MADRID (Reuters) – Paco de Lucia, the influential Spanish guitarist who vastly expanded the international audience for flamenco and merged it with other musical styles, died suddenly on Wednesday of a heart attack in Mexico.
The 66-year-old virtuoso, as happy playing seemingly impossible syncopated flamenco rhythms as he was improvising jazz or classical guitar, helped to legitimize flamenco in Spain itself at a time when it was shunned by the mainstream.
TOLEDO, Spain (Reuters) – For centuries, Spanish Renaissance painter El Greco was a non-entity. No one studied his startling, unconventional work hanging high in a gothic cathedral, obscure convents and Spanish museums.
It wasn’t until the 19th century that modern painters rediscovered the artist – born Domenicos Theotocopoulos in Crete then living and painting in Toledo, Spain, from 1577 until his death in 1614. They found inspiration in his bold colours and brush strokes.
MADRID (Reuters) – Europe’s top human rights court ordered Spain on Monday to release a Basque separatist militant, saying her extended detention was illegal, a ruling victims groups warned would let dozens of prisoners walk free.
The Strasbourg-based court also told Madrid to pay 30,000 euros ($41,100) compensation to Ines del Rio, who was jailed in 1989 for her role in 23 assassinations and car bombings carried out by the Basque independence movement ETA.
MADRID (Reuters) – Europe’s top human rights court ordered Spain on Monday to free a Basque separatist militant, saying her extended prison sentence was illegal, a ruling victims groups warned would lead to the early release of dozens of violent prisoners.
The Strasbourg-based court also told Madrid to pay 30,000 euros ($41,100) compensation to Ines del Rio who was jailed in 1989 for her role in 23 assassinations and car bombings carried out by the Basque independence movement ETA.
MADRID (Reuters) – Spanish police have arrested a convicted pedophile who was pardoned by Morocco’s King Mohamed VI last week, a source at Spain’s Interior Ministry said on Monday.
Daniel Galvan Vina, who was serving a 30-year sentence in Morocco and was among 48 jailed Spaniards pardoned at the request of Spain’s King Juan Carlos, was arrested in the south-eastern city of Murcia.
MADRID (Reuters) – Spain acknowledged on Tuesday that a U.S. request had led it to delay approving an overflight by Bolivia’s president, but said it had given the go-ahead after receiving an assurance from Bolivia that U.S. fugitive Edward Snowden was not on the plane.
Bolivia has accused Spain, France, Portugal and Italy of closing their skies to President Evo Morales’ plane last week after being told it was carrying the former U.S. spy agency contractor from Moscow to Bolivia, and demanded to know who gave them that information.
MADRID (Reuters) – Spain is ready to apologize to Bolivia’s president for events that delayed his plane, the foreign minister said on Tuesday, but he again denied banning the jet from Spanish airspace on the belief that U.S. fugitive Edward Snowden was aboard.
Bolivia has accused Spain, France, Portugal and Italy of closing their skies to Evo Morales’ plane after being told it was carrying the former U.S. spy agency contractor from Moscow to Bolivia.
MADRID (Reuters) – Catalonia could become the first mainland Spanish region to ban bullfighting in a local parliamentary vote this Wednesday that has pitted animal rights activists against fans of the centuries-old national symbol.
The bill went to Parliament after 180,000 Catalans signed a petition circulated by anti-bullfighting group Prou! (Enough, in English), which argues bullfights are cruelty to animals.
MADRID (Reuters) – A Catholic diocese in eastern Spain said Tuesday one of its monks is suspected of abusing a child and asked for the family’s forgiveness, the first such abuse charge to become public in Spain.
The diocese of Segorbe-Castellon said in a statement the monk was from the Order of “Los Carmelitas Descalzos” and his superiors had taken action against him.
MADRID/KINSHASA, April 10 (Reuters) – Rebels in Democratic Republic of Congo have kidnapped a Spanish doctor and shaved off all his body hair in the hope it will give them magic powers in battle, according to a Congolese government minister.
The Spanish Foreign Ministry confirmed on Saturday that Mario Zarza Manresa, a doctor who was travelling through the vast Central African nation, had been kidnapped.
Zarza Manresa was seized on April 1 while travelling down the Congo River on a boat that was overrun by rebels, who later attacked the capital of the northern Equateur province, leading to two days of fighting that killed dozens last week.
Congolese Information Minister said late on Friday that Zarza Manresa had been "shaved completely by Ibrahim (a rebel leader) who believes in magical fetishes made with hair and body hair of whites".
Gunmen from Congo’s plethora of rebel and pro-government armed groups often adorn themselves with trinkets or traditional garments before heading into battle, in the belief that they will protect them from the bullets of the enemy.
Some believe wearing fetishes will turn bullets into water.
The Spanish government could not confirm the reports of Zarza Manresa’s shaving, but Felix Costales, the country’s ambassador in Congo, told Spanish television that fishermen in the area had seen the hostage and he was well.
Zarza Manresa was in Congo as a tourist and not for work.
The Enyele, the ethnic group that the rebels come from, has not previously had any gripe with Europeans, Costales said.
The incident took place 50 km (30 miles) north of Mbandaka, the provincial capital that was attacked last weekend.
Government troops backed by United Nations peacekeepers eventually repelled the rebels but the clash marked the fighters apparently expanding their rebellion and underscores Congo’s simmering violence, four years after post-war elections. (Writing by David Lewis; Editing by Giles Elgood)