Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Spanish political news: Pacifist defense minister Carme Chacon gave birth yesterday in Barcelona to a boy named Miguel. Interior minister Rubalcaba will take over her duties while she is on maternity leave. Zap and Basque premier Ibarretxe had a meeting and they didn't agree on anything. Madrid mayor Ruiz-Gallardon announced his support for Rajoy and his move toward the center, while Aznar warned Rajoy not to abandon or ignore the right wing of the PP. Looks like Gallardon will be the next PP secretary-general.

Spain's carbon-dioxide emissions are up 1.8% over last year. Since 1990, Spain's CO2 emissions have increased 52%, while the Kyoto Protocol permits an increase of only 15%. It's a good thing Zap's prime minister, because he's an ecologist who believes in the Kyoto Treaty to the point that he criticizes George Bush for not signing it. You can really tell that reducing pollution is one of Zap's top priorities.

Another Spanish justice system disaster. You won't believe this one. A young man named Daniel, from Lleida, raped six women at the age of 14. They sent him to juvie in Barcelona, where they allowed him out on furlough, and he raped eleven more women. So in 2002, they sent him to five years of prison, where he held a knife on a fellow inmate and forced him to perform fellatio. Now his five-year sentence is up, and his fifteen-month sentence for the prison rape runs out in October. Daniel has refused to participate in any sort of rehabilitation, and the prosecutor's office considers him "highly dangerous."

So the National Court has decided to release him now. This unrehabilitated serial rapist should obviously be locked up for life far away from the rest of society. If Spain's justice system won't do that, then there is something seriously wrong with it. I would suggest that the PP should pick up this issue and bash Zap around the head with it repeatedly.

National Health disaster update: Another patient died at the 12 de Octubre hospital in Madrid of a hospital-acquired bacterial infection, this time staphylococcus aureus. Looks like the 12 de Octubre hospital features a variety of bacteria to infect its patients with.

The Catalan corporation Abertis, in a consortium with La Caixa and Citigroup, has won the bidding to manage the Pennsylvania Turnpike for the next 75 years for a total of €8.3 billion. Abertis's most important businesses are turnpike and airport management, along with logistics. The Barcelona savings bank giant La Caixa owns nearly 29% of Abertis, and is the company's largest stockholder.

Note: The Spanish toponyms for American states are usually the same as in English. Exceptions: The states whose names include "New," which is "Nuevo/a," the ones that include a direction (e.g. "Dakota del Norte"), Pennsylvania ("Pensílvania"), Missouri ("Misuri"), Mississippi ("Misisipí"), Louisiana ("Luisiana"), Hawaii ("Hawai"), and sometimes Texas ("Tejas"). Frequently the Spanish pronunciation is quite different, even when the spelling is the same; for example, Virginia is "Beer-HEEN-ee-ah," and Georgia is "Hay-ORE-hee-ah."


Shannon said...

I was amused to get a phishing e-mail from La Caixa in my inbox today. It made me think of you.

charlie said...

I should point out for the record that several of the US states name are spanish words (Florida, Colorado) and many of the others are native american words first transcribed in either French or Spanish (Illinois, Michigan, Arkansas, Utah).

Have no idea where Texas comes from. Don't want to know.

John said...

Aw, thanks, Shannon. Hey, why don't you call me up one of these days?

"Tejas" supposedly means "friends" in some Indian language.

"Kansas" supposedly means "People of the South Wind" in some other Indian language.