British Paedophile Caught In Albox

A British paedophile who abused children in his family over a 44-year period has been arrested in Albox (Almería province) after being on the run for an undetermined length of time.

In a joint operation between the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) and the Spanish National Police, the accused was traced to the south-east coast and arrested near his home in the town. He is said to have sexually assaulted siblings, cousins and siblings’ children, when they were aged between five and 16. The earliest-known case dates back to 1956 and the most recent, after which he was convicted, to the year 2000.

Although British criminals believe they will be safe on Spain’s Costas after fleeing justice, blending in among the other expats, the reality is very different: police in the two countries are closely linked and have systems in place that mean arrest is almost inevitable.

Operation Capture, launched in 2007 as a combined effort between the NCA, Spanish police forces and Crimestoppers, releases pictures of 10 British fugitives at a time twice-yearly and engages tourists’ and expats’ help in tracing them. Over 80% of those attempting to hide out in Spain have been caught and extradited.

Pedro Duque: Spaceship Take-Off Is Less Noisy Than Valencia’s ‘Mascletaes’

Vibrations and noise generated by the mascletà during the Fallas in Valencia City are even greater than those felt when you are about to take off for outer space!

Science minister Pedro Duque, Spain’s first man on the moon, a seasoned space traveller and national hero among kids born in the 1990’s, joined the fiesta queens or falleras mayores and regional President Ximo Puig on the city hall balcony for one of the mascletaes. The ground-trembling experience and earth-shattering roar go above and beyond what Duque remembers from his days as an astronaut.

This is not the first time he has watched the spectacle from the city hall balcony, however as he did so many years ago and has noticed how the complexity of Valencia’s mascletaes has improved considerably, especially now computerised and electronic equipment is used.

Mascletaes normally just produce grey smoke, especially in other towns in the region which celebrate the Fallas, but the ones in Valencia include clouds of red, yellow and blue, in the colours of the Senyera, as the regional flag is known.
Duque said he found the experience ‘emotional’ and ‘exciting’ and that ‘everyone feels it’.

The midday heat during the mascletaes has been unprecedented this year, with temperatures of around 20ºC during most of the day, shooting up to around 30ºC briefly over lunchtime, meaning a number of tourists from colder countries had to be given first aid on site when they started to feel faint in the dense crowds outside the city hall.

Falla monuments across the provinces of Valencia and Castellón and also in the towns of Pego, Dénia, Pamís and Calpe in the northern part of the Alicante province, went up in flames in a ritual burning known as the cremà, a mass destruction that ensures falla artists stay in a job, as the colossal statues take nearly a year to build.

Five-Million-Year-Old Whale Fossil Found

A fossil of a whale’s head dating back approximately 5.7 million years has been found in a limestone quarry in Santanyí on Mallorca. The first of its type ever to be found in the so-called ‘chalk strip’ across the Mediterranean, the skull was discovered inside a chunk of stone weighing three-quarters of a metric tonne in a mine near s’Horta.

Members of the archaeological team, from the University of the Balearic Islands’ (UIB’s) Earth Sciences Research Group say there is absolutely no doubt the fossil is that of a skull of a sea creature of the Mysticeti sub-order, which refers to Baleen Whales, so-named because of the series of baleen plates along their upper jaws which act as a filter system. This sub-order is also known as ‘whalebone whales’ or ‘great whales’ and, in the case of the head found, shares features typical of the Balaenopteridae family – referred to as ‘rorquals’ and covering the Fine Whale, Humpback Whale and the Blue Whale, which is the largest species on earth and grows to 25 metres (82 feet) in length.

Sightings of Fin Whales, which grow to 21 metres are fairly common around September in the western Mediterranean since the area is directly on their migration path south from the Ligurian Sea. Natural barriers, including Spain’s ‘Bridge to Africa’ through the Alborán Sea, prevented the Atlantic and Mediterranean mixing and cut off the salt supply from the former to the latter, meaning the Mediterranean almost became a giant freshwater lake until the waves began to reclaim the land and the salt balance was restored in the Pliocene era, between 5.3 and 2.6 million years ago. It is thought the Giant Whales became temporarily extinct during the Salt Crisis, but started to reappear there once normal sea conditions began to return. The whale found in Santanyí is thought to be one of those which died out during the Salt Crisis, but as yet, it is the first fossil of a Great Whale to be found there.

Researchers believe the creature whose skull they have found would have been about 8mtrs long and 7-8 metric tonnes in weight.