September 10th, 2013
11:46 AM ET

Judge expanding investigation of Spain train crash to include executives

The judge investigating the train crash that killed 79 people last July is expanding the preliminary charges to include numerous top officials of the state railway infrastructure company, Adif, for alleged negligence, a Tuesday court order shows.

Judge Luis Alaez Legeren wrote that five Adif officials in charge of track and signal security, along with the current and two former Adif presidents, will face preliminary charges because there was no safety system that would have compensated for any human error by the train driver.

The prime suspect remains the driver, Francisco Jose Garzon, who already faces preliminary charges of 79 counts of homicide by professional recklessness.

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Filed under: Spain
August 8th, 2013
05:14 AM ET

Spain: Rail chiefs quizzed over safety

Spanish rail chiefs are testifying on safety before lawmakers Thursday, two weeks after 79 people died and scores were injured in a horrific derailment in northwestern Spain.

Gonzalo Ferre Molto, president of state-owned rail infrastructure company Adif, and Julio Gomez-Pomar, president of state railroad company Renfe, are expected to detail what steps are being taken to improve future rail safety.

As of Thursday, 38 people remain in the hospital, six of them - all adults - in critical condition. No nationalities were given for those still hospitalized.

The July 24 derailment near the northwestern city of Santiago de Compostela shocked the nation.

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June 21st, 2013
05:32 AM ET

Spain arrests eight suspects linked to al Qaeda

Security forces arrested eight members of a group linked to al Qaeda on Friday in a Spanish enclave in North Africa, authorities said.

"We have broken up a network responsible for sending combatants to al Qaeda-linked terrorist groups operating in Syria," the Spanish Interior Ministry said in a statement.

The suspects were captured in Ceuta, a Spanish enclave that borders Morocco.

Authorities said the network was based in Ceuta and the nearby Moroccan city of Fnideq.

It recruited, trained and paid for terrorists to fight in other countries, authorities said.

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Filed under: Al Qaeda • Spain • Terrorism
April 23rd, 2013
05:56 AM ET

Spain holds 2 suspected of al Qaeda links

Spanish police arrested two suspected al Qaeda terrorists on Tuesday but said they had no indication of an imminent attack.

The Interior Ministry identified the suspects as Nou Mediouni, of "Algerian origin," who was arrested in the north-central city of Zaragoza, and Hassan El Jaaouani, of "Moroccan origin," and arrested in the southeastern city of Murcia.

Spanish police worked with their counterparts in France and Morocco to carry out the latest arrests, the Interior Ministry statement said.

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Filed under: Al Qaeda • Spain • Terrorism
February 23rd, 2013
08:45 AM ET

Across Spain, ferment over poor economy

Tens of thousands of protesters are expected to turn out in towns and cities across Spain on Saturday to voice their anger over harsh austerity and the way the country's being run in the wake of its financial crisis.

Madrid, Barcelona, Seville and Zaragoza are just a handful of the cities where big crowds are expected to join the mass demonstration, dubbed the "Marea Cuidadana" (Tide of Citizens).

Members of workers' unions and civil society groups are joining forces to swell their numbers.Organizers are using the hashtags #MareaCiudadana, #F23 and #YoVoy23F on Twitter to help protesters link up ahead of the marches.

The country's unemployment rate stands at 26% - its highest level ever - and the situation is even worse for young people, with more than 55% of 16- to 24-year-olds out of work. With no income, many Spaniards are finding themselves unable to afford the mortgage payments on homes that are no longer worth the prices paid for them.

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Filed under: Spain • Uncategorized
Spanish newspaper prints, retracts fake photo of ailing Hugo Chavez
Venezuelan Minister of Comunication Ernesto Villegas speaks at the news conference in Caracas on Thursday.
January 24th, 2013
08:09 PM ET

Spanish newspaper prints, retracts fake photo of ailing Hugo Chavez

Early editions of Spain's leading newspaper Thursday displayed a large front-page photo claiming to be an "unprecedented" and "exclusive" look at Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's medical treatment in Cuba.

But the intubated man lying in a hospital bed shown in the photo wasn't Chavez, the newspaper soon discovered, and began backtracking.

El Pais took down the photo, which was on the newspaper's website for about 30 minutes, and also recalled the early editions of its newspaper from newsstands.

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Filed under: Cuba • Hugo Chavez • Spain • Venezuela
November 1st, 2012
06:08 AM ET

3 killed in crush at Madrid Halloween party

Three young women were killed and two others are in serious condition after being crushed in a crowd at a Halloween party in Madrid early Thursday morning, the spokesman for Madrid's ambulance service told CNN.

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Filed under: Spain • World
October 26th, 2012
07:25 AM ET

14 dead in sinking off Moroccan coast

At least 14 passengers on a Spain-bound vessel died when the craft sunk off the coast of Morocco, a Moroccan official said Friday.

Mustapha Khalfi, Moroccan minister of communication, said the sinking took place Thursday in the Mediterranean Sea off the Moroccan city of Alhucemas. FULL POST

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Filed under: Morocco • Rescues • Spain
Church masterpiece 'restored' as Mr. Bean would do it
Pictures provided by the Center for Borja Studies show the original version of the painting Ecce Homo, by 19th-century painter Elias Garcia Martinez, from left, the deteriorated version the center recently documented, and the version "restored" by a parishioner.
August 23rd, 2012
10:54 AM ET

Church masterpiece 'restored' as Mr. Bean would do it

The efforts of an elderly parishioner to restore a 120-year-old fresco on a column inside a Spanish church have some wondering if a Mr. Bean movie was the inspiration for the effort.

The fresco, titled Ecce Homo (Behold the Man), is a depiction of Jesus Christ with a crown of thorns. It was painted on a wall of the Sanctuary of Mercy at Borja, near Zaragoza, Spain, by artist Elias Garcia Martinez more than a century ago.

Its troubling "restoration" occurred after the local Center for Borja Studies received the donation of a canvas done by Garcia from one his granddaughters who lives nearby, according to the center's blog.

Center staff noted that the only other known work by Garcia in the area was Ecce Homo, went to the church to photograph the fresco, and realized it was in bad shape.

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Filed under: Art • Spain
Gotta Watch: Rough plane landings
Some air travelers in Spain experienced windy skies and rough landings in Bilbao, Spain.
April 26th, 2012
10:17 AM ET

Gotta Watch: Rough plane landings

Imagine being aboard a commercial airliner as it violently bucks and bumps through rough winds. Or, the feeling of terror as you realize the aircraft you're on has to make an emergency landing. You've gotta watch how some pilots handled intense moments like these - all caught on camera.

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Wind whips jetliner across runway

Planes landing in Bilbao, Spain, fight to land straight while flying in 50-60 mph winds.

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iReporter relives near-plane crash

In 2008, iReporter Dave Gering shared his experience of riding on a plane that nearly crashed in Germany.

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'We're gonna be in the Hudson'

The FAA released audiotapes of the US Airways flight that crash-landed in the Hudson River.

February 27th, 2012
10:10 AM ET

Former Spanish judge acquitted of abusing power

Spain's best-known judge was acquitted Monday of improperly investigating human rights abuses under the former dictatorship of Francisco Franco.

However, Judge Baltasar Garzon remains under suspension. He was removed from the bench by Spain's judicial authority last week following his conviction in a second case. The nation's Supreme Court said Garzon improperly ordered wiretaps while investigating a financial corruption case.

Monday's acquittal was on a 6-1 ruling, according to a court spokesman.

Earlier this month, the court dropped a third case against Garzon, saying the statute of limitations had expired on alleged abuse involving some courses he taught at New York University years ago.

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Filed under: Human rights • Spain
February 25th, 2012
04:56 AM ET

King's son-in-law testifies in fraud scandal

The son-in-law of Spain's King Juan Carlos arrived in court to testify before a magistrate Saturday as a suspect in a fraud scandal that has created unprecedented problems for the popular royal family.

Inaki Urdangarin, who was granted the title of Duke of Palma when he married the king's youngest daughter, Princess Cristina, in 1997, is under investigation for allegedly diverting public funds that were earmarked for his foundation for private use.

Urdangarin, with a serious look on his face and flanked by his lawyer, stopped briefly to make a statement to a group of reporters who were allowed inside a court-designated security zone.

"I am here today to demonstrate my innocence," Urdangarin said. "During these years I have carried out my responsibilities and have made decisions in a correct manner and with total transparency. My intention today is to clear up the truth about the facts."

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Filed under: Royal family • Spain • World
November 20th, 2011
04:52 PM ET

Conservative Rajoy set to lead Spain after ruling party concedes

Popular Party leader Mariano Rajoy is poised to become the next prime minister of economically embattled Spain, with his ascension assured after the ruling Socialist Party's candidate conceded Sunday's national election.

Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba made the concession before a somber crowd of Socialist Party supporters - a stark contrast to the raucous, celebratory crowd gathered outside the Popular Party headquarters in Madrid.

According to updates from about 10:30 p.m. (4:30 p.m. ET) on the interior ministry website - at which point over 87% of all votes had been counted - the Popular Party had about 9.4 million votes (44% of the total votes counted) and was leading in the races for 187 seats in parliament. That compares with the just over 6 million votes for the Socialist Party, giving it an advantage in 110 legislative contests.

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Filed under: Elections • Spain
October 23rd, 2011
06:17 AM ET

3 aid workers kidnapped overnight from camp in Algeria

Two Spaniards and an Italian were kidnapped overnight in Algeria from a Western Sahara encampment where they were providing aid, officials said Sunday.

Spain's Foreign Ministry said it has contacted the families of its two nationals, a man and a woman, but declined to provide details about them or the circumstances of the kidnapping.

The Italian Foreign Ministry also confirmed the kidnapping of its national, a woman.

The abductions occurred in the Raguni refugee encampment in the Algerian province of Tinduf, across the border from Western Sahara, a territory in dispute between Morocco and the Polisario Front.

Spanish news reports - citing Spanish aid organization colleagues of the two Spaniards kidnapped - said there apparently were shots fired during the kidnapping and that at least one of the three captives may have been injured.

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Filed under: Europe • Italy • Spain • World
October 20th, 2011
01:46 PM ET

Basque separatist group ETA announces 'definitive' ceasefire

The Basque separatist group ETA announced Thursday a "definitive cessation of its armed activity" in a statement published on the website of Gara, a newspaper that the group has used to convey messages in the past.

Listed as a terrorist organization by Spain, the United States and the European Union, ETA is blamed for hundreds of deaths in its decades-long fight for an independent Basque state that it wants carved out of sections of northern Spain and southwestern France.

Thursday's announcement follows a recent push for the group to abandon violence permanently. That effort was led by international figures who include Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams of Northern Ireland and former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

In a nationally televised address hours after the announcement was posted, Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero termed ETA's announcement as being of "transcendental importance" and a "victory for democracy."

"Ours will be a democracy without terrorism, but not without memory," Zapatero said, referring to 829 people killed by ETA and their families.

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Filed under: Spain
October 5th, 2011
10:06 AM ET

3 U.S. soldiers indicted in death of Spanish journalist

A Spanish judge has again indicted three U.S. soldiers in connection with the death of a Spanish TV cameraman in Iraq in 2003, according to a court order viewed by CNN Wednesday.

The long-running case stems from the death of the cameraman, Jose Couso in Baghdad in 2003. U.S. troops assaulted the Iraqi capital and directed tank fire against the Palestine Hotel, where journalists covering the war were staying.

The three U.S. soldiers were first indicted by the judge in 2007. The case was closed in 2008 but reopened last year after Couso's family appealed to Spain's Supreme Court.

The latest indictment, dated Tuesday but made public on Wednesday, alleges that the three U.S. troops were linked to U.S. tank fire directed against the hotel, where Couso was videotaping the battle. He died from his wounds shortly afterward.

The three, identified as Philip de Camp, Phillip Wolford and Thomas Gibson, were assigned to the U.S. 3rd Infantry, based in Fort Stewart, Georgia.

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Filed under: Iraq • Spain • War
World's aircraft carrier club now includes China
The USS John C. Stennis is a Nimitz-class carrier, one of 10 in the U.S. Navy fleet.
August 15th, 2011
01:31 PM ET

World's aircraft carrier club now includes China

With China’s first aircraft carrier completing sea trials this week, we thought it would be good to look at other countries that operate aircraft carriers.

Aircraft carriers give nations so-called blue water navies, with the ability to project military power far from their nation's shores. The carriers often are good neighbors, too, as essential platforms for disaster relief and humanitarian assistance.

Brazil: The Brazilian navy operates the Sao Paulo, a French Clemenceau-class light aircraft carrier it acquired from France in 2000. The Sao Paulo can carry up to 40 aircraft and operates with a mix of A-4 jets and helicopters. It was originally commissioned in France in 1963.

France: The French navy operates the Charles de Gaulle, a nuclear-powered light aircraft carrier. The de Gaulle can carry 35 to 40 aircraft and about 2,000 personnel. It entered service in 2001. Most recently the de Gaulle has been supporting NATO operations over Libya.

India: The Indian navy operates the INS Viraat, formerly the British carrier HMS Hermes, which it acquired in 1987. Viraat is a vertical short takeoff and landing carrier with displacement of almost 29,000 tons. It can carry up to 12 fighter aircraft and nine helicopters.

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Filed under: Brazil • China • France • India • Italy • Military • Russia • Spain • Thailand • U.S. • U.S. Navy • United Kingdom • World
Spain's Real Madrid signs 7-year-old
Leonel Angel Coira has reportedly signed a contract to join the Real Madrid youth system ... at age 7.
August 8th, 2011
03:18 PM ET

Spain's Real Madrid signs 7-year-old

Spanish soccer powerhouse Real Madrid has made what is sure to be one of the most talked-about moves of the off-season, signing a 7-year-old Argentine to its youth system, according to an Argentine sports website.

The Spanish-language Ole ran an interview with Leonel Angel Coira in which the youngster said he had signed a contract to play in the Galacticos' youngest division.

Real Madrid had no word of the signing on its website, but goal.com reported that club spokesman Juan Tapiador confirmed the news Monday.

According to goal.com, Real Madrid snapped up the youngster to ward off attempts by other European clubs in the future namely rival Atletico Madrid, which Ole said had already expressed interest in Coira.

Coira told Ole last week that he preferred making assists over scoring goals, that he can juggle a ball eight or nine times without dropping it and that his dream is to play for Real Madrid's first team, which is home to some of the world's greatest players, including Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo.

His training with the under-9 players - or Benjamins, as they're known - begins September 6, he added. The team's Benjamin A squad is composed of 10-year-olds and one 11-year-old.

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Filed under: Argentina • Facebook • Soccer • Spain • Sports • World • YouTube
On the Radar: Running bulls, royals in Canada, Clemens' trial
Crowds celebrate the beginning of the Festival of San Fermin last year in Pamplona, Spain.
July 6th, 2011
06:08 AM ET

On the Radar: Running bulls, royals in Canada, Clemens' trial

Three things you need to know today.

Festival of San Fermin: The bulls begin running through the streets on Thursday, but a full week of partying begins at midday today in Pamplona, Spain, as the Festival of San Fermin begins.

iReport: Share your photos of Pamplona

The festival officially begins with the igniting of the Txupinazo rocket in the town's Plaza Ayuntamiento as Pamplona's mayor and town council open the celebrations.

Thousands of bottle champagne will be sprayed and consumed as the party goes into full swing.

For an idea of how the famous running of the bulls will go beginning Thursday, check out this great infographic from Spain's EITB.

Royals to visit destroyed town: Prince William and his wife, Catherine, will visit a fire-stricken town in central Alberta on Wednesday, the seventh day of their Canadian tour.

Slave Lake was devastated by a May wildfire that destroyed homes and other structures.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will meet emergency services personnel from the fire brigade, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the medical response team in the town before visiting with families affected by the disaster.

Clemens' trial: Jury selection begins Wednesday in the perjury trial of baseball legend Roger Clemens.

Clemens is fighting a six-count federal indictment for allegedly misleading members of Congress over use of performance-enhancing drugs.

The former all-star pitcher testified under oath in 2008 that he never used illegal performance-enhancing substances during his 23-year career.

Clemens has never tested positive for drug use, but his name was among 86 that appeared in a report by former Sen. George Mitchell. The 400-page report listed players who are said to have used drugs to improve their performance on the field.

Sports Illustrated's Michael McCann answers eight questions about the Clemens trial.

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Filed under: Baseball • Canada • Courts • Justice • On the Radar • Roger Clemens • Spain • World
Have you had your tickle today?
The Cosquillarte treatment starts with a finger touch and progresses to a feather.
June 28th, 2011
10:26 AM ET

Have you had your tickle today?

Elmo would think he'd gone to heaven.

The world's first tickling spa has opened in Spain, Time.com reports.

For $35 for a half-hour or $45 for an hour, discreetly covered clients lie down on a massage table and subject themselves to a professional tickling.

Clients of Cosquillarte, which opened in Madrid in December, swear it's relaxing.

The name of the spa can be translated "Tickle yourself" or "Tickle Art," Time's Lisa Abend reports.

"My dad used to tickle me to get me to go to sleep, so it's always relaxed me," owner Isabel Aires told Abend. "One day I just thought, why can't I pay someone to do this, in the same way as I can pay for a massage?"

Aires and two trained massage therapists developed a treatment.

"There's no school for tickling," she said. "We had to invent it ourselves."

"We use a variety of strokes," therapist Lourdes Nieto told Abend. "If someone is super ticklish, we'll press harder. The idea is to relax them, not stress them out."

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Filed under: Business • Spain
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