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False crash alert off Spain as boat mistaken for plane

Emergency services in Spain sparked a false alarm Thursday, saying a plane had crashed into the Atlantic after a boat was mistaken for a ditched aircraft. The announcement by the Canary Islands emergency services set off a flood of breaking news alerts of a possible disaster by Spanish and international media. The islands' emergency services said on their Twitter account shortly after 1500 GMT that air traffic controllers had confirmed a plane fell into the sea two nautical miles off Gran Canaria.

One dead as bus of Swiss tourists crashes in Canaries

A bus carrying 17 Swiss tourists overturned Monday on Spain's Gran Canaria island, killing one Swiss passenger and seriously injuring two others, police said. Rescue services including a medical helicopter were scrambled to the scene of the accident on a road in the eastern part of the island, a police spokesman said. The cause of the accident and the status of others aboard was unclear, he said. Gran Canaria is a popular holiday destination that forms part of the Canary Islands archipelago lying off the northwest coast of Africa. ib/djw/ric

Oil explorer eyes Spain's pristine Canary Islands

Luring millions of tourists a year with its crystal-clear waters, warm winters and precious wildlife, Spain's Canary Islands may hold another treasure -- oil -- that is attracting a less welcome visitor. Oil and gas group Repsol aims to begin exploring in 2014 off the archipelago's coast for oil deposits, which could be the largest in Spain. The group, which awaits only a final clearance from the Environment Ministry, plans to set up a logistical base in January before starting exploration in May at two sites about 60 kilometres (40 miles) offshore.

Actor Bardem's mother protests Canaries oil-drilling

A campaign against plans to drill for oil off Spain's Canary Islands has united politicians, environmentalists and personalities including the mother of Hollywood star Javier Bardem, a native of the archipelago. An online petition launched on Monday against the plan by Spanish energy giant Repsol to prospect for oil off the islands had drawn more than 33,000 signatures by Tuesday afternoon. In a manifesto read out in Madrid Monday by Pilar Bardem, the Oscar-winning actor's mother, campaigners said the project threatened the Canaries' vital tourism sector.

Mass petition launced against Canaries oil-drilling plan

A growing campaign against plans to drill for oil off Spain's Canary Islands has united politicians, environmentalists and personalities including the mother of Hollywood star Javier Bardem, a native of the archipelago. An online petition launched on Monday against the plan by Spanish energy giant Repsol to prospect for oil off the islands had drawn more than 33,000 signatures by Tuesday afternoon. In a manifesto read out in Madrid on Monday by Pilar Bardem, the Oscar-winning actor's mother, campaigners said the project threatened the Canaries' vital tourism sector.

Spain investigates 3 Scottish pedophiles over missing child

Madrid, Nov 13 (EFE).- The Spanish Civil Guard is investigating three Scottish pedophiles, two of them behind bars in their own country, to find out if they had anything to do with the disappearance of a 7-year-old boy named Yeremi on the Spanish island of Gran Canaria seven years ago.

Elena Ibarbia is the new Miss World Spain

Puerto de la Cruz, Spain, Jun 30 (EFE).- Elena Ibarbia won the 2013 Miss World Spain title in Tenerife, Canary Islands, and will represent Spain at the Miss World pageant in Asia in September. The 18-year-old beauty, who was born in Spain's northern Basque region, told Efe at the end of the contest in the city of Puerto de la Cruz that taking the title was more than a win and represented the renewal of her commitment to a social assistance program she was involved with.

Man gets 20 years for beheading Briton in Spain: group

A court in Spain on Thursday sentenced a Bulgarian man to 20 years' custody in a psychiatric unit for beheading a British grandmother with a knife in a shop, a charity acting for her family said. The court in Tenerife sentenced Deyan Valentinov Deyanov, 29, for killing 60-year-old Jennifer Mills-Westley, Matt Searl of the British charity Missing Abroad told AFP, citing the family. The charity, which aids victims of crimes overseas, was acting as a representative for Mills-Westley's children who attended the trial on Tenerife, the island where she was killed in 2011.

Man on trial in Tenerife for beheading British grandmother

A Bulgarian man went on trial Monday accused of decapitating a British grandmother in a store on the Spanish holiday island of Tenerife and then running out with her severed head. Deyan Valentinov Deyanov pleaded not guilty to repeatedly stabbing and then beheading Jennifer Mills-Westley, 60, with a knife at a Chinese general goods store in May 2011. Witnesses said they saw Deyanov leave the store with the woman's bloodied head in his hand, which he then threw on the pavement, reportedly shouting "God is on Earth".

Man on trial in Spain for beheading British woman

A Bulgarian man with a history of mental health problems went on trial Monday accused of decapitating a British woman at a shop on the Spanish holiday island of Tenerife. Deyan Valentinov Deyanov, 29, attended the opening hearing of the trial at the provincial court in Santa Cruz de Tenerife on Spain's Canary Islands accompanied by his lawyer, a court spokeswoman said. "We don't know how long the trial will last," she said.
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