Spain's government have pulled their frigate from a US-led naval group because of Trump's warmongering with Iran...
"MADRID (Reuters) - Spain has withdrawn a frigate from a U.S.-led naval group in the Gulf because [the USA] was now focusing on alleged threats from Iran rather than an agreed objective to mark an historic seafaring anniversary, the Spanish government said on Tuesday.
Saturday, May 18, 2019
Sunday, May 12, 2019
Saturday, May 4, 2019
|[Photo: Bob Edme/Pool via Reuters]|
"Microplastics have been discovered in a remote area of the French Pyrenees mountains [close to the border with Spain/Catalonia.] The particles traveled through the atmosphere and were blown into the once-pristine region by the wind, according to a new study published in Nature Geoscience.
This is just the latest example of the “hidden risks” posed by plastics that humans cannot see with the naked eye. For now, governments and activists are focused on avoiding plastic litter in the environment, driven mainly by concern for wildlife and worries over unsightly drinks bottles or abandoned fishing nets on beaches. Plastic bag usage has been cut in many parts of the world, and various projects are exploring how to gather up the floating plastic waste in oceans. But little has yet been done to deal with polluting plastic particles that are usually invisible.
There is, however, growing concern about these micro and nanoplastics, classified as particles smaller than 5mm. These come in part from deliberately manufactured sources, such as scrubbing materials in cleaning and cosmetic products, but also from secondary sources, such as the inevitable breaking up or wearing down of larger items such as tires or fibers shed from tumble driers and washing machines. We are becoming increasingly aware of their presence but know surprisingly little about how much is out there, how it behaves in our environment and what the implications are for human and animal well-being.
As more studies publish their findings we are learning that microplastics are more widespread than we imagined, and that they are found in every environmental system investigated. Plastic particles have been found in record-breaking quantities in river sediments in the UK, for instance, while a study in Paris found plastic fibers in wastewater and the air."Read more from source here.
Friday, April 26, 2019
Lebanese author Hoda Barakat has won this year’s $50,000 International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF) for her epistolary novel (Dar al-Adab), only the second woman to get the award.
Friday, April 19, 2019
"Antonella Bundu is the lead candidate in a coalition of anti-fascist radical-left parties...
On a peaceful Monday morning in March 2018, a Senegalese street vendor named Idy Diene was murdered on the Vespucci bridge in Florence.
The man who fired the six fatal shots was an Italian pensioner who told the police he had shot randomly at the first person he encountered. He had previously attempted to take his own life.
Antonella Bundu, 49, was one of the first people to arrive at the scene. She burst into tears when she was told that under the blood-stained sheet lay Diene. She had come to know him well, watching him set up and take down his makeshift table of cigarette lighters, tissues and umbrellas.
That afternoon she took part in the protests led by the Senegalese community in Florence. Diene had become the most recent victim of a series of attacks against Africans in Italy as anti-immigrant propaganda, spread in part by the far-right leader Matteo Salvini, continued to circulated in mass media.
Since that day, the number of racially motivated attacks against migrants has risen sharply in Italy, tripling between 2017 and 2018, and Salvini has become interior minister. One year after Diene’s death, spurred on by the climate of intolerance and racism that has spread throughout the country, Bundu has decided to run for mayor of Florence. The daughter of a Florentine mother and a Sierra Leonean father, she has become the first black female candidate for mayor of a large Italian city.
She is the lead candidate in a coalition of radical-left parties including Potere al Popolo (Power to the People) and Rifondazione Comunista (Communist Refoundation). The vote will be held at the same time as the European elections on 23-26 May.
“Until a few months ago I never imagined I could take on such a role,” Bundu told the Guardian. “Then a movement tied to the left invited me to speak at the Alfieri Theatre in Florence. I was given one word on which to improvise a seven-minute speech. The word was ‘black’. Without hesitation I poured out about what was happening in Italy. I spoke about myself, my story. They must have liked my monologue, because they immediately asked me if I’d be interested in running for mayor’s office.”
Read more about her story at source here.
Saturday, April 13, 2019
|[Photo: Quim Puig]|
I don’t mean having the TV on in our houses, as Juan Goytisolo called it, “Spanishing on” in the background like in a typical bar here.
Saturday, April 6, 2019
I'm very happy to say that my new non-fiction book is now available here.
"a compelling and eclectic narrative full of the unexpected"
-- Nick Inman, Rough Guides
Slow Travels in Unsung Spain is a warts n’ all trip through some of Spain’s hidden gems: towns, cities, landscapes and cultural highlights that are typically overlooked by foreign tourists but which the Spanish often keep to themselves.
Tuesday, April 2, 2019
Saturday, March 23, 2019
Well, I finally joined the twittersphere this month and am happily tweeting at BrettHethering (or is it also 'twittering?) so if you are also using it please send me a tweet and follow me.
Happy social media life!
Happy social media life!
Saturday, March 16, 2019
Bizarrely, this week Muslims have had to defend themselves even more after 49 innocents were gunned down in a horrific crime of right-wing terrorism in New Zealand. Here is a fascinating interview with Algerian film director Rayhana...
Saturday, March 9, 2019
|[Protesters in London, January 2019. EFE]|
Friday, March 1, 2019
Apart from someone like the excellent Matthew Tree, "it’s slim pickings for English-language readers looking for literary insight into this fascinating, independent-minded culture, with translations of Catalan masterpieces woefully sparse.