Tom Woods

Tom Woods

JULEN LOPETEGUI was sensationally sacked by Spain just two days before their opening World Cup match against Portugal.

Real Madrid had sprung a surprise by naming him as their new head coach on Monday, but this latest twist has flung Spain’s preparations into disarray.

Lopetegui was planning to leave his role as national team manager after the tournament in Russia had finished, to take up his new post at the Bernabeu.

The Spanish football federation (RFEF) said it had dismissed the 51 year-old because the negotiation occurred “without any information to the RFEF.”

Lopetegui has signed a three-year deal to replace Zinedine Zidane in the Spanish giants’ hotseat, having guided Spain to 14 wins and six draws since taking over in 2016.

SPAIN’s maritime rescue service has launched a huge operation to save 334 migrants, although four people died.

The migrants were crossing the Mediterranean sea from Africa in nine different boats in the early hours of Sunday morning.

The cause of the four deaths is yet to be determined, but the deceased were all on the same boat with 49 other migrants.

Sources at the United Nations say that at least 785 migrants have died crossing the Mediterranean so far this year.

Further east, Libya’s coast guard rescued 152 migrants on Saturday, including women and children, near the western Zuwara district.

Through the first five months of 2018, 27,482 migrants reached European shores, with 7,614 of them arriving in Spain.

TWO local boys in Mallorca have reportedly snuck into the villa where Love Island Australia is filming, and chatted with some of the singles there.

Further details of the incident are unclear, but it would be enough the make even the programme’s makers blush.

The Channel Nine show has a Mature Adult (MA) rating, meaning adult content can be broadcast, including nudity.

One of Love Island Australia’s evicted contestants, single mum Kim Hartnett, revealed that some couples openly had sex inside the house.

However, a spokesman for ITV studios has denied any breach of the premises took place, and emphasised that the villa is monitored by round-the-clock security.

SPAIN only recycles 21 per cent of the electronic waste that it produces, placing it well below the European average of 35 per cent.

Figures provided by research group Eurostat reveal that of the country’s 930,000 tons of electronic refuse produced per year, only 198,000 are processed.

Only Romania and Russia, with rates of 13 per cent and six per cent respectively, have a worse record on this issue.

Items such as computers and printers are known for having toxic elements that are not biodegradable e.g. lead, arsenic, mercury and phosphorus.

If not processed efficiently, these goods can end up adding to already worrying levels of landfill, or can even end up in the ocean.

CRISTIANO Ronaldo has reached an agreement to pay the Spanish authorities €19 million to settle his tax affairs.

The Real Madrid and Portugal star has been trying to resolve the situation for some time, after being accused of tax fraud.

However, no resolution will be official before the start of the World Cup, due to the recent change in the national government.

Ronaldo has reportedly admitted four of the fraud charges, meaning he will not have to spend any time in jail.

Meanwhile, he is believed to have been offered a staggering €32.5 million annual contract to stay at Real Madrid, but whether that is enough to keep him remains to be seen.

THE new Spanish government minister in charge of addressing Catalonia’s independence movement has said that “urgent” reform of the constitution is needed.

Meritxell Batet, who was sworn in on Thursday as Spain’s minister for Public Administration, said the ruling Socialists want to move towards a federal model to end the long-running political crisis.

The Socialists hold just 84 of the 350 seats in parliament and would need a two-thirds majority to pass any constitutional reform.

Speaking at a party event, Batet said that Spain’s current structure of regional autonomous communities was successful, and that they should be given further powers.

The central government’s control of the region ended last weekend when  Catalonia’s new leader, Quim Torra, named a regional cabinet.

In an attempt to rebuild fraught relations between national and regional leaders, Sanchez lifted additional financial controls by Rajoy on Catalonia.

A REPORT to mark World Oceans Day has revealed that tourists are causing a 40 per cent spike in marine litter entering the Mediterranean Sea.

The vast majority of the waste is plastic, and Turkey and Spain are two of the worst culprits, followed by Italy, Egypt and France, the study by wildlife charity WWF said.

Hundreds of thousands of tonnes of microplastics are dumped in the sea each year, and wildlife is suffering for it.

More than 200 million tourists flock to the Mediterranean each year, including many Britons, and WWF is trying to raise awareness of the problem to holidaymakers.

The conservation charity is urging people to bring a bag for life on holiday, and cut down on face wipes, chewing gum, and straws.

While China is the largest plastics producer in the world, Europe is second and the detritus can injure, entrap and kill marine animals.

LEWIS Hamilton has extended his lead in the Formula One championship after a commanding victory at the Spanish Grand Prix.

The reigning world champion secured his second successive race win and led a Mercedes one-two for the first time this season.

Hamilton blasted out of the blocks from pole position at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya, and from there his win was never in doubt with a faultless performance.

The result gives Hamilton a 17-point lead over rival Sebastian Vettel, who could only finish fourth as they both fight for their fifth world title.

Vettel dropped to fourth from second when Ferrari decided to pit him for a second time, when none of the other front runners did the same.

Valtteri Bottas came home in second to make it a perfect day for Mercedes, while Red Bull’s Max Verstappen completed the podium despite damaging his front wing.

FORMER Labour cabinet minister Dame Tessa Jowell has died, her family has announced.

Dame Tessa, who was 70, was diagnosed with brain cancer in May 2017, but suffered a haemorrhage on Friday and had been in a coma until her death on Saturday.

A popular figure in parliament, she played a major role in bringing the 2012 Olympics to London when she served as culture secretary.

In recent months Dame Tessa used the House of Lords as a platform to discuss her condition and call for patients to have better access to experimental treatment.

She earned a minute-long standing ovation in January for speaking about the issue, and during her speech, said:

“In the end, what gives life meaning is not only how it is lived, but how it draws to a close.

“I hope that this debate will give hope to other cancer patients, like me, so we can live well together with cancer, not just dying of it.”

A family statement said Dame Tessa died peacefully at the family home near Shipston-on-Stour in Warwickshire, shortly after 10.00pm BST on Saturday.

Prime Minister Theresa May said the dignity and courage with Dame Tessa confronted her illness was “humbling” and “inspirational,” and that her campaigning was a “lasting tribute to a lifetime of public service.”

THREE people were killed on Saturday when a light aircraft crashed in Spain, authorities have revealed.

The regional government for Catalonia has said that the plane took off from the Portuguese airport of Tires.

It was headed to Reus Airport in Tarragona, northeast Spain, but crashed in the nearby area.

The accident caused a small bushfire that had to be extinguished by firefighters.

An investigation is underway and the identity of the three victims remains undisclosed at this stage.

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