Tulisa's Friend, 21, Shot Dead In Gangland Hit

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Reece James, 21, a close friend of Tulisa Contostavlos has been shot dead in a reported gangland attack. The 21-year-old, who appeared with Tulisa in a video for rapper Nines, was shot in the head in a "pre-planned and targeted" hit, 100 miles from his home in London, reports the UK's Sun newspaper. Police found James' body in Boscombe, Bournemouth, at around 2.30am near where Somali drug gangs are said operate. A 22-year-old man was arrested. Reece was said to have been in the area with some friends for "a couple of months", though had filmed the video earlier this month with Tulisa and rapper Nines on the Church End Estate in Harlesden, North West London. The former N Dubz star caused controversy at the time, making a "C" symbol to the camera - the same sign that is used by Harlesden's notorious Church Road Soldiers gang. Tulisa claimed it was a reference to Camden, where she was born. Twitter tributes began flooding in last night, with one user writing, "RIP Reece James. Thoughts are with him and his family and friends". Local MP Tobias Ellwood described the killing as "a spill over from the drugs turf war in the capital", adding, "This was one London gang chasing down another, carrying out a professional hit and then going back".


Paper Passion, a scent from Geza Schoen for Wallpaper magazine, makes its wearers smell like freshly printed books

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Paper Passion, a scent from Geza Schoen for Wallpaper* magazine, makes its wearers smell like freshly printed books. I suppose it can be alternated with "In the Library," a perfume that smells like old books.

Paper Passion fragrance by Geza Schoen, Gerhard Steidl, and Wallpaper* magazine, with packaging by Karl Lagerfeld and Steidl.

“The smell of a freshly printed book is the best smell in the world.” Karl Lagerfeld. 

It comes packaged with inside a hollow carved out of a book with "texts" by "Karl Lagerfeld, Günter Grass, Geza Schoen and Tony Chambers."


It will cost two million € to connect the electricity, and nobody wants to pay.The empty Guadalhorce Hosptial in Cártama

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The Guadalhorce Hospital has been completed in Cártama on the Costa del Sol, but it has been empty for several months with no opening date planned.

To continue installing the equipment in the hospital it has to be accepted as meeting requirement, and to show that hospital is as planned, but for that to take place it must be connected to the electricity supply.

The problem is that will cost two million €, although the originally quoted price was 300,000 €, to install the electrical connection required. Endesa say the problem is that to supply the hospital an electrical substation at Villafranca del Guadalhorce will have to be expanded.

Cártama Town Hall has said they cannot meet the extra cost, which has put the budget up five fold. Mayor Jorge Gallardo says he thinks the electricity company is ‘making the most of the circumstances’. 

However the Junta say they think the 2 million bill should be met by the Town Hall. They say the electricity contract was undertaken by Cártama Town Hall.

The Guadalhorce Hospital has been built thanks to an agreement between the Málaga Diputación, the Junta de Andalucía and the Cártama Town Hall, to give the district its long-wanted hospital. Many foreigners live in the inland area and have complained about the time to get to a hospital in Málaga.


Spain wildfires: Three killed

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Forest fires in the county of Alt Emporda, in north-east Catalonia, on 22 July 2012Officials say the flames have been fanned by strong winds

Forest fires raging in Spain's north-eastern Catalonia region have left three people dead, officials say.

Two French nationals drowned in the sea close to the border with France while trying to escape the flames, Catalonia's interior minister said.

Strong winds gusting up to 90km/h (55mph) have rendered one fire "out of control", he said.

All residents of the county of Alt Emporda - about 135,000 people - have been ordered to stay indoors.

The area is a main link for holidaymakers travelling to and from southern France. Traffic on the cross-border AP-7 motorway was reported to have been severely disrupted on Sunday.

Cardiac arrest

The two French victims were among several people who were trapped by fire as they travelled along the N-260 main coastal road near the town of Portbou and tried to reach the sea by climbing down cliffs, according to Catalan Interior Minister Felip Puig.


The victims were a 60-year-old man and his 15-year-old daughter, Spanish media reported.

A 75-year-old man died after suffering a cardiac arrest in Llers, north-west of the area's main town, Figueres.

At least another 19 people have been wounded, including a French national who suffered burns on 80% of his body when he was caught in his car by the flames.

The fire near Portbou has been brought under control, according to media reports, while a much larger blaze further inland, around the border town of La Jonquera, was still spreading late on Sunday, Felip Puig said.

The fire, travelling at about 5-6km/h, came within 10km of Figueres, Mr Puig said.

A total of about 13,000 hectares (32,000 acres) of forest are estimated to have been devastated in the area, according to the authorities.


Spain Scraps Siesta as Stores Stay Open to Spur Spending

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The Spanish shopping siesta may be about to become the latest victim of the sovereign debt crisis. To stimulate spending after a 23 percent drop in retail sales since 2007, the euro region’s fourth-largest economy this month approved measures that allow shops of more than 300 square meters (3,229 square feet) to open for 25 percent longer a week. The new rules may encourage the outlets to sell during the traditional afternoon snooze from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., and on an additional two Sundays or holidays a year for a total of 10. “When everything was fine, nobody complained, but now that things have gone awry, then it’s another story,” said Carmen Cardeno, director general for domestic commerce at the nation’s economy ministry, which created the rules. “We need to evolve and be more flexible.” Spain is following its European neighbors in trying to liberalize shopping hours that have traditionally been checked by governments in the region to protect religious observances, for rest and on behalf of smaller retailers that have fewer resources to staff shops around the clock. England has allowed retailers to open for longer on Sundays during the Olympics than the six hours usually allowed. In France, food shops can be open 13 hours a day and stores located in tourist areas have the right to open on Sundays. Spanish shops are allowed to open for less time than anywhere else in Europe, according to its government, which was asked by retail associations to allow large stores to open 16 Sundays or holidays a year. Some smaller merchants opposed the extension, arguing that the bigger stores would have the necessary manpower and they wouldn’t. The new measures allow stores 18 additional business hours a week and will permit merchants to decide when to cut prices in sales instead of only twice a year. Siesta Time The country’s regions will get to decide how to implement the rules, though they usually follow the lead of the central government. In Madrid, which is an exception, stores have been able to open for as long as they want since July 15. Outlets of less than 300 square meters also have no restrictions on opening hours, though the Spanish tradition of eating at home and having a siesta means most shopkeepers keep their businesses closed for about two hours in the middle of the day. The new measures may not be enough to offset shrinking demand in Spain’s 217 billion-euro ($264 billion) retail industry, which is worsening each year the crisis goes on in a nation where one in four people is out of work. The number of companies seeking bankruptcy protection rose 22 percent from a year earlier to 2,224 in the first quarter, according to the nation’s statistics institute, with commerce being the third- largest contributor behind construction and housing firms and industrial and energy companies. ‘Almost Insignificant’ Javier Millan-Astray, director general of retail association ANGED, said the approved loosening of restrictions on opening hours doesn’t go far enough. “The government’s reform is almost insignificant,” Millan-Astray told reporters in Madrid, when retail groups pushed for 16 Sunday openings. The associations’ “new proposal would help boost consumption and create more jobs because when we open on a holiday, people come and shop. It’s unbelievable that amid this crisis, we have to keep our stores closed.” Spain has been wrestling with the dilemma of preserving its culture and modernizing the industry for decades. The socialist government of Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero in 2004 rolled back liberalization of opening hours instituted by his predecessor, bringing them back to rules from the 1990s and leaving the country with the tightest regulations of any European country. Job Creation Even with the latest proposals, “retail regulation is hurting both business and customers in Spain,” said Fernando Fernandez, a professor at the IE Business School in Madrid. “Both big and small retailers would benefit from fewer restrictions. When big retailers such as Ikea or Zara open a store, all small shops in that area benefit from that.” Ending the restrictions completely would create 337,581 jobs across all industries and add 17.2 billion euros to economic growth this year, according to a study commissioned by the government, which examined the implications of several scenarios. The nearest of those to the current proposals, under which stores open on 16 Sundays or holidays, could have added 47,945 full-time retail jobs, the study found. About 1.8 million people worked in retail in the first quarter, 0.3 percent less than in the year-earlier period. Stores are also bracing for change as the government looks to the retail industry to help boost tax revenue. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy will increase the most common rate of sales tax to 21 percent from 18 percent on Sept. 1, putting an additional brake on consumers’ ability to spend. previous


Spain king ousted as honorary president of World Wildlife Fund branch after elephant hunt

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The World Wildlife Fund’s branch in Spain has ousted King Juan Carlos as its honorary president — a title he’d held since 1968 — after deciding his recent elephant hunting safari was incompatible with its goal of conserving endangered species. The announcement Saturday was the latest in a string of bad news for Spain’s royal family, which has been embarrassed by legal and other scandals. The fund said in a statement that “although such hunting is legal and regulated” it had “received many expressions of distress from its members and society in general.” It said members voted at a meeting Saturday in Madrid to “to get rid of the honorary President” by a substantial majority of 226 votes to 13. The Royal Palace declined immediate comment on the announcement. Many Spaniards were dumbfounded when news broke in April that the king had made a secret journey to hunt elephants in Botswana even though it was widely known he was president of the Spanish branch of the fund. Such an opulent indulgence also angered Spaniards at a time when national unemployment hovers around 25 percent, the economy is contracting and there are fears the country may need an international financial bailout. The Spanish public learned of the safari only after the king had to fly back in a private jet to receive emergency medical attention for a broken hip suffered during the trip. In an unprecedented act of royal contrition, a sheepish Juan Carlos apologized, saying as he left the hospital: “I am very sorry. I made a mistake. It won’t happen again.” It was a poignant moment because the royal family had been under intense media scrutiny for all the wrong reasons. The king’s son-in-law, Inaki Urdangarin, is a suspect in a corruption case, accused of having used his position to embezzle several million euros in public contracts through a supposedly not-for-profit foundation he’d set up. Over Easter, the king’s 13-year-old grandson, Felipe Juan Froilan, shot himself in the foot with a shotgun, even though Spanish law dictates you must be 14 to handle a gun. The king on Tuesday decided to take a pay cut in solidarity with civil servants who are to lose their traditional Christmas bonuses as part of the government’s most recent austerity drive. The salaries of Juan Carlos and Crown Prince Felipe will be reduced about 7 percent — to about 272,000 euros ($334,000) and 131,000 euros ($160,000) respectively — in line with government policy, the Royal Palace said. The king and prince acted voluntarily in cutting their salaries, the palace said.


THE battle to knock down the controversial Algarrobico hotel has finally been won as the government announces its plans to demolish the hotel.

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The announcement comes as an amnesty has been conceded to several coastal regions of Malaga and Huelva allowing mostly UK homeowners to keep their properties for a further 75 years.

Whereas the 1988 Coast Law threatened their homes with demolition by 2018, the new legislation will allow homeowners to keep and refurbish their homes.

But crucially, this amnesty will not be extended to the 20-storey hotel in Almeria, which was built within 500 yards of the shoreline.

The Spanish Supreme Court recently declared the hotel to be illegal.

And the government even established an antialgarrobicos clause which categorically forbids such construction projects on public or protected areas.

The decision will no doubt be celebrated by Greenpeace activists who have staged occupations on the site for years.

However locals, who have been rallying around to save the hotel insisting it would cause up to 300 job opportunities, continue to oppose the decision.


Spain's king and his family are to take a pay cut as part of the latest round of austerity measures meted out by the country's government.

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The royal family's popularity has waned in recent months after a series of scandals, as ordinary Spaniards endure high unemployment and belt-tightening measures.

Measures include a 65billion euro package of cuts and tax hikes announced by the government last week.

Unpopular: King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia of Spain are being asked to make cutbacks by their country's government

Unpopular: King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia of Spain are being asked to make cutbacks by their country's government

King Juan Carlos will take around 20,900 euros less from his state payout this year, according to an updated version on Tuesday of the 2012 royal budget and sources at the royal household.

His son and heir to the throne, Prince Felipe, will take about 10,500 euros less.

That amounts to a 7.1 per cent pay cut, roughly equivalent to one of the most bitterly-disputed cuts included in the recent austerity package: the axing of Christmas bonuses for public workers, which amounts to about 7 per cent of their income.



Other family members like Queen Sofia and Princess Leticia, Felipe's wife, will also receive less money from the budget, which is entirely made of taxpayers' money.

The royal household estimates its move will help cut between 90,000 euros and 100,000 euros (between $109,900 and $122,100) off its budget for the year, which was already down on 2011 levels. 

The government's steep spending cuts are aimed at averting an international bailout amid a deep economic downturn.

Riot police and protestors face-off during a demonstration by Spanish coal miners against austerity cuts

Riot police and protestors face-off during a demonstration by Spanish coal miners against austerity cuts

They have sparked daily protests by public-sectors workers throughout Madrid in the past week, with staff staging walkouts from various ministries and at the prime minister's office.

The king, who has long been revered in Spain for his role in the nation's transition to democracy, angered many by going on a lavish elephant hunting trip in Botswana at a time when one in four Spaniards is out of work.

The salary cut got a mixed reception from the public, with some readers of newspaper websites and Twitter users joking on whether the royal family would now struggle to make ends meet, or whether they would still be able to afford safari trips.

Others, however, commended the royal household for at least volunteering to take the cut. 

The king's son-in-law Inaki Urdangarin is also embroiled in a court case over allegations he abused his position to embezzle money through a sports charity. He denies the allegations.


Fires Drive 100s from Homes in Spain's Canary Islands

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  • Spain Island FIre_Grat (3).jpg

    Trees burn near to a house in a forest fire near Vilaflor, Tenerife, Spain, on Tuesday July 17, 2012. Two wildfires in the Canary Islands Tuesday threatened two natural parks in one of the most important tourist archipelago from Spain off the West African coast. (AP Photo/Andres Gutierrez) (AP2012)

  • Spain Island FIre_Grat.jpg

    An helicopter dumps water on the forest fire near Vilaflor in Tenerife, Spain, Tuesday July 17, 2012. Two forest fires are raging out of control on the islands of Tenerife and La Palma in Spain's Canary islands archipelago near the eastern coast of Africa. Authorities say the fires threaten natural parks but are not close to parts of the islands most frequented by tourists. (AP Photo/Andres Gutierrez)

  • Spain Island FIre_Grat (1).jpg

    A man next to a vehicle as a forest fire burns near Vilaflor in Tenerife, Spain, Tuesday July 17, 2012. Two forest fires are raging out of control on the islands of Tenerife and La Palma in Spain's Canary islands archipelago near the eastern coast of Africa. Authorities say the fires threaten natural parks but are not close to parts of the islands most frequented by tourists. (AP Photo/Andres Gutierrez) (AP2012)

  • Spain Island FIre_Grat (2).jpg

    Trees burn in a forest fire near Vilaflor in Tenerife, Spain, on Tuesday July 17, 2012. Two forest fires are raging out of control on the islands of Tenerife and La Palma in Spain's Canary islands archipelago near the eastern coast of Africa. Authorities say the fires threaten natural parks but are not close to parts of the islands most frequented by tourists. (AP Photo/Andres Gutierrez) (AP2012)

Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain –  More than 200 people were evacuated over the last few hours due to wildfires spreading in the Spanish islands of Tenerife, La Palma and La Gomera.

The work of extinguishing the fires has been impeded by the high temperatures, strong winds and mountainous terrain.

In the case of Tenerife, one of the biggest tourist attractions in the Canary Islands, the blaze that broke out last Sunday has charred 1,800 hectares (4,500 acres) in the municipalities of Adeje and Vilaflor, and has forced 90 people to leave their homes.



The fire has burned its way into the nature reserve of Barranco del Infierno, where an all-out effort is being made to stop the flames from spreading to the island's upland forest.

In La Palma, known as the "green island" because of its great environmental riches, the fire that started Monday has scorched an area of 400 hectares (990 acres) and has forced 100 people to evacuate their homes.

Firefighters plan to control the blaze by keeping it within the bounds of Montaña Quemada Volcano's narrow mountain passes.

According to the head of economy, housing and security for the Canary Islands regional government, Javier González Ortiz, some 160 people have been evacuated in La Palma and several highways have been closed to traffic.

Authorities said that another blaze that was reported in the last few hours on the island of La Gomera in the western part of the Canary Islands was brought under control Tuesday after it burned 7 hectares (17 acres) and 60 people were evacuated.


Spain's Battered Economy Has Spaniards Leaving in Droves

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When US shut its borders, many flocked to Spain, where immigration policies were more open to Latin Americans and other foreigners. But now, Spain’s battered economy has caused people, particularly native citizens, to leave in droves. The number of Spaniards leaving the recession-wracked country was up 44 percent in the first six months of 2012 compared with the same period last year, the National Statistics Institute said Tuesday. Current estimates show 40,625 Spaniards emigrated between January and the end of June, compared with 28,162 last year, the institute said. Another 228,890 foreigners who had been living in Spain left the country during the six-month period. The figures are based on municipal censuses. Spain is in its second recession in three years, with unemployment at near 25 percent. Unemployment among people under 25 years of age and available for work is 52 percent. The economy is not expected to improve before 2014 at least. Spain's population grew by nearly a fifth to some 47 million in the decade prior to the beginning of the financial crisis in 2008, with millions of foreigners flocking to the country for work. A real estate bubble provided much of the work until it burst in 2008. Many foreigners are now returning home because work has dried up while an increasing number of Spaniards are emigrating in search of employment. The institute said that as a comparison, 22,622 Spaniards left in the first six months of 2009. Spain's population stands at 46 million.


A forest fire raging on the Spanish island of Tenerife reached the edge of a major tourist park Monday, spewing thick smoke and red sparks.

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Dark clouds of smoke billow from a wildfire over the town of Adeje on the Spanish Canary island of Tenerife. The fire reached the edge of a major tourist park Monday, spewing thick smoke and red sparks.

The fire broke out on Sunday, prompting emergency services to evacuate 90 villagers from their homes overnight, and has spread over 1,800 hectares (2,700 acres), the regional government said Monday.

The wind-fanned fire reached the edge of the Teide National Park -- a mountainous beauty spot on the Teide volcano, Spain's highest peak and a UNESCO world heritage site.

Coaches and cars were moved from the grounds of the park as a precaution.

It was not immediately clear whether the fire threatened to spread into the natural park.

The regional government of the Canary Islands, an Atlantic archipelago including Tenerife, said 70 firefighters and seven helicopters were busy battling the blaze.

Another fire which started on Monday on the island of Palma, in the same archipelago, led to the evacuation of around 100 people.

Spain is at higher risk of forest fires this summer after suffering its driest winter in 70 years. One fire in eastern Spain this month ravaged 50,000 hectares.


One-Off Lamborghini Aventador J and Rare Reventon Roadster Spotted Together in Puerto Banus

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If bumping into one of the 20 Lamborghini Reventon Roadsters in existence sounds like a one in a million chance, we wonder what the odds are for someone to stumble upon the stealthy open top model together with the one-off Aventador J Unica speedster


Yet believe it or not, the two Italian exotics were filmed by 'Agent4Stars' parked in tandem at the Puerto Banús marina in the Spanish resort of Marbella, just last week.

The €2.1 million (US$2.6 million) Aventador J Unica is a one-off speedster-style supercar created for an unidentified Lamborghini collector. It was presented to the world at this year's Geneva Motor Show in March.

Compared to the J Unica, the Reventon Roadster is a…mass produced model as Lamborghini built some 20 examples of the exotic, which is based on the closed-top model of the same name.

A grainy video with mediocre quality follows below.



Six British women claim they have been raped

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six British women have denounced that they suffered sexual aggressions in the last month. They all were staying near Eivissa. Police sources have confirmed that during June at least six women, all of them from the U.K. and most of them just 18, said they had been raped in tourist establishments in the Portmany Bay, in the municipalities of Sant Antoni and Sant Josep. The security forces have failed to detain anybody in connection with the complaints. They say the victims’ descriptions given in such circumstances are quite bare, but in nearly all of the cases the women say their attacker was also British. Some mention tattoos. They generally say they had just met the attacker. When British tourists have denounced rape in the past, their complaint has generally failed to progress because of inaccuracies in statement and that some complaints have simply turned out to be false. It seems the practice started with a travel insurance policy which included rape, and several countries have detected the fraudulent use of the policy.


Fraud trial for Rodrigo Rato over Bankia collapse

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Rodrigo Rato, the former head of the International Monetary Fund, is to face trial for alleged fraud in connection with the spectacular collapse of Spanish lender Bankia.

Rodrigo Rato, chairman of ailing Spanish lender Bankia SA
Rodrigo Rato stepped down as chairman of Bankia on Monday Photo: Reuters
Mr Rato, who quit as chairman of the bank in May just before it was bailed out to the tune of €23.5bn (£18.9bn), is named alongside 32 other Bankia managers in a lawsuit brought by UPyD, one of Spain’s smaller political parties.Hours after the legal probe was announced, Bankia's chief executive Francisco Verdu, abruptly quit, announcing the move in a one sentence regulatory filing.

Spain’s top national court on accepted the suit, alleging fraud, price-fixing, embezzlement and falsifying accounts, though no date has yet been set for the hearings.

Anti-corruption judges had already opened a preliminary investigation into alleged fraud relating to the founding of Bankia, formed from the merger of seven regional savings banks, and its controversial stock market listing last year.

The two-stage Bankia bail-out – an initial €4.5bn swiftly followed by a further €19bn – signalled a dangerous new phase in the Spanish banking crisis.