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February 28 2015


Bali Nine: Indonesian president Joko Widodo denies reconsidering Chan, Sukumaran executions

Bali Nine: Indonesian president Joko Widodo denies reconsidering Chan, Sukumaran executions - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)


Bali Nine: Indonesian president Joko Widodo denies reconsidering Chan, Sukumaran executionsBy Indonesia correspondent George Roberts

UpdatedFebruary 28, 2015 23:23:43

Joko Widodo talks to CNN Photo:Indonesian president Joko Widodo has disputed Tony Abbott's implication that he was reconsidering his position on the Bali Nine duo's fate. (CNN)Related Story:Myuran Sukumaran awarded associate degree in fine artsRelated Story:Abbott calls Widodo to 'speak out' for death-row AustraliansRelated Story:Bali Nine pair to appeal to same court that threw out caseMap:Indonesia

Indonesian president Joko Widodo has denied Prime Minister Tony Abbott's suggestion that he might be reconsidering the execution of Australian drug smugglers Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.

Mr Abbott spoke to Mr Widodo on Wednesday night to appeal for clemency for Chan and Sukumaran.

Mr Abbott said later that he thought the president was carefully considering Indonesia's position over the men's executions.

"Suffice to say that the president absolutely understands our position and I think he is carefully considering Indonesia's position," he said.

"I don't want to raise hope that might turn out to be dashed.

"I don't want to reflect on Indonesia or my friend, president Joko Widodo.

"I want to ensure that as far as is humanly possible, I am speaking out for Australians and for Australian values but I've also got to respect and defend Australia's friendships, and one of our very best friendships is with Indonesia."

But speaking to the Indonesian business publication, Kontan, Mr Widodo said he was not reconsidering the executions and reiterated that Indonesia's stance was clear and there could be no be intervention.

Mr Widodo also spoke to the leaders of France, Brazil and the Netherlands about their nationals awaiting execution.

Following those phone calls, he said Indonesia would not tolerate interference from other countries when it came to law enforcement.

Chan and Sukumaran were sentenced to death over a 2004 plot to smuggle heroin into Australia.

Labor frontbencher Tony Burke told Sky News that Australian politicians were united in the effort to secure clemency for Chan and Sukumaran.

"This is one of those issues where every side of politics stands together," he said.

"There's been complete bipartisanship and support in the way the Government has been trying to seek clemency here."


First postedFebruary 28, 2015 18:18:43


February 27 2015


'Focus' to top 'Fifty Shades of Grey,' 'Lazarus Effect'

'Focus' to top 'Fifty Shades of Grey,' 'Lazarus Effect' - LA Times

Christian Grey has some competition at the domestic box office this weekend.

Warner Bros.' "Focus," starring Will Smith and Margot Robbie, is expected to push Universal Pictures' "Fifty Shades of Grey" out of the top spot.

The R-rated romantic crime comedy, which cost about $50 million to make, could debut to up to $22 million in the United States and Canada, according to people familiar with pre-release audience surveys.

'Fifty Shades of Grey' brings little pleasure 'Fifty Shades of Grey' brings little pleasureKenneth TuranMore years ago than I want to remember, I was wandering down a disreputable street near New York's once-seedy Times Square when I spied a hand-lettered sign in front of a storefront theater. "At Last!" the poster read. "A Bondage Film With a Believable Story Line!"More years ago than I want to remember, I was wandering down a disreputable street near New York's once-seedy Times Square when I spied a hand-lettered sign in front of a storefront theater. "At Last!" the poster read. "A Bondage Film With a Believable Story Line!" ( Kenneth Turan )

Meanwhile, "Fifty Shades of Grey," which dropped more than 70% in ticket sales in its second weekend, is expected to add $11 million to $12 million. Its whopping domestic haul to date is $133.3 million.

lRelated Hollywood's creative class cheers FCC passage of net neutrality rules COMPANY TOWNHollywood's creative class cheers FCC passage of net neutrality rulesSee all related8

Directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson and based on E.L. James' erotic novel, "Fifty Shades of Grey" follows kinky billionaire Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) and his demure love interest Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson).

The film, which cost about $40 million to make, debuted to $94.4 million over the four-day Presidents/Valentine's Day weekend, making headlines for its record-setting numbers and risque storyline.

"Focus" marks Smith's return to the big screen after "After Earth" flopped in June 2013. The $135-million Sony sci-fi flick, which co-starred Smith's son Jaden, opened to a paltry $27 million and went on to gross just $60.5 million domestically. It did well overseas, however, generating $183.3 million.

cCommentsGot something to say? Start the conversation and be the first to comment.Add a comment0

Written and directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa ("Crazy, Stupid Love"), "Focus" follows a con artist named Nicky (Smith) who trains and eventually falls for Jess (Robbie). After they break up, three years later, they reunite in Buenos Aires, both there to con the same billionaire.

Fandango, the nation's largest online ticket company, said on Wednesday that the upcoming film is leading ticket sales on its site, earing a 77 out of 100 on the "Fanticipation" movie buzz indicator. It is the best advance ticket sales for a Smith-led film since "Men in Black 3" in 2012.

Fellow newcomer "The Lazarus Effect" will likely launch with $12 million to $14 million. The low-budget horror film was co-produced by Blumhouse, the company behind the "Purge" franchise, and Mosaic, for just $5 million. Relativity Studios acquired it for $3.3 million.

The film follows a group of researchers led by Frank (Mark Duplass) and fiancee Zoe (Olivia Wilde) who discover how to bring the dead back to life.

It is tracking well among 25-to-35-year-olds.

Meanwhile, fresh off its Oscar wins, "Birdman" will take flight in 1,000 additional theaters.

Focus Features will roll out "Maps to the Stars," starring Julianne Moore and Robert Pattinson, in 50 theaters.

Also in limited release, Roadside Attractions will distribute war drama "'71" and Radius-TWC will launch action thriller "Everly."

For more news on the entertainment industry, follow me @saba_h on Twitter.

Copyright (C) 2015, Los Angeles Times


February 25 2015


Verdeal is the real deal

Microsoft Word - wine bottle IF you are curious about wine, you will want to discover Verdeal, which emanates from the district of Rueda, located north of Spain in the provinces of Valladolid, Segovia and Avila.

The Duero River runs through the north of the wine region. The soils are sandy, clayey and covered in rich scree gravel.

This ensures good ventilation and irrigation of the soil, and gives the life to the high quality of wines from Rueda.

The continental climate ensures short but hot summers and cold winters. The local joke is: nine months of winter and three months of hell!

The vineyards grow between 600-800 metres of specialised land. When talking about wines from Rueda, we think especially of the white wine because this is where the famous Spanish variety, Verdejo, not only originates but dominates the mind.

In fact, this variety of wine has sent Rueda to the top of the list of preferred white wines of Spain.

In 2007 Eduardo Poza, a young entrepreneur with a profound love for the Verdejo grape variety, started an ambitious project with the goal of recuperating Verdejo's truest identity under a new and thoroughly modern brand name. Simply named "VERDEAL", his vision quickly caught the imagination.

His Verdeal is "a continuous quest for the satisfaction of the contemporary palate, within that idea of creating a brand name with solid roots within a given geographical area and a steady quality over the years, a true symbol, a sheer identity for both the region and the grape..."

It's an impressive boast! But it has been well backed up because the wine has been winning awards every year.

It scooped the Gran Bacchus de oro 2014 - for the best white wine; the Vivir el Vino 2014 - best young white wine. {If you are thinking of visiting The Canary Islands the following link has some further information on Cheap Family Hotels in Tenerife.|

If you are considering a trip to The Canary Islands this year then you will find that the following link has information particularly relevant to those interested in ##LINK~##.|

Situated closer to North Africa than Spain, the Canary Islands have long been a favourite of the British holidaymaker. If you are considering a trip to The Canary Islands this year then you will find that the following link has facts and information particularly useful to anybody interested in ##LINK~##.It also won gold medals in 2011 with Mundus Vini and 2012 in Brussels, among other honours.

With its straw-yellow colour and a vivid green tinge, it is clean, neat and brilliant. It's such an inviting wine. On the nose it has medium intensity,  showing a rich and complex aroma, with abundant varietals notes.

Fresh and fruity (green apple), it has also some fine citrus fruit notes (grapefruit, lime, lemon rind) that boost its fresh and youthful character and leans the expression towards balsamic and wild herbs nuances, as well as to an intense floral (white petals) aspect, all of which afford formidable elegance, with a delicate finish of aniseed and spices.

On the palate, you will discover fresh, rich and elegant taste, with great structure. It shows also good weight and acidity, a rich, long and highly-aromatic finish with lovely bitter nuances typical of Verdejo, that help to increase length, and a fine after-taste of citrus fruits, balsamic herbs and mineral.

The vines that yield the fruit to make this wine are over 25 years of age and dry-farmed in both bush and trellis systems. Relatively low yields account for higher concentration and, ultimately, greater wines.

This 100% varietal wine goes perfectly with white fish, appetisers, rice and seafood.

The Verdeal Verdejo, one of the best wines in Spain, is available in the finest restaurants - or in your wine cellar. So come and taste it with us in Las Chafiras.

Short URL: http://www.canarianweekly.com/?p=25264


The First Time Street Fighter's Charlie Has Seen Action In A Long Time

The First Time Street Fighter's Charlie Has Seen Action In A Long Time

The First Time Street Fighter's Charlie Has Seen Action In A Long Time

Teased late last year during the Capcom Cup Finals, Charlie Nash is the third fighter to take the the ramen-strewn stage in Street Fighter V. He's looking pretty good for a dead guy.

I mean yeah, a large portion of his face is missing, but that's the sort of thing that happens when you bite it at the end of Street Fighter Alpha II. I sure hope Capcom isn't bringing Guile's bestie back as a bad guy. That would be sad.

You know what's not sad? Capcom is readying a massive Street Fighter V beta program for PC and PS4. That sounds great.

Man, it's nice to have Charlie back.


February 23 2015


Samsung Galaxy S6 Design Teased By T-Mobile

Samsung Galaxy S6 Design Teased By T-Mobile | Ubergizmo

galaxy_s6_tmobileThere have been many rumors surrounding the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S6, which some believe will feature a metal body. There are also rumors hinting that we could be looking at a curved display similar to that of the Galaxy Note Edge, and it seems that thanks to a recent T-Mobile teaser, those curved display rumors could be true.

As you can see in the image above which was posted on T-Mobile's website, it shows off a Samsung phone with what appears to be a curved display on its edge. However unlike the Galaxy Note Edge, the Galaxy S6 is said to have curved displays on both sides. We're not sure if we could be looking at the Galaxy S Edge or the Galaxy S6, or maybe they're both the same phone.

Either way we should be finding out the details on the 1st of March which is when Samsung will be launching the handset at its press event at MWC 2015. We can only assume that the image posted by T-Mobile is close to the real thing because after all, they are a carrier and we can only imagine that Samsung would have shared some of their plans ahead of the phone's launch.

Based on what we can see, we are certainly digging its design and we can't wait to see if the actual handset will look just as good as its renders, so be sure to check back with us on the 1st of March for all the official details! In the meantime who else is excited?


February 22 2015


Peacocks' strut frustrates champs

Pool1 WAS this the week we saw Tenerife Hammers A grip on the Direct Telecom Pool League trophy slip?

They have been chasing Gaffers A all season, and had stay within touching distance until, on Tuesday, they played host to the Peacocks.

On paper, it should have been a routine win. But the Peacocks can produce quality pool, and this is exactly what they did.

Hammers were always in front, but they just couldn't shake off their opponents. The match was tight all night, but at 5-1, the hosts were home and hosed. Or were they?

Paul then lost two matches and the fightback was on. Peacocks rallied and Carl took the 12th frame to steal a point and make it three without defeat against Hammers A - surely gifting the crown to Gaffers A.

The gap is now five points and I don't think Gaffers will drop that many.

With things seemingly finished at the top, the bottom is now looking like an interesting run-in.

True, Peacocks snatched a great point, but things didn't go according to plan for Hammers C or Terrace Bar A, with both Palms teams standing in their way.

Palms A were the opposition for Tenerife Hammers C and all eyes were on Heineken, who had defected from the Palms the previous week. However, he decided not to play against his former team - but his new comrades could have done with him.

It was a tight fixture, but an assured Palms were strong favourites at 5-1. But as is often the case in this league, the visitors roared back to make it 5-4, only for Palms, with new-signing Darren, to get over the line. Happy Days!

Palms B were the visitors down on Amarilla Golf, taking on Terrace Bar A, and they rode into town on the back of Lady Luck.

Terrace, knowing they needed a result, allowed their opponents to take an early lead. But they fought back and started putting frames on the board. They had a chance to level things up at 5-4, but it wasn't to be as Palms guaranteed themselves the draw.

Con, for the home team took the next frame, which meant that Terrace Captain Adi could force a draw in the final game against Shi.

It was a tight game, with neither player wanting to lose, and so it came down to the black. Shi had the first attempt and missed the pocket by a country mile.

Adi thought he was in, but as the black cannoned off six cushions, it made a track straight for the bottom bag. {If you are considering making a trip to The Canary Islands the following link has some further information on Cheap Pet Friendly Hotels in Gran Canaria.|

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Situated closer to North Africa than Spain, the Canary Islands have long been a favourite of the British holidaymaker. If a trip to The Canary Islands is on this years holiday agenda then you will find that the following link has information especially useful to those looking for ##LINK~##.Shi was apologising before it even dropped, but that's the way the game goes!

Phoenix Potters will feel safe, eight points off the bottom, but anything is possible in this league. They travelled to Los Cristianos with their hot-water bottles to take on Dreamers A.

Over the first 10 frames there was nothing to separate them, with Potters' Geoff putting in a real captain's performance by winning all three of his games.

But his rearguard let him down and Dreamers' Mark and Tommy took the final two frames for victory.

Treehouse A kept up their winning run against Terrace Bar B, but it could have been a different result had half the Terrace team not gone on holiday.

They arrived in Chayofa with three players and were always up against it. Treehouse took advantage of already being three games to the good and never looked back, eventually cruising to an 8-4 victory.

In Division Two, Sporting Jester A are champions-elect after another victory against Treehouse B. They are now 11 points clear of their nearest rivals and cruising to the title - and they are going to shake things up in Division One next season!

Waterfall Jokers, looking to join them, took advantage of Bluebell A not being in action by taking three points from Hoppy's Bar and moving up to second place.

They look to have hit form at just the right time, and they hold a one-point lead over Bluebell. However, they will need to continue this run if they are to be promoted.

Inn the Pink B could still enter the promotion mix as they have games in hand over the teams above them, and they took a step closer on Tuesday.

They were playing Next Door bar, who themselves had been faring well recently, but they made home advantage pay as they took early frames to win 8-4 eventually.

League new boys the Crown had cause for celebration as they got their first point - and what a point! James Place made the trip from La Caleta to Valle San Lorenzo and would have been confident of winning, but it wasn't to be as the home side played some great games and kept pace.

The match was eventually drawn and will make the Crown buoyant going forward. Watch out, next week's opponents!

The draw has been made for the next round of the Cup and the Plate, and there are some juicy match-ups.

Favourites Gaffers A have home advantage In the Cup, but they face the dangerous Inn The Pink A. Palms B will start slight favourites at home to Phoenix Potters, while there is a grudge match in Los Abrigos as The Phoenix host Waterfall Rebels.

And there is an all-Division Two clas as well because Tenerife Hammers A face bogey side Peacocks in the Plate.

Tenerife Pool Tables Cup


Gaffers A v Inn The Pink A

Waterfall Jokers v Bluebell A

The Phoenix v Waterfall Rebels

Palms B v Phoenix Potters

Tenerife Pool Tables Plate


Inn The Pink B v Sporting Jester A

Terrace B v Gaffers B

Tenerife Hammers A v Peacocks

Hoppys v Next Door

Matches will be played on Tuesday March 10th

Short URL: http://www.canarianweekly.com/?p=25256


February 21 2015


I tried an ambitious new food delivery startup and it made me completely rethink my diet

I tried an ambitious new food delivery startup and it made me completely rethink my diet - Business Insider

I'm not always the healthiest eater. But sometimes the easiest things to make aren't the best for you.

When I don't know what to make, I turn to my iPhone.

Delivery startups like Postmates, Grubhub, and Seamless promise to bring nearly anything I can think of to my door.

It's as problematic as it is helpful: I usually order pizza, or BBQ, or something equally unhealthy.

Sprig 1Instagram/eatsprig/Business InsiderSprig offers healthy alternatives to what other startups deliver.

That's why I was excited to try out Sprig, a food startup that makes and delivers healthy, nutritious meals.

One of its executive chefs, Nate Keller, used to used to work at Google.

Sprig offers lunch and dinner in San Francisco and dinner in Palo Alto.

What sets the company apart is that all the food is made in-house; Sprig isn't hawking another restaurant's food.

When I opened up Sprig's app the other day I was greeted with three dinner choices: a grilled chicken fajita bowl, carnitas and roasted sweet potatoes, or a vegetarian burrito. I chose the fajita bowl.

Each meal comes with a neat description and an ingredient list. I don't have many food allergies but I do appreciate knowing exactly what goes into my meals, especially if I felt like trying to recreate them.

My chicken fajita bowl promised "Petaluma Farms chicken thighs shredded in a tomato-chili sauce" with cilantro rice, sauteed onions and bell peppers.

Even a relatively straightforward dish like this one would be an uphill battle in my kitchen.

After entering my payment information (Sprig doesn't take Apple Pay, but that could change one day), ordering only took a few taps. Sprig's app lets you track your delivery from start to finish.

My fajita bowl arrived in a surprisingly quick 20 minutes, complete with a compostable box and a card outlining "the Sprig promise" of nutritionally-balanced, better-tasting and environmentally-conscious food. I opened the box and was surprised by how similar my meal looked to what Sprig's app had offered.

Sprig 2Business InsiderI tracked my meal with Sprig's app and was surprised by how fresh it looked on arrival.

The fajita bowl wasn't piping hot by the time it got to me but what it lacked in degrees it made up for in flavor.

I enjoyed it so much because it tasted great and I knew I wouldn't regret it later. The peppers were spicy, and the chicken was tender. Even the rice had an enjoyable flavor to it.

You might think a startup making high-quality food would have equally high prices, but that's pleasantly not the case. My whole meal, including delivery and tip, was $14.95. I could've easily spent more than that at a restaurant or with one of Sprig's less nutritious competitors.

I can't afford to use it every day, but Sprig has given me a reliable way to avoid the same old junk food in case I feel like ordering in. It's made me question the nutritional value of everything I eat. And that's a service I'd gladly pay for.

SEE ALSO: Google's Former Executive Chef Is Creating 'The Easiest Way To Eat Well In The World' With A 3-Tap Food Delivery App, Sprig

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February 19 2015


February 2015

February 8, 2015 in News by The Canary


We are back for the Spring with our latest edition. Distribution Top-ups across #GranCanaria with the latest News, Views & Sunshine from #GranCanariaBusinessWeek #ShapingTheOdds #Property #TTIP #LanguageExchange and much more...


Download the PDF HERE

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Vanilla Ice charged with burglary in Florida

Vanilla Ice charged with burglary in Florida - Yahoo News

LANTANA, Fla. (AP) -- Vanilla Ice has been charged with breaking into and stealing from an abandoned home that is in foreclosure in Florida.

Police in the Palm Beach County town of Lantana say the recording artist and home-improvement-show host had been renovating a home next to the victim's house. They said in a news release that some of the items were found at his property.

Vanilla Ice, whose real name is Robert Van Winkle, rose to fame following the 1990 release of the hit song "Ice Ice Baby." In recent years, he has hosted "The Vanilla Ice Project" on DIY Network.

The 47-year-old Van Winkle was charged Wednesday with burglary of residence and grand theft and taken into custody.

Authorities say furniture, a pool heater, bicycles and other items were removed from the home sometime during December and February.

Crime & JusticeSociety & CultureVanilla Ice


February 18 2015


Police uncover plot to peddle "shabu" from Spain

Police have uncovered a plot to introduce the dangerous new synthetic drug "shabu" on to the holiday islands of Ibiza and Mallorca.

The  crystalised meth is a powerful stimulant which keeps the user awake for several days at a time and sells for up to 500 euros a gram, even more expensive than cocaine. One dose can change hands for 50 euros and can be highly addictive but eventually causes physical and mental exhaustion with psychotic  symptoms which can last for months or even years.

The drug is widely used in Japan, Hong Kong, Malaysia and America but has rarely been detected in Spain - until now.

Police have arrested 29 people, mainly in Madrid, for being members of a drug trafficking gang. Human couriers known as "pigs" were used to bring the "shabu" in to Spain and splinter groups were then set up to sell to dealers, usually over the phone.

Emails were found setting up contacts in Ibiza and Palma de Mallorca in order to open up new markets.

When police raided four properties in Madrid, the suspects threw drugs out of the window and flushed them down toilets. {If you are planning on taking a trip to The Canary Islands the following link has detailed information on Discounted Dog Friendly Hotels in Lanzarote.|

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Situated closer to North Africa than Spain, the guaranteed sunshine of the Canary Islands has been a magnet for British Holidaymakers for many years. If you are considering a trip to The Canary Islands this year then clicking on he following link will provide information particularly useful to anybody looking for ##LINK~##.However, officers still managed to seize 427 grams of shabu worth half a million pounds. Guns, mobile phones and computers were also taken away.

Most of those arrested are Filipinos.

Police fear that if shabu takes a hold elsewhere, it could lead to a string of "shooting galleries" where users go to sniff or smoke the drug.


February 16 2015


VLC For iOS Hits The App Store Once Again

VLC For iOS Hits The App Store Once Again | Ubergizmo


iOS users have had to wait for a considerable amount of time for VLC to arrive. VLC as many of you would already be aware is a very popular media player that's capable of playing most media formats. It did arrive on iOS in 2011 only to be pulled from the App Store because of a licensing dispute. Now though VLC for iOS has once again returned to the App Store.

The app's return was spotted earlier today. At that time it was only live in certain countries but it shouldn't take long? until VLC for iOS is available in all markets where the App Store? is accessible.

After being pulled from the App Store in 2011 it took two years for the app to return. In 2013 VLC for iOS was available for download once again but in September last year it was off the App Store for the second time.

The developer said back then that the app would return soon but it never did. Many months have passed since then and finally today we're hearing the good news.

Users based in the United States who installed the previous version of this app before it was removed are reporting that they are able to update to the latest version, 2.4.1, right away.

Those who have to install from scratch can check out VLC for iOS on the App Store. If it hasn't gone live already in their region it shouldn't take more than day to arrive.


February 15 2015


Carnival costumes outside the Canaries: Pablo Iglesias, 'Little Nicolas', bananas, credit cards, Frozen characters, Batman, Travolta and Barcenas

CARNIVAL craziness hit Spain last night and, although the world-famous celebrations are held in the Canary Islands, many towns and villages on the mainland hold much more low-key versions on the last Saturday night before Lent.

Unlike in Tenerife and Gran Canaria, where the spectacular costumes and pageants rival those of Brazil, 'local' takes on the carnival elsewhere in the country are effectively just fun fancy-dress parades followed by open-air discos.

And get-up tends to be 'themed' rather than as flamboyant and showy as on the islands, more in keeping with outfits worn at costume parties and making great use of cut-price knick-knacks from Chinese bazaars, the stores which have taken over from the one-time 100-peseta shops.

Massive, outsized head-dresses three times the height of their wearers and often equally as wide, adorned with mirrors, feathers, Swarovski crystals and glitter in a bid to win the honour of Carnival Queen take centre stage in the Canary Islands, but famous people, super-heroes and cartoon characters using hand-made cardboard cut-outs, cheap wigs and face-paint are more typical of local versions.

This year, predictably, saw a huge number of Saturday-night revellers dressed as Pablo Iglesias, leader of the relatively new independent political party Podemos, complete with goatee, ponytail and lumberjack shirt; and also as the young infiltrator dubbed 'Little Nicolás' by the media - Francisco Nicolás 'Fran' Gómez who, at 21, claims to have been working under cover for the government and secret service and who has been pictured with top-ranking politicians and even at King Felipe VI's coronation.

Those disguised as 'Little Nicolás' - who confesses he hates his public nickname - wore wigs with brylcreemed side partings, suits, ties and shirts, going for the 'Etonian look', whilst carrying huge wads of Monopoly banknotes and thrusting themselves into every possible photo being taken.

Others bought frizzy white wigs from Chinese bazaars and made themselves up to look like the late Duchess of Alba, who passed away in December aged 87 and who was said to own more land in Spain than anyone else in the country before handing over her inheritance to her children whilst still alive.

Black humour frequently abounds at carnival time and somewhat near-the-knuckle costumes included zombie versions of the Duchess of Alba, given that she is now dead, and even Ebola victims or doctors in biohazard suits.

Celebrity TV presenter Belén Esteban often crops up at local carnivals, although she was seen more than usual this year due to her taking part in VIP Big Brother - her now-famous purple leopardskin-patterned pyjamas seen on the show, which have sold out in El Corte Inglés, became her typical costume among dressed-up carnival-goers last night.

Parodies of bankers, politicians and former PP treasurer Luis Bárcenas, who has just bailed himself out of jail after 19 months, were spotted in abundance, as well as plenty of send-ups of the infamous Caja Madrid bank corporate credit card expenses scandal, known as the 'Black Card' racket.

In fact, one shop in Alicante sold plastic costumes allowing revellers to dress up as Caja Madrid credit cards, and reported sales figures of 300% higher than expected.

Famous faces were not all controversial or topical characters at last night's carnival, however - Katy Perry, Jack Sparrow, Freddie Mercury, John Travolta, Arnold Schwarzenegger as The Terminator and Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction were seen throughout Spain.

Fictional characters which have been spotted at practically every carnival in Spain for decades include Batman and the main figures from Star Wars, but this year they were joined by Thor, Captain America, characters from Frozen, Piccolo - the 'green friend' of Goku in Dragon Ball - and timeless classics like Rambo and Alice in Wonderland characters, from Alice herself through to the Mad Hatter and the Queen of Hearts.

Some simply dress up as random objects for a laugh - bananas, hot dogs and post boxes were spotted last night in several locations - and firm favourites among generic costumes include pirates, brides and grooms, nurses, tigers, clowns, fairies, hippies, devils, motorbike riders, and flapper girls.

Typically, the children's carnival parades would take place somewhere between 17.00hrs and 19.00hrs, then the adult ones much later - sometimes after midnight.

All ages were out on the street, from 18 to well over 70, and some tying in their themed costumes with those of their children.

Fancy-dress shops, where costumes retail at much higher prices than the more simple 'ingredients' from Chinese bazaars, say the average customer spent around EUR30 to EUR50 on get-up, but that the total bill for each ranged from EUR18 to EUR75 depending upon budget and imagination.

Until recently, carnival celebrations outside the Canary Islands were few and far between, with one of the largest on the mainland being in Pego (Alicante province) a town of just 10,000 inhabitants which sees busloads of revellers in costume turn up from the provincial capitals of Valencia and Alicante, around 100 kilometres away, and sometimes even Madrid.

But in the past two or three years, more and more towns are beginning to hold their own versions, although Pego remains one of the best-loved and continues to attract upwards of 30,000 party-goers every February.

Photographs 1 and 3: Clowns and zebras at the carnival in Pego, Alicante province

Photograph 2: Cruella de Vils in Dénia, Alicante province

Photograph 4: Drag queens in Cádiz




February 14 2015


Ukraine peace deal 'in great danger', Petro Poroshenko says

Ukraine peace deal 'in great danger', Petro Poroshenko says - Telegraph

"After what we concluded in Minsk, these are not only attacks againstcivilians but also against the Minsk agreement," he added, referring tothe shelling of the town of Artemivsk that killed three people including aseven-year-old.

The ceasefire, due to take effect from 2200 GMT Saturday, will be the firsttest of the commitment by Kiev and pro-Russian separatists to thefreshly-inked peace plan.

But with separatists fighting to conquer more territory ahead of the truce andKiev forces digging in, there are fears over whether anyone will observe thetruce, considered vital to the success of the peace roadmap.

The UN Security Council is expected to meet on Sunday for an emergency sessionto shore up the ceasefire deal, diplomats said.

The United States said it believed Russia was continuing to deploy heavyweapons ahead of the ceasefire.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the US had received reports ofheavy weapons being moved into eastern Ukraine from Russia over the past fewdays, and more apparently on the way.

The US have released satellite photographs of what they say is Russianself-propelled artillery near Debaltseve. @GeoffPyatt

"This is clearly not in the spirit of this week's agreement," Psakitold reporters.

She said the Russian military had deployed large amounts of artillery andmultiple rocket launcher systems and was using them to shell Ukrainianpositions.

Friday's fresh fighting came after rebels and Kiev agreed to the wide-rangingplan on Thursday following marathon talks in Minsk between the leaders ofRussia, Ukraine, France and Germany.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned Russia that the EU, which hasalready slapped Moscow with sanctions over the crisis, is not ruling outfurther measures if the truce fails.

The G7 nations - Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom andthe United States - also voiced concern about the violence and the build-upof weapons in eastern Ukraine.

Welcoming the peace plan, the group of industrialised nations called on allsides to refrain from moves that could scuttle the deal.

The G7 warned it was ready to "intensify the costs" for anyone whobroke the terms of the agreement.

Ukraine's deputy defence minister Petro Mekhed, meanwhile, accused the rebelsof wanting to "raise their flag" over railway hub Debaltseve,scene of the most bitter recent fighting, and strategic port Mariupol aheadof the ceasefire.

"Ukraine is expecting an escalation and taking all necessary measures tobe able to respond," Mekhed told journalists.

The fragile agreement was seen as the best hope of ending the conflict, whichhas killed at least 5,480 people and ratcheted East-West tensions to highsnot seen since the Cold War, but scepticism remains high after the collapseof a similar previous peace plan.

Members of the Ukrainian armed forces ride on an armoured personnelcarrier (APC) near Debaltseve, eastern Ukraine (REUTERS)

Kiev and the West accuse Russia of stoking the war in ex-Soviet Ukraine bypouring arms and troops to help the pro-Russian rebels fighting Kievgovernment troops in Ukraine's industrial east. Moscow denies the charges.

Ukraine's military said that fighting remained fiercest around Debaltseve,with rebels firing missiles at the beleaguered railway hub mid-way betweenthe main separatist bastions of Donetsk and Lugansk.

Kiev has accused Russia of deploying another 50 tanks across the border duringthe talks in Minsk.

Rebel leaders - seen by the West as Kremlin puppets - have said the new dealraises hopes of peace but warned there would be no more talking if it fails.

The new Minsk agreement is broadly similar to an earlier failed deal inSeptember, except that the new heavy weapons-free zone will be 50 to 140kilometres (31-87 miles) wide, depending on the range of the weapon - doublethe width of the buffer zone agreed in September.

Kiev will also begin retaking control over the approximately 250 mile stretchof Russia's border with rebel-held Ukraine, but only after local electionsare held.

The border is entirely under Russian and pro-Russian rebel control and isused, according to Kiev, as a conduit for separatist supplies.

Separatist-held territories will be granted a degree of autonomy to beestablished through talks.


February 12 2015


EIA: Record Oil Inventories, Gasoline Prices expected to average $2.33/gal in 2015

Calculated Risk: EIA: Record Oil Inventories, Gasoline Prices expected to average $2.33/gal in 2015


Bar burglar swims down river Guadalquivir to flee police

A MAN who stole a till from a bar in Sevilla fled the scene by swimming down the river Guadalquivir.

Plain-clothed National Police were called out to the Bar El Ferroviario between the C/ Traviesa and the C/ Cantina in the city in the early hours of the morning as two individuals were seen forcing the door.

They got there in time to see two men leaving the bar, one of whom was carrying a large black box and the other, a hefty sledge-hammer.

Officers stopped them and asked for their ID and, as they tried to flee the scene, pinned down the man with the hammer.

One of the policemen suffered a broken hand when the thief smashed it with the sledge-hammer, but the other officers managed to get him in handcuffs.

The other man threw down the till he had stolen from the bar, which was full of coins and notes, many of which ended up scattered all over the road.

He then made a run for it and threw himself in the river, swimming across it to the other side in the direction of the Alamillo Park.

The swimmer has not been found, but his comrade has been identified as Isidoro G.L., a man with 20 previous sentences and 40 arrests for similar offences.

He was released with charges the day after the burglary, which the residents' association in the area where the bar is located say was 'shameful' and 'disgusting' given how he is a repeat offender with little regard for the law.


February 10 2015


Hong Kong warns over digital currencies amid alleged bitcoin fraud

Hong Kong warns over digital currencies amid alleged bitcoin fraud - Yahoo News

By Michelle Price

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong's central bank has warned people against investing in virtual currencies amid local media reports that a bitcoin exchange may have run off with $387 million in client funds - making it potentially the biggest bitcoin scandal after last year's bankruptcy at Tokyo-based Mt.Gox.

The South China Morning Post reported on Monday that clients of Hong Kong-based MyCoin had approached a local lawmaker alleging the company absconded with their money. An assistant for Legislative Council member Leung Yiu-chung told Reuters that Leung had received more than 15 complaints from MyCoin clients regarding the alleged fraud, and these would be passed on to the police on Wednesday.

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) said in a statement late on Monday that the case "may involve fraud or pyramid schemes," adding: "Given the highly speculative nature of Bitcoin, we have all along urged the public to exercise extra caution when considering making transactions or investments with Bitcoin."

Calls to MyCoin in Hong Kong could not be connected. Calls to the company's China customer service line were not answered.

Bitcoins are created through a 'mining' process where a computer's resources are used to perform millions of calculations.

Advocates say the virtual currency is revolutionary as it's not controlled by a central bank and has potential as an alternative means of online payment. But the rise of bitcoin, which is unregulated in many countries including Hong Kong, has stoked concerns it can be used as a vehicle to launder money and finance extremist groups.

Mt.Gox, once the world's largest bitcoin exchange, filed for bankruptcy a year ago after it claimed to have lost around $500 million worth of customer bitcoins in a hacking attack.

On its website, MyCoin claims to be a "leading global Bitcoin trading platform and application service provider," witha China-based research and development team.

MyCoin promised clients a HK$1 million ($128,976) return over a 4-month period based on a HK$400,000 investment that would produce 90 bitcoins on maturity, the South China Morning Post reported, adding MyCoin claimed to have 3,000 customers each investing an average of HK$1 million.

The price of a bitcoin has slumped from a late-2013 high of above $1,000 to around $220, according to CoinDesk's price index.

($1 = 7.7534 Hong Kong dollars)

(Additional reporting by Anne Marie Roantree; Editing by Ian Geoghegan)

FinanceHong KongHong Kong Monetary AuthoritySouth China Morning Postbitcoin exchange


February 08 2015


Mogán celebrating historic 200 year anniversary

Mogan200 The south-western county of Mogán is this year celebrating its 200th anniversary with historical exhibitions, guided tours and various publications.

The mayor of Mogán and the president of the Cabildo de Gran Canaria last week presented to the public the  'Moganero know your story 'project, displaying the roots, traditions and the identity of the municipality for citizens and tourists to enjoy, alongside various celebrations set to last until 13 May.

A traveling exhibition of the history of Mogán will be visiting all the municipal centres. Several publications aimed at all ages will be made available including a new history book of Mogán, a graphic novel and a colouring book for the little ones. Mogán will offer guided tours along the major points of historical interest throughout the municipality, from the village chapel that led to the independence of the municipality, to the site of the Los Gatos, which preserves the remains of one of the first Aboriginal settlements in this territory, tours of the famous windmill and through the agricultural history of this area of the island.

You'll find all the latest information at Mogan.es and of course we will publish that same information here in English for our readers


US and Russia clash over Ukraine's sovereignty

US and Russia clash over Ukraine's sovereignty

Washington and Moscow went head-to-head in Munich on Saturday, accusing each other of undermining global security and Ukrainian sovereignty.

While US vice president Joe Biden warned Moscow that the US and Europe would stand united behind Kiev, Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov attacked US "obsession" with global dominance and the "connivance" of the EU in the region.

In a day of robust public exchanges and frantic closed-door diplomacy, Ukrainian president Petro Poroschenko made an impassioned plea to western leaders to boost Kiev's defence capabilities, saying Ukraine "had a right to defend our people".

Ukraine's president Petro Poroshenko, German chancellor Angela Merkel and US vice president Joe Biden at the 51st Munich Security Conference. Photograph: Michaela Rehle/ReutersMerkel dismisses calls to supply weapons to Ukraine German chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian president Vladimir Putin (C) and French president Francois Hollande attend a meeting on resolving the Ukraine crisis at the Kremlin in Moscow. Photograph: Maxim Zmeyev/Reuters Moscow claims Ukraine talks 'substantive' but no deal done Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (centre), German chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande during their talks in Kiev yesterday. Mykola Lazarenko/AFP/Getty ImagesUS risks 'colossal damage' to relations if it arms Ukraine, Moscow warns

His remarks openly contradicted German chancellor Angela Merkel who dismissed defensive weapons for Ukraine, an issue that will dominate her trip to Washington on Monday.

Mr Biden recalled his Munich address seven years ago to offer Russia a "reset" in bilateral relations that resulted in nuclear arms reductions and closer co-operation at the UN.

"We all invested in a type of Russia we hoped and still hope will emerge one day," he said. "Unfortunately Mr Putin has chosen a different path."

Now he said Moscow repressed critics at home, disrespected others' territorial integrity and disregarded Russia's own international commitments on both fronts.

Balanced message

Amid heated discussion on whether to arm Ukraine in its battle against pro-Russian separatists, Mr Biden delivered a carefully balanced message. He welcomed the Franco-German diplomatic effort in Moscow and echoed Chancellor Merkel's doubt that a military solution was possible.

But with an eye on the heated debate in Washington, which spilled over to Munich, he added: "We believe the Ukrainian people have a right to defend themselves."

After tri-lateral talks with Mr Biden and Dr Merkel, Mr Poroschenko said the current deterioration in eastern Ukraine was the result of "a lack of defence capability".

"We are not going to use these weapons to kill people but to make our defence more efficient," he said.

Sitting on a panel with Mr Poroschenko, Lithuanian president Dalia Grybauskaite urged western allies to use "all means necessary" to support Ukraine against Russia.

"If we betray Ukraine we betray ourselves, after Ukraine, we will be next," said Dr Grybauskaite.

Robust attack

Earlier, Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov delivered a robust attack on the US and EU framing of the Ukraine crisis.

Mr Lavrov said US-EU "interference" in Ukrainian sovereign affairs was part of a wider, long-term pattern of undermining of international agreements and, with it, global security.

The EU "under US influence" had worked to escalate the Ukraine conflict by closing the door on a common security talks and refusing to include Moscow in EU-Kiev talks on an association agreement.

"Our western partners issued indulgences and pardoned Kiev forces who started revolutionary efforts," he said, "dubbing terrorists all citizens who were not in agreement with the anti-constitutional coup d'etat."

In an angry speech, as translators struggled to keep up, Mr Lavrov said Crimea's accession to the Russian federation "complies with the UN Charter on self-determination" - prompting snorts from the Munich conference hall.

After a meeting with Mr Lavrov, Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg spoke for many delegates in Munich by saying "we assess the situation in Ukraine in very different ways".


February 05 2015


Steve Jobs showed Obama the original iPhone before it was released

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AppleCultureTechUS & WorldSteve Jobs showed Obama the original iPhone before it was released

He met with Steve Jobs before his first term as president

By Lizzie Plaugicon February5, 2015 11:52 am22Don't miss stories follow The VergeLikeFollowSubscribeFollow(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)Share on FacebookTweetShareSharePinShare

Back in 2007, before he was president, Barack Obama got a sneak peek of the original iPhone. And he liked it.

"This thing is going to be really big."

In his upcoming book Believer: My Forty Years in Politics, Obama's chief campaign advisor David Axelrod details a private meeting between Obama and Steve Jobs, 9to5Mac reports. This was in early 2007, before the iPhone was released in June. According to Alexrod, Obama said after the meeting, "If it were legal, I would buy a boatload of Apple stock. This thing is going to be really big."

Given Apple's recent first quarter earnings, which included the sale of 74.5 million iPhones and the highest quarterly profit in the company's history, Obama wasn't wrong.

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New free car park in El Tablero

February 2, 2015 in News by Sanna

Tableronewparking San Bartolomé de Tirajana has opened a new free public car park, built using municipal funds. The Deputy Mayor, Elena Alamo, and Councillor for Municipal Services, Fernando González, visited the new car park, near the municipal stadium Eleuterio Valeron and the communal swimming pool. With space for 40 vehicles, it includes disabled parking and a dedicated space for motorcycles, and is located between the Calles Bogota and Colombia in El Tablero.

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