Europe  Calling
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22nd  November  2017

The EU ministers will decide on Monday the fate of the coveted European
Medicines Agency (EMA) . Barcelona is technically one of the favorites , but
the big decisions in Brussels are eminently political, and the sources
consulted agree that the Catalan capital has definitively left the group of
favorites among the 19 candidates after a few months of political
uncertainty related to the independence challenge.

Spain’s National Intelligence Center (CNI) admitted on Thursday that it had
“had contact” with the mastermind of the terror attacks in Catalonia this
summer, Abdelbaki Es Satty, during the time that he was in prison in
Castellón, between 2010 and 2014. The Spanish secret service did not,
however, clarify how often these contacts took place, nor the duration, nor
whether they were paid. They did state that they took place within the
“protocol established for convicts” in prison and who have maintained
relationships with jihadists.

Seven hikers surround a boar. One of them pokes the animal with a stick.
An eighth person on the scene records what’s happening with their
cellphone. Finally, the group shoves the boar toward the vertical drop
behind it, sending it tumbling down the hillside. The undated images have
drawn harsh criticism since they appeared on the social networks, posted
by a user named Marcos López Rúa, who claims that the incident took
place on the Cares Route, in the Picos de Europa National Park. “That’s it,”
the person who is recording the video is heard to say, having beforehand
encouraged the group to push the animal over the side.

The drought suffered by Spain after three consecutive years with less than
normal rainfall hits especially the northwest of the Peninsula . The reservoirs
of the Duero and Miño basins have never, since the reliable records of the
Ministry of Agriculture started in 1990, had reached such a low level.
Specifically, the Duero is at 29.8% and the Miño at 38.6%. The peninsular
reserve as a whole is 37.2%, according to the data released Tuesday by
the ministry. You have to go back until 1995 to find a lower reservation on
these same dates.

Over 250 migrants making the dangerous crossing to Europe were rescued
on Friday off Spain, with several other vessels still in need of rescue,
authorities said.  Spain is the third busiest gateway for migrants arriving in
Europe, but far behind Italy and Greece. However, the number of people
arriving by sea in Spain has nearly tripled over last year to 17,687.

Many Africans undertaking the long route to Europe are choosing to avoid
crossing danger-ridden Libya to get to Italy along the so-called central
Mediterranean route, and choosing instead to get there via Morocco and
Spain.


The EU is ‘insulting’ Britain by demanding a huge upfront payment before
talking about trade, a senior German politician said tonight.
Hans-Olaf Henkel said EU negotiator Michel Barnier was trying to get
Britain to ‘name a price without knowing what you are going to get for it’.
Mr Henkel, an MEP and former head of the Federation of German
Industries – the equivalent of the CBI – said its view was that Britain should
have the ‘best deal possible’

Police forces across the UK were last night accused of applying a ‘random’
approach to cracking down on speeding drivers.   The number of
unlicensed cars has trebled since paper tax discs were abolished three
years ago, it emerged yesterday.  The Government claimed it would save
£10million a year by reducing tax evasion and cutting costs when it
replaced paper discs with an online system in October 2014.
But the policy, introduced by then-chancellor George Osborne, was
described as a ‘failure’ last night as it revealed a dramatic surge in
motorists either dodging tax deliberately or forgetting to pay it.


Boys and girls are driven by biology to play with toys that are traditionally
aimed at their own gender, according to a new study.
The research found that an innate drive pushes boys to prefer trucks and
cars and aggressive toys such as guns or toy soldiers.
A similar inbuilt instinct may be the reason why girls have always liked to
play with dolls, cosmetics or toys based on domestic life, it said.

One child aged ten to 14 and four aged 15 to 19 had an NHS hip
replacement last year with obesity as the main or secondary cause, official
figures have revealed.

Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell, of Bath University, was awarded a pay
rise of 3.9 per cent in 2016-17 despite widespread concern over her huge
wages.

Elizabeth II has appointed Philip a Knight Grand Cross of the Royal
Victorian Order (GCVO) for services to the sovereign.

Passengers will soon be boarding British Airways planes according to how
much they paid for their flights as the firm follows examples set by Iberia
and American Airlines.

Ricky Preddie, 30,  who was convicted of killing ten-year-old schoolboy
Damilola Taylor  as he walked home in Peckham, South London, in
November 2000, is back in jail for a fourth time.

Michael Camp, from Milton Keynes, was spotted in his car weaving down a
road in Spalding, Lincolnshire, in November 2015. He was charged with
failing to provide a breath specimen for analysis and has avoided jail.