Benjamin Park

Benjamin Park

AN alleged victim of the Spanish Franco-era baby-snatching scandal is set to be the first person to go to jail in connection with the incident.

Ascension Lopez was found guilty of slander in 2015 after reportedly claiming that a nun, Sister Dolores Baena, acted as an intermediary in her sale from a hospital to her adoptive parents in Almeria in 1964.

As a result of the ruling, Lopez was ordered to pay a €3,000 fine, €40,000 in damages and also now faces five months in prison, according to her petition page on change.org

More than 90,000 people have signed the petition against the 53-year-old’s prison sentence, but she was reportedly informed last week that her pardon plea had been turned down.

According to reports, Ms Lopez has claimed that she was bought for 250,000 pesetas by her father, a senior figure in the Franco regime in Almeria, via Sister Dolores Baena in 1964.

No one has yet stood trial for the alleged stealing of children or falsifying documents.

FORMER French Sports Minister Roselyne Bachelot has been ordered to pay ATP World Number One Rafael Nadal €12,000 in damages over a doping allegation.

Nadal, who recently pulled out of the ATP Tour Finals with a knee injury, sued Bachelot for damages after claiming comments she made in a TV interview last year were harmful to his image.

The Spaniard had initially sought €100,000 in damages and now said that he will donate the compensation in full to a French charity.

Bachelot was also issued with a €500 suspended fine after the judge ruled that she was guilty of defamation.

In a statement posted on social media, Nadal said: “As you can see in the media, today is a happy day for me, my team and my fans.

“The French justice has resolved the case in favour of my honesty and integrity as a sports player.

“I want to thank all of you who believed in me. As I said before, the money from the fine will be donated to a French NGO.”

SERGIO RAMOS scored twice from the penalty spot as Spain were held to a 3-3 draw against next year’s World Cup hosts Russia

It is the first time that Spain have conceded more than two goals since they were beaten 5-1 by the Netherlands in the opening game of their 2014 World Cup campaign.

Spain raced into the lead in the 9th minute after Barcelona’s Jordi Alba got on the end of a Marco Asensio cross to head the ball home.

They were put further ahead in the 35th minute when Real Madrid captain Ramos converted from the spot after Daler Kuzyaev’s handball, before Fyodor Smolov pulled one back for the hosts before half-time.

The hosts were level soon after the break after a fine finish from Lokomotiv Moscow midfielder Aleksei Miranchuk.

Ramos was then fouled in the box in the 53rd minute, but picked himself up and went the opposite way with his second penalty to put the visitors back in front, but were pinned back late on with Smolov’s second to finish the scoring.

La Roja enjoyed 65 percent of possession but couldn’t break down the impressive hosts, who could have had a victory themselves but for an excellent late save from Manchester United’s David de Gea.

The result extends Spain’s unbeaten run this year to 10 games ahead of next year’s World Cup.

A CYCLIST who was seriously injured in an accident near Alicante six months ago has died, according to reports.

Retired lecturer John Telfer, was left fighting for his life after breaking his neck in two places following a collision with a friend near Alicante in May.

The 57-year-old defied predictions to survive the crash, and an online appeal raised more than €25,000 to bring the devoted husband home to Scotland.

But unfortunately, the father of two has now passed away after respiratory issues and a battle with infection.

On the gofundme page set-up to bring John home, he has been described as “a devoted husband, loyal friend and a fantastic father providing a loving home and constant support for his wife in her difficult nursing role and two children.”  

REAL Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo has celebrated the birth of his fourth child with girlfriend Georgina Rodriquez.

The Portugese captain posted an image of himself alongside Georgina, 22, his baby daughter and eldest son Cristiano Jr, onto his social media pages yesterday evening.

The former Manchester United player said:  “Alana Martina is just born! Both Geo and Alana are doing great! We are all very happy!”

The pair later posted again on Instagram streaming live as they returned home with their newborn daughter.

Alana Martina is the couple’s first child together, but is Cristiano’s fourth after he welcomed surrogate twins, Eva and Mateo, in June alongside seven-year-old son Cristiano Jr. 

BRITAIN only has two weeks to make concessions in Brexit negotiations if it wants to open trade talks , according to the European Commission’s Chief Negotiator, Michel Barnier.

Speaking to reporters in Brussels, Mr Barnier reportedly said that talks on trade would be put back if Britain had not moved its position in the coming fortnight.

Barnier told reporters:"I have to present a sincere and real picture to those three subjects to the European Council and the European Parliament. If that’s not the case then we will continue and that will put back the opening on discussions of the future.

"That includes the transition, because that does relate to the future, because it would start on the 30 March, after the actual exiting of the United Kingdom, and our future relations and the long term partnership that we wish to agree on with the United Kingdom."

When asked if the UK only had two weeks to make progress before the, Barnier responded: “My answer is yes.”

After failing to meet the milestone at the previous October summit, another failure this time around could mean that the next opportunity to make significant progress wouldn’t be until March 2018.

A 90-YEAR-OLD woman has completed a paraglide in Southern Spain in aid of pet charity PDSA.

Connie Smith, who is from Grantham, Lincolnshire, celebrated  her 90th birthday by taking part in the death defying glide and was supported on the glide by her son, Pete, and daughter-in-law, Jane, who both live in Spain.

She had originally hoped to go wing walking but she exceeded the age limit of 75.

She told English media: “Everyone thought I was completely mad, but it was an absolutely fantastic experience. I enjoyed every second.

“I didn’t feel scared at all, I just took in the beautiful scenery around me.”

Connie claims that she first began fundraising for PDSA when she was seven-years-old and hopes to raise £250 from her paragliding attempt.

“I’m a big animal lover and have always supported PDSA,” she continued.

“I have a cat and know how important pets are, particularly as you get older.”

To donate to Connie’s fund, visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/connie-smith1

MARBELLA has been chosen to host the first round of the Davis Cup between Spain and Great Britain in February next year. 

The tournament will be hosted at the Puente Romano Tennis Club between February 2 and 4 and will the third time that the Davis Cup has been hosted in the City, the first since 2009.

Marbella had faced stiff competition from Granada to host the famous tennis tournament, but it was decided yesterday by the RFET Board of Directors at a meeting in Zaragoza that it would be Marbella who would host the event.

In a statement released on the Ayuntamiento de Marbella Website, Mayor of Marbella Angeles Munoz thanked citizens and institutions of Marbella for their support

She said: "We have a magnificent city and we have shown that we have enough experience to organise events of a scale such as the Davis Cup.”

Marbella Council has also reportedly proposed the extension of the Puente Romano grandstand prior to the event, in order to accommodate 9,000 fans. 

AFTER a successful Extreme Fighting Championship (EFC) debut, Fuengirola based MMA fighter Jay Cucciniello has called out Featherweight Champion Igeu Kabresa.

Cucciniello, who calls himself the ‘Mellow Fellow,’ introduced himself to the EFC featherweight division with a stunning first round submission victory over Wesley Hawkey in the EFC 64 main event in Durban last month.

The experienced Hawkey initially seemed to have the upper hand in the fight, catching Cucciniello with a barrage of punches.

But the Englishman turned the fight on its head as he forced the South African to the fence and managed to get the takedown, before finishing his opponent with a rear-naked choke.

After the victory, the 30-year-old spoke to Euro Weekly News, saying: “This was my greatest achievement so far in my MMA journey.

“I knew going into the fight that I would leave with my hand being raised. The experience was unreal.”

Now, prior to the EFC 65 Carnival City event, Cucciniello has sent a message on Social Media aimed at both EFC VP of Talent Graeme Cartmell and Kabesa, claiming that he wants to fight the South African.

Cucciniello said: “You know the fight to make; it’s what the fans have been asking for. I’ve been getting tweets and messages when I’m going to be fighting him.

“2018. Cape Town, sounds like a good spot… Make the fight happen, get it done.”

Featherweight Champion Kabesa later responded to the Mellow Fellow’s message, simply saying: “Make it happen.”

ADIDAS have caused controversy among Spanish social media users after many claimed the new Spanish National shirt contains features resembling the flag of the Second Spanish Republic.  

The shirt, released by Adidas online on Monday, will be used by the National side at next year’s World Cup in Russia, and reportedly pays homage to the shirt worn by the Spanish side during the 1994 USA World Cup.

The dominant colour of the shirt remains the usual red, while a new multi-coloured stripe appears down the side; a feature many claim bears resemblance to the flag of the Second Spanish Republic.

One twitter user reportedly said: “Boycott the republican national team shirt. Spain is a monarchy, not a republic,” while another asked, “I guess the Spanish Republic is back?”

Adidas claim that the stripe is blue, not purple like that of the flag, and according to the RFEF’s official website, the kit “sums up the courage and the red fury. It presents a different and dynamic graphic design consisting of red, yellow and blue diamonds, which represent the speed, energy and style of football that is associated with the Spanish national team. “

The Second Spanish Republic was proclaimed in 1931 and lasted until the outbreak of the Civil War in 1936, with many in modern Spain associating the “tricolor” flag of the Republic with the political left.

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