John Smith

John Smith

AN outspoken writer, Turkish-German Dogan Akhanli was arrested yesterday in Granada at the request of the Turkish Government which has provoked irritation in Germany.

News of the arrest came from the German media although there is currently no knowledge on what grounds he has been arrested and the German foreign ministry has formally asked the Spanish government not to allow him to be extradited to Turkey.

So concerned is the German government about this seizure of the intellectual, who was stripped of his Turkish citizenship and now carries a German passport, that it has stated publicly that it wants representatives of its Embassy in Madrid to have access to and give advice to Mr Akhanli.

This is the second arrest in Spain this month of a journalist who has published critical articles about the Turkish regime and follows the detention of Turkish-Swedish writer Hamza Yalcin in Barcelona at the beginning of August.

In this case as well, the Swedish authorities have offered help to him and opposed extradition to Turkey.

AFTER visiting victims of the Barcelona terrorist attacks yesterday, Spain's King Felipe and Queen Letizia have attended a special memorial Mass at the famous Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.

Despite ongoing disagreements between the National Government and that of Catalonia, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and the President of the Catalonian Government, Carles Puigdemont showed unity with King Felipe in light of the acts of terrorism that have taken place.

Although the authorities have confirmed that they have broken the terrorist cell, they are still hunting the driver of the van and an imam who disappeared from his mosque in Ripoli in June who is suspected of planning attacks.

Indeed it is now suggested that one of the original targets for a bomb attack was the iconic Gaudi designed Sagrada Familia in which the Mass was held.

ALTHOUGH the National Government and the Catalan Government are having a war of words over the Barcelona bombings, the King and Queen made a surprise visit to the Mar de Barcelona hospital.

King Felipe and Queen Letizia had arrived in Barcelona the previous day to join Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and other politicians in a one minute silence held in memory of those who had died or been injured in the terrorist attacks.

Having first spoken to doctors and nurses, the royal couple moved on to visit those who were still recovering from their injuries and took a special interest in the younger patients and their families.

WHILST world media has understandably been covering the terrorist attacks in Catalonia, not quite so much prominence has given to stabbings in Finland yesterday which are said to be terrorist related.

Finnish police have indicated that the men who killed two people and wounded eight more in the city of Turku appeared to be targeting women with only two men attacked.

Both of those who were knifed to death were Finnish females and the only men who were injured were wounded when trying to assist those being attacked.

Initially, it was thought that the 18-year-old Moroccan attacker - who was shot in the leg - was a deranged criminal, but the Finnish authorities have now declared this to be the first act of terrorism to have been encountered in the country.

Four other individuals, also of Moroccan heritage have been arrested, suspected of being involved with terrorist activities and a fifth suspect is being sought but is believed to have left the country.

Amongst those attacked and taken to hospital were a Briton, an Italian and a Swedish national all of whom are reportedly no longer in danger.

Police have not released the name of the teenager responsible for the attacks but have confirmed that he arrived in Finland in 2016 and was in the process of being considered for asylum status.

128 officers from the Guardia Civil will be tasked with ensuring the safety of the public and competitors during the three weeks of La Vuelta cycle race around Spain.

The Road Safety and Mobility Unit (UMSV) will be composed of officers from a number of units with different specialities who will be in charge of establishing security and coordinating the activities of other territorial units of the Guardia Civil and other forces.

To carry out their task, they will count on the support of one helicopter, 58 motorcycles, two buses, 10 off-road vehicles, two vans, one workshop vehicle and one which will supply fuel.

Among the tasks assigned to the UMSV are the provision of road safety and mobility within the Vuelta corridors, oversight of the cyclists support vehicles, as well as controlling accompanying media.

Finally, it will also be responsible for maintaining public order at each stopping point.

IN a bid to attract new tourism to Torrevieja, the council has taken a stand at Birdfair in the UK.

This annual weekend gathering of all those interested in ornithology has created something of a niche market for unusual destinations attracting in the past exhibitors from as far away as Ascension Island in the South Atlantic.

The representatives of Torrevieja however will be promoting the attractions of the Lagunas de La Mata where bird watchers can see flamingo, black-tailed grebe and Audouin’s seagulls amongst others.

This participation at the fair is supported financially by the Valencian Tourism Agency which has also assisted in the printing of a special brochure detailing the 60 species of birds often seen at different times of the year.

THE people of Gibraltar stood side by side with Catalonia in the wake of yesterday’s attacks on Barcelona and Cambrils.

As news emerged of the tragic events, the Chief Minister Fabian Picardo sent messages of solidarity and support to the victims, their families and to the City of Barcelona.

Earlier today the Chief Minister wrote to the President of the Catalan Regional Government, Carles Puigdemont, to the Mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, and to the Spanish Minister of the interior, Juan Zoido, in order to convey the heartfelt condolences of the People of Gibraltar.

At midday Gibraltar stood shoulder to shoulder with Catalonia in observing a one minute silence as a mark of remembrance and of respect for the victims.

As a mark of respect and of defiance, the flags have been lowered on public buildings and the lights on national monuments, the Moorish Castle and the North Face of the Rock, will be switched off in mourning.

The minute’s silence was led by Chief Minister Fabian Picardo, Acting Governor Nick Pyle and Colonel Frank Green, the chief of staff at HQ British Forces Gibraltar.

AFTER the fantastic success of the Justin Bieber re-mix of Despactio which has become the most downloaded number of all time, Little Mix are to follow suit.

The British girl band is releasing today their own take on another Spanish language song, originally recorded by Latin American boy band CNCO and entitled Reggaeton Lento.

All involved hope that this new version of the song that has had more than one billion views on YouTube will become another international summer smash.

DRIVERS on a major road in Huesca thought that they had spotted a brand new type of speed camera at the side of the road.

Instead, it turned out to be a tired and disorientated griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus) which had stopped for a potentially dangerous rest.

Officers of the Guardia Civil kept an eye on the bird, warning motorists of its presence before it was able to recover and fly off.


FOLLOWING a complaint in the Valencian town of Alcalà de Xivert, officers of the Guardia Civil arrested a man for shooting a dog with a bow and arrow.

The animal had been discovered by its owner collapsed in a pool of blood outside his house and the animal was rushed to a vet where an x-ray revealed an arrow head lodged within its body and so severe was the injury that it had to be operated on.

When officers called at a nearby farm, they discovered that the 38-year-old resident had caught the dog trespassing on his property and therefore shot it using a hunting bow.

He was arrested and will be charged with cruelty and mistreatment of a domestic animal.

The injured dog is now making a good recovery.

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