Posts Tagged ‘Spain’
Madrid, Dec 10 (IANS) Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas will be sidelined for about four weeks with a torn muscle, the Spanish league leaders said.
The 25-year-old Spaniard tore the femoral biceps muscle in his left thigh in Barca’s 2-1 win at Betis Sunday, reports Xinhua.
The narrow win at Betis gave Barca a six-point lead over second-placed Atletico Madrid and 11 ahead of defending champions Real Madrid, who are third with 32 points.
Madrid, Dec 10 (IANS/EFE) Twenty-eight people have been arrested as part of an international operation against the child pornography industry, largely developed in Spain, police officials said.
The operation was the second largest of the year in the number of arrests made for child porn, after the so-called “KOBEN” in February, when 57 people were taken into custody and another 24 were accused.
Police authorities said here at a press conference that four of those under arrest are also charged with the sexual abuse of minors, whom they filmed in the act of being violated. A fifth person is also being investigated for that crime.
A source also said that two of those implicated are British and were arrested in the eastern Spanish city of Alicante.
According to the announcement, some of the detainees engaged in activities that permitted them constant contact with children, such as camp organizers, religion instructors and teachers.
The porn ring, from which 19 children have now been rescued, was involved in the sale of videos featuring sexual abuse sequences, for which little boys were filmed in Ukraine, Romania and Germany.
Police said that this network has operated since 2004 from the Canadian city of Toronto, using three different web sites to advertise and sell the DVDs with sexual abuse images.
The child-porn ring took in $1.6 million in revenue annually, as purchase orders poured in from 94 countries in Europe, Asia and the Americas.
In the operation, rolled out in 14 Spanish provinces, police seized 20 computers and a variety of online material.
Madrid, Dec 10 (IANS) Lionel Messi made history as he set a new record for the number of goals scored in a calendar year – 86 – netting twice in his side’s 2-1 away win to Betis.
Messi’s goal in the 15th minute of the game levelled the record of 85 goals in a year set by German striker Gerd Muller in 1972 and his second strike 10 minutes later took him to 86 goals in all competitions for 2012, reports Xinhua.
The Argentinean’s first goal came following a typical run past a host of Betis defenders followed by a left foot shot into the bottom corner of the Betis net.
The second, and record breaking strike, arrived after good work from Andres Iniesta left the Barca forward with a lot of space.
Messi also hit the Betis post in the closing minutes, it would have saved his side some nerves, but the points were for Barca and the record for their talisman.
Madrid, Dec 9 (IANS) Real Madrid’s German midfielder Mesut Ozil was vital as his side had to dig deep to win 3-2 away to a difficult Valladolid side in the Spanish Primera Liga.
Ozil scored his side’s second goal just before the break and then curled home a pinpoint free kick with 18 minutes remaining to assure all three points, reports Xinhua.
Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho produced a slight surprise when he included B-team defender Nacho at left back for the injured Fabio Coentrao when most had expected Alvaro Arbeloa to move across to cover.
A frantic first half saw Valladolid twice take the lead through Manucho only for Real Madrid to peg them back both times.
Both of Manucho’s goals came after Real Madrid failed to defend corners.
The big striker was able to turn home a loose ball from close range after eight minutes as Madrid failed to clear and his second came midway through the half after Sergio Ramos failed to defend him just three yards from goal.
However, on both occasions Real Madrid were able to draw level: Benzema cancelling out the first goal after a horrible defensive error from Mikel Balenziaga and Marc Valiente which left him with a simple tap in.
Ozil equalized on the stroke of halftime after a fine exchange of passes with Karim Benzema ended with him squeezing a low shot under home keeper Dani Hernandez.
Knowing that at 11 points from Barca his side had little option other than to win Mourinho replaced Nacho with Angel de Maria and later on Arbeloa with Luka Modric as the game became increasingly open.
His reward came when Benzema went down easily on the edge of the Valladolid area allowing Ozil to score with a well-directed free kick.
El Vendrell (Spain), Dec 8 (IANS) Indian karting sensation Jehan Daruvala of the Sahara Force India Academy continued his fine form by grabbing pole position at the prestigious Champions Cup (Copa de Campeones) here Saturday.
The 14-year-old Jehan was quick to find the right lines on the 1.31 km circuit during practice at the Vendrell Karting Club and was consistently in the top three throughout the sessions trading times with Italian driver Alessio Lorandi.
In qualifying, it was former European champion Alessio Lorandi of Italy who was on provisional pole. However, as soon as Jehan managed to get heat into his tyres, he went to the top of the time sheets.
Jehan stayed there till the end of the session to bag a fantastic pole position with a time of 55.936 seconds. The Sahara Force India Academy driver was the only driver to break into the 55-second bracket as Lorandi’s final effort on his ninth lap could only get him to 56.118. In third place was Eduardo Garcia.
“I have been to this track for the first time and so it is good to be on pole position at a brand new track. The competition is tough and hopefully I will have a good race tomorrow in the Copa de Campeones,” said the Sahara Force India Academy driver who is also the reigning CIK FIA Asia Pacific Champion and the 2010 JK Tyre National karting champion.
Madrid, Dec 8 (IANS/EFE) The Spanish navy expelled from the Alboran Sea a US-owned, Panamanian-flagged vessel that was trying to find sunken ships, authorities said Friday.
The ship that was made to leave had done most of its work Thursday at some 25 miles from the Malaga coast, an area of international waters but part of the Spanish continental platform.
The navy’s Infanta Cristina patrol boat performed an inspection of the commercial ship, with the agreement of its captain, to determine whether it was engaged in illicit activities.
During the search, Spanish naval personnel found that the ship contained technical equipment specialized in finding sunken vessels, such as a sidescan sonar that can create images of large areas of the sea floor.
After the search and interrogation, the Spanish patrol ordered the treasure hunters to cease their activities in compliance with the UN Agreement on the Law of the Sea and the United Nations World Heritage Convention, after which the commercial ship left the area.
Two planes carrying $500 million in treasure salvaged from the 19th-century Spanish frigate Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes arrived in Madrid in February after Spain won a nearly five-year-long legal battle against a US treasure-hunting firm.
Madrid, Dec 7 (IANS) FC Barcelona striker Lionel Messi spoke about the moments of worry he felt after going down clutching his knee during Wednesday night’s Champions League tie against Benfica.
Messi collided with Benfica keeper Artur, before turning to shoot and immediately collapsed on the turn, reports Xinhua.
He was carried off on a stretcher and most feared he had suffered a serious knee injury, although tests later ruled that out. Speaking at a publicity event Thursday, Messi said there was nothing serious in his knock, but admitted he had been worried when it had happened.
“I finished the move shooting at goal, because I thought it was going to be the last time I touched a ball in a long time,” said Messi.
“When I went off on the stretcher, I feared the worst because of the pain. I thought I was going to be out of action for a long time. Now I feel OK, fortunately it was just a knock,” he added.
Messi trained in the gym Thursday and could play against Real Betis at the weekend, as he seeks to beat Gerd Muller’s record of 85 goals in a calendar year, at the moment he has 84.
“I am not certain if I will be there Sunday, it depends on how it evolves,” he said, unworried that his absence would be a problem to a side that has won 13 out of 14 games so far this season.
“The team will be the same with or without me. We have a lot of players,” said Messi, who said Muller’s record was not an obsession, although he admitted, “it would be nice to break it, as it has been there for such a long time.”
Madrid, Dec 6 (IANS) Leo Messi was carried off the pitch as Barcelona drew goalless at home to Benfica in the Champions League football.
The Argentinean striker, who is just one goal short off the record of Gerd Muller of scoring 85 goals in a calendar year, had to be stretchered off the pitch with eight minutes remaining Wednesday night after appearing to damage his left knee in a clash with Benfica goalkeeper Artur.
He had only been on the pitch for 24 minutes when the injury happened and Barca fans will be holding their breath until the club are able to release information about the injury.
Barca coach Tito Vilanova lived up to his pre-match declarations and played a side filled with players needing match fitness and others from the B-team.
Rafinha and Thiago Alcantara shared a first team place alongside David Villa and Christian Tello, but the big surprise was Messi’s absence from the starting eleven when everyone had expected to start.
Although the talented Sergi Roberto gave signs of his quality in midfield, a motivated Benfica had the best of the first half and Barca keeper Jose Pinto was Barca’s best player in a first half where Benfica were in control.
He did well to deny former Barca B-teamer, Nolito and them saw how Rodrigo Lima hit the woodwork, before a highly motivated Nolito saw a header drift just wide.
The second half saw a different attitude from Barca, who dominated the opening 12 minutes with Tello on lightening form, before Messi got onto the pitch with 32 minutes remaining.
Messi saw a free kick saved by the keeper with 11 minutes remaining, but his best chance came after 82 minutes, when he was set through on Benfica keeper Artur, the keeper blocked his run and although Messi was able to get a shot on target, the keeper made the save and the striker had to be stretchered off the pitch.
The moment left the Camp Nou stunned, although the contact didn ‘t look too bad, now there will be a nervous wait until the full extent of his injury is known.
Meanwhile it was also a bad night for Benfica after Glasgow Celtic’s win at home to Spartak Moscow relegated them to third place in the group and sees them miss out on a place in the next round of the competition.
Madrid, Dec 6 (IANS/EFE) More than 36 million euros ($47 million) were stolen earlier this year from some 30,000 bank accounts in Europe in a cyberattack dubbed “Eurograbber”, according to a report published Wednesday by two companies that focus on Internet security.
In Spain alone, the cyberthieves stole 5.8 million euros ($7.5 million) from 11,352 accountholders at seven banks, according to the report from Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. and Versafe.
The attack affected computers and cell phones between January and August of this year, Mario Garcia, general director of Check Point Espana, confirmed to EFE.
It was Check Point that in August reported the attack to the European police and alerted the affected banks.
Garcia explained the procedure the virus used to invade the banking system: after accessing certain links, the malware installs itself in a computer and remains inactive until the user connects online to their bank account.
It is then that the communication of the user with the bank is intercepted and replaced.
The malware, which simulates being a bank, sends a warning to the user about updating and improving online security and asks for their cell phone number, by which it also infects that device and interferes with the messages that banks send as part of the authentication process.
With the information and the transaction processing number, the cyberattackers can execute cash transfers parallel to those of the actual customer.
“If you transfer, for example, 100 euros, they can steal another such amount and you don’t see any change, either on the computer screen or on the cell phone,” Garcia said.
The amounts stolen ranged from between 500 to 250,000 euros ($650 to $327,000) and were removed from individual and corporate accounts in Italy, Spain, Germany and The Netherlands.
Madrid, Dec 5 (IANS/EFE) The number of people officially registered as jobless in Spain climbed by 74,296, or 1.54 percent, in November to 4,907,817, according to figures released Tuesday by the Spanish Employment and Social Security Ministry.
Over the 12 months ending Nov 30, the ranks of the unemployed rose by 487,355, or 11.02 percent.
It marks the second worst November since records began to be kept in 1997, topped only by 2008, when the number of unemployed increased by 171,243 people.
The services sector was the hardest hit by job losses, with 63,166 people being laid off.
November marked the fourth consecutive month with an increase in the number of unemployed people in Spain, which has a population of roughly 47 million.
Eurostat, the European Union’s statistics office, said last Friday that Spain’s unemployment rate rose to 26.2 percent in October, up from 25.8 percent in September and the highest rate in the EU.
The Spanish economy remains hampered by the fallout from the collapse of a long-building housing bubble, which left many of its banks saddled with toxic assets and created an overhang of unsold homes.
Weak domestic demand and a slowing global economy have made Spanish businesses reluctant to invest in expansion or new ventures, the bank said.
Median annual household income in Spain has fallen 1.9 percent this year to 24,609 euros ($32,193), according to the latest national survey on living conditions.
With Spain mired in recession for the second time in four years, 12.7 percent of families said they struggle to make their money last until the end of the month, compared with 9.8 percent last year.
Madrid, Dec 4 (IANS) Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal Tuesday confirmed that he was unlikely to be fit for the 2013 Australian Open.
The 26-year-old has not played since June when he partially tore a tendon in his left knee in a second round match at Wimbledon and has been working towards gaining fitness.
The Mallorcan born player was realistic about his fitness prospects and said he didn’t expect to be in condition to compete in the first major event of the season, which is held in January, Xinhua reports.
“My recovery is going well. This past month I have taken an important step. I feel happy and the doctors are happy too,” he said.
“Miracles do not exist and I am unlikely to return and compete for the Australian Open.”
Speaking on Spanish radio station, Onda Cero, Nadal said his main ambition was to be able to compete in the French Open and to hone his form in Monte Carlo in April for his favourite event, which he will try to win for a record breaking eighth time in May.
“I want to be 100 percent in Monte Carlo and then prepare well for Roland Garros,” said Nadal.
“I will only come back when I am fit and I won’t come back worrying about my knee. We are in the last stage of the recovery and I want to recover as soon as possible but I will not rush back and then have to stop again in six months or a year’s time,” he said
Nadal was also asked about the possibility of tighter anti-doping controls in his sport and said he would be in favour of such a move.
“I want to be 100 percent sure that the person I am playing is just as ‘clean’ as I am,” he said, adding that he didn’t enjoy the testing process.
“Before the test, you have to lift up your shirt, drop your pants and turn around 360 degrees. I don’t really like that,” he admitted.
Madrid, Dec 4 (IANS) Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho refused to confirm or deny stories in the Spanish press that his relationship with the football club president, Florentino Perez, have broken down and he would leave the club at the end of the current season.
The story of the breakdown in relations was published in sports paper ‘Marca’, which is considered by many to be the unofficial mouthpiece of Perez, reports Xinhua.
However, when questioned about the rumour in his press conference ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League match against Ajax, Mourinho remained tight lipped.
“I am not going to speak about this,” he said to the journalist who asked the question. “Speak to your colleague about it, the one who has written the story. Organise a meal with that person. I’m not saying a single word,” he said.
Mourinho was slightly more forthcoming when asked about his relationship with Perez, who extended his contract at the club until 2016 in the second half of last season.
“Ask him. I don’t have to say when I spoke to the President and I don’t have to say what we spoke about and I doubt he will say anything either,” he added, before saying: “we have a very good relationship. But I am not going to try and add to this situation,”