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Could Spain Split Up? Separatists Win Big Victory

'We ask that the world recognize the victory of Catalonia'

(Newser) - The world should get ready to welcome a new European country with Barcelona as its capital, according to separatist leaders in Catalonia. Pro-independence parties won an absolute majority in the 135-seat regional parliament on Sunday, which they say is a mandate to separate from Spain and form a Catalan nation,... More »

Happy Ending for Refugee Tripped by Camerawoman

Spain offers him a job

(Newser) - A happy ending for the Syrian refugee who was filmed being tripped by a camerawoman in Hungary: Osama Abdul Mohsen is now in Spain, and he's been offered a new job. Members of Spain's Cenafe national soccer coaching center heard that Abdul Mohsen had coached soccer in Syria,... More »

Town Thinks Ancient Tomb Is Picnic Table, 'Fixes' It

Archaeologist calls it a "monumental error"

(Newser) - Usually municipal workers taking the initiative to replace a broken picnic table would be heralded as a minor civic victory. However, that's less the case when the "broken picnic table" was actually a 6,000-year-old tomb under government protection. NPR reports the tomb is believed to have been... More »

France Train Gunman 'Dumbfounded' by Terrorist Claim

Ayoub el Khazzani wasn't out to kill people, lawyer says

(Newser) - The gunman accused of attempting mass-murder on a French train is apparently "dumbfounded" that people are taking him for an Islamic terrorist. His lawyer, Sophie David, describes 26-year-old Moroccan Ayoub el Khazzani as a hungry man planning to rob people for food money, Reuters reports. "(I saw) somebody... More »

Spain's $1.2B 'Ghost Airport' Could Sell—for $11K

Bankrupt airport, symbol of nation's bust, attracts lone offer—and it's measly

(Newser) - One of Spain's "ghost airports"—expensive projects that were virtually unused—received just one bid in a bankruptcy auction after costing some $1.2 billion to build. The buyer's offer: $10,800. Ciudad Real's Central airport, about 150 miles south of Madrid, became a symbol... More »

Spanish Mayor Makes Afternoon Nap the Law

In Ador, the siesta is mandatory (or at least strongly suggested)

(Newser) - If you're planning to visit the town of Ador, Spain, timing is everything. Get there between the hours of 2 and 5pm, and you'll find nothing open and nobody to chat with—they'll likely be snoozing by decree of the mayor. Joan Faus Vitòria has declared... More »

Sunken Ship's Treasures to Go Up for Auction

Jewelry from the Nuestra Senora de Atocha will likely fetch big bucks

(Newser) - A solid gold chain and an intricate gold-and-enamel spoon are among items pulled from the wreckage of a 400-year-old Spanish galleon that will be auctioned off next month. Nuestra Senora de Atocha went down in a violent hurricane in 1622 near the Florida Keys laden with New World gold while... More »

Guess Which Country Has 2nd-Most Spanish Speakers

Mexico has the most, with 121 million

(Newser) - Not speaking or studying Spanish yet? Then this might inspire you: The US now has the second-largest Spanish-speaking population outside of Mexico, according to a new study reported in the Guardian . According to Instituto Cervantes , a non-profit that promotes Spanish language and culture, the US now has 41 million native... More »

Spanish Town Decides 'Kill Jews' Isn't Great Name

The Castrillo Matajudios name dates back to the Spanish Inquisition

(Newser) - The tiny Spanish village of Castrillo Matajudios—which means "Camp Kill Jews"—officially changed its name today back to the original Castrillo Mota de Judios ("Jews' Hill Camp") following a referendum and regional government approval. The village of about 50 inhabitants voted to change the name... More »

US Judge: Museum Can Keep Nazi-Seized Art

He rules against Jewish woman's heirs

(Newser) - A federal judge in California has dealt a blow to a Jewish family's prolonged battle to regain ownership of a painting now on display in a museum in Spain that was seized from a woman fleeing Nazi Germany in 1939. The judge found that under Spanish law, the Thyssen-Bornemisza... More »

Bullfighter Gored Again, This Time in the Jugular

Wound to neck damaged artery, says doctor

(Newser) - One stick in the thigh with a bull horn wasn't enough to stop Spanish bullfighter Torero Jiménez Fortes. One of three matadors gored at an event last year, Fortes, 25, is in serious condition after he was again gored at the Feria de San Isidro bullfighting festival—this... More »

Panama Shipwreck's Tale Is Finally Told

Researchers came upon Spanish ship Encarnacíon in 2011

(Newser) - It's been some four years since researchers discovered a shipwreck at the mouth of Panama's Chagres River; now, they're finally revealing its secrets. The Encarnacíon, built in Mexico, sank in 1681, and it tells a tale of a key historical moment, archaeologist Filipe Castro tells National ... More »

Woman Caught at Border Carrying Boy in Suitcase

Police in Spain say she was paid to smuggle him in; he's OK

(Newser) - It is one of the strangest X-ray scans you'll ever see: When Spanish authorities scanned a woman's suitcase at the border with Morocco, it revealed the unmistakable image of a small human body. When they opened the case, out popped a scared and confused 8-year-old boy from the... More »

Crossbow-Wielding Boy in Spain Kills Teacher: Reports

4 others reported injured; details still hazy

(Newser) - A teen armed with a crossbow killed a teacher this morning in a rare attack in Spain, according to reports. The teen, who has been arrested, is said to be 13 years old, reports the BBC , which notes that the age of criminal responsibility in Spain is 14. It's... More »

Spain's New Gag Law Gets Ghostly Protest

Protesters beam in holograms to protest crackdown on protests

(Newser) - Spain is rolling out what RT calls a "draconian" new law that drastically limits the rights of protesters, so protesters came up with a pretty unique way to, well, protest: They beamed in holograms of themselves in front of the building that's home to the lower house of... More »

'World's Scariest Walkway' Open Again

Spanish cliffside path dizzying but no longer deadly

(Newser) - The stunning cliffside walkway in Spain once known as one of the world's most dangerous is a lot safer now, authorities say—but still no place for the fainthearted. The recently reopened Caminito del Rey trail includes 2 miles of thin boardwalks that hang 300 feet over the Guadalhorce... More »

Scientists: Cervantes' Lost Remains Are Found

But his bones may be impossible to identify

(Newser) - The lost remains of Don Quixote author Miguel de Cervantes may have finally been found nearly 400 years after the writer's death—and a year after experts began searching for them. Experts working at Madrid's Convent of the Barefoot Trinitarians used ground-penetrating radar among other technology to identify... More »

American Gored Horrifically in Bullfighting Festival

Surgeon: 'Biggest goring wound I've ever had to operate on'

(Newser) - Running bulls and thousands of inebriated tourists: Once again, not a particularly wise combination, and the latest victim is a 20-year-old man from Georgia who has what his Spanish surgeon calls "the biggest goring wound I've ever had to operate on." Benjamin Miller underwent three hours of... More »

Early Humans Ate Animals We Call Pets

Human bite marks found on small-carnivore remains

(Newser) - Europeans have dined on dogs, foxes, badgers, and wild cats, a new study says—although admittedly it's been a while. Researchers base this on ancient small-carnivore remains discovered in a Spanish cave, the Telegraph reports. Dating back 3,100 to 7,200 years, the remains show signs of human... More »

Spain's Ex-King Faces Paternity Suit

Belgian woman says Juan Carlos is her father

(Newser) - Being an ex-king has its drawbacks, Spain's Juan Carlos has discovered. He enjoyed immunity from prosecution during his 39 years on the throne, but since he handed the crown to his son Felipe last year, two paternity suits have made it into the courts. One from a Spanish man... More »

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