Tom Thirkell

Tom Thirkell

KNOWN for her incomparable voice talents and her unforgettable soul anthems such as “Respect” and “Chain of Fools”, Aretha Franklin passed away at her home in Detroit today (Thursday), aged 76.

Her family had reported earlier this month that the music icon was “gravely ill” and that Franklin had herself requested fans to pray for her. 

Born in Memphis, Tennessee in the United States on March 25, 1942, Aretha Louise Franklin would go on to light up the gospel choir scene of Detroit alongside her father, a renowned preacher who went on to manage his daughter, Aretha in 1956. 

In 1967 her career truly took flight as, under Atlantic Records, she released “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Loved You), her first number one in the R&B charts. 

Her follow up, the irresistible, “Respect” garnered her international acclaim with Rolling Stone Magazine declaring it their fifth-greatest song of all time.  

Other classic hits were to follow, including "Chain of Fools" and "I Say a Little Prayer” and "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman," cementing Franklin’s position as one of the greatest musicians of our time.

In 1987, she became the first woman to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, a magnificent honour.

Franklin was diagnosed with a tumor in 2010, though details were not provided by her family as to the nature of which.   

She will be fondly remembered for her music, her character and all that she represented. 

Details of her funeral are yet to be released by her family and representatives. 

A SALVAMENTO MARITIMO (Maritime Rescue) helicopter, called the Helimer 201, assisted in a daring sea rescue on Tuesday after a young British man and his Spanish girlfriend abandoned their boat and drifted 40 miles out to sea on a life raft.

On Monday the couple set out to sea on a boat, known as as the Alkybon, from Cabo de Palos, Murcia.

Shortly after their journey began disaster struck when their boat burst into flames leaving the couple with no other choice than to abandon ship as the Alkybon slowly sank. 

Using a life raft the couple were able to stay afloat through the night as they drifted further out to sea. 

Mercifully, they were located the following morning by a patrolling helicopter of the Salvamento Maritimo, having drifted 40 miles out to sea during the night. 

They were hoisted aboard the Helimer 201 and were returned to shore. 

Salvamento Maritimo recorded the heroic rescue.           

A POPULAR Axarquia beach bar has been burnt down to the ground this morning (Thursday) after a blaze started in its kitchen causing gas cylinders to explode.

A security guard, the only person inside the bar at the time of the fire, attempted to extinguish the fire but he was forced to run for his life when the gas cylinders started to explode, engulfing the beach bar in a flames.

Firefighters battled the flames for an hour and a half in a desperate attempt to save the Berebere ‘chiringuito’ beach bar in Torre del Mar.

Local police and ambulance services were also called to the scene. 

A 24-YEAR-OLD British man celebrating his birthday at Cala Gracio near the popular tourist resort of San Antoni on the holiday party island of Ibiza has fallen to his death.

The tragedy happened when the young man was reportedly partying with his friends for his birthday celebrations.

Reports suggest that the 24-year-old fell from a height of six to eight metres before striking the rocks below.

Emergency services were quickly on the scene and tried to resuscitate him but could not save him.

A team of psychologists were brought in to support the distressed friends of the man.

An investigation has been launched to determine the cause of the Brit’s death and whether he slipped or dived onto the rocks below.

AFTER 17 seasons, the Spanish former world champion Fernando Alonso has announced his retirement from Formula 1.

The racing star has enjoyed an exciting career of highs and lows which he has detailed in a farewell video dubbed as a ‘love letter’ to the sport.

In his goodbye video, Alonso explains his passion for the sport has been prevalent since his earliest years, “When I barely knew how to walk, I already ran towards your noise”.

He added, “After 17 wonderful years in this amazing sport, it’s time for me to make a change and move on.”

“I have enjoyed every single minute of those incredible seasons and I cannot thank enough the people who have contributed to make them all so special.”

The Spaniard stormed to two world championships, 32 victories and 97 podiums during his glittering career.

He is adored by the F1 community and will be remembered for his passionate, sometimes brash attitude and his animated personality which set the sport alight. 

Several races still remain in the F1 calendar for 2018, providing fans with time enough to give their hero a fitting send-off.     

A TAXI DRIVER in Spain was reportedly involved in a bizarre altercation with a female passenger last weekend after she refused to pay the fare after a night of partying. 

After taking the woman from Gijon to Oviedo, a 60-kilometre round journey, the passenger declared she was not going to pay for the taxi. 

The driver was not amused and proceeded to lock the doors of the taxi and refused to allow the woman to get out of the taxi.

He then returned the woman to Gijon, unlocking the car doors at her original starting point. 

Her reason for refusing to pay for the taxi remains unknown. 

Taxi drivers are considering reintroducing pre-paid fares to combat the increasingly common act of fare-dodging. 

AN ENORMOUS span of a road bridge in Genoa, Italy has collapsed killing scores of motorists and trapping many more in the rubble.

It is believed that the occupants of ten vehicles were in the vicinity of the Morandi bridge when a 200-metre stretch of the structure collapsed during a heavy storm today (Tuesday).

The Polizia di Stato have shared footage of parts of the bridge crumbling into the water

More to follow...

Credit: Polizia di Stato

STAFF were forced to evacuate 160 patients from an emergency ward at a hospital in the Canary Islands after a suspected arson attack.

Scenes of chaos followed as a ward was filled by dense smoke and patients were moved outside. 

Forty-three firefighters and 13 emergency vehicles fought to extinguish the blaze. 

Miraculously, no-one was injured during the blaze which the Tenerife Fire Consortium said was started by the explosion of a hospital-owned oxygen tank. 

A 51-year-old woman has been arrested by National Police for her alleged involvement.

Displaced patients have been dispersed to surrounding hospitals on the Canary Islands including the nearby University Hospital as well as sending some patients to other sections of the La Candelaria hospital unaffected by the blaze.

SPANISH LOCALS in Barcelona are begging the city council to crack down on the wave of anti-social behaviour demonstrated mainly by British holidaymakers visiting the city.

A recent wave of accusations ranging from noise complaints to public urination have been directed at the Brit tourists. 

The recent discovery of a drug kit found in a children’s playground, attributed to British holidaymakers, has fanned the flames and has further damaged the reputation of tourists in the area.

Barcelona residents have pleaded to city authorities that immediate action is required before irreparable damage is done to the capital of Cataluña.

A growing ideology of ‘over-tourism’ is creeping into parts of the city as seen this past week when Ada Colau, the city mayor, was presented with a motion of censure and calls for her resignation for her lapse attitude to dealing with anti-social tourists and for the deteriorating state of security in the city.

Last week a popular tourist spot in the city, Santa Caterina market, banned tourists from enjoying the fresh produce on sale, citing that a tourist-free market was crucial to the smooth upkeep of the market and that important measures had been taken to prevent over-crowding.   

Alfred Bosch of the city council claimed earlier this week that Barcelona could soon become the “drug capital of Europe” if major changes are not implemented to control the antics of visitors to the city.  

The overwhelming feeling of locals in the city is that tourists are drawn to Barcelona to exploit its lapse and lawless approach to dealing with tourists. 

The belief that tourists feel able to act in ways they would never act back home has angered many in Barcelona.

The Catalans could be on the verge of taking action against anti-social tourist behaviour as seen last month in Mallorca where heavy fines were introduced to quell the growing number of tourist related incidents. 

AN EARTHQUAKE on the Costa Blanca has registered 4.2 on the Richter scale.

The tremors could be felt from Alicante to Murcia. 

The epicentre of the quake was pinpointed to the town of Albatera, where, 11 kilometres below the ground, the vibrations originated and locals felt the worst of the quake. 

Some citizens of the towns of Elche, Aspe and Novelda were said to have been woken from their siestas as the tremors struck at 4.50pm. 

There are no reports of any damage, although more minor aftershocks are to be expected. 

This is the second time in a month the Costa Blanca has registered earthquakes, as Euro Weekly News reported, last month a trio of quakes were recorded during the early morning hours.  

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