Tom Woods

Tom Woods

BEACH vendors in Spain are selling cocktails to tourists which have been stored in dirty pavement drains, police have discovered.

Photographs have emerged of officers in Barcelona lifting manhole covers to reveal bottles, glasses, ice, towels and straws stored in filthy conditions.

The cocktails are being sold for €5.60 (half price) each on the city’s beaches, but officers are clamping down on the illegal trade.

Tourists risk falling ill from the drinks, and police in Benidorm are also increasing patrols to stop the activity.

While beachgoers think the cocktails are from nearby bars, they are actually concocted in side streets, cars, and even public toilets.

A COURT has heard that England cricketer Ben Stokes mocked two gay men and flicked a cigarette butt at one of them before brawling with two other men.

The Durham all-rounder, who will miss the second test against India at Lord’s, denies affray.

Bristol Crown court heard that Ryan Ali, 28, and Ryan Hale, 27, were knocked unconscious by Stokes in Bristol on September 25 2017.

They also deny affray but are on trial alongside Stokes, with the fight outside a nightclub described as a “sustained episode of significant violence.”

Nicholas Corsellis, prosecuting, said Stokes, 27, “knocked Mr Hale unconscious and then did exactly the same to Mr Ali.”

Mr Corsellis described Ben Stokes’ actions as “well beyond acting in self-defence or defence of another.”

The incident took place in the Clifton Triangle area of Bristol just after 2am just after the three defendants had left a nightclub.

Mr Corsellis also told the jury that a bottle was used at the beginning by Mr Ali, and a broken street sign was brought into the fray towards the end by Mr Hale.

Nightclub bouncer Andrew Cunningham gave evidence that beforehand, Stokes had mocked two “openly gay” men by mimicking their voices and mannerisms, including hand gestures, “in a derogatory way.”

The trial continues.

ENGLAND'S Georgia Hall hopes she can encourage more young girls to take up golf after winning the Women’s British Open at Royal Lytham & St Annes.

The 22 year-old is only the third British winner since the event became a major championship in 2001.

Hall, who won by two shots at 17 under par, also hopes to help attract new sponsors to the Ladies European Tour.

“I want to be a good role model for young girls in Britain and hopefully I can encourage a lot of them to take up the game,” she said.

Victory meant the 2013 British ladies’ amateur champion emulated compatriot Karen Stupples (2004) and Scot Catriona Matthew (2009), the other two British winners since this event became a major.

It also secured the Bournemouth-based golfer a life-changing €429,000 top prize, with Hall admitting she had previously missed majors because of the cost.

Trailing Pornanong Phatlum by a shot overnight, Hall moved clear of the Thai on Sunday with two holes remaining, and held her nerve on the 18th to secure victory.

Hall also says she is just as superstitious as her father and caddie, Wayne, who refused to change his socks for four days.

“I am quite superstitious as well, I have to touch every golf club before I tee off to make sure there are 14,” she added.

INTEREST in Japanese classic cars of the 1960s and 1970s is on the up and one of the undoubted stars at the moment is the Mazda Cosmo Sport.

It was an innovative and diminutive coupé that set the company on a path to perfecting rotary engines for its road and racing cars, and the 1967 Cosmo is the one that started it all.

A willingness to confront technical challenges head-on has been a defining Mazda trait for decades, ever since the firm bought into the rotary concept with NSU in the early 1960s.

There were many technical issues to overcome, not least the scraping of the combustion chambers by the tips of the rotors.

Mazda’s engineers referred to this as the “devil’s nail marks” but after extensive testing they developed a new apex seal that solved the problem.

Known as the Mazda 110S in export markets, 343 of the first series were built before an updated car was introduced in 1968 with a bit more power, along with a longer wheelbase and a five-speed gearbox.

Only 833 of the latter were built: a total production of less than 1,200 cars underlining quite how rare the Cosmo Sport really is.

It is a delightful little car to drive and the characteristic rotary buzz and free-revving nature are both hallmarks of the Wankel engine.

The beautiful design is an odd mix of European and American styling influences, and the name reflecting space-race inspired optimism.

Mazda’s enthusiasm for proving rotary technology in racing started with the 1968 Marathon de la Routes, continuing through the next two decades, culminating with a win at the 1991 Le Mans 24 Hours for the ear-splitting 787B.

A SECTION of wooden jetty collapsed at a sports and music festival in Spain, injuring more than 330 people, five seriously.

The stage was right on the seafront of the north-west city of Vigo, Galicia, and was crowded with people watching a rap artist at the O Marisquiño event.

Police stated that there were no known fatalities, but witnesses described chaotic scenes as people – many of them teenagers – tried to claw themselves to safety.

Some fell into the sea and people’s belongings e.g. mobile phones and handbags were left strewn on the ground.

Emergency services attended to the injured, and divers were deployed to the sea to check for people, as the wooden boards had cracked along a central section.

Reports suggest that the incident happened shortly before midnight on Sunday during the performance of Mallorcan rapper Rels B.

In a tweet Rels B wished “strength” to the injured and told concerned relatvies or friends to contact the emergency help desk set up by festival organisers.

It is not clear why the platform collapsed, and Vigo’s mayor Abel Caballero has confirmed an investigation is underway.

A week earlier Elena Muñoz Fonteriz, President of the Vigo Popular Party, had warned on social media that the jetty was unsound and that officials should examine it before the concert went ahead.


Concert accident

CONCERT CHAOS: Victims of the accident are treated in a makeshift tent. Photo Credit:Twitter  /  @BarkinMoon

MOST people find out about La Donaire hotel, tucked away in the mountains of Andalucia, by word of mouth.

This old Spanish cortijo (farmhouse) holds just nine bedrooms, a few yurts, a sybaritic spa and two spring-water-fed pools.

It has been operating for the past two years as an eco-friendly farm with rooms, part of a growing trend of boutique agroturismos.

This is a form of agricultural hospitality which celebrates farm-to-table food, a laid-back atmosphere, and above all, authenticity.

It is popular in places such as such as rural Italy and Ibiza, but it is the first hospitality experience of its kind in Andalucia.

La Donaire is located in the middle of the dramatic Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park, framed by craggy faced mountains and undulating green farmlands.

A rustic feel pervades across the house, with worn brown leather seats, wreathes of dried flowers, trough-like sinks and beamed ceilings.

Four-poster beds sit next to Maria Vargas paintings and copper bathtubs, and a Seventies theme pervades the living room with low sofas, shaggy rugs and chrome lamps.

However, the real highlights of the property are the huge picture windows with stunning views, reminding guests exactly where they are.

La Donaire’s biodynamic farm runs a ‘soil school’ teaching local farmers better practices through workshops by experts in permaculture.

All the food provided is either grown on the farm or sourced from a local producer, and it is delicious.

The fact that all visitors come away from La Donaire singing its praises mean that its heard-it-through-the-grapevine nature could soon be a thing of the past.

ENGLAND’s cricket team held their nerve to complete a tense 31 run victory over India on an enthralling fourth morning of the first Test at Edgbaston.

India – resuming on 110-5 in pursuit of 194 – were bowled out for 162 as tension mounted among an increasingly raucous crowd.

In only his second Test, Sam Curran’s performance stood out, with his bowling on the second day and batting on the third dragging England back into the game and setting the stage for a thrilling finish.

James Anderson removed Dinesh Karthik with the sixth ball of the final day before Ben Stokes produced a superb over to dismiss captain Virat Kohli for 51 and Mohammed Shami for a duck.

The all-rounder sealed victory by having Hardik Panya caught at first slip to finish with 4-40.

Stokes bowled with aggression and shrewdness but will miss the second test at Lord’s due to his court case for alleged affray.

While India came up short, their performance was a far cry from their dismal tour four years ago and bodes well for the remainder of what promises to be a hotly contested five-Test series.

England captain Joe Root said:

“It was a fantastic team performance with ups and downs, but credit has to go to the bowlers from both teams.”

India captain Virat Kohli said his first century in England “does not matter” after his side’s narrow defeat.

SPAIN’s Carolina Marin has become the first woman ever to win three singles titles at the World Badminton Championships, with victory over India’s PV Sindhu.

Mercurial Marin is now the reigning world and Olympic champion thanks to a thrilling 21-19, 21-10 win in Nanjing, China.

The 25 year-old seventh seed added the 2018 crown to her titles in 2014 and 2015, as well as the Olympic gold she won from the unlucky Sindhu at Rio in 2016.

It was more disappointment for Sindhu, who has endured a series of near-misses in recent times.

The world number three was runner-up at the World Championships in Glasgow last year and the Commonwealth games in Australia earlier this year.

Carolina Marin's coach, Ignacio Garcia, had said this week:

“She (Marin) has prepared for this tournament like no other, not even the Olympic Games."

Elsewhere, Kento Momota beat China’s Shi Yuqi 21-11, 21-13 to become the first Japanese man to win the world title.

RESEARCH has shown that at least ten Britons have died after taking one of Spain’s most popular painkillers, Nolotil, which is banned in the UK.

In addition, more than 100 British and Irish expatriates and tourists in Spain have suffered devastating side effects after taking the drug.

The medicines regulator in Spain confirmed yesterday (Saturday) that it had launched an investigation into concerns that northern Europeans may be more at risk of side effects from Nolotil.

The painkiller has not been licensed in many countries, including the United States, Britain and Sweden, because of a possible side effect which can lead to blood poisoning and death.

Dr Rashmi Shah, a former senior clinical assessor at the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, London, said: “We have known for a long time that because of genetic differences people from particular ethnic groups can have higher probability of risk or benefit from certain medicines.

The regulators, therefore, require analysis of safety and efficacy data by population, gender and age.”

The Spanish Agency of Medicines and Medical Devices said it was gathering more evidence on the cases.

Boehringer Ingelheim, the manufacturer of Nolotil, responded in a statement:

“We take very seriously every case where a patient suffers an adverse event.

“Nolotil must not be given without a prescription. There is no scientific evidence on specific populations that are prone to develop any side effects.”

CATALAN President Joaquim Torra has said his government won’t tolerate separatist leaders being sent to prison for declaring independence.

A court decision due this autumn that could see independence leaders imprisoned for up to 30 years, will be critical in determining ongoing relations between Catalonia and the Spanish central government, Torra said.

His comments come as the region approaches the one-year anniversary of a tumultuous referendum (on October 1) that plunged Spain into a constitutional crisis.

“I presume nobody expects us to accept a conviction that’s a punishment, just like that,” said Torra.

Former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont remains in self-imposed exile after a German court refused to extradite him on charges of rebellion.

However, the new Socialist government led by Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has called for more dialogue, which has been well received by Joaquim Torra.

“As long as there is dialogue and negotiations, we have to explore all possible ways to get the best deal for the country,” said Torra.

“Acting unilaterally is one of the options but I won’t give up on other ways if that means obtaining independence.”

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