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/ 23 February 2008

Anne Frank musical hits the right note in Spain

A controversial Spanish musical telling the story of Anne Frank has its world premiere next week in Madrid, despite protests from her only surviving relative and the foundation that protects the rights to her diary. But, if preview audiences are anything to go by, its producers look like they have an improbable hit on their hands.

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/ 18 February 2008

Blatter lays down law for 2018 Cup

South America and Africa have no chance of hosting the 2018 Soccer World Cup. ”Of all five continents available to present, South America and Africa will not be allowed to,” Fifa president Sepp Blatter said on Sunday. ”If we hadn’t taken the decision to have a rotation policy in the first place, Africa would never had had the chance to host the World Cup, neither would South America.”

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/ 14 January 2008

New website aims to be home of Spanish

Cyberspace has welcomed a new, Wikipedia-style tool designed to help the world’s nearly 400-million Spanish-speakers consult on proper use of their language. The website, called Wikilengua was officially unveiled last Thursday at Casa de America, a cultural centre in Madrid that aims to symbolise and enhance Spain’s strong ties with Latin America.

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/ 10 December 2007

Alonso returns to Renault

Spain’s double world champion Fernando Alonso ended speculation over his driving plans for the 2008 Formula One season on Monday by announcing his return to Renault. Alonso won his two titles in 2005 and 2006 with the French team before moving to McLaren, with whom he finished third in this year’s title race.

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/ 27 November 2007

Three Moroccans try to reach Spain on surfboard

Three would-be immigrants from Morocco tried to row across the Strait of Gibraltar on a surfboard in rough seas before they were picked up by a passing ferry, a Spanish newspaper said on Tuesday. The ferry was 20 minutes out of the Moroccan port of Tangiers on November 20, according to a passenger, Miguel Marin, quoted by <i>El Mundo</i> newspaper.

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/ 16 November 2007

UN says cocaine-snorting stars harm Africa

Use of cocaine by celebrities is encouraging a trade that destroys whole communities in Latin America and Africa, the United Nations’ top anti-crime official said on Thursday. ”All these celebrity role models, turned into junkies, have in fact spent a lot of time in rehab lately, and their lives are a mess,” said Antonio Maria Costa.

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/ 12 November 2007

Henin rallies to beat Sharapova

Justin Henin finished the toughest season of her career with one of her toughest victories at the WTA tennis championship. That’s exactly how she would have scripted it. Henin rallied to beat Maria Sharapova 5-7, 7-5, 6-3 on Sunday in the longest three-set final in the tournament’s history.

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/ 6 November 2007

Morocco irked as many cheer Spanish king

Thousands cheered to the boom of a 21-cannon salute welcoming Spain’s king and queen to the North African enclave of Melilla on Tuesday, the second day of a trip that has seriously irked Morocco. The two-day visit is King Juan Carlos’s first as head of state to Ceuta and Melilla, North African cities that are remnants of Spain’s colonial empire.

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/ 2 November 2007

Fernando Alonso quits McLaren

Fernando Alonso’s stormy year with McLaren came to a shuddering halt on Friday with the announcement that the Spaniard was leaving the team just one year into a three-year contract. The deposed world champion will quit the British team immediately even though his current contract had two years to run until the end of the 2009 season.

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/ 1 November 2007

Real storm to 5-1 win over sorry Valencia

Real Madrid hit four goals in a devastating first-half spell as they stormed to a 5-1 away win over Valencia at the Mestalla on Wednesday. A second-minute strike from Raul, a Ruud van Nistelrooy double and a superb shot from defender Sergio Ramos put Bernd Schuster’s side 4-0 up after just 37 minutes while Robinho added a classy fifth midway through the second half.

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/ 31 October 2007

Judge finds 21 guilty of Madrid bombings

A Spanish court on Wednesday convicted 21 people of involvement in the 2004 Madrid train bombings, but acquitted a man accused of helping mastermind the al-Qaeda-inspired attack that claimed nearly 200 lives. The heaviest sentences were handed out to two Moroccans and a Spaniard, Jose Emilio Suarez Trashorras.

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/ 31 October 2007

Spanish judge due to rule on Madrid train bombs

A Spanish court will deliver verdicts on Wednesday on 28 people accused of playing a role in the 2004 Madrid train bombings, ending a politically charged trial into Europe’s deadliest al-Qaeda inspired attack. Ten bombs ripped through four commuter trains early on March 11 2004, strewing the tracks with bodies. The Islamist bombings killed 191 people and injured 1 800.

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/ 29 October 2007

Wreck survivor says 56 African migrants died at sea

Fifty-six Africans trying to reach Spain by boat drowned, starved or killed themselves in despair because their spare fuel supplies had been replaced by water, the sole survivor told the newspaper El Pais. A Spanish fishing boat found Senegalese skipper Leidi Fall barely alive in the half-sunken vessel south of the Cape Verde islands last Wednesday.

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/ 27 October 2007

Ramos resigns from Sevilla

Juande Ramos on Friday night resigned as manager of Sevilla, the Spanish team said, clearing the way for the award-winning Spaniard to join Tottenham. Sevilla said that Ramos had unilaterally rescinded his contract, presenting documents to this effect to senior team officials at the Sevilla stadium. The club referred to Ramos as ”the now former coach of Sevilla”.

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/ 16 October 2007

Pereiro replaces Landis as 2006 Tour winner

Spain’s Oscar Pereiro on Monday received the yellow jersey from the 2006 Tour de France at a ceremony in Madrid, officially replacing United States rider Floyd Landis, who was stripped of his title for doping. ”This is an emotional moment, a day that I will never forget,” said Pereiro after Tour director Christian Prudhomme awarded him the jersey.

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/ 1 October 2007

Spanish town tosses world’s biggest salad

A town in southern Spain on the weekend tossed what local officials said was the world’s largest salad, involving 6&nbsp;700kg of lettuce, tomato, onion, pepper and olives. It took 20 cooks over three hours to mix all the ingredients needed to make the salad in the town of Pulpi in the province of Almeria, one of Spain’s main fruit and vegetable growing areas.

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/ 19 September 2007

Spain to scare African migrants with video

Spain will try to scare off potential African migrants with television advertisements showing a young man apparently lying dead on some rocks and a mother grieving for her disappeared son. The Spanish government advertisements, which also feature Senegalese singer Youssou N’Dour, started showing on Senegalese television on Wednesday.

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/ 24 August 2007

Heinze and Robben bask in Real welcome

Real Madrid on Thursday unveiled new signings Arjen Robben and Gabriel Heinze at the Bernabeu stadium after they passed medicals, with both men saying they were delighted at the opportunity to swap the English Premiership for La Liga. Dutch winger Robben (23) arrived from Chelsea while Argentine defender Heinze (29) joins from Manchester United.

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/ 25 July 2007

Small blasts hit Tour de France route

Two small explosions hit part of the Spanish section of Wednesday’s Tour de France cycle race after a telephone bomb threat from a caller claiming to represent Basque separatist rebels ETA, newspaper website El Pais said. No one was hurt and the race was not called off after the explosions, which came after the caller said that ETA had planted several bombs.

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/ 17 July 2007

Dad loses visitation rights after taking son to bull run

A Spanish judge has taken away visiting rights from a man who took his 10-year-old son to a running of the bulls during the annual Pamplona festival last week, Spanish media reported on Tuesday. The boy’s mother filed a police complaint after seeing a photograph published in a newspaper of her smiling ex-husband leading their son by the arm just a few steps ahead of the bulls.

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/ 9 July 2007

Women demand Pamplona bull run — with cows

Women in the northern Spanish city of Pamplona, world-famous for its ferocious bull-running festival, are demanding their own version complete with cows instead of bulls. A student website set the ball rolling with its campaign ”Cows want to run” which asks for a separate encierro where only women are allowed to take part.