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Spain bans plastic wraps for fruit and vegetables to reduce waste
6 October 2021 - Spain's Ministry for Ecological Transition is currently drafting a decree which will ban plastic wrap for produce sold in stores weighing under 1.5 kilograms (about 3.3 pounds). The ban will go into effect in 2023. The edict hopes to encourage shoppers to buy in bulk or use reusable packaging. The new decree is also considering ways to make drinking water readily accessible and decrease the use of plastic water bottles. Plastic cups may also be regulated. (more)

Amateur divers find an 'incredible' treasure trove of gold coins from the Roman Empire
25 September 2021 - Freedivers off the coast of Spain have uncovered a treasure trove of 53 perfectly preserved gold coins from the Roman Empire, one of the largest collections ever found in Europe. The collection dates back to the 4th and 5th centuries and are nearly perfectly preserved. (more)

Spain to invest $5.1 bln in electric vehicle production
13 July 2021 - Spain will invest 4.3 billion euros ($5.1 billion) to kick-start the production of electric vehicles and batteries as part of a major national spending programme financed mostly by European Union recovery funds, the government said on Monday [12 July]. ... After Germany, Spain is Europe's second-largest auto producer and the world's eighth biggest. (more)

Spain honors chef Jose Andres for humanitarian kitchens
30 June 2021 - The chef Jose Andres and his World Central Kitchen were awarded a prestigious Spanish prize Wednesday [30 June] for their international relief work promoting healthy food. The jury that decides the Princess of Asturias Awards awarded the 51-year-old Andres and the non-profit group he founded the Award of Concord for 'offering extraordinarily fast and efficient on-the-ground response to social and nutritional emergencies.'' (more)

Spain joins campaign to phase out coal by 2030
30 June 2021 - Spain joined an international campaign to set a date for closing all coal plants by 2030 on Wednesday [30 June], signing up to a target it looks well-placed to beat by a wide margin. (more)

Canary Islands hotel offers shelter to migrants in need
13 April 2021 - When the pandemic took away their tourism trade, hotel director Calvin Lucock and his partner, restaurant owner Unn Tove Saetran, received a Spanish government contract to take in migrants and asylum seekers who had arrived on the Canary Islands in rudimentary boats, trying to reach Europe. But the contract ended in February and thousands of people were transferred out of the hotels and into newly built large-scale migrant camps. Or so they thought. 'We realized that we had a queue of people standing outside when we closed the doors,' said Saetran, a former teacher, in a recent interview with The Associated Press ... With hundreds of empty rooms, Saetran and her husband Calvin Lucock, who runs the hotel, decided to reopen their doors at their own expense to provide food, shelter and care to young migrant men who fell out of the official reception and integration system. (more)

'A role model': how Seville is turning leftover oranges into electricity
23 February 2021 - In spring, the air in Seville, is sweet with the scent of azahar, orange blossom, but the 5.7m kilos of bitter fruit the city's 48,000 trees deposit on the streets in winter are a hazard for pedestrians and a headache for the city's cleaning department. Now a scheme has been launched to produce an entirely different kind of juice from the unwanted oranges: electricity. The southern Spanish city has begun a pilot scheme to use the methane produced as the fruit ferments to generate clean electricity. (more)

Spain: Barcelona launches 10-year plan to reclaim city streets from cars
11 November 2020 - Barcelona has launched an ambitious 10-year plan to reclaim the city's streets from cars and cut down pollution with the creation of green spaces and public squares. One in three streets in the heavily polluted central Eixample district -- the 20th-century grid devised by the engineer Ildefons Cerda -- will become green zones under the scheme, giving priority to pedestrians and cyclists, and 21 public squares will be created at intersections so that no citizen is more than 200 metres from a square or small park. (more)

The lynx effect: Iberian cat comes back from brink of extinction
25 October 2020 - Spotty of coat, tufty of ear, and teetering on the verge of extinction less than two decades ago, the Iberian lynx is continuing to claw its way back across Spain and Portugal. According to the latest survey, the lynx population on the peninsula has increased ninefold over 18 years, rising from 94 in 2002 to 855 this year. Experts say that if the current conservation and reintroduction efforts can maintain their momentum, the species could be out of danger by 2040. (more)

Runner gives up medal to rival who went the wrong way
20 September 2020 - A Spanish athlete is being applauded on social media after he sacrificed a top tier win in the 2020 Santander Triathlon to give it to a competitor who took a wrong turn on the course. British athlete James Teagle was on course to win third place in the competition in Spain last weekend when he made a mistake metres from the finish. Diego Mentrida overtook him but noticed the error and stopped to allow Teagle to cross first. 'He deserved it,' Mentrida said later. (more)


Success of Maharishi's Programmes
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Study: Transcendental Meditation strengthens the immune system
17 August 2014 - Does practising the Transcendental Meditation technique help to keep you healthy? A group of researchers at Infanta Cristina Hospital in Spain have published a study which measures the effect of regular TM practice on the immune system. The researchers measured different subsets of leukocytes and lymphocytes--the cells in the blood which help to fight off viruses and bacteria. The scientists stated in their conclusion that the technique of meditation studied seems to have a significant effect on immune cells. (more)

Consciousness-Based Education: A solution to Europe's economic problems?
12 August 2013 - Through Consciousness-Based Education, it is possible for groups of students practising Transcendental Meditation to create a coherent effect in the surroundings, thus reducing social stress, commented a secondary-school teacher from Spain, at the conclusion of a recent course in this educational approach in the Netherlands. Referring to scientific research on such large, coherence-creating groups in different countries, he went on to say, 'That means that we can reduce crime, violence, and conflicts, and at the same time we can enliven creativity and creative intelligence in order to create new projects and even create new jobs.' (more)

'Transcending all knowledge' - St John of the Cross
11 July 2012 - A new essay explores the writings of St John of the Cross--one of the greatest figures in the Catholic church, and also one of the greatest poets in Spanish literature. St John describes experiences that are reminiscent of the experience of transcending during Transcendental Meditation--a state of quiet inner wakefulness and deep peace described by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi as a state of knowingness, the experience of pure knowledge, consciousness aware of itself alone. (more)

Spain: Conference inspires young Europeans to bring Transcendental Meditation to college students
24 September 2011 - During a recent one-week conference in Barcelona, Spain, young people from all over Europe who practise Transcendental Meditation were inspired to bring programmes for the individual and society, developed by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, to college students in their countries. The conference included presentations by experts in Maharishi's technologies of consciousness including filmmaker David Lynch, founder of the David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace. (more)

Maharishi University of Management signs student exchange pact with university in Madrid
25 March 2011 - A new student exchange agreement between Maharishi University of Management (MUM) and the European University of Madrid in Spain (UEM), a private university, will provide MUM students an opportunity to study abroad. It will also promote collaborative programmes of the two institutions in sustainable business and 'rotating university' projects in other countries, including South Africa. (more)

Transcendental Meditation, Consciousness-Based Education draw increasing interest in Spain, Portugal
6 October 2010 - Consciousness-Based Education is an area of increasing interest among educators in Spain and Portugal. The number of people learning the Transcendental Meditation Programme in these countries has also risen dramatically during the past year. (more)

Spain, Portugal: More people learning Transcendental Meditation, Consciousness-Based Education projects underway
7 August 2010 - Spain and Portugal are moving closer to national invincibility, with more people learning the Transcendental Meditation Programme, including in schools. (more)

Spain: Educators inspired by live demonstrations of EEG brain wave coherence during Transcendental Meditation
7 August 2010 - Dr Fred Travis, Director of the Center for Brain, Consciousness, and Cognition at Maharishi University of Management in the United States, recently presented to educators in three Spanish cities on how the Transcendental Meditation Programme creates coherent brain functioning. Audiences in Madrid, Barcelona, and Bilbao were especially interested in live demonstrations showing EEG brain wave coherence during the technique. (more)

Spain: Demand growing for Maharishi Vedic Organic Agriculture
16 December 2009 - Demand for products grown according to Maharishi Vedic Organic Agriculture is increasing in Spain and has already led to an increase in production. A new Spanish-language website on the topic has drawn over 1,000 visitors and many requests for information and products. (more)

Natural health care expanding in Spain: Maharishi Ayur-Veda spas, courses, products
14 December 2009 - Prevention-oriented natural health programmes are expanding significantly in Spain, provided by Maharishi Ayur-Veda, the world's oldest and most comprehensive system of natural medicine. Hundreds of spas plan to offer Maharishi Ayur-Veda spa treatments; Maharishi Ayur-Veda products will soon be widely available; and short courses on health topics including diet have been translated and will be offered in the near future. (more)


Flops
Short Summaries of Top Stories


Spain's coronavirus rate triples in three weeks after lockdown easing
20 July 2020 - The prevalence of the novel coronavirus in Spain has risen three-fold over the last three weeks as authorities struggle to contain a rash of fresh clusters, mainly in the Catalonia and Aragon regions, Health Ministry data showed on Monday [20 July]. 'Where measures have been relaxed is where these clusters appear,' Health Minister Salvador Illa said. 'We're talking about gatherings of extended family and spaces associated with nightlife.' (more)

Wildfires spread in Catalonia as heatwave grips Spain
27 June 2019 - Wildfires raged on Thursday [27 June] across nearly 10,000 acres (4,000 hectares) in the northeastern Spanish region of Catalonia and fire fighters said the area affected could increase significantly as a powerful heatwave grips the entire country. ... Some other western European countries including France and Germany are also wilting under the heatwave. (more)

Wildfires rage across northern Spain after unusual dry spell
28 December 2015 - Dozens of wildfires in northern Spain that erupted over the past week after an unusual dry spell. A spate of fires has been sweeping northern Spain for over a week now, an unusual phenomenon in regions that skirt the rough seas of the Bay of Biscay and are normally rainy, especially in winter. Spain is prone to wildfires during the summer months but generally in the more arid, hot southern regions or along the Mediterranean coast. (more)

Web of lies: How a Spanish tech star fooled the world
14 August 2014 - For nearly 10 years, Spanish internet company Let's Gowex SA said it was making money by providing public wi-fi in cities around the world. Most of the contracts, it now emerges, never existed. Instead Gowex chief Jenaro Garcia Martin used a series of tricks to fool company employees, investors, and regulators. The discovery of the deceit last month crippled the company and undermined credibility in Spain's stock market just as the country recovers from a four-year recession. The rise and collapse of what was once one of Spain's most celebrated start-ups is an exceptional chapter in Europe's faltering attempts to claim a share of a global technology industry largely in the hands of the United States and Asia. Gowex isn't the biggest corporate collapse of late in Spain, a country hard-hit by Europe's debt crisis. Several big firms have gone bust, and former executives of Pescanova SA, a fishing firm, are under investigation after the company said it had faked its accounts for years. But Gowex resonates because it had so many international investors and clients. (more)

Spain: Security expert says passenger jets at risk of cyber attack
4 August 2014 - Cybersecurity researcher Ruben Santamarta says he has figured out how to hack the satellite communications equipment on passenger jets through their WiFi and inflight entertainment systems -- a claim that, if confirmed, could prompt a review of aircraft security. The researcher said he discovered the vulnerabilities by 'reverse engineering' -- or decoding -- highly specialized software known as firmware, used to operate communications equipment made by Cobham Plc, Harris Corp, EchoStar Corp's Hughes Network Systems, Iridium Communications Inc and Japan Radio Co Ltd. In theory, a hacker could use a plane's onboard WiFi signal or inflight entertainment system to hack into its avionics equipment, potentially disrupting or modifying satellite communications, which could interfere with the aircraft's navigation and safety systems, Santamarta said. Santamarta published a 25-page research report in April that detailed what he said were multiple bugs in firmware used in satellite communications equipment made by Cobham, Harris, Hughes, Iridium, and Japan Radio Co for a wide variety of industries, including aerospace, military, maritime transportation, energy and communications. The report laid out scenarios by which hackers could launch attacks, though it did not provide the level of technical details that Santamarta said he will disclose at the upcoming conference. (more)

Infertility in Spanish pigs traced to plastics
12 June 2014 - A strange catastrophe struck Spain's pig farmers in the spring of 2010. On 41 farms across the country-each home to between 800 and 3,000 pigs-many sows suddenly ceased bearing young. On some farms, all the sows stopped reproducing. On others, those that did become pregnant produced smaller litters. When investigators examined the sows, they couldn't find anything wrong. Only one factor was common to all the farms and studs: The plastic bags used for semen storage all came from the same place. Investigating those bags has led Cristina NerĂ­n, an analytical chemist at the University of Zaragoza who studies packaging materials, to publish new research that traces the pigs' infertility to chemical compounds in the plastics. The implications could extend far beyond the farm. Some of the same chemicals found in the pigs' storage bags are routinely used in packaging food for humans and are known to migrate into food. (more)

Anti-austerity protest turns violent in Spanish capital
22 March 2014 - Hundreds of thousands of Spaniards rallied in Madrid on Saturday against poverty and EU-imposed austerity in a largely peaceful protest later marred by violent clashes in which police fired rubber bullets. Some protesters started to throw stones and bottles at the large numbers of riot police present and attacked cashpoints and hoardings. Central government representative Cristina Cifuentes said 19 protesters had been arrested and 50 police officers had been injured, one of them very badly, in the clashes. The so-called 'Dignity Marches' brought hundreds of thousands to the capital, according to estimates of Reuters witnesses. Travelling from all over Spain, they were protesting in support of more than 160 different causes, including jobs, housing, health, education, and an end to poverty. The OECD says the economic crisis has hit Spain's poor harder than in any other country in the group. (more)

Spain says police fired rubber bullets at migrants trying to swim to enclave
13 February 2014 - Spain said on Thursday border police had fired rubber bullets in an attempt to turn back around 200 migrants who tried to cross the frontier between Morocco and Spain's north African enclave Ceuta on 6 February. Several migrants from the group drowned in the Mediterranean trying to swim around a man-made breakwater that separates Moroccan and Spanish waters. The death toll rose to 12 on Thursday as Spanish police said they had found another body near the shore. They are still searching for victims. Every year thousands of Africans try to reach Europe via Spain's two north African enclaves, Ceuta and Melilla, either by swimming along the coast or climbing the triple walls lined with razor wire that mark the border with Morocco. Migrants who live rough in the mountains on the Moroccan side, waiting for an opportunity to rush the frontier, told Spanish media the police fired rubber bullets at them and sprayed them with tear gas as they tried to swim to land. (more)

Spain to tax for solar panel use
14 August 2013 - Spain's conservative government announced a reform of the energy system last month, including the 'support levy' on solar power in a country blessed with abundant sunlight. Imposed by decree, the reform aims to raise money for tackling a 26 billion euro debt to power producers which the state has built up over the years in regulating energy costs and prices. Under the constitution, the government can impose emergency measures by decree and has done so repeatedly since it came into office in late 2011. With Spain in economic crisis, power consumption is falling but the energy debt will continue growing by 4-5 billion euros a year unless the government takes action. Utilities such as Iberdrola, Endesa, and Gas Natural have attacked other revenue-raising measures in the reform. However, Spaniards who have generated power independently for their own homes under a system known as 'autoconsumo' are among the hardest hit by policies which they say punish, rather than encourage, energy efficiency. (more)

Spain threatens unilateral steps in Gibraltar dispute
9 August 2013 - Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Friday threatened unilateral measures in a spat with Gibraltar over fisheries although he also said he hoped for talks soon with Britain about the disputed territory. Tensions over Gibraltar -- a British overseas territory to which Spain lays claim -- flared up this month after Spain complained that an artificial reef being built by Gibraltar would block its fishing vessels. 'I hope that this doesn't go any further, but it's clear that Spain has to defend its national interest and that's what we're going to do,' Rajoy told reporters after a meeting with Spain's King Juan Carlos in Mallorca. Among the measures under consideration were a 50-euro ($67) fee for people entering or exiting Gibraltar, tax investigations of Gibraltarians with property in Spain, and restrictions on use of Spanish airspace for flights heading to Gibraltar. (more)

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