Spanish News July 2016

Valencia Fires

Several forest fires in inland parts of the province of Valencia have forced the evacuation of a private hospital and numerous homes as the flames continue to spread out of control. One fire started in the town of Bolbaite and extended to the villages of Chella, Anna Sumacàrcer, Estubeny, Sellent and Cotes. Emergency services reported that over 2,800 hectares are alight.

Two other wildfires in Carcaixent (Ribera Alta district) and Terrateig (Vall d'Albaida district) were perilously close to each other. In Carcaixent, the private Aguas Vivas hospital and the urbanisation Les Barraques were evacuated.

A 19-year-old man who had been burning bamboo canes and twigs has been arrested for starting the fire in Bolbaite, although it is not known whether this is a case of arson or negligence.

13 hydroplanes worked on the various infernos filling using water from the sea and 600 fire fighters worked on the ground, along with 49 fire engines and 229 members of the Armed Forces emergency response unit.

Five Road Crash Deaths In Murcia Region

On June 19th a spectacular crash between two lorries and two cars on the A-7 motorway in the Murcia Region left three dead and four seriously injured.

One of the refrigeration lorries veered over the central reservation and overturned and another collided with it, causing both to burst into flames, which spread to one of the two cars which ran into them. The driver and passenger of the burning car and the driver of the first lorry which overturned were killed by the fire. Another man, who was at the wheel of the second lorry, suffered serious burns and multiple broken bones, whilst the driver and passenger of the second car and a Guardia Civil officer had to be treated for smoke inhalation.

Five ambulances, a helicopter, the Guardia Civil and the fire brigade were at the scene and the four injured parties were taken to the Virgen de la Arrixaca and the Reina Sofía Hospitals.
This was one of three fatal crashes in the region within minutes of each other.

A driver became trapped in his car on the RM-424 between the wine-producing town of Yecla, and Pinoso and died before the fire brigade was able to cut him free from the wreckage.
El Raal, a hamlet in Murcia saw a motorbike and a car smash into each other. A man was taken to the Reina Sofía Hospital and a woman went into cardiac arrest at the scene and she passed away before she reached hospital.

Refugee Traffickers Arrested In Spain

Human traffickers taking advantage of refugees fleeing the war zones in the Middle East have been arrested in central and northern Spain. At least 20 people have been taken in for questioning in the provinces of Guadalajara in Castilla-La Mancha, Ávila and Zamora in Castilla y León, Lleida in inland Catalunya, and Madrid.

They are said to have bought passports and national ID, or DNI cards from Dominican Republicans who had acquired Spanish citizenship, flown refugees to Istanbul and then put them in the hands of people-smugglers to transport them by boat to Greece. Each of the refugees and migrants paid around €2,000.
The traffickers are said to be Spanish nationals originally from the Dominican Republic.

ETA Terrorist To Be Extradited From UK

The last time Troitiño was arrested in the UK was on February 5th as a result of a warrant issued by Spain, sparking his fourth extradition hearing in London.

Troitiño alleges that as Spain released him at the end of his sentence for the central Madrid massacre in the 1980's and then ordered him to return to jail after applying the Parot Doctrine, – which discounts early release for good behaviour from the sentence itself rather than the custodial term to be served – his human rights have been breached and he should now be a free man.

He says he does not believe he would get a fair trial in Spain, where the wounds caused by ETA's 20-plus years of terrorism remain open and raw.

Troitiño is only being extradited based upon his having belonged to ETA, not for forging a passport, since Judge Riddle had already archived this case and his verdict is binding in Spain.

Iberian Lynx Mums

Four Iberian Lynx, an endangered species which has not bred in the wild for decades, have given birth to 14 cubs in the mountains near Toledo.

All four mums were being monitored in large swathes of land in the mountain range in the province of Toledo, Castilla-La Mancha and have produced two litters of four cubs and two litters of three. Another two litters have been reported in the province of Ciudad Real, in the eastern Morena Mountains, also in Castilla-La Mancha.

The mothers were bred in captivity and gradually taught how to survive in the wild before being released, in a bid to revive the flagging population of this leopard-like mountain cat, which is very close in appearance to the domestic feline.

Toledo's mountains were once one of the most heavily-inhabited areas of Iberian Lynx.

Spain Rugby 7's Qualify For Rio Olympics

Spain's rugby 7's side has qualified for the Rio Olympics this summer. It is the first time rugby will have been included in the summer Olympics since 1924.

A last-second try by Iggy Martín gave the Spanish side, coached by Tiki Inchausti, a 22-19 win over Samoa in the final of the Olympic qualifying competition in Monaco on Sunday.
Spain began the second day of qualifying with a 12-7 win over a young Ireland squad, with tries from Matías Tudela and Ángel López, converted by Paco Hernández.

In the semi-finals they were up against one of the tournament favourites, Russia, but managed to secure a 17-12 victory. A try from Igor Genua finished off some good work started by Iggy Martin and Villanueva, giving Spain a 10-5 advantage at half-time.

Spain will join teams from Brazil, Fiji, New Zealand, South Africa, Great Britain, Argentina, the USA, France, Australia, Japan and Kenya.

Risks Faced By Spain's One In Five First-Time Mums Over 40

Spanish medics have warned of the risks to women over 40 who decide to have children, especially where this will be their first and report that one in five first-time mums in Spain are at least 40 years old.

The financial crisis, unemployment or job insecurity, low wages and difficulties in getting mortgages without a huge deposit have all meant that in the last 10 years or so, the average age of a first-time mother in Spain has been rising sharply.

Doctors say that among the general population, the risk of conceiving a foetus with chromosome alterations – the most common being Down's Syndrome – is 1%, but this rises to 6% for mothers over 40. 'Structural' deformities in the foetus in mothers over 40 are also more common, with their risk rising from 2.5% among younger mums to 3.7% among older ones, according to the Spanish Menopausal Research Association (AEEM) at its National Conference.

These risks, as well as Down's Syndrome and other genetic alterations, include high blood pressure, haemorrhage and diabetes in the case of the mother – the fact that the uterus does not contract as efficiently as in a younger woman means bleeding is more likely and, in some cases, even rupture of the womb – and babies have a greater probability of being of low birth weight. The result of this is a deficiency in the formation of the placenta, meaning babies carried by older mothers tend to be underfed.

It is 'very rare' for older women to become pregnant without treatment because they have far fewer eggs left and those they do have tend to be of poorer quality, making it more difficult for these eggs to be fertilised.