s coast.
Madrid accused the Catalan police force – the Mossos – of just standing by.
Tensions remain high, as many Catalans resent Madrid’s show of force last year.
A letter from the Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska noted a state security law which would allow Madrid to send police to Catalonia if the Mossos neglected their duties.… Read all the news

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TUE PM DEC 11

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Catalunia
Spain’s interior minister said he would send national police to Catalonia if local authorities did not do more to stop protests like the one that shut down major highways over the weekend.
Fernando Grande-Marlaska accused the local Catalan police of doing nothing to prevent pro- independence protesters blocking the AP-7 toll road for more than 15 hours on Saturday.
The involvement of national police would be a contentious issue in the region which has its own administration and where polls suggest almost half the population wants to split from Spain.… Read all the news

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TUE AM DEC 11

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Drug Trial
A British man accused of being one of Europe’s biggest drug traffickers went on trial yesterday accused of smuggling 1.3 tons of cocaine into France.
The drugs carried in 30 unregistered suitcases, were discovered in 2013 after an Air France plane arrived at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport from Caracas.
Robert Dawes, now 46, was arrested in November 2015 at his luxury resort in Benalmadena, after police intercepted a conversation in which he reportedly claimed ownership of the cocaine, worth an estimated £216million at today’s prices.… Read all the news

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MON AM DEC 10

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Unemployment
The government said on Friday it would inject two billion euros into fighting high youth unemployment.
Labour Minister Magdalena Valerio told reporters .. we need our youth .. pointing out that many people in their 20s were still “dependent on their parents, and sometimes their grandparents” due to a lack of opportunities.
Unemployment in Spain has slowly been dropping since the economic crisis, but at 14.55 percent remains the second highest in the eurozone after Greece.
Youth unemployment, meanwhile, currently stands at 33 percent and the government wants to reduce it to 23.5 percent within three years.… Read all the news