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
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
March 6th, 2013
05:11 AM ET

Fire at hospital housing Spain's king

A small fire broke out Wednesday at a Madrid hospital where King Juan Carlos is recovering after surgery.

The 75-year-old king was on the other end of the La Milagrosa hospital and did not need to be moved, the royal household said. He has been recuperting after undergoing an operation for herniated discs.

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Filed under: World
November 25th, 2012
05:31 AM ET

Spain's Catalonia region votes; move for independence remains major debate

The northeast Spanish region of Catalonia is voting for president and a regional parliament Sunday in elections considered a barometer of rising independence sentiment.

Independence is not on the ballot Sunday, but the incumbent Catalan president, Artur Mas, is expected to be re-elected and has vowed to hold a referendum on self-determination in his next term.

The Spanish government in Madrid vows to block any referendum, arguing that the constitution does not permit a region alone to decide its independence.

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
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
Spain defends produce safety as E. coli outbreak spreads in Germany
A farm worker throws away cucumbers, which have been pinpointed as one source of the outbreak.
June 1st, 2011
09:27 AM ET

Spain defends produce safety as E. coli outbreak spreads in Germany

A Spanish official bristled Wednesday at accusations that Spain was the cause of a deadly E. coli outbreak that has swept across Germany and Sweden.

Deputy Prime Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba said, in a SER radio interview, that Spain will not rule out "taking action against the authorities (in Germany) who questioned the quality of our products."

How serious is Germany's E. coli outbreak?

Last week, German officials implied Spanish cucumbers were the cause for the illness that had sickened people. Rubalcaba responded forcefully to that accusation.

"If it was from the cucumbers, there would be cases (of illness) in Spain," Rubalcaba said, adding that there haven't been. "The Hamburg (Germany) authorities don't know where it comes from. I understand they have a problem. We have said, 'You need to say it wasn't us.'"

While authorities in Germany worked to contain and respond to the outbreak, the specific cause remained unclear.

The European Food Safety Alert Network said EHEC, or enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli, a strain of E. coli that causes hemorrhage in the intestines, was found in organic cucumbers originating from Spain, packaged in Germany, and distributed to countries including Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg and Spain.

But the source has not yet been pinpointed, authorities said.

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Filed under: E. coli
May 26th, 2011
07:57 AM ET

Libya lists 'proposals' for ceasefire, Spain says

The office of Libya's prime minister sent a message to the Spanish government listing "a series of proposals that could lead to a ceasefire," a spokesman for Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said Thursday.

The message, from the office of Prime Minister Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi, was also sent to other European capitals, the spokesman said, adding that he could not name which capitals.

Spain has contributed military assets, including troops, to the NATO-led mission to enforce a no-fly zone and protect civilians in Libya.

Read CNN's full coverage of the Libyan ceasefire proposal
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Filed under: Libya • Spain