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Town Named 'Jew Killer' May Change Its Name

Residents of Castrillo Matajudíos will put it to a vote

(Newser) - Castrillo Matajudíos sounds lovely—unless you speak Spanish. In English, the name of the tiny Spanish village is "Castrillo Jew Killer" or "Castrillo Kill the Jews," depending on the translation. It was so named because Jews were massacred there twice, in 1035 and 1109. Now the... More »

Spain Shoots Down Barcelona Area's Independence Bid

But region vows to hold it anyway

(Newser) - Spain isn't letting Catalonia pull a Scotland . The Spanish parliament has voted decisively against letting the region, which includes Barcelona, hold a referendum on independence. The vote was 299 to 47, with only the Catalan and Basque parties voting in favor; the major Spanish parties were united against it,... More »

Ill-Advised Tryst Ends With Woman at Bottom of Well

As her not-terribly-valiant lover flees...

(Newser) - It's tough to imagine an outdoor tryst ending much worse than this: at the bottom of a well, with hypothermia setting in. But firefighters say that's exactly what happened in Ciudad Real, Spain, on Friday night, when a 21-year-old woman and similarly unidentified man decided to have sex... More »

Now Part of Spain Wants to Break Off—Illegally

Catalonia says it will hold referendum on issue, in face of court ruling

(Newser) - More secessionist rumblings : Catalonia is technically a largely autonomous "community" in northeastern Spain. It would like to be much less than that. The region's parliament last year decided that it would hold a referendum on secession, something it says it fully intends to do on Nov. 9—even... More »

One Country So Broke, It's Giving Away Villages

Spain gives them away or sells for less than $100K

(Newser) - Want to buy a little vacation house in the Spanish countryside? Thanks to Spain's economic downturn, some buyers have picked up entire villages for as little as zero euros, AFP reports. Thousands of villages have been abandoned across Spain, often by residents seeking city life or better farmland, and... More »

Don't Mess With Spain's Perfect Eating Schedule

Actually, the US should adopt it, says LV Anderson

(Newser) - In case you hadn't heard, Spain is considering making some pretty radical changes —switching time zones and cutting siestas in order to get onto a more typical 9-to-5 workday schedule—and LV Anderson thinks that's a terrible idea. Consider a typical "Spanish mealtime regimen," she... More »

Spain Mulls the Unthinkable: Short Siestas, Reset Clocks

Nation considers aligning with its neighbors

(Newser) - In Spain, grappling with economic crisis could require a major cultural shift. Activists are pushing to align the country's schedule with its neighbors, an effort that would require cutting daily siestas—including lunch and a nap—to just an hour. On top of that, the campaigners would turn the... More »

Cops in Spain Find 1 Ton of Cocaine in Backpacks

It was floating in the Mediterranean

(Newser) - Authorities in Spain just found a ton of cocaine. Literally. Authorities found 37 large backpacks floating along the Mediterranean coast, jammed with about 2,000 pounds of the drug. The backpacks had flotation devices that kept them below the surface of the water but prevented them sinking. They also had... More »

Spain's Christmas Gift to Its People: $3.4B Lottery

Annual 'El Gordo' holiday lottery rains cash on beleaguered Spaniards

(Newser) - Spain, which has had not a lot to celebrate in the financial realm in recent memory, is basking in the glow of its annual exercise in literally throwing scads of cash to the wind: Yesterday's "El Gordo" lottery saw some $3.4 billion awarded to thousands of winners... More »

Spain to Restrict Abortions

It would be the first EU nation to reverse the trend toward legalization

(Newser) - Spain is poised to defy the trend in Europe and impose tough restrictions on abortion, reports Reuters . Women currently can get an abortion on request during the first 14 weeks of pregnancy, but the proposed law would allow the procedure only in the case of rape, serious risk to the... More »

Man Says He Was Raised by Wolves

Marcos Rodriguez Pantoja says he traded words for growls

(Newser) - A six-year-old boy was taken into the mountains to help a goatherd, but when the man died, the boy was left alone—until a mother wolf nosed some meat his way. So says Marcos Rodriguez Pantoja, now in his late 60s and long back among humans in the Spanish town... More »

Pianist Faces Jail Over Incessant Practicing

Neighbor says it caused psychological damage

(Newser) - Spanish prosecutors want to send a young pianist to jail for more than seven years after a neighbor accused her of causing psychological damage and noise pollution. The plaintiff—identified only as Sonia B.—claims she suffered from noise contamination between 2003 and 2007 owing to the five-days-a-week, eight-hour... More »

Spain Busts 25 in Sex Slave Ring: Police

5 victims freed in operation

(Newser) - Spanish police say they've busted a gang of 25 Nigerians who were engaged in human trafficking, Internet fraud, and money laundering. Five women victims of sex slavery were released during the crackdown on the underground operation in Spain, the police say. The gang was using Spain as a springboard... More »

Americans Read and Math Bad

New study shows US adults are lagging in crucial skills

(Newser) - You've probably heard that test scores are lagging badly for America's youth, but it turns out they're just chips off the old blocks. A sweeping new study has found that American adults are below-average when it comes to literacy, basic math skills, and "problem-solving in technology-rich... More »

Mutant Bugs' Task: Destroy Own Species

Fruit flies implanted with gene to halt population

(Newser) - How do you get rid of a population of bugs destroying your crops? Scientists are trying out a controversial method: spreading a gene that prevents females from reproducing. Males can live with the lab-inserted gene, but females die in the larval stage—which doesn't leave a lot of options... More »

Spain Might Change Time Zone to Be More Productive

It's looking to boost productivity

(Newser) - Worried your country isn’t being productive enough? Change the time zone. That’s one idea Spain is considering: A parliamentary report recommends moving the nation's time zone one hour earlier to match the UK and Portugal. It says the change would improve eating, sleeping, and working habits. Newsy... More »

Turned In at Lost and Found: $6.3M Lotto Ticket

Unclaimed prize was won last year

(Newser) - Talk about a good deed: A very kind man turned a winning lotto ticket in to Spanish officials rather than taking the money for himself. Now, lottery bosses are trying to find the winner of the $6.27 million prize, which dates back to last year; it was never claimed,... More »

Judge Tells Divorcing Couple to Split House, Literally

It's a sign of tough financial times in Spain

(Newser) - These are no ordinary times in financially strapped Spain, and this is no ordinary divorce ruling as a result: A judge in Seville has ordered a couple to split their home—and she is not speaking figuratively, reports the Local . The judge says the couple should go on living at... More »

Driver of Crashed Train: I Warned About That Curve

Recording: He calls bend 'inhuman' moments after crash killed 79 in Spain

(Newser) - The driver who was speeding , distracted , and had received three warnings when his train derailed appears to blame a curve in the tracks for the deadly crash in a call made moments after the disaster. In a recording that has emerged in Spanish media, Francisco Jose Garzon describes the curve... More »

75 Arrested in Human Trafficking Ring Bust

Gang smuggled Chinese citizens into US and Europe for $53K per person, say cops

(Newser) - Police have arrested 51 people in Spain and 24 in France after a two-year investigation into a Barcelona-based organization that was allegedly smuggling Chinese migrants into the US and Europe. Authorities say the gang charged $53,000 per person for "false identities and transport [for] Chinese citizens to the... More »

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