John Smith

John Smith

 A TWO-YEAR-OLD girl walking her dog with her father vanished in Gil Garci'a (Avila) forest last night (Monday) but has been safely retured to her family after a major search.

Search parties from the Guardia Civil, mountain rescue, Civil Protection and local volunteers were sent out after the alarm was raised and a helicopter unit was made ready to go out at first light.

Footprints which were believed to be the little girls were followed and after seven hours of searching an officer heard a dog growling and discovered her under some bushes cuddled up to the dog.

Apart from a few scratches she was unhurt and an emotional reunion with her parents took place.

FOR the second time in a week, a Spanish pilot has died following a crash, this time of an F-18 aircraft.

According to the Spanish Ministry of Defence, the accident happened as the fighter plane was taking off from the Torrejon de Ardoz airbase in the outskirts of Madrid this morning (Tuesday).

It is understood the aircraft suffered a loss of engine power on take off and hardly left the ground.

The pilot, 26-year-old Lieutenant Fernando Perez Serrano, was unable to eject from the aircraft.

This is the second fighter jet accident in less than a week.

A Eurofighter that had taken part in national day fly past  in Madrid crashed while preparing to land at the Los Llanos base air base (Albacete) .

NATIONAL POLICE officers in La Linea de la Concepcion have arrested a married couple who were selling drugs from their residence in a street known locally as ‘Death Alley.’

The couple were dealing out of their home in Calle Ferrol and officers noted that a significant number of individuals who were known to be taking drugs were seen in that particular street.

When the property was raided officers discovered an automatic pistol, 50 wraps of cocaine, 550 grams of hashish and more than €1,200 in cash.

The couple, a man of 48 and his wife aged 45 were both arrested and the illegal items were seized.

IRELAND has been left devastated in the wake of Hurricane Ophelia as it slammed into the Republic, with at least three dead, officials say.

A woman in her 50s was killed by a falling tree in Waterford, a man in his 30s died in Tipperary while trying to clear a tree with a chainsaw, and a third person lost their life after a tree fell onto their car near Dundalk.

It is estimated that more than 360,000 homes have been left without power as the hurricane moves  towards Ulster.

THE expected course of Hurricane Ophelia will take it across all of Ireland and then on to Scotland and there is a warning from the UK Met Office of possible danger to life.

In response, the Republic of Ireland has deployed its army in anticipation of the need to assist following potential power cuts, fallen trees and blocked roads, whilst schools in both the Republic and Ulster are being closed for the day.

Flights have generally continued as normal early today (Monday) but it is expected that there will be widespread cancellations at Dublin Airport whilst Belfast will decide as Ophelia draws closer.

In addition both Aer Lingus and Ryanair have separately indicated that they intend to cancel certain flights and travellers heading in or out of Ireland would be well advised to check regularly to see whether their flights will be taking off.

By the time that the hurricane heads towards Scotland, it is expected that it will have lost some of its force and will be downgraded to a storm although there will still be sufficient power to cause damage.

FATHER of the House (the longest serving MP) Kenneth Clarke who is well-known for his pro-European Union commitment is ready to cause more problems for the Conservative government over Brexit.

An amendment tabled by Clarke and the former Labour minister Chris Leslie says Theresa May’s plan for a two-year transition period after Brexit – which she outlined in her recent Florence speech – should be part of the withdrawal bill and if not, exit from the EU should not be allowed to happen.

This is mild however to other plans which cross-party groups of MPs are promoting which demands that the UK parliament should have the right to veto any decision to leave the European Union without a deal.

This news comes after the latest round of Brexit negotiations appeared to get nowhere and the government suggested that it planned to spend £250 million (€275 million) on reviewing the activities needed in the event of no deal being reached.

The Labour party is pleased by the apparent splits within the Conservative party and true to form, the concept that not everyone you ‘buy’ remains ‘bought’ seems to be correct as it appears that the 10 Democratic Unionist MPs who received more than €1 billion for their support of the Tories are unlikely to vote in favour of a Brexit without a deal.

The countdown to Brexit continues!

WITH less than 24 hours before Spain has demanded confirmation that Cataluña has declared independence, leader Carles Puigdemont laid a wreath at the grave of Lluis Companys.

In the company of the Mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, he visited the grave of Republican and Catalonian hero Companys on the 77th anniversary of his execution by firing squad.

There is particular significance in this action, as earlier in the week, a spokesman for Spain's ruling Partido Popular , Pablo Casada, warned that Mr Puigdemont might end up like Companys, although after  recalling the fate of the Catalan leader, he later clarified that he had only meant that Puigdemont might end up in prison.

The Catalan leader made it clear that he and his supporters were "against aggression and against imposed rule" but unless he confirms that Cataluña has declared independence by tomorrow (Monday) morning and then rescinds the declaration by Thursday, the province faces the possibility of the Spanish government invoking Article 155 of the constitution which would allow it to impose direct rule.

If the Catalan leader advises that independence has not been declared, he will face significant criticism within the province, but will remain in post and have the opportunity to try to discuss options for the future as their appears to be little support for an independent state anywhere else  in the world.

ALMOST fitting the term ‘Poacher turned Gamekeeper’ the Atremisan Foundation which speaks for hunters throughout Spain is to invest €250,000 in studying the Red-legged partridge.

Its aim is to try to ensure that hunters are able to enjoy their pastime whilst those who are worried about the demise of wildlife and the effects on the environment are also considered.

It appears that this small game bird Alectoris rufa, also known as the French partridge has seen a colossal drop in numbers in Spain with 70 per cent of the population disappearing in the last 40 years and much of this has to be blamed on hunting.

Funding a four year study on the partridge and other similar birds, the Foundation hopes to be able to produce a plan which will see a halt to the rapid decline in numbers and will call on farmers and owners of hunting land to implement measures which will assist the birds.

The project has been named RUFA and represents collaboration between the Foundation and the hunting federations of Andalucia, Castilla-La Mancha, Extremadura and Murcia where the first research will take place but it is hoped to expand the project throughout the country, once development sites have been set up and there is a proven growth in the bird population.

Details of the plans have been presented to the Ministry of Agriculture as well as regional councils in the hope that they will also help fund the project.

DESPITE the negative publicity from the thousands of flights cancelled by Ryanair due to their bad planning around pilot holidays, the company is on an aggressive recruitment drive.

The low-cost Irish airline will be recruiting cabin crew in Malaga and Sevilla this week.

During 2017 the airline has also recruited 860 new pilots with 45 joining in the last week and with increased payments and better terms, it expects to keep the majority of its existing pilots from moving elsewhere.

To register for the cabin crew recruitment interviews go to:


AFTER attending the National Day celebrations in Madrid and then flying with Prime Minister Mariano to Albacete following the crash which killed Captain Aybar, Defence Minister María Dolores de Cospedal needed a break.

Like many who live in Madrid, she and her family made the relatively short journey south to the Costa del Sol where they were spotted in a massively pro Partido Popular restaurant, Asador Guadalmina near Marbella watching Saturday’s big match.

Sitting with her husband and their two exceptionally well behaved young sons watching the match on a large screen, she confided that they were all supporting Atletico Madrid in their match against Barcelona and for the first 82 minutes their team was winning thanks to a first half goal by Saúl.

The partisan diners in the restaurant applauded every time Atletico Madrid came close to scoring or even when a Barcelona shot hit the post and with a massive restriction on the number of tickets sold to Barcelona fans because of fear of trouble it looked as if they would lose their unbeaten record until in the 82nd minute Luis Suárez scored.

With the final result a draw, the minister and her family were content with the outcome although they would have preferred to have seen the Madrid team emerge victorious. 

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