Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The cops arrested six people in yesterday's abortion clinic raids. The head of the prosecutor's office said the four clinics involved, all owned by Carlos Morín, were performing "radically illegal" abortions on babies as late as 30 weeks. Interesting stats in La Vanguardia: For every 1000 women between ages 15 and 44, 9.6 abortions are performed in Spain every year. In Catalonia it's 11.4; France 14.6; England 17.2; Sweden 20.6; US 20.8; Eastern Europe 44. Spaniards are always surprised when they learn that abortion on demand is legal in the US, since they think it's such a reactionary traditional religious place.

The authorities are claiming that the Great Barcelona Transport Snafu, which is still in full swing, will be cleared up by December 1. I don't buy it. Neither does anybody else.

They rounded up another kiddie-porn Internet ring, thirteen arrests throughout Spain and three in Catalonia. The obsessed weirdos who used to hang around their basement with their handful of dirty pictures have discovered that they have access to millions of them on the Net. I don't get it. Is kiddie-porn really so attractive to these pervs, that they risk going to jail and having their lives ruined over it? And they think they can get away with doing something majorly illegal on the Internet, where your every activity can be traced? It seems that every week they bust more of these guys.
The campaign for the March 9 general election is well under way, and it's really boring. Nobody has anything new to say. The PP should be way out in front, after all the failures and errors of the Zap administration, but they're running a very limp campaign and are a couple of points behind in the polls. One thing is that there's definitely a hidden PP vote. Since it's so socially unacceptable in many circles to say you're a conservative, some PP voters aren't willing to admit it even in surveys; that's why the PP usually scores two or three points higher in the elections than the surveys predict.

Hugo the Chav called Spain "an invader." Get used to it, Spaniards, Latin American populist slander is coming your way, too.

The authorities busted six people mostly linked to the PP in a Murcia real-estate political corruption scam. Good. It's just the tiniest tip of the corruption iceberg, in which all political parties are involved.

The cops cleaned out a squat down in the Ribera this morning. The squatters are claiming that the cops beat them up. It's almost too bad they didn't.

Caja Madrid has announced that it's going to increase its share of Spanish airline Iberia to 23%, but that it's not interested in taking over the company. British Airways waived its right to first refusal, and BA isn't going to bid for the whole company, either. So far one Spanish consortium has made an offer, and there are likely to be further offers from another Spanish consortium, from Air France, and from Lufthansa.

Barcelona plays Olympique in Lyon tonight in the Champions' League. A win would be nice but not absolutely necessary in the standings, since Barça is almost certain to qualify for the next round; the problem is the psychology of the fans and the front office, who are engaged in a massive freakout because the team is only playing fairly well and because nobody trusts Ronaldinho anymore. He might play tonight; so might Bojan.

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