Karl Smallman

Karl Smallman

A POLICE officer has died tonight (Thursday) after supporters of Athletic Bilbao and Spartak Moscow clashed on the streets of the city in northern Spain.

It is believed the Ertzaina officer suffered a heart attack during the violent scenes in San Mames near the stadium that has left an unknown number of people injured.

The officer was rushed to the Basurto hospital but he could not be resuscitated.

Flares were fired and glasses, bottle, stones and even golf balls were used as weapons turning the area into a battle zone.

More than 600 police were on duty after warnings that trouble may erupt with the 2,500 travelling Russian fans.

Five people have been arrested so far - three of them Russians.

LOW-COST Irish airline Ryanair’s CEO Michael O’Leary has warned of potential strikes in Europe during Easter week.

Earlier this month O’Leary warned of possible disruptions as the airline prepares to extend its recent recognition of pilot unions to cabin crew staff but did not specify what markets were likely to be hit.

He said the airline would rather see bookings damaged by the uncertainty around a strike than give in to “laughable” union demands.

According to respected news agency Reuters he told a press conference in Lisbon, “We had a strike in Germany on 22 December... we expect the next one will be in Ireland - or maybe it will be in Portugal - during Easter week.”

However, no flights were cancelled during the four-hour strike in Germany before Christmas which O’Leary referred to.

Irish pilot union FORSA/IALPA has not announced any strike plans, but has said pilots had rejected an offered pay rise from Ryanair. It added that the airline was refusing the union’s demand to be recognised as the exclusive body for collective bargaining.

O‘Leary said he was making 'significant progress' in talks with SPAC, the Portuguese pilots union, but management had offered a pay rise directly to Portuguese pilots and that 75 percent of pilots had accepted the offer.

A Ryanair spokesperson said, “As we explained in our Q3 results on 5 Feb last ‘as we finalise union discussions along similar lines to that agreed in the UK, we expect some localised disruptions and adverse PR so investors should be prepared for same’.”

The February third-quarter results statement said, “In certain jurisdictions unions representing competitor airlines will wish to test our commitment to our low cost, high pay/high productivity model to disrupt our operations.

“We are fully prepared to face down any such disruption if it means defending our cost base or our high productivity model.”

A 47-YEAR-OLD man has died from a gunshot wound to the head this afternoon (Thursday) in southern Spain after a hunting accident.

Emergency services were alerted to the incident at 1.20pm at a farmhouse near the town of Alcala de Guadaira in the Sevilla province of Andalucia.

The man died at the scene.

National Police officers are investigating the circumstances.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket has successfully launched a Spanish Earth-observation satellite, named PAZ (peace) into orbit from the USA.

The rocket blasted off from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California and the satellite was deployed just 11 minutes later.

The first stage rocket had been used previously last August but there was no attempt to recover it and it returned to Earth with a big splash into the Pacific Ocean.

There was, however, an attempt to ‘catch’ the fairing but it failed missing by ‘a few hundred metres.’

The Spanish satellite is designed for a 5½-year mission, orbiting the Earth 15 times each day at an altitude of 514 kilometres (319 miles), covering the entire planet every 24 hours.

It will capture radar images for government and commercial purposes and includes sensors for tracking ships and weather.

TENS of thousands of retirees have taken to the streets of Spain calling on the government to raise pensions in line with inflation after an increase of just 0.25% this year.

Protestors have turned out in their droves in all the main cities including Madrid and Barcelona.

In the capital they gathered at the gates of the national parliament shouting, “Thieves, thieves!” and carried placards describing this year’s increase as ‘miserable.’

Organisers of the demonstrations, including some of biggest worker unions in the country, have called on parliament to stop blocking changes to the pensions law.

ONE man has been shot dead and his brother injured in a shooting in Malaga province.

Emergency services were called after neighbours reported hearing shots.

The shooting happened in Benamocarra and the injured man is being treated in hospital for a gunshot wound to his arm.

Police are not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident at the moment.

GOVERNMENT officials in Portugal have demanded a meeting with Spain over plans to open a uranium mine just 40km from Portuguese border over fears it could pollute rivers, soil or air.

Portugal has made repeated requests for information from Spain, which environment minister, Joao Matos Fernades said had been either ignored or answered inadequately.

He said, "Portugal will do everything it can to obtain the relevant information and, from there, ensure safety and zero impact on our side."

The minister said, "We have performed all due diligence alongside Spain," but said the way the project was being organised has created a problem."

The project is being strongly opposed by environmental campaigners in Spain who are concerned about the damage the mine may have on the local environment and population.

And nuclear energy experts from a variety of countries have expressed their support for Stop Uranio, a group that opposes Berkeley Minera España's plans to open the mine.

Greenpeace anti-nuclear campaigner, Raquel Monton, said that Spain doesn't need nuclear plants or mines because the country is on a promising path towards developing sustainable sources of clean energy.

Nuclear physicist and spokesperson for Ecologistas en Accion in Spain, Francisco Castejon, said the mine poses unnecessary risks to the people of Retortillo.

"Allowing this project to go forward would jeopardize the future of this community."

The Australian mining company developing the project claim that the villagers of Retortillo want the mine.

Berkeley Energia's managing director and chief executive, Paul Atherley said, "Almost 25% of the local population have either attended training courses or applied for a job at the mine. Next year we will have close to 450 people employed in a region has some of the highest levels of unemployment in the EU and which last year saw an exodus of 25,000 people leaving their homes to look for work elsewhere."

The Retortillo-Santidad uranium deposit is part of Berkeley’s flagship Salamanca uranium project and it is expected to produce an average of 4.4 million pounds of uranium per year.

A FORTY-EIGHT-YEAR-OLD woman has lost her arm and three other people have been seriously injured after a horrific smash between a lorry and a coach in Spain this morning.

There were 55 people on the coach, 12 were injured – four of them seriously.

One person was airlifted to hospital by helicopter.

The accident happened in the early hours of this morning at km 250 of the A-3 motorway near Villagordo del Cabriel in Valencia.

Firefighters from Sinarcas, Chiva and Requena attended the accident although none of the passengers were trapped.

Investigators believe the accident might have been caused by a blowout of one of the lorry tyres.

SPAIN’S National Police force has helped bust a group printing and circulating thousands of counterfeit banknotes across Europe.

In nine property searches police found 1,131 banknotes of €20 denomination, 401 of €50, 49 of €500 with a total face value of €67,170, as well as 14 banknotes of 10,000 francs from the Central African Republic.

An illegal print shop was found which included the seizure of guillotines, press dies, holographic tape rolls, computer and printers.

The counterfeit cash was mainly distributed in Portugal and Spain but also found Germany, France, Italy, Austria, Belgium, Estonia, the Netherlands and Switzerland.

Portuguese Judiciary Police, in cooperation with the Spanish National Police and Europol has detained two men and one woman, aged between 21 and 55-years-old, suspected of producing counterfeit euro currency.

A NINE-YEAR-OLD boy has died in the Canary Islands after it is believed he contracted meningitis.

The boy was taken to the El Doctoral medical centre in Gran Canaria where he died before he could be transferred to hospital.

It is not known if the boy, of South American origin, had been vaccinated against the disease.

A protocol has been initiated and medication has been given to the boy’s family, friends and classmates at school.

Officials have said the meningitis that caused the death was ‘neither the C or B type’ and tests are continuing.

The symptoms of meningitis are often high fever, stiff neck and vomiting.

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