Chief Correspondent, Reuters Spain
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Jul 29, 2014

Minnesota woman who lost husband to Ebola urges aid to fight virus

CHICAGO (Reuters) – The Minnesota wife of a Liberian-American man who died last week in Nigeria from the Ebola virus said on Tuesday she wants to use his memory to spur efforts to fight the disease, which has also infected two U.S. relief workers in Liberia.

Decontee Sawyer, a 34-year-old counselor for sexual assault victims and mother of three small girls, said Minneapolis’ large and tight-knit Liberian community has woken up to the problem of Ebola after her husband’s death. She added that she hopes to encourage them to donate funds and equipment to relief workers risking their lives fighting the disease.

Jun 25, 2014

Spain’s Princess Cristina faces trial on corruption charges

MADRID (Reuters) – A Spanish court on Wednesday upheld corruption charges against Cristina de Borbon, sister of newly-crowned King Felipe VI, and her husband in one of the last steps before a trial that could cloud the monarchy’s bid to rebuild its reputation.

The rulings by the Palma de Mallorca court come barely a week after King Juan Carlos abdicated in favor of his son, who sought to repair the royal family’s scandal-worn image with a promise of honesty and transparency when he took the throne.

Jun 25, 2014

Obituary – Cervantes winner Matute: A child’s view of Spain’s Civil War

MADRID (Reuters) – Prize-winning novelist Ana Maria Matute, who spent a literary lifetime exploring the crushed innocence of her childhood during the Spanish Civil War, died on Wednesday of a heart attack, her son told Reuters.

She was 88 years old and lived in Barcelona.

Her novels spanning the 1940s to the 1960s depicted the devastation of rural, war-torn Spain from a child’s perspective.

Jun 25, 2014

Cervantes winner Matute: A child’s view of Spain’s Civil War

MADRID (Reuters) – Prize-winning novelist Ana Maria Matute, who spent a literary lifetime exploring the crushed innocence of her childhood during the Spanish Civil War, died on Wednesday of a heart attack, her son told Reuters.

She was 88 years old and lived in Barcelona.

Her novels spanning the 1940s to the 1960s depicted the devastation of rural, war-torn Spain from a child’s perspective.

Jun 18, 2014

Spain’s popular prince must charm Catalonia as king

MADRID (Reuters) – Many Spaniards are hoping for a lot more than polish and glamour from new King Felipe VI when he takes the throne on Thursday after his father’s surprise abdication.

The new monarch faces daunting expectations that he can help resolve some thorny political problems – especially a surging independence movement in wealthy Catalonia in northeastern Spain – even though his role as head of state is largely symbolic.

Jun 4, 2014

Exclusive: Catalan leader says independence vote must go ahead

BARCELONA (Reuters) – Catalan President Artur Mas said on Wednesday his people have the right to decide on breaking away from Spain and he is forging ahead with plans for a Nov. 9 vote on independence that the central government vows to block on constitutional grounds.

Mas, leader of the northeastern Spanish region of 7 million people, told Reuters in an interview he is seeking a legal formula for a non-binding vote although Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has said any format is illegal.

Jun 2, 2014

Spain’s King Juan Carlos abdicates

MADRID (Reuters) – Spain’s King Juan Carlos is abdicating after almost 40 years on the throne and his son Prince Felipe will succeed him, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said on Monday in a surprise announcement.

“His majesty, King Juan Carlos, has just communicated to me his will to give up the throne,” Rajoy said. “I’m convinced this is the best moment for change.”

May 29, 2014

Book Talk: Oregon writer finds beauty, redemption on death row

By Fiona Ortiz

(Reuters) – Non-fiction writer Rene Denfeld draws on her work as a death penalty investigator in her first novel, “The Enchanted”, the story of a prisoner who invents a horrible, liberating beauty deep underground.

Although he doesn’t even have a window in his cell, the first-person narrator imagines life on the outside, especially that of a character known as “the lady” who works to redeem death-row prisoners, much as Denfeld does in real life.

May 26, 2014

Spain’s Socialist leader quits after party’s worst-ever election

MADRID (Reuters) – Spain’s Socialist opposition leader Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba said on Monday he was stepping down after the party had its worst-ever election result on Sunday with an upstart rival leftist group grabbing 8 percent of the vote.

Recession-weary voters, unhappy with public-sector wage cuts, layoffs and corruption scandals also punished the ruling center-right People’s Party.

May 15, 2014

Book Talk: Oregon writer finds beauty, redemption on death row

By Fiona Ortiz

(Reuters) – Non-fiction writer Rene Denfeld draws on her work as a death penalty investigator in her first novel, “The Enchanted”, the story of a prisoner who invents a horrible, liberating beauty deep underground.

Although he doesn’t even have a window in his cell, the first-person narrator imagines life on the outside, especially that of a character known as “the lady” who works to redeem death-row prisoners, much as Denfeld does in real life.

    • About Fiona

      "Fiona Ortiz is Reuters' chief correspondent for Spain. She has also lived and worked as a journalist in Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Portland, Oregon."
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