Quick news brief before we take off for Vallfogona for the four-day weekend. It's International Commie Day. They had the usual union marches this morning, and a few thousand people came out: I remember twenty years ago they really managed to pull off mass demos, but now it's all rather perfunctory, as if it were more an obligation than something people get all excited about.
Everybody's talking about the pervert in Austria who imprisoned and violated his own daughter. The general tone down at the café this morning was pro-death penalty, and some discussion ensued over which precise method should be used.
ETA exploded three small bombs at labor ministry buildings in the Basque country; nobody was hurt, fortunately. They called in warnings for two of them, but not for the third. Speculation is that the bombings are a response to the jailing (on charges of membership in a terrorist organization) of the pro-ETA mayoress of Mondragon, the town where ETA's last victim, Isaías Carrasco, was murdered in March. By the way, Carrasco's killers have not yet been caught.
La Vanguardia reports that Angel Acebes is being demoted from his position in the PP leadership. Good. About time his head rolled.
Efficient management: The estimated cost for line 9 of the Barcelona metro, which will run from El Prat to Badalona looping around Barcelona on the northwest, has multiplied by more than three to €6.5 million. Apparently much of the extra cost is due to improvised, ad hoc changes to the original plan. Not to mention the three percent kickback from the construction companies to the political parties in power.
Massive Barça firestorm after the elimination from the Champions League. New coach: either Guardiola or Mourinho. I'd go with Guardiola. 80% of the fans want president Joan Laporta to resign, but he's not going to. Players whose contracts expire who won't be back: Edmilson, Thuram, Ezquerro, Pinto. Players on the shit list, to be sold or given away: Ronaldinho, Deco, Henry, Marquez, Zambrotta. Player on thin ice: Eto'o.
Meanwhile, Ronaldo is in big trouble after his little escapade with the transvestites: his girlfriend has left him, and Nike is talking about breaking his contract--presumably there's a morals clause, and the cops are investigating his possible cocaine use. But baseball pitcher Roger Clemens is in bigger trouble: he's been having an affair with drug-addled country singer Mindy McCready. So what? you may ask. Well, they met when she was fifteen. In addition to the steroids charges, he's looking at Statue Tory Rape. I would say at this point there are several players whose reputations are permanently trashed. In order: Clemens, Canseco, Bonds, Palmeiro, McGwire. I will bet these guys all get blackballed from the Hall of Fame, except Canseco, who would never have gotten close anyway.