Spain passes law to remember and exhume victims of civil war and dictatorship

class=”MuiTypography-root-134 MuiTypography-h1-139″>Spain passes law to remember and exhume victims of civil war and dictatorship

​​​​​​​Spain’s socialist government recently passed a new law greatly expanding the rights and recognition of victims during the dictatorship of Gen. Francisco Franco and the years that followed.

The WorldSeptember 23, 2022 · 11:30 AM EDT

A visitor approaches some of the 65 mass graves discovered recently near a provisional field hospital in northeast Spain. The 177 victims buried here were all Republican soldiers killed during the Battle of the Ebro. They were buried without identification, the graves left unmarked.

Gerry Hadden/The World

Jessica Flores stood by a series of unmarked graves on a hill near the Ebro River in Spain’s Iberian Peninsula, grieving for the grandfather she never knew, Andreu Flores, who was killed in the country’s civil war in 1938.

Until recently, the Flores family had no idea where Andreu Flores had been buried.

The family isn’t alone; some are missing, and many are buried in unmarked tombs, a legacy of Spain’s civil war in the 1930s and the ensuing brutal dictatorship under Gen. Francisco Franco that went on for decades.

In July, Spain approved a new Democratic Memory law that declares Franco’s regime illegal and makes the central government responsible for the recovery of the bodies of tens of thousands of people missing from the Spanish civil war and the dictatorship.

It also bans the Francisco Franco Foundation, a private institution dedicated to preserving the autocrat’s legacy, and all glorification of the former dictator.

The government is to draw up maps of where the bodies of an estimated 100,000 people still missing may be located. It is also setting up a DNA bank to help with the identification processes.The missing are those who opposed or were considered to oppose Franco and were subsequently killed and buried in unmarked graves.

The 65 graves, which contained 177 unidentified victims of Spain's civil war have been marked with cement and gravel and will become a permanent memorial site under Spain's new Democratic Memory law.

Credit:

Gerry Hadden/The World

The law aims to improve on a 2007 Law for Historical Memory that experts and activists agreed fell far short of emptying the hundreds of still-untouched mass graves and addressing many other issues.

Spain’s political right is furious about the new Democratic Memory law, claiming it takes the country backward and opens old wounds.

“Today, the government is passing a false history law,” Ivan Espinosa of the far-right party, Vox, the third-largest party in Spain’s Parliament, told reporters.

Espinosa said the new law is another attempt to divide Spaniards: “It is going to dynamite the pact that allowed for Spain’s democratic transition [1975-1978].”

Still, what’s drawn the most attention with the new Democratic Memory law are the tens of thousands of unmarked graves waiting to be exhumed.

In 2018, Jessica Flores’ aging father submitted his DNA to a regional database of war victims.

Jèssica Flores visits the mass grave in northeast Spain where her paternal grandfather, Andreu Flores, was found and identified after 83 years. Andreu Flores died from wounds suffered during the Battle of the Ebro, the bloodiest clash of the Spanish civil war. For decades thereafter, under the dictator Francisco Franco, victims' families were forbidden from searching for their missing kin.

Credit:

Gerry Hadden/The World

Her father died before a match came through but the results showed that Andreu Flores’ remains were among 177 victims buried behind an old stone house that had been used as a field hospital. Andreu Flores died of a head wound in one of the war’s bloodiest clashes, the Battle of the Ebro.

The exhumations and DNA matching is still fairly new. So, when Jessica Flores got the call this year saying her grandfather had been identified, she was incredulous.

“But more than anything, I felt joy,” she said. “Joy that we’ll have his remains. That we’ll be able to lay flowers, knowing where he is.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Two children die of hepatitis of unknown origin in Spain

Two children diagnosed with hepatitis of unknown origin have died in Spain. This, referring to the country's Ministry of Health, was reported by the ABC publication.

We are talking about children aged one and four years — from the city of Murcia and the autonomous community of Andalusia. It is noted that they died after liver transplantation operations.

About the disease of children with acute hepatitis of unknown origin in Spain became known in mid-April. According to the Ministry of Health of the country, almost 50 cases of the disease have already been detected.

Recall that at the end of April, the so-called childhood hepatitis was recorded in 12 European countries — about 40 cases among children aged 1 month to 16 years.

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Surfing scientists in Spain are hunting down microplastics 

class=”MuiTypography-root-126 MuiTypography-h1-131″>Surfing scientists in Spain are hunting down microplastics 

​​​​​​​Plastic is everywhere. Scientists have found the stuff in just about every corner of the planet, even through the high seas. But getting a better understanding of what's going on here, where the plastic waste comes from, and what it is, can still be challenging. That's especially true along shallow coastlines.

The WorldJuly 29, 2022 · 4:30 PM EDT

Carlota Mateu, right, and fellow student Mireia Gonzalez, bring the microplastics trawler net to shore for inspection.

Gerry Hadden/The World

On a recent dawn on the beach in Barcelona, the sky was black with thunder clouds. It was hardly beach weather, but a couple of vacationing students, Carlota Pinella and Mireia Gonzalez, rented paddle boards anyway.

Pinella unfurled something that looked like a mesh windsock, with a wooden yoke at the wide, open end.

“You just unroll it and clip it to your board with this carabiner and you tow it, floating, behind the board,” she said.

As Pinella paddled, the contraption filtered sea water, catching something you might not notice: tiny filaments and beads of microplastic.

The University of Barcelona’s microplastic trawl awaits unfurling on a sidewalk in front of a paddle board rental shop.

Credit:

Gerry Hadden/The World

Plastic is everywhere. Scientists have found the stuff in just about every corner of the planet, even through the high seas. But getting a better understanding of what's going on here, where the plastic waste comes from, and what it is, can still be challenging. That's especially true along shallow coastlines.

That's why hundreds of sea-lovers are taking to the western Mediterranean this summer to kayak, surf — and, it turns out, hunt for microplastics. The program, Surfing for Science, is part of a citizen science project where volunteers collect and share data with investigators who are often too busy for extensive field work. 

“This really interests me because it’s a way to help with a huge problem close to where I live,” Pinella said. 

And with that, she turned on her telephone GPS app and paddled off, the plastic trawl in tow. It looked like she was being followed by a small, white shark with wooden jaws.

It’s a curious sight for the few folks on the sand this early. Carlos Silva, a.k.a. Arkanoh, a rapper from Venezuela, was downing his last beer after an all-nighter with friends. They’d been watching Pinella and Gonzalez, and wondering.

“Microplastics are interesting,” he said. “You know, last I heard, there are microplastics in our drinking water.”

“It’s true,” said his friend Samuel Insesi, a sushi chef originally from Senegal. “Plastic is everywhere. Especially in Africa,” he said. “It is going to affect all of our lives.”

Soon enough, Pinella returned to the beach to make sure the trawl was working.

“This is what’s great about citizen science,” she said. “It draws in the general public even if they don’t understand the technical aspects of the science.”

But it turns out those two observing from the beach were spot on.

“We’ve already collected some microplastic. They appear to be from plastic bottles, but they need to be analyzed,” Pinella said, lifting the little catch-pouch.

The analysis happens just up the hill, in a lab at the University of Barcelona. Volunteers drop off their samples, and oceanographer Anna Sanchez studies them under a microscope and counts them one by one.

Carlota Mateu, a college student, volunteers this summer trawling for microplastics just off the beach in Barcelona. The water here is too shallow for scientific vessels.

Credit:

Gerry Hadden/The World

“What we found is that there's a lot of plastic on the near shore,” she said. “In beaches here in the western Mediterranean, we found more plastic near big cities such as Barcelona. And we found also a big role for the old breakers and the ports as plastic-trapping areas.”

That’s where the plastic is. But Sanchez is also studying their origins. There are the usual suspects: A red speck is most likely from the top of a Coca-Cola bottle. Transparent white strands come from one-use shopping bags. Then, there are some surprises.

“Yes, it was like, what are these polyethylene green filaments?” she said.  “And then, we realized that that’s artificial turf,” for sports fields. 

“Everybody uses artificial turf for decoration, and for playing sports,” she said. “And in the end, it’s plastic.”

Sanchez said that even if all plastic manufacturing was halted tomorrow, levels in the oceans would rise for decades as waste continues to wash to the sea.

“The most important thing, I think is [for] people to realize the scale,” she said. “There's a sample taken from October last year where we found 45 species of plastic in each square meter. That's a huge amount of plastic.”

And it's a huge amount of work to classify it all. Without the volunteer help, Sanchez said, she’d be light years behind in identifying microplastics — the first step needed for actually getting rid of them. 

Wildfires continue to surge across Spain amid 100-degree temps, drought

class=”MuiTypography-root-134 MuiTypography-h1-139″>Wildfires continue to surge across Spain amid 100-degree temps, drought

Evacuees in the Spanish village of Sant Fruitós de Bages, about an hour outside of Barcelona, have testified to the destruction. "In 15 or 20 minutes, the fire consumed everything," a resident said.

The WorldJuly 21, 2022 · 3:30 PM EDT

Spanish firefighters extinguish small fires that reignite under the scorching midday sun.

Gerry Hadden/The World

Europe’s spate of fierce wildfires abated somewhat Thursday amid cooler temperatures, with French firefighters starting to get the upper hand over two major blazes, Spain taming a fire that killed two people and no new outbreaks reported in Portugal.

But a fire in Slovenia on the border with Italy kicked up strongly Thursday, forcing the evacuation of three villages.

If the temperature in Spain doesn’t drop from the high 90s soon fires like this one are likely to start across the bone-dry region.

Credit:

Gerry Hadden/The World

Spanish firefighters were tackling nine blazes, with two said to be especially dangerous in the northwestern Galicia region. Some of the 11,000 people evacuated because of the fires in Spain began returning home, and a major highway in the northwestern Zamora province reopened after two days.

Temperatures above 104 degrees and a drought have worsened Spain's wildfires this year. Thursday's highest temperature in Spain was forecast to be 90 degrees.

The largest wildfire in northeast Spain, as of mid-July, consumed more than 4,000 acres in a single night. In Sant Fruitós de Bages about an hour outside of Barcelona, hundreds of people were evacuated from their homes.

Francisco Hernandez was in a field in front of a charred hillside forest and saw the blaze firsthand.

The wildfire in northeast Spain has reached homes and highways.

Credit:

Gerry Hadden/The World

“I came down around 4:30 in the afternoon, and that entire hillside was a ball of fire,” he said. “In 15 or 20 minutes, the fire consumed everything.”

Hernandez said four or five helicopters were dumping water over the land, but it didn’t have any effect. He was terrified that the fire would cross a farmer’s field and reach his home.

“But luckily, some farmers came and plowed [to get rid of low grass and brush] in front of our street,” he said. “Otherwise, that fire could have reached my home within 10 minutes.”

Waiting to go back home 

Hernandez got lucky. About 1,000 other nearby residents were forced to flee. Many slept in the local civic center on Red Cross cots.

The next morning, people were milling about, waiting to find out if it was safe to go back home. Like Toni, who asked not to use his full name, who sat at the civic center  with his dog, Boss.

Evacuees in the Spanish town of Sant Fruitós de Bages wait to learn of the fate of their homes as a huge wildfire rages nearby.

Credit:

Gerry Hadden/The World

“We have been evacuated from a housing development called Les Brocardes,” he said. “It’s been a day, and we don’t know whether our houses have been damaged.”

Toni said that he and his wife stayed in their home until the last minute, trying to wet the trees down with the garden hose as the flames approached. Looking back, he said, it was absurd.

“When it became hard to breathe, and we saw that all the neighbors’ cars were gone, we decided we had to leave, too.”

Twin sisters, Mireia Vila and Rose Vila were also at the civic center, waiting for news too, about their family home.

A civic center in Sant Fruitós de Bages, Spain, was prepared to sleep evacuees a second night.

Credit:

Gerry Hadden/The World

“It is very sad because we have a lot of memories with the swimming pool, all the trees that we have planted. Every single space you see,” Mireia Vila said. “You remember your childhood.”

“People from [Les] Brocardes are like a family,” Rose Vila said. “Everybody knows everybody. It’s like a crisis in a family. It is not the houses.”

Nor is it the stuff in the houses that really matters, she said.  

More than 4,000 acres have burned in the fire outside Sant Fruitós de Bages, Spain.

Credit:

Gerry Hadden/The World

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

‘Either they die, or we do’: A rabbit plague threatens farmers’ livelihoods in northeast Spain

class=”MuiTypography-root-134 MuiTypography-h1-139″>‘Either they die, or we do’: A rabbit plague threatens farmers’ livelihoods in northeast Spain

A plague of rabbits is rampaging through one of Europe’s most bountiful farming regions. Farmers in northeast Spain say that, without help, they’ll lose most of this year’s harvests.  

The WorldJuly 20, 2022 · 3:00 PM EDT

Farmers in northeast Spain say the rabbits are wreaking havoc on crops like peaches, pistachios, olives and grapes.

Gerry Hadden/The World

At midday during a sweltering heat wave, farmers in northeastern Spain would normally be heading from their fields to the shade of the village bar. But farmers Ramon Bonet, Ramon Boleda and Joan Bonet are stuck driving around counting rabbits.

Around the village of Verdú, just outside the city of Lleida, they see dozens of them scamper among crops and dart in and out of underground warrens.

“The rabbits have chewed the skin off the vines,” Boleda said. “This vine is done for. This entire harvest is lost.”

Rabbits in Spain are nothing new, but this year’s population explosion is unusual. Locals fear the long-eared bunnies may have gained a permanent upper hand and they’re wreaking havoc on crops like peaches, pistachios, olives and grapes.

Grapevines destroyed by Lleida’s plague of rabbits, causing millions of dollars in damage.

Credit:

Gerry Hadden/The World

The plantations around the city of Lleida are sometimes called Europe’s fruit basket. There are millions of dollars at stake here, as well as the supply of many farm products favored by shoppers from Berlin to Budapest.

A short drive away, Boleda found new losses among his pistachio trees.

“The rabbits eat the bark all around the trunk,” he said.  “They’ve destroyed more than 400 trees.”

Boleda said that’s about $100,000 down the rabbit hole. And the plague is getting worse. There are now up to 1,000 rabbits per square kilometer here, local farmers say. Fifty is the acceptable number, according to the Spanish government.

A grapevine has been killed off by marauding rabbits. 

Credit:

Gerry Hadden/The World

Everyone agrees the bunnies need to be culled. The problem is how to do it.

After the drive around, Ramon Bonet tested his 12-gauge shotgun. He said rabbits have always lived in Iberia — in 300 BC, the Carthaginians named the peninsula España, or Land of Rabbits, and it stuck.

Humans and bunnies have long coexisted. But recent hotter temperatures are causing rabbits to reproduce faster. Bonet said the pandemic hasn’t helped.

“During these years of COVID restrictions,” he said, “no one was out hunting. … Plus, there are just fewer hunters in general. Our average age is now over 60.”

But hunting is the only tool farmers have.

Antoni Torres, a local hunting warden, said that in Lleida county alone, rabbits have overrun 99% of the farmland.

“We’d need to double the number of hunters,” he said, to reduce rabbit numbers.

“But then you create other problems. You can’t have that many people with guns hunting at once.”

 “We need to be able to put out poison,” Ramon Bonet said. “Either they die, or we do.”

The remains of a rabbit most likely shot by a hunter. On a busy night a single hunter can bag close to a hundred rabbits. But it’s not enough to stop their numbers from increasing.

Credit:

Gerry Hadden/The World

That’s exactly what was written on a giant sign residents woke up to on a recent Sunday. It was hanging from this bridge on the edge of Verdú. “Farmers or rabbits,” it read.

And there was something else. Dead rabbits were hung off the bridge with ropes around their necks.

The anonymous gesture attracted TV crews, and sparked a minor, unexpected animal rights backlash in the village.

“The next day the animal rights folks had hung their own sign,” farmer Joan Bonet said.

“It said, ‘to protest, you don’t need to shed blood.’ It had a picture of a bunny giving us the finger,” he said.

The farmers here will keep protesting, as they did recently, driving through town on their tractors.

Officials have offered up to 300 humane no-kill rabbit traps, but farmers have laughed at the offer, saying that it's impractical.

They hope that if shoppers find less produce to choose from this coming fall, society might support their fight to keep the rabbits in check.

Related: 'Fire flocks’ of sheep and goats get deployed to help battle forest fires in Spain

Europe broils in heat wave that fuels fires in France, Spain

class=”MuiTypography-root-126 MuiTypography-h1-131″>Europe broils in heat wave that fuels fires in France, Spain

The hot weather in the UK was expected to be so severe this week that train operators warned it could warp the rails and some schools set up wading pools to help children cool off. French forecasters also warned of possible record temperatures as swirling hot winds complicated firefighting efforts in the country's southwest.

Associated PressJuly 18, 2022 · 10:15 AM EDT

This photo provided by the fire brigade of the Gironde region (SDIS 33) shows a wildfire near Landiras, southwestern France, July 17, 2022 . Firefighters battled wildfires raging out of control in France and Spain on Sunday as Europe wilted under an unusually extreme heat wave that authorities in Madrid blamed for hundreds of deaths.

SDIS 33 via AP

A heat wave broiling Europe spilled northward Monday to Britainand fueled ferocious wildfires in Spain and France, which evacuated thousands of people and scrambled water-bombing planes and firefighters to battle flames spreading through tinder-dry forests.

Two people were killed in the blazes in Spain that the country's prime minister linked to global warming, saying: “Climate change kills."

In recent days, unusually high temperatures have gripped swaths of Europe, triggering wildfires from Portugal to the Balkan region. Some countries are also experiencing extended droughts. Climate change makes such life-threatening extremes less of a rarity — and has brought heat waves even to places like Britain, which braced for possibly record-breaking temperatures.

The hot weather in the UK was expected to be so severe this week that train operators warned it could warp the rails and some schools set up wading pools to help children cool off.

French forecasters also warned of possible record temperatures as swirling hot winds complicated firefighting efforts in the country's southwest.

“The fire is literally exploding,” said Marc Vermeulen, the regional fire service chief who described tree trunks shattering as flames consumed them, sending burning embers into the air and further spreading the blazes.

“We’re facing extreme and exceptional circumstances,” he said.

Authorities started evacuating more towns, moving another 11,500 people from areas at risk of finding themselves in the path of the fires and their thick clouds of choking smoke. That will take the number of people who have been forced out of their homes in the Gironde region to nearly 28,000 since the wildfires began July 12.

Three additional planes were sent to join six others already fighting the fires, scooping up seawater into their tanks and making repeated runs through dense clouds of smoke, the Interior Ministry said Sunday night.

More than 200 reinforcements headed to join the 1,500-strong force of firefighters battling night and day to contain the blazes in the Gironde, where flames neared prized vineyards and the Arcachon maritime basin famed for its oysters and beaches.

Spain, meanwhile, reported a second fatality in two days as it battled its own blazes. The body of a 69-year-old sheep farmer was found Monday in the same hilly area where a 62-year-old firefighter died a day earlier when he was trapped by flames in the northwestern Zamora province. More than 30 forest fires around Spain have forced the evacuation of thousands of people and blackened 220 square kilometers (85 square miles) of forest and scrub.

Climate scientists say heat waves are more intense, more frequent and longer because of climate change — and coupled with droughts have made wildfires harder to fight. They say climate change will continue to make weather more extreme and wildfires more frequent and destructive.

“Climate change kills,” Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said Monday during a visit to the Extremadura region, where firefighters tackled three major blazes. “It kills people, it kills our ecosystems and biodiversity."

Teresa Ribera, Spain’s minister for ecological transition, described her country as “literally under fire” as she attended talks on climate change in Berlin.

She warned of “terrifying prospects still for the days to come" — after more than 10 days of temperatures over 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit), cooling only moderately at night.

According to Spain’s Carlos III Institute, which records daily temperature-related fatalities, 237 deaths were attributed to high temperatures from July 10 to 14. That was compared to 25 heat-related deaths the previous week.

The heat wave in Spain is forecast to ease on Tuesday, but the respite will be brief as temperatures rise again on Wednesday, especially in the dry western Extremadura region.

In Britain, officials have issued the first-ever extreme heat warning, and the weather service forecast that the record high of 38.7 C (101.7 F), set in 2019, could be shattered.

“Forty-one isn’t off the cards,” said Met Office CEO Penelope Endersby. “We’ve even got some 43s in the model, but we’re hoping it won’t be as high as that.”

The Balkans region has also seen sporadic wildfires, and is expecting the worst of the heat later this week.

Early on Monday, authorities in Slovenia said firefighters managed to bring one fire under control. Croatia sent a water-dropping plane there to help battle the flames after struggling last week with its own wildfires along the Adriatic Sea coast. A fire in Sibenik forced some people to evacuate their homes but was later extinguished.

In Portugal, much cooler weather Monday helped fire crews make progress against blazes. More than 600 firefighters attended four major fires in northern Portugal.

Ukrainian refugees found shelter in Spain’s empty hotels. But then, tourists came back.

class=”MuiTypography-root-134 MuiTypography-h1-139″>Ukrainian refugees found shelter in Spain’s empty hotels. But then, tourists came back.

Beach towns like Calella turned their hotels, shut down by the pandemic, into safe havens for thousands of Ukrainians fleeing the war. But with tourists back, refugees are struggling to find more reliable forms of accommodation.

The WorldJuly 7, 2022 · 4:00 PM EDT

Tourists enjoy the summer weather at the beach of Calella, Spain, Aug. 16, 2009. Spain is a popular tourist spot for summer holiday-goers with plentiful beaches and high temperatures registered throughout most of the country.

Manu Fernandez/AP

Iryna Levyk fled Ukraine with her two kids at the onset of the Russian invasion, urged by her husband, who had to stay behind. 

They found shelter in Calella, a seaside town in Spain where hotels left empty by the coronavirus pandemic were turned into safe havens for refugees.

Kids played in the hotel hall, and families from all over Ukraine got together and supported each other. 

Related: Refugees find a welcome in Catalan Guissona’s ‘Little Ukraine’

“It was very warmhearted,” Levyk recalled. “We were all on the same boat.”

But as the weather got warmer, and COVID-19 restrictions were lifted, tourists began to flock in, forcing Ukrainian families out. 

During the last week of June, Levyk and her children had to pack up and go to another hotel in Calella. 

“It’s completely normal,” she shrugged. “This is a touristic place, and this is what they live off [of].”

Calella, a town of nearly 20,000 in the northwestern autonomous region of Catalonia, is a poster child for one of the country’s most popular touristic assets: beach towns on the Mediterranean coast.

With the local economy relying heavily on tourism, the long-awaited arrival of international visitors this summer is seen by some as the light at the end of the tunnel.

It’s not only Calella — it’s Spain as a whole. After a two-year hiatus from the coronavirus pandemic, tourism is back. The turning point came this past April with the Easter holiday: Tourists spent $8.1 billion — nearing prepandemic levels, and 10 times more than the same month a year ago. 

But for Ukrainian refugees, the return of tourism is also revealing just how challenging it is to find long-term accommodation.  

Moving around 

In Spain, 120,000 Ukrainians have been granted asylum since the war began. Calella has hosted around 1,500 of them at some point in the past months, and more than 600 are still there, according to local officials.

Spain’s refugee reception system, which is run with support from nonprofits such as the Red Cross, provides people with shelter upon their arrival.

Unlike other European countries, which relied more heavily on local families to host refugees, Spain has used its vast network of hotels to provide shelter.

But more recently, many Ukrainians have had to leave their hotel rooms, which had been booked by tourists paying high season fees. 

It’s something that refugees are warned about — they might be taken somewhere else at any point while they’re in the early stages of the program.

“They don't have the right to choose the place where they are going to be staying.”

 Cristina Domínguez,  coordinator of the international protection program of the Red Cross

“They don't have the right to choose the place where they are going to be staying,” said Cristina Domínguez, the coordinator of the international protection program of the Red Cross.

But the longer refugees stay in one place, even if they know it’s provisional, the more familiar they get with their new community, and the harder it will be to leave.

A councilor for the local government of Calella, Montse Mateu, said that some Ukrainian families had a hard time leaving the town, but otherwise, had no option if they were to remain beneficiaries of the reception program.

“They would be left with zero, with no aid, so it’s better for them to stay inside the program,” Mateu said.

Still, she takes pride in how Calella has welcomed Ukranians and is saddened by media reports about refugees being ejected from hotels, arguing that everybody is doing their best to help them. 

“Nobody has been kicked out,” she said.

Affordable housing in short supply 

Leyk said that she is looking forward to finding a job and getting her own apartment with financial support from the government. But that may take time. 

While Calella has plenty of hotels, cheap apartments are in short supply.

In Spain, the rate of affordable housing per 100 people is one of the smallest in Europe: 0.9, four times below the EU average of 3.8, according to a 2020 report by the Spanish government.

There are 290,000 apartments that qualify as social housing — roughly the same number as those categorized as tourist accommodation.

For now, Levyk said that she is happy to stay in the hotel — but while she may live next door to tourists, she is not on a vacation. 

“Every day, every minute, in our heart, we remember why we are here. And we’re really grateful for this.”

With no end in sight for the war, Levyk hopes that Western allies will double down on support for her country.

“Ukraine really needs help with closing the sky, because many civilians including children are dying every day from bombs and rockets,” she said.

In the meantime, she has no option but to wait and continue to settle down in Spain.

“It would be the most unbelievable and great thing that the war finishes and we can all safely go home, but for now, we have what we have,” she said.

Her kids are on school break, which means that she can’t look for a job now. School resumes in September, which coincides with the end of the tourist season, so maybe finding an apartment will be easier then.

Spain and Algeria at odds over Western Sahara, energy and migration

class=”MuiTypography-root-134 MuiTypography-h1-139″>Spain and Algeria at odds over Western Sahara, energy and migration

Last week, Algeria severed trade and diplomatic ties with Spain, and has now threatened to cut off coveted gas sales — which have been protected under a two-decade-old friendship treaty.

The WorldJune 22, 2022 · 1:00 PM EDT

The Krechba gas plant in Algeria's Sahara Desert, about 720 miles south of the capital, Algiers, Dec. 14, 2008.

Alfred de Montesquiou/AP/File photo

Europe has struck a deal to buy natural gas from Israel to make up for lost Russian imports.

Madrid, no doubt, is happy about the decision, because Spain’s biggest gas provider, Algeria, is threatening to close the taps, or raise prices.

So far, Algeria hasn’t followed through on its threats to cut supplies or charge more. But last week, Algeria severed trade and diplomatic ties with Spain, and has now threatened to cut off coveted gas sales.

Related: 'Fire flocks’ of sheep and goats get deployed to help battle forest fires in Spain

This comes after Spain upended a long-standing agreement with Algeria regarding its former colony, Western Sahara. Spain backed Morocco's claim that the region should have some limited autonomy, while remaining under Moroccan rule. (About 80% of the country is controlled by Morocco, and the other 20% by the independence-seeking Polisario Front.)

The dispute has brought up conflicts with Algeria around energy prices, the border and migration. 

Years of fighting 

The conflicts are rooted in one of those seemingly intractable geopolitical stalemates. Since the Spanish left Western Sahara in 1975, Morocco and Algeria have been at odds, sometimes violently, over the region’s future.  

After years of desert fighting between Morocco and Algeria, and Morocco and the Polisario Front, a ceasefire went into effect in 1991. But Morocco still wants the vast region to its south. It says it was once part of a greater Morocco. And Algeria backs the Polisario Front in Western Sahara.

The United Nations, meanwhile, has long said the people of Western Sahara, the Saharawi, should decide their own fate. For nearly half a century, no one has quite known what to do next. So, most countries have essentially done nothing. Until recently.

This past spring, Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez told Parliament that he was backing Morocco’s plan for autonomy in Western Sahara, under Moroccan rule. In return, Sanchez said, “we’ve protected our territorial claims.” That is, Spanish sovereignty over Ceuta and Melilla.

Migration issues 

Ceuta and Melilla are Spanish enclaves in North Africa, surrounded by Morocco — vestiges from the colonial era —and Morocco lays claim to them. They’re also significant because they are among the places from where migrants are constantly trying to cross into Europe.

Professor Rafael Grasa at Barcelona’s Autonomous University said that Spain may have struck this sudden deal to solve that border problem.

“Spain could no longer accept the avalanches of migrants encouraged by Morocco. Or the shocking news reports of people being hurt.”

Rafael Grasa,  Barcelona’s Autonomous University

“Spain could no longer accept the avalanches of migrants encouraged by Morocco,” he said. “Or the shocking news reports of people being hurt.”

Last March, some 1,300 migrants, mostly from sub-Saharan countries, rushed the fences in Ceuta. Hundreds made it over. But many got cut on the barbed-wire or hurt in tussles with police.

“Spain believed this was never going to end, which appears to be why it decided to negotiate,” Grasa said.

Related: Barcelona is one of Europe's loudest cities. It's trying to turn down the volume.

By backing Morocco’s plans for Western Sahara, Spain may have gained some stability at its North African borders. But the deal comes at the expense of its relationship with Algeria, according to Dr. Hisham Hellyer at Cambridge University’s Center for Islamic Studies.

He said that using migrants as leverage to gain concessions from Europe isn’t new.

“So, the Turks have done that and other states in North Africa as well,” he said. “And of course, when it came to the Turks, they got a huge payoff from the EU.”

The European Union has paid Turkey hundreds of millions of dollars to ensure that huge numbers of, particularly Syrian, refugees are taken care of in Turkey.

“So that Europeans wouldn't have to deal with them,” Hellyer said.

“Migrants to Spain come through Morocco, Libya and Algeria,” Grasa said.

In fact, on June 8, on the day that Algeria cut diplomatic ties with Spain, 113 African refugees reached the Spanish island of Mallorca. They’d set sail from Algeria.

A 'diplomatic blunder'?

Grasa calls the Moroccan deal a diplomatic blunder. Especially when you factor in something in short supply these days: natural gas.

As Europe weans itself off Russian gas, Spain’s buying a lot more gas from the US. But it’s expensive, and fuel prices of all sorts have shot up there.

At a Barcelona gas station, 32-year-old delivery driver Alex Manuel pumps about $55 of gasoline into his truck. It’s just a third of a tank. But he’s short on cash.

“When gas prices go up, so does the price of food, transportation, everything,” he said. “The only thing that hasn’t gone up is my salary.”

But in diplomacy there’s always a Plan B — and C — Hellyer said. And the public may not know what’s going on behind closed doors.

“I would suspect very strongly that the Spaniards wouldn't have taken this step without being very, sort of, open-eyed about what sort of risks and what sort of benefits [there are],” he said.

Hellyer also points out that Spain isn’t alone in backing Morroco’s autonomy plan for Western Sahara. France, Germany, and the Netherlands have given it the nod, as has the US.

‘Fire flocks’ of sheep and goats get deployed to help battle forest fires in Spain

class=”MuiTypography-root-134 MuiTypography-h1-139″>'Fire flocks’ of sheep and goats get deployed to help battle forest fires in Spain

Shepherds in Spain are now training to start “fire flocks" that graze at the edge of forests to prevent wildfires from spreading to populated areas.

The WorldJune 14, 2022 · 2:00 PM EDT

Forest firefighters work on a wildfire near the town of Jubrique, in Malaga province, Spain, Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021. 

Pedro Armestre/AP

As summer nears in Europe, firefighters in Spain are gearing up to battle forest fires.  

On a recent day, men armed with gas-powered weed-whackers were working the perimeter of Barcelona, a city hemmed in by the sea on one side and, inland, by a huge forest called Collserola Park. 

Here, where the city meets nature’s edge, it’s crucial to keep the area clean in order to prevent forest fires. Shepherds are now being trained to start “fire flocks,” herds of sheep and goats that graze at the edge of forests to prevent wildfires from spreading to populated areas.

Related: Barcelona is one of Europe's loudest cities. It's trying to turn down the volume.

Weed-whacking worker Richard Verdum laughed at the idea. “If you bring in sheep and goats, they’ll eat everything within reach. All the vegetation will die,” he said.

But experts say that’s not exactly right. Spanish ecology professor Ferran Paunè explained that unchecked forest growth has thrown Spain’s countryside out of balance and goats and sheep — natural ruminants, or grazers — can help.

“As a society we look at a forest as a very good thing. … But for our countries,  it is a big problem, because there are few wild animals in the woods."

Ferran Paunè, ecology professor

“As a society we look at a forest as a very good thing,” he said. “But for our countries, it is a big problem, because there are few wild animals in the woods,” he said — and virtually none that graze.

“You recover vegetation, but not fauna. If you do not have herbivores, you have fire,” Paunè said.

Four flocks of sheep and goats are now working the hills above Barcelona. 

Dani Sanchez, 35, said his so-called “fire flock” tidies up the forest better than any machine.

“My sheep and goats are firefighters. … They’re our firewall.”

Dani Sanchez, 35, shepherd

Barcelona shepherd Dani Sanchez, 35, follows his flock through a park just above the city. His "fire flock" eats the underbrush that can fuel forest fires.

Credit:

Gerry Hadden/The World

“My sheep and goats are firefighters,” he said with pride. “They’re our firewall.”

Sanchez leads his 130 animals through a stand of pines just yards from Barcelona’s outermost road — within earshot of the weed whackers.

Vast strips of forest floor look like they’ve been mowed over the last two months. 

Sanchez’s fire flock is part of a pilot program run by Paunè, the ecologist, and the Catalan government.

If all goes to plan, they’ll provide the entire Catalan region with flocks, from the Ebro Delta to the south, all the way to the French border.

“We need even more flocks out here grazing,” Sanchez said. 

A sign in Barcelona's Collserola Park reads "No lighting fires." The summer is about to begin and people across Spain are expecting an increase in fires with the high temperatures.

Credit:

Gerry Hadden/The World

‘This isn’t sustainable’

Hotter, dryer days due to climate change and neglect in keeping forests clean are two main reasons behind the increasing intensity of the fires. 

Last year, in the Catalonia region of Spain, there were a record 51 blazes in July alone. 

One of last summer’s worst fires swept through the mountains about an hour away from Barcelona. Overnight, a 30-foot-high wall of flames incinerated about 7,400 acres of dense, overgrown wilderness. 

Planes and helicopters dumped water as local farmers bulldozed crops, making a protective fire-cut around the town of Santa Coloma de Queralt. Their actions likely saved the village.

Related: Residents remember their losses as they rebuild from La Palma's volcanic eruption

The next day, fire inspector David Borrell said that it’d be much more affordable to pay people to return to the countryside — to become its custodians again — compared to spending millions in fighting these ever-bigger and more frequent fires, or having to rebuild afterward. 

“This isn’t sustainable,” he said. 

Spain’s forests have grown large as people abandon the countryside for cities.

“Having a mix of farms, forests and grazing lands lets us to break up these large forests."

Related: Spain vows to help rebuild La Palma after devastating volcano eruption

A new generation of shepherds 

Back in Barcelona, Sanchez passes mountain bikers and hikers all day long. Occasionally, he scolds a dog owner for not using a leash. 

But mostly, people enjoy the presence of his flocks. 

“Ever since the sheep arrived, we’ve been running into each other,” a young jogger said as he ran by. “It’s great. It also gives Barcelona residents a different view on nature.” 

But where there are flocks, there must also be shepherds. 

As fate would have it, for reasons ranging from COVID-19 to worries over global warming, the job is gaining in popularity — even among younger people. 

An hour south of Barcelona, some 20 young people attended shepherding school under a hot June sun. 

One class taught how to use flocks to clear land around the suburbs — they call it “precision grazing.” An instructor explained how out-of-control fires can easily sweep through residential areas. 

But fire prevention isn’t what pushed 24-year-old Aina Solana to leave behind her life in downtown Barcelona, where she’d been a dancer and student. 

“I remember one day walking the streets of Barcelona,” she said. “Looking around, I said to myself, I don’t see beauty here.”

Related: Foragers in Catalonia embrace a new mushroom-hunting season after last year’s strict lockdown

Shepherd-in-training Aina Solana rests with goats on a hot day. Losana has given up city life to reconnect with her roots and with nature.

Credit:

Courtesy of Paroma Basu

Last year, Solana moved to her ancestral home, high in the Pyrenees, where her grandparents had been shepherds. 

She decided to follow their path.

“In Barcelona, I didn’t even know what I was eating or where it came from. Now that I’ve returned to the country, I know that my eggs come from my neighbor. It gives me peace of mind.”

Aina Solana, 24, shepherd-in-training

“In Barcelona,” she said, “I didn’t even know what I was eating or where it came from. Now that I’ve returned to the country, I know that my eggs come from my neighbor. It gives me peace of mind.”

Solana and her classmates are nearly finished with their studies. 

Afterwards, they could choose a solitary life in the mountains, or join a cheesemaking co-op.

But the shepherding gig with the most openings? Leading a so-called fire flock.

Because the rate of forest fires is only likely to increase.

Contagious example of Rwanda: Biden decided to send refugees to Spain

Ukrainians are being discouraged from traveling to the US via Mexico

US President Joe Biden announced the need to “stop dangerous human migration routes” and announced a plan to send refugees seeking the United States to Spain . The head of the White House promises to secure the US-Mexican border and stop the “dangerous journey north.”

Photo: Global Look Press

Biden lashed out at illegal immigration in his speech at the Summit of the Americas, where he and other leaders pledged to end the smuggling of people across the border, writes the Daily Mail.

The President of the United States issued tough remarks amid record immigration that has caused political problems for his administration since his early days in office.

“We need to stop the dangerous and illegal ways people migrate,” he said. Biden delivered a speech in Los Angeles, where he hosted the “Summit of the Americas.”

“Illegal migration is unacceptable,” the US president said, and issued a stern warning to human traffickers: “We're coming for you.”

“If you are hunting desperate and vulnerable migrants for profit, we are coming for you,” the American president warned. “And we will secure our borders, including through innovative coordinated action with our regional partners,” he said.

Biden spoke as yet another migrant caravan headed for the US amid ongoing problems on the Mexican border .

“Mexico, Guatemala, Canada, and Spain are also committing themselves today to expand employment pathways to their countries,” Biden said. “And in addition to securing our border and cleaning up asylum processing in the United States, the Department of Homeland Security is conducting a first-of-its-kind anti-human smuggling campaign in the region.”

According to a White House fact sheet, “Spain will double the number of job paths for Hondurans to participate in Spanish circular migration programs.”

On Friday, the United States released a long list of measures to deal with the migration crisis. The White House is touting a series of programs agreed to by countries across the hemisphere and Spain as an observer that include attracting more guest workers and providing legal pathways for people from poorer countries to work in richer ones. (Here you can see parallels with the scheme developed in the UK, according to which asylum seekers arriving illegally on British soil are supposed to be sent to the African country of Rwanda while their applications are being processed.)

The Biden administration, faced with a record influx of illegal migrants on its southern border, has pledged hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to Venezuelan migrants across the region, reintroduced family visas for Cubans and Haitians, and made it easier to hire workers from Central America.

The announcements made on the final day of the Los Angeles summit are part of a US-led pact dubbed the Los Angeles Declaration that aims to create incentives for countries that host large numbers of migrants and share responsibility across the region. But some political analysts are skeptical of the promises, some of which seem mostly symbolic, significant enough to be significant.

Joe Biden's statements on the migrant issue came shortly after he announced at the end of March that the United States was ready to accept “up to one hundred thousand Ukrainians and other people” forced to leave their homes after the start of the Russian special operation in Ukraine. However, there is a considerable difference between the presidential invitation and the real state of affairs.

A couple of weeks ago, the organizers of the camp for Ukrainian refugees who went to Mexico announced that they would soon close it, and began to dissuade Ukrainians from traveling to this Latin American country, still in Europe and hoping to get to the US through the Mexican border. After the opening of this camp in the eastern part of Mexico City, about a thousand Ukrainians passed through it. Representatives of organizations helping refugees said that Ukrainians who are still in Europe should register for the US government program and not spend money and energy on a trip to Mexico. Before the camp was set up in Mexico City, Ukrainians traveled to Tijuana on the US-Mexico border.

“We ask people from Europe, Ukrainians, to go through the program from Europe, not to come to Mexico, because for them it is much more expensive,” call representatives of the “Unity for Ukraine” program announced by the US government on April 21.

Источник www.mk.ru

El País learned about Spain’s readiness to arm Ukraine with “Leopards”

El País: Spain is ready to supply Ukraine with Leopard tanks and Shorad Aspide air defense systems Madrid will transfer 40 Leopard A4 tanks to Kyiv after repairs, sources told the newspaper. According to The Objective, this will take one to three months. In Kyiv, they said earlier that there was not enough help from Spain, it would be enough “for two hours of fighting”

Leopard A4 tanks

The Spanish authorities are preparing to supply heavy weapons to Ukraine, the military aid package will include Leopard A4 tanks and a battery of short-range anti-aircraft missile systems Shorad Aspide, writes El País citing sources in the Spanish government.

We are talking about tanks that are stored at a military base in Zaragoza in the north-east of the country. Madrid received 108 used tanks from Germany in 1995 as part of a contract for the production of Leopard in Spain, the newspaper writes. Initially, the Spanish authorities intended to restore the received cars, but later, due to lack of funding, it was decided to leave them in storage. According to El País sources, Madrid intends to restore and transfer 40 Leopard A4 tanks to Kyiv.

Spain will also train the Ukrainian military to operate these tanks, the first stage of the training is planned to be held in Latvia, where a contingent of 500 Spanish military personnel with six Leopard 2E tanks is stationed. The second stage of preparation involves training in Spain, sources told the publication.

El País indicates that Madrid previously supplied Kyiv with ammunition, personal protective equipment and light weapons, such as machine guns and S-90 grenade launchers.

p>

Ukraine has previously reported low levels of military support from Madrid compared to other states. Ukrainian Ambassador to Spain Sergei Pogoreltsev said in early June that Kyiv was dissatisfied with the actions of Madrid, and the Spanish authorities could make more efforts, The Objective reported. According to the ambassador, the amount of weapons transferred by Madrid is 0.03% of the total amount of the Spanish arsenal.

The diplomat pointed out that Ukraine received 200 tons of military assistance from Spain, but this is not enough, they are only enough for “two hours of fighting”, Telemadrid reported. Pogoreltsev called for the urgent dispatch of 53 Leopard tanks from the Zaragoza base, 155mm howitzers, 120mm mortars, multiple launch rocket systems, anti-aircraft missile systems and Harpoon anti-ship missiles. Sources of The Objective also reported that a base in Latvia is being considered as a platform for training the Ukrainian military. The interlocutors of the portal added that the Spanish defense contractor Santa Bárbara Sistemas guaranteed the preparation of tanks for shipment within 1–3 months.

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In recent weeks, the Spanish Ministry of Defense has declared the uselessness of these machines and the “inexpediency” their use on the battlefield, points out The Objective. Leopard tanks will become “completely useless” for an army that does not know how to handle them, said the head of the defense headquarters, Admiral Teodoro López Calderon.

The Objective cites data from the European Commission, according to which the total amount of military support sent by Madrid to Kyiv is €4 million. €1.34 billion, and neutral Sweden— €127 million

The Spanish authorities announced the supply of light weapons to Ukraine in early March, the aid package provided for the shipment of 1,370 grenade launchers and 700,000 rifle and machine gun cartridges, along with light machine guns. The head of the Spanish government, Pedro Sanchez, noted that Madrid's deliveries include offensive weapons. In the left-wing opposition coalition, “United We Can” At the same time, they criticized the decision of the Prime Minister, calling it erroneous. According to the members of the coalition, this threatens to escalate the conflict, which should be resolved through diplomacy.

The supply of weapons by Western countries to Ukraine is also criticized by the Russian authorities. President Vladimir Putin claims Russian forces are “clicking” American weapons are like nuts, dozens of sets have been destroyed. His press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, has repeatedly said that the goals of the special operation will be achieved, despite the supply of weapons by Western countries. He believes that Western weapons will bring “more suffering” to the country.

“If NATO, in fact, goes to war with Russia through a proxy and arms this proxy, then in war as in war,” — Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned at the end of April.

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Источник rbc.ru

Spain will send machine guns and anti-tank grenade launchers to Ukraine

Spain will give Ukraine 1,370 grenade launchers, as well as light machine guns and 700,000 rounds of ammunition, RIA Novosti reports.

This was announced in a TV interview by the country's Defense Minister Margarita Robles.

According to her, two planes with offensive weapons will be sent on Friday morning.

“In the first batch there will be 1,370 anti-tank grenade launchers, 700,000 cartridges for rifles and machine guns, as well as light machine guns,” Robles noted.

According to the minister, the weapons will be delivered to Poland, to a point close to the border with Ukraine, from where they will be taken by the Ukrainian authorities.

On February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the the beginning of a military special operation on the territory of Ukraine. According to the head of state, its goal is the demilitarization and denazification of the country. At the same time, he stressed that Moscow's plans do not include the occupation of Ukrainian territories.

It was also previously reported that the United States this week delivered several hundred Stinger man-portable air defense systems to Ukraine.

Источник aif.ru

A coronavirus outbreak threatens Catalonia’s vital tourism industry

A coronavirus outbreak threatens Catalonia’s vital tourism industry

In previous years, throngs of tourists flocked to Antoni Gaudí’s masterpiece Sagrada Família basilica in Barcelona. But with hundreds of new outbreaks of the coronavirus in the northeast region of Catalonia, Spain's tourism industry is taking a serious hit.

By
Lucía Benavides

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People walk past the La Sagrada Família Basilica as the sun sets in Barcelona, Spain, July 30, 2020. Europe’s tourism revival is running into turbulence only weeks after countries reopened their borders, with rising infections in Spain and other nations causing increasing concern among health authorities over people bringing the coronavirus home from their summer vacations. 

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Felipe Dana/AP

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Barcelona’s Sagrada Família has never been this empty. On the pedestrian street in front of the world-famous basilica, children ride scooters, families take strolls and residents walk their dogs. 

In previous years, hundreds of tourists flocked to Antoni Gaudí’s masterpiece and took photos. But as Spain experiences what some are calling a “possible second wave” of the coronavirus — the northeast region of Catalonia, which includes Barcelona, is an area with one of the highest numbers of cases — the country’s tourism industry has taken a serious hit. 

“We wanted to take advantage since there aren’t many tourists,” said resident Francesc Guasch, who visits with his three sons, piling on top of each other on a skateboard and rolling down the hill. “We thought, let’s go see the Sagrada Família since even though we’re from here, we rarely come by.”

Related: Madrid residents long for green space during city park closures

The family has spent more time than usual exploring the city, riding bikes through the empty Gothic Quarter and going to restaurants that are usually packed. 

But Guasch is wary that fewer tourists have left many people without jobs and he worries about the economic fallout, especially since countries like the UK, Germany and France — who make up a large number of visitors to Spain — have discouraged travel here. 

Spain was particularly hard-hit when the coronavirus first arrived in Europe in February – but after a strict, three-month lockdown that began in mid-March, the number of new cases was brought down to a trickle. 

Since confinement measures lifted on June 21, however, people began to relax — and some tourists began to arrive.

In an attempt to contain the coronavirus, regional governments have implemented measures, like making it mandatory to wear masks in public spaces and banning meetings of more than 10 people. 

During a recent press conference, Catalan President Quim Torra urged residents to act responsibly or else face possible new confinement.

“The situation is too critical not to be taken seriously,” Torra said in Catalan. “The increase in outbreaks is worrying.”

Related: In Spain after lockdown, soccer resumes for men — but not for women

But then he directed his speech toward international viewers, in English, saying the situation is being closely monitored.

“Catalonia is definitely a safe and friendly destination for national and international visitors alike,” he said.

Politicians often share these mixed messages as they try to salvage what’s left of this year’s tourist season, which stalled for months due to the pandemic but usually accounts for 12% of the country’s gross domestic product. 

Earlier this week, Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez responded to the UK’s decision to impose a mandatory quarantine for those returning from Spain by saying the measure is “unjust.” By contrast, Spain’s health emergency chief, Fernando Simón, said the measure is sensible, considering the situation.

Related: This Spanish trio makes socially conscious music under lockdown

In this Sunday, May 31, 2020 file photo, local visitors enjoy a park next to the Antoni Gaudí’s La Sagrada Familia Basilica in Barcelona. Barcelona’s iconic La Sagrada Familia basilica has reopened its doors for visits exclusively for health workers after nearly four months being closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Credit:

Emilio Morenatti/file/AP 

Back at the Sagrada Família, kids continue to enjoy the fairly empty streets. Roxana Arévalo visits with her son and takes photos of him in front of the basilica. Arévalo says what she worries most about when it comes to the recent cases of the coronavirus is the city’s nightlife.

“I feel bad because I realize this is probably what generates the most amount of money,” she said. “But, in this situation, the government should have waited longer to reopen [nightclubs]. That’s likely what has caused an increase in cases.” 

Arévalo’s job wasn’t affected by the pandemic — she works in the cleaning department at a small air traffic control center in a city just outside Barcelona. But she is aware of the government’s financial support for laid-off workers and says it isn’t enough. She wants lawmakers to create more jobs — especially ones that are not tourism-dependent. 

“It’s all connected,” Arévalo said. “Those who aren’t working can’t go on vacation, because they’re holding back, so they aren’t spending. I don’t know how we’ll make it to October or November, much less to Christmas. Right now, there’s economic movement because people are living off of their savings, but later on, I think we’ll be worse off than now.”

EU may ban US travelers; Latin America sees COVID-19 surge; Palestinian officials call for probe into killing of youth

EU may ban US travelers; Latin America sees COVID-19 surge; Palestinian officials call for probe into killing of youth

By
The World staff

A man sits on his rickshaw waiting for clients, as Spain officially reopens the borders amid the coronavirus outbreak, in Barcelona, Spain, June 21, 2020.

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Nacho Doce/Reuters

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Top of The World — our morning news round up written by editors at The World. Subscribe here.

Backpacking through Europe will likely not be an option for US travelers this summer. As the European Union looks to reopen in July, the bloc is working to prevent additional outbreaks of the novel coronavirus by blocking entry from countries that have had unsuccessful or haphazard responses to the pandemic — including the US. Visitors from China, however, are likely to be welcomed.

Travel bans have become synonymous with the Trump administration. The president sparked ire in March after announcing a ban against most European travelers, though that move did not prevent the US from becoming an epicenter of the virus, with more than 2.3 million cases reported.   

On the EU’s draft list of banned travelers, the US keeps company with Brazil and Russia, which are also deemed unsafe by the EU’s epidemiological criteria. In all three of these countries, leadership downplayed the virus and responses have been chaotic. This week, a Brazilian judge ordered President Jair Bolsonaro, known for his blasé attitude about COVID-19, to wear a mask in Brasília or risk fines, reminding the president that he is not above the law. 

What The World is following

The novel coronavirus is accelerating in Latin America and the Caribbean; official deaths surpassed 100,000 Tuesday, though the true number is likely much higher. The virus is plunging millions into poverty, and criminal corruption scandals are threatening more lives. And as the virus surges in impoverised regions, aid agencies are scrambling to deliver a lifesaving resource: oxygen

Palestinian officials have called for an international probe into the killing of Ahmed Erekat after Israeli soldiers shot the 27-year-old man and prevented medical aid from reaching him for more than an hour. Israeli officials say they suspected Erekat to be involved in a car-ramming attack. His family disputes the allegations, and human rights groups have condemned Israel’s excessive use of force.

Tennis star Novak Djokovic tested positive for the coronavirus after organizing a tournament in Croatia. And, Major League Baseball announced plans to open the 2020 season in late July. 

From The WorldAmid global protests, Jamaicans confront their own problems with policing

People hold posters as they take part in a demonstration against the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, at the Emancipation Park in Kingston, Jamaica, June 6, 2020.

Credit:

Gilbert Bellamy/Reuters 

Jamaica shares the United States’ history of colonialism and slavery, and now has one of the highest rates of fatal police shootings. Activists there are thinking about what the global moment of police accountability could mean for their country.

The World is hosting a Facebook Live on the Latino conservative vote titled. “The Latino Republican: Issues and influence in the 2020 election.”

Credit:

Graphic by Maria Elena Romero/The World

In the 2018 midterm election, about 30% of Latinos in the US backed a Republican candidate. But conservative Latinos are not a monolithic group, and they do not vote as a bloc. 

The World’s Daisy Contreras will moderate a Facebook Live conversation on Latino conservatives today, June 24 at noon Eastern time. Join us for the discussion: “The Latino Republican: Issues and influence in the 2020 election.”

Morning meme

Yesterday, we noted that in Spain, plants filled an opera house. In France? Minions take to the cinema. We assume Kevin, Stuart and Bob are watching “Despicable Me.”

Minions toys are seen on cinema chairs to maintain social distancing between spectators at a MK2 cinema in Paris as Paris’ cinemas reopen doors to the public following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in France, June 22, 2020. 

Credit:

Benoit Tessier/Reuters

In case you missed itListen: Trump celebrates the border wall

US President Donald Trump arrives aboard Air Force One to visit a nearby US-Mexico border wall site in Yuma, Arizona, June 23, 2020.

Credit:

Carlos Barria/Reuters

President Donald Trump visits Arizona on Tuesday where he will make a stop in Yuma to celebrate the 200th mile of construction of the US-Mexico border wall. Most of the construction has been replacement segments. And, a monument to Winston Churchill in central London has become a flashpoint between Black Lives Matter demonstrators and far-right protesters. Also, after three months of darkness, the stage lights at a Barcelona opera house were flipped back on, suggesting a return to normalcy. But as musicians took the stage for a live concert, they looked out at an audience filled with potted plants.

Don’t forget to subscribe to The World’s Latest Edition podcast using your favorite podcast player: RadioPublicApple PodcastsStitcherSoundcloudRSS.

Barcelona opera reopens to full house — of plants

Barcelona opera reopens to full house — of plants

Writer
María Elena Romero

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The stage lights turned back on in Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu on Monday, a day after Spain’s three-month lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic came to an end.

The show opened with the traditional announcement in Catalan asking the audience to turn their cell phones off and avoid taking photos. But the string quartet walked into an unusual performance. This time, they played Puccini’s “Crisantemi” to a verdant audience of 2,292 plants that filled the venue to capacity. No crowds were present — just plants from a local nursery.

Spanish conceptual artist Eugenio Ampudia created the performance as a way to highlight how art, music and nature can help people get through this difficult time of the pandemic. After the concert, the plants were donated to health workers.

“After a strange, painful period, the creator, the Liceu’s artistic director and the curator Blanca de la Torre offer us a different perspective for our return to activity, a perspective that brings us closer to something as essential as our relationship with nature,” read the event press release.

Related: Art during the coronavirus pandemic

The Liceu, located in the La Rambla area in central Barcelona, is one of the largest and most important opera halls in the world. The symbolic show comes as Spain slowly reopens after being hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

Spain ended a state of emergency on Sunday that was imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19. Spaniards are now allowed to move freely around the country — something they have not been able to do since March 14, when the lockdown was imposed. People are required to wear masks in public when social distancing measures cannot be observed.

Spain has recorded more than 245,000 coronavirus cases and more than 28,000 deaths.

Reuters contributed to this story.

In Spain after lockdown, soccer resumes for men — but not for women

In Spain after lockdown, soccer resumes for men — but not for women

By
Lucía Benavides

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Members of Madrid Women’s Club go for a run on the soccer field, Madrid, Spain. 

 

 

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Lucía Benavides/The World 

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Spanish soccer will resume on June 11, after nearly three months without games. La Liga, Spain’s professional soccer league for men, was suspended in mid-March when the Spanish government put the country on lockdown in an attempt to contain the coronavirus pandemic. Now, the league championship matches will go until July 19, and games will be played with no crowds and with strict safety protocols. 

The women’s league — which had its own championship — will not return. Their season was completely canceled in May, and the FC Barcelona female club was declared this year’s champions, since they were in the lead when the games were suspended.

Related: Women’s pro soccer made gains toward parity. Will coronavirus undo it?

But before the pandemic put the country on pause, women’s soccer in Spain had been making strides toward greater equity.

On Feb. 18, all 16 first-division teams signed a collective bargaining agreement that guaranteed female players a minimum wage, protocols for sexual abuse cases and paid maternity leave. It was a big step — and currently the only existing agreement of its kind for any women’s sport in Spain. 

Forward Ana Lucía Martínez, from Madrid Women’s Club (or Madrid CFF), said this was a historic moment for Spain’s female soccer leagues. The World spoke to her in February — just one week after the agreement was signed, and just two weeks before her trainings were put on hold due to the pandemic.

Related: Under lockdown in Spain, hotels transform into field hospitals

“People in Spain are increasingly interested in women’s soccer,” she said, pointing to last year’s Women’s World Cup when a record 2 million people watched Spain’s national team lose to the United States 2-1.

Forward Ana Lucía Martínez, from Madrid Women’s Club (or Madrid CFF), trains with her team. 

Credit:

Lucía Benavides/The World  

But it’s still difficult for women to make a living from soccer, said the 30-year-old player. Since moving to Spain from Guatemala five years ago, Martínez has played for various first-division teams — the first club didn’t even give her a contract.

“It’s not like the men who retire and make millions. We have to worry about our future, get an education.”

Ana Lucía Martínez, forward, Madrid Women’s Club, Madrid, Spain

“I was making 200 euros [$230] a month, which isn’t enough to live off of here,” she said. “I spent those days indoors, I never went out. I considered quitting because I couldn’t go on like that.”

Now, she’s one of the better-paid players in Madrid CFF — she makes enough money to pay her bills and concentrate on soccer full-time. But she says many of her teammates still rely on side jobs to get by.

“It’s not like the men who retire and make millions,” said Martínez. “We have to worry about our future, get an education.”

With the collective bargaining agreement signed, a career in soccer is beginning to look like a viable option for many women. But it took a year of negotiating and a week-long strike to get there.

Madrid women’s soccer players train together. 

Credit:

Lucía Benavides/The World 

Lawyer María José López represented the main soccer union involved in the negotiations. 

“It was necessary to have this agreement for the sake of equality,” she said. “I mean, we’re in the 21st century.”

López says the agreement is exactly the same as the one signed by the men’s first-division teams decades ago, except for one thing: their salaries. In Spain, the base salary for men’s professional soccer is $170,000 a year; the women’s is $18,000.

Men’s games draw bigger crowds and more advertising dollars on Spanish TV — this means more revenue, which then translates into high salaries. López gets this. Still, she says the wage gap needs to shrink.

“The argument we always hear is: ‘These girls don’t bring in money, so they can’t make demands.’ No, no. These are working women who deserve worker’s rights.”

María José López, lawyer representing the main soccer union involved in negotiations, Madrid, Spain

“The argument we always hear is: ‘These girls don’t bring in money, so they can’t make demands,’” said López. “No, no. These are working women who deserve worker’s rights.”

López says if advertisers would invest more in women’s games, there would be more interest — leading to more ticket sales, television programming and, eventually, higher salaries.

But all of this is on hold because of the pandemic. 

Related: Two Berlin soccer teams now kept apart by COVID-19

Tamara Ramos directs another soccer union that signed the collective bargaining agreement this February. She says she expects the coronavirus outbreak to disproportionately affect the female leagues, which were already struggling with funding. 

“Why do the men’s leagues come back after lockdown, but not the women’s? … Signing the collective bargaining agreement was a bittersweet moment. Of course, it was a big step forward. But we still have a long way to go.”

Tamara Ramos, soccer union director, Madrid, Spain

“Why do the men’s leagues come back after lockdown, but not the women’s?” she asks. “It’s all part of the same problem: lack of resources.” 

In this case, that means coronavirus test kits and equipment to implement necessary safety measures.

“Signing the collective bargaining agreement was a bittersweet moment,” said Ramos. “Of course, it was a big step forward. But we still have a long way to go.”

Discussion: On the front lines of the coronavirus crisis

Discussion: On the front lines of the coronavirus crisis

Updated:

April 17, 2020 · 3:00 PM EDT

By
The World staff

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US President Donald Trump is expected to announce new guidelines to reopen the economy after a monthlong shutdown over the coronavirus outbreak, while leaders elsewhere are more cautious.

The United Kingdom’s Health Minister Matt Hancock said on Thursday the novel coronavirus outbreak in the country is starting to peak, but it is too early to lift the lockdown because the virus would “run rampant” if the government eased social distancing measures.

And Spain on Thursday reported a rise in its national toll of deaths from the coronavirus in the past day, but figures from the region of Catalonia indicated the real total so far could be several thousand more.

Spain has been one of the countries worst hit by the global epidemic, but it has tentatively started to ease a lockdown imposed on March 14.

Related: Racing to develop a drug to fight COVID-19

As health experts, heads of state and business leaders debate easing restrictions, hospital workers remain under intense pressure trying to combat COVID-19.

What are the challenges facing our medical responders during this unprecedented time?

As part of our weekly series with Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, The World’s Jonathan Dyer moderated a discussion with Dr. Paul Biddinger, director of Massachusetts General Hospital’s Center for Disaster Medicine.

Biddinger, offered a firsthand account of what it’s like to be on the hospital front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic as deaths surge.

6ix9ine – MAMA lyrics

[Intro: 6ix9ine & Baka Not Nice]
Uh
Murda on the beat so it’s not nice!

[Chorus: 6ix9ine]
Tiki Taki, Spanish mami, she a hot tamale (Hot)
Make her spend that money, dummy, go retarded for me (Pop it)
Pop it, pop it, she get started, she won’t ever stop it
Little thottie, got her rowdy, choosing everybody

[Verse 1: 6ix9ine]
Splish, splash, Apple Bottoms make that ass fat
She got that wet wet, got me blowing through this whole bag (bag)
She got Bs, spend some cheese, now they double Ds
Thought I had to free, kick her out, my mama coming home at three
Ho thicker (Thicker, thicker), thicker than a fuckin’ Snicker
Drug dealer, professional pot whipper
In the winter, buy your ho a chinchilla (Grrr)
I just bought my bitch them Kylie Jenner lip fillers

[Verse 2: Kanye West]
Man, oh my god
She Instagram famous but she can’t keep a job (Ooh)
Man, oh my god
Swipe her 30-inch weave on her sugar daddy car (Ooh)
Man, oh my god
Her doctor got her busting out her motherfuckin’ bra (Mmm)
Man, oh my god
She Uber to a nigga with no car (Car car car)
Talking about the relish, I do not embellish
Jacket got wings, True’s got propellers
Gave all my old Margielas, to my boy Marcellas
Pulled up with no laces, had the whole block jealous
Oh, Jesus Christ, I don’t need advice
Wild nigga life, tell ’em read my rights
Man it hot tonight, look out with my ice
15 in the game, baby girl, I got stripes (man)

[Bridge: Nicki Minaj]
Ka-Ka-Kanye dress me up like a doll
Then I hit 6ix9ine, tell him give me the ball
Bitch, this the dream team, magic as I recall
Whole squad on point, bunch of Chris Pauls (Chris Pauls)

[Verse 3: Nicki Minaj]
I was out in Spain rockin’ a Medusa head
I ain’t never have to give a rap producer head
If I do though, I’ma write a book like Supahead
This ain’t wonder that I’m making, this that super bread
Splish, splash, fuck him in a hurry, quick fast
Still a pink wig, thick ass, whiplash
Got him cummin’, cummin’, Roger over dispatch
Said my box is the best, he met his match
I got all these bitches wantin’ to be Barbie dolls
Barbie dreamhouse, pink and purple marble walls
Pull-Pull up in that Barbie ‘Rari, finna bury y’all
She threw dirt on my name ended up at her own burial

[Bridge: Nicki Minaj]
Kanye dress me up like a doll
Then I hit 6ix9ine, tell him give me the ball
Bitch, this the dream team, magic as I recall
Whole squad on point, bunch of Chris Pauls
Ka-Ka-Kanye dress me up like a doll
Then I hit 6ix9ine, tell him give me the ball
Bitch, this the dream team, Fif’ is on call
Whole squad on point, bunch of Chris Pauls (Chris Pauls)

[Chorus: 6ix9ine]
Tiki Taki, Spanish mami, she a hot tamale (Hot)
Make her spend that money, dummy, go retarded for me (Pop it)
Pop it, pop it, she get started, she won’t ever stop it
Little thottie, got her rowdy, choosing everybody

Mick Jenkins – Barcelona Lyrics

[Verse: Mick Jenkins]
Look, straight up and down, I never did the crooked
They offered twenty, I’m worth more, I told my nigga, “book it”
Praise God my position isn’t make or break it
I just wanted to spend the weekend in Spain
I meant it nice, don’t give a fuck about how niggas took it
Awkward stares, like what the fuck you lookin’ at?
And that’s all over the world
I’m no nigga with dreams of bustin’ all over your girl
That’s belittling, bigger schemes, we been scribblin’, notice it’s plural
Dividends tricklin’ three ways due to the penmanship
I do shows in my leisure and all these sinks is residual
Pop out occasional for the sake of relationships
Sanitize after handshakes and treat the weed like it’s Ritalin
Tryna give you a visual
Fuck all this censorship man, niggas too sensitive
If yo comfort ain’t pivoting you ain’t listenin’ right
Granny praying for it, she say we ain’t Christian-ing right!
Even water can’t save mixin’ dark with the light
Corner the art with the business, no beauty mark, but my point is these niggas runnin’ with scissors and headed straight for the plug
Mogul talkin’ business movin’ at the pace of a slug
Left a trail, had to bail, knew his heart wasn’t in it
How you up, banger, then catch Parkinson’s with it? I mean…
*sigh*
Lot of y’all hear that line and gon’ know it well
I be on my show and prove, not much show-and-tell
Then the whole defense about it be so Cole and Powell
*sigh*

[Outro]
I was speedin’, had to slow it down
Off the fertilizer, nigga growin’ now
I mean, enterprisin’, been compartmentalizin’ all my shit
A tornado flew around my room before you came, I straightened it
Right before yo eyes you see my stains, see me basically
Pickin’ up the pieces

Frank Ocean – Lost lyrics

[Verse 1]
Double D
Big full breasts on my baby
(Yo we going to Florida)
Triple weight
Couldn’t weigh the love I’ve got for the girl
And I just wanna know
Why you ain’t been going to work
Boss ain’t working you like this
He can’t take care of you like this

[Hook]
Now you’re lost
Lost in the heat of it all
Girl you know you’re lost
Lost in the thrill of it all
Miami, Amsterdam, Tokyo, Spain, lost
Los Angeles, India, lost on a train, lost

[Verse 2]
Got on my buttercream silk shirt and it’s Versace
(There he goes, one of God’s own prototypes)
Hand me my triple weight
So I can weigh the work I got on your girl
(Too weird to live, too rare to die)
No I don’t really wish
I don’t wish the titties would show
Nor have I ever, have I ever let you get caught?

[Hook]
Lost
Lost in the heat of it all
Girl you know you’re lost
Lost in the thrill of it all
Miami, Amsterdam, Tokyo, Spain, lost
Los Angeles, India, lost on a train, lost

[Bridge]
She’s at a stove (huh!)
Can’t believe I got her out here cooking dope (cooking dope)
I promise she’ll be whipping meals up for a family of her own some day
Nothing wrong (nothing wrong)
No, nothing wrong (ain’t nothing wrong) with a lie (ooh, ooh)
Nothing wrong (nothing wrong)
With another short plane ride (ain’t nothing wrong)
Through the sky (up in the sky)
You and I (just you and I)

[Hook]
Lost
Lost in the heat of it all
Girl you know you’re lost
Lost in the thrill of it all
Miami, Amsterdam, Tokyo, Spain, lost
Los Angeles, India, lost on a train, lost

[Outro]
Love lost, lost?
Love love
Love lost, lost?
Love love
Love lost
Love love
Love lost

Bobby Lee The Crooner – Big Picture lyrics

Hook:
I can see the big picture
And I wanna come with you
Got a friend bring em with you
That busts rhyme that Rah dagga its hot
I was hot a long time ago, some get it fast, I got it slow.
Finesse the game with precision enterprise the movement
Melting pot where I brew it H-Town chop chop screw it.

Verse:
This is H-town in the Summer big tires on a hummer got smoke for the stoners
If she thick I get up on her
V I P in the corner, shopping in the galleria, seen a fly Seniorita
Prospects and margarita’s, there she go.
Got my girl and got my drank, we don’t care what haters thank, sun is shinning
On the candy paint, and we go together like snoop and dank.
Dank I feeling like a star I feeling like a star.
I be paddling steering handle bars. Hollywood to Spain, we stay in our lane.
Pressure com and go we remain the same. Are you the one I can call my best friend. Hold me down, I will share my dividings. When its real, ride it out til the end, til the end.

Hook:
I can see the big picture
And I wanna come with you
Got a friend bring em with you
That busts rhyme that Rah dagga its hot
I was hot a long time ago, some get it fast, I got it slow.
Finesse the game with precision enterprise the movement
Melting pot where I brew it H-Town chop chop screw it.

Verse 2:
I’ll Do it, if you want me to. I do it.
Ok I can see the top down,
Shades on got my lady and a bag.
Trying new things loyalties the hash tag.
Rolling on the interstate,
Making future moves that’s sweeter than a pound cake.

Rap Verse:
I talking bout cake like Rihanna, I grind hard I want every dollar.
Keep a baby bottle like a toddler, whipping foreign cars on Westheimer.
Watch me take off like a Houston rocket, Lanky frankies all up in my pockets.
Top covertable got to drop it, Farrow gummo shades I be styling.
Hello how you doing I’m the hipster, I hope that you can see the bigger picture.
You know that I am lit just like a swisher, and I’m gifted everyday is Christmas.
You know that I coming back, I hope on the beat and run it like a running back.
Get it jumping like jumping jacks.
And I spent fire now you know you not touching that.
I am not your average rapper, plugged in like car adapters.
Give out blessings like a pastor, balling on them like a raptor.

Hook:
I can see the big picture
And I wanna come with you
Got a friend bring em with you
That busts rhyme that Rah dagga its hot
I was hot a long time ago, some get it fast, I got it slow.
Finesse the game with precision enterprise the movement
Melting pot where I brew it H-Town chop chop screw it.

Jorja Smith – Lost lyrics

[Verse 1]
Double D
Big full breasts on my baby
Triple weight
Couldn’t weigh the love I’ve got for the girl
And I just wanna know
Why you ain’t been going to work
Boss ain’t working you like this
He can’t take care of you like this

[Hook]
Now you’re lost
Lost in the heat of it all
Girl you know you’re lost
Lost in the thrill of it all
Miami, Amsterdam, Tokyo, Spain, lost
Los Angeles, India, lost on a train, lost

[Verse 2]
Got on my buttercream silk shirt and it’s Versace
Hand me my triple weight
So I can weigh the work I got on your girl
No I don’t really wish
I don’t wish the titties would show
Nor have I ever, have I ever let you get caught?

[Hook]
Lost
Lost in the heat of it all
Girl you know you’re lost
Lost in the thrill of it all
Miami, Amsterdam, Tokyo, Spain, lost
Los Angeles, India, lost on a train, lost

[Bridge]
She’s at a stove
Can’t believe I got her out here cooking dope (cooking dope)
I promise she’ll be whipping up meals for a family of her own some day
Nothing wrong
No, nothing wrong with a lie
Nothing wrong
With another short plane ride
Through the sky
You and I

[Hook]
Lost
Lost in the heat of it all
Girl you know you’re lost
Lost in the thrill of it all
Miami, Amsterdam, Tokyo, Spain, lost
Los Angeles, India, lost on a train, lost

[Outro]
Love lost
Lost in the heat of it all
Girl you know you’re lost
Lost in the thrill of it all

J. R’Mani – Blvck lyrics

Niggas
Blvck
New York niggas
Blvck
Queens trill niggas
Blvck
Brooklyn niggas
Blvck
Harlem niggas
Blvck
Boogie Bronx, Staten isle
Blvck
Long isle niggas…
Blvck
Ja niggas
Blvck
Kingston niggas
Blvck
Portmore niggas
Blvck
Spain town niggas
Blvck
Mobay, Ochi town
Blvck
May pen niggas…
Blvck…

Real niggas go hard
Harder than erections
I pick yo bitch up nigga
She don’t ask no question…
She about her education
In the back of the lex man
Such a good session
Her bitch niggas stressing…
Mad at me, I hit em up
That choppa giving fuck niggas
And they babymamas c-sections
And anybody
Man bringing their hate
In my direction
I’m bout to bomb on y’all
Like pac’s resurrection…
Fuck…
You outta luck, bout to get fucked
Like a smut, kill that pussy in the cut…
What…
Think it’s a game, Nigga I ain’t sane
I put that K on spray
And watch them bodies fall in this rain…
Cuz nigga I’m death
Coming at your neck, With a teck
Y’all pussies
Watch your motherfuckin step…
Cuz in these streets
Ain’t no sleep
My niggas comin, you niggas runnin
But we gunnin for keeps…
And if my niggas don’t eat
Then we gon reap
We got the heat
Yelling fuck the police…
Man out here nigga
Ain’t no place for the weak
Call the doc up
He’ll tell you raps rough
That it’s a whole other beat…
Buckle up or knuckle up
Stay in your seat or plant your feet
Cuz out here man shit get deep…
Tell em we got no fuckin remorse
Of course
We killing everything
Just to get our name up in the source…

Uh…
Now here we go again
Rebel be the truth in the booth
Nigga run up if you can…
What…
What…
This what we do
Man I’m bout to get loose
Lemme shoot
I’m the mothafuckin man…
Cuz you bitch made niggas
Can’t handle this…
Worldwide mob gangster shit
And all my Rebel gang-stars
In they six and they sevens
Put it on the line for the block
Product of the ghetto lands…

Blvck
New York niggas
Blvck
Queens trill niggas
Blvck
Brooklyn niggas
Blvck
Harlem niggas
Blvck
Boogie Bronx, Staten isle
Blvck
Long isle niggas…
Blvck
Ja niggas
Blvck
Kingston niggas
Blvck
Portmore niggas
Blvck
Spain town niggas
Blvck
Mobay, Ochi town
Blvck
May pen niggas…

Mmm…
Now lemme talk ma clique man…
Yeah them hittas that wear their hearts
On their hips man…
Trill niggas go hard for the grip man…
Getting money still the only thang
On the list man…
I’m out here collecting rent
Man gimme every cent…
Nigga it’s evident
Some of y’all is irrelevant…
Cuz you pussies ain’t fuckin with me
It’s clear to see
Period ma nigga
I’m in my Element…
I go hard
Paying dues and breaking these rules
Which one of you Davids
Tryna step up on Goliath’s shoes…
Still don’t get it
Ma nigga nah I’m illmatic
I ain’t plan it
Killed that motherfuckin nigga
On accident…
Fuck around nigga
Get your whole axels bent…
Life support cut off
Need more oxygen…
Since I gotta explains my metaphors
On a regular
Here’s a 180 with a another accent then…

Man a murderer…
Real headspace burglar…
Fool seh yuh bad, wi neva heard a ya…
Yo Nahlidge
A wah tek da likkle burger ya…

Seh wi bad and dem dun seet
Any bwoy want di thrown affi come fi it…
Cah wi nuh fling stone
Badman no punch teeth…
Gun haffi guh beat
Weh yuh bloodclaat
Lip and yuh tongue meet…
Shot inna yuh face
Brain fly fi pon di grun-crete…
Madda a bawl
Cah sumady haffi come see it…
Gi weh yuh life
And di hawt head dem a come fi it…
Baddest ting alive
And yuh know seh wi run street…

Uh…
Cah man a hawt head
Wi nuh talk nuff…
And some bwoy tuh di 45 fi talk up…
Kill yuh middle day
Wi nuh care if it dark up…
Inna my scheme yuh see fear
Yuh see chalk nuff…
Nobody nuh kno a wah gwan
If yuh ask us…
Wi nuh run batty joke
Skin teeth, wi nuh laugh up…
Inna my camp, wid di 6 pants
Wi doh ramp…
Bwoy haffi dead
Wi nuh response…

Blvck…
All ma niggas
Blvck…
All ma niggas
Blvck…
Blvck…
All ma niggas
Blvck…

Kerner And Wallace – Greedy Woman Blues lyrics

Let me tell you this story
About the fix i’m in
About an evil Woman
Her heart filled with sin
Says she wants a Cadillac
And a diamond ring
No matter what I give her
There’s always one more thing.

I’m tired of being her gold mine
Tired of being her banker too
Sometimes I wonder baby
Lord just what am I going to do?

She says she wants some jewelry
And a fur coat too
And while i’m at it
How about a house that’s huge?
I said I ain’t made of money baby
What’s a matter with you?
I can settle without this
You Know that it’s true.

I’m tired of being her money tree
Tired of being her sugar daddy too
Sometimes I wonder baby
Lord just what am I going to do?

She says she wants some thoroughbreds
And a trip to Spain
And while you’re at it
Better buy me a plane
She says she ain’t greedy
Just a few things she needs
But let me tell you brother
These ain’t trinkets to me.

I ain’t gonna take it
Gonna knock you to the floor
Don’t bother getting up woman
Cause i’m going out the door.

Pitbull – Better On Me (feat. Ty Dolla $ign)

[Intro: Pitbull]
You have to have vision to understand love is blind, talk to ’em Ty

[Chorus: Ty Dolla $ign]
It’s been a while and you found somebody else
They say you really doing good for yourself
But I know you out there feeling so lonely
As far as my eyes can see
Don’t need no proof or no validation
You leave no wound on you second to none
You said you me but you looking lonely
So as far as my eyes can see, you look better on me
Aw aw aw, aw aw aw, aw aw aw
You look better on me
Aw aw aw, aw aw aw, aw aw aw
As far as my eyes can see, you look better on me

[Verse 1]
Got a room with a mirror on the roof

And I could bet the bank and almost guarantee
That you will always look better on me
I handle my business in the boardroom and the bedroom
My name ain’t max but I always got headroom
G-g- get it, g-g- g-g- get it
Went from selling perico and reefer

I shut down Spain
And I ain’t even have to take a pill in Ibiza
I’m a beast bro
I love when you put on them sexy one piece outfits
With the hole in the middle
Now take a look in the mirror
And see you always look better on me

[Chorus: Ty Dolla $ign]
It’s been a while and you found somebody else
They say you really doing good for yourself
But I know you out there feeling so lonely
As far as my eyes can see
Don’t need no proof or no validation
You leave no wound on you second to none
You said you over me but you looking lonely
So as far as my eyes can see, you look better on me
Aw aw aw, aw aw aw, aw aw aw
You look better on me
Aw aw aw, aw aw aw, aw aw aw
As far as my eyes can see, you look better on me

[Verse 2: Pitbull]
I’m allergic to the fake and these negative crabs
So get from me with your negative ass
I live for the future, you live in the past
Found somebody else, I hope that it lasts
But you know that I know that we know that you’ll be thinking bout me
But you know that I know that we know that you look, that you look better on me
I ain’t here to sell ya, I’m here to tell ya, all I’ve ever done is learn from my failures
So god bless mami, cause God knows I wish you the best mami, that’s right
I love when you put on that sexy one piece outfit with the hole in the middle
Now take a look in the mirror and see you always look better on me

[Chorus: Ty Dolla $ign]
It’s been a while and you found somebody else
They say you really doing good for yourself
But I know you out there feeling so lonely
As far as my eyes can see
Don’t need no proof or no validation
You leave no wound on you second to none
You said you over me but you looking lonely
So as far as my eyes can see, you look better on me
Aw aw aw, aw aw aw, aw aw aw
You look better on me
Aw aw aw, aw aw aw, aw aw aw
As far as my eyes can see, you look better on me

[Outro: Ty Dolla $ign]
Better on me
Better on me
Better on me
You look better on me
Better on me
Better on me
As far as my eyes can see, you look better on me

Lil Wayne – 5 Star (feat. Nicki Minaj)

[Intro: Nicki Minaj]
Tunechi
Barbie
Young Money

[Verse 1: Nicki Minaj]
I been smoking gas, killin’ bitches
Man, I feel just like a gang-star
Cover up my face like a ninja
In this Alexander Wang scarf
I’mma drop a bag, they gon’ pull up
And then they gon’ let them things off
I ain’t switchin’ up my hairstyle
But my niggas let it bang off

Percocets and Addies, lookin’ for a fuck I could give
All these hatin’ bitches plottin’ why they can’t let me live
Me and Weezy in Liv
When my album drop these bitches is gon’ cry in the car
All your yes-men out here lyin’, had you dyin’ to spar
You was tryin’ too hard

I’m out here livin’ though, I am out here livin’ though
Me and Tunechi winnin’ though
Slimes out here twinnin’ though
I am on my pivot though
I am just so pivotal
Bands, I go get it though
Weezy on his pedestal

A lot of gang shit, a whole lot of gang shit
All these plaques is piling up, it’s no where to hang shit
These bitches pussy though
Pushed them out my pussy though
Niggas want my cookie though
‘Cause it taste like cookie dough

Smoke, I got a free pack
Flow sick, get a Z-pack
Niggas don’t mean my race when they say she blacked
I am the Queen (Facts)
I’m everything she lacks
Bitch get on your kneecap
I don’t mean C. Kaep
I’ll get you checked, pussy, I’ll get you a free pap
You bitches don’t ball out, you get your QB sacked
I’m OBJ hoes, break records like ankles
I’ve been that bitch since ice cream with the sprinkles
Tell ’em carry on, they gon’ miss me when I’m gone
I’m gone

[Chorus: Lil Wayne]
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
I just fucked like five hoes in my mansion
Got them feelin’ like they five stars
Your hoes throwin’ fits, my bitches patient
Man, I feel just like a doctor
Pop some X for my exotic dancer
She start crying and said her job hard
Switch her whip out, put her in a Mercedes
Now she screamin’ rest in peace to Honda

[Verse 2: Lil Wayne]
Cocaine on her navel, lick it so my tongue can go HAM
Put my face up in her pussy and my thumb in her ass
Make her do the jumpman, ayy
I put her face down in the pillow, ’bout to smother her ass
A fly yellow bone to me, I told her to come get a tan
Now she butter pecan
Oh, I got a Draco in the sofa
An Eggo in the toaster
A cradle in the chocha
The yayo doin’ yoga
And I wake up, smell the Folgers
I don’t know how I woke up
‘Cause I was in a coma
But now I’m in the moment
Wearing high socks on the front porch
Two cups with the mud flowin’
The plug ain’t charge me nothin’ for it
I cried tears of fuckin’ joy
"LV"s on my luggage, boy
Don’t ask me where I’m fuckin’ goin’
I pull up with my skaters
Make them beat you with their fuckin’ boards
Sharp shooters like pool sharks
Shoot you down in the Walmart
Shoot you down in the parking lot
Shoot you down in the food court
Hit your crib in the steamboat
And dissapear on the speedboat
Act a jackass like Steve-o
Then disappear like Ne-Yo
Leave a red flag on your screen door
Leave a red flag around your queen’s throat
Leave a blood stain on your mink floor
Like a red stain on clean snow
That money gang, Five-hundred gang
On that money train, and we walking ’round with bloody fangs
Playin’ hunger games; mmm-yummy, man
And we storm the block like the thunder came
When my youngest came, that’s your mother’s name
Hit the address, knockin’ down picture frames and other things
Throwing up peace signs like stomach pains
Sugar cane get took to Spain
A kilo fell and it shook the plane
A nigga screamed, the hoes wouldn’t complain
I brought the AK with the knife, so the butcher came
And the Nina came, and her sister came
And what’s her name
He’ll book a bang
You don’t even know where to put the blame, that’s cold

[Chorus: Lil Wayne]
I just fucked like five hoes in my mansion
Got them feelin’ like they five stars
Your hoes throwin’ fits, my bitches patient
Man, I feel just like a doctor
Pop some X for my exotic dancer
She start crying and said her job hard
Switch her whip out, put her in a Mercedes
Now she screamin’ rest in peace to Honda

[Outro]
Switch her whip out put her in a Mercedes
Now she screamin’ rest in peace to Mazda
Put her ass up in a dumb Mercedes
Now she screamin’ rest in peace to Smart Car
Switch her whip out put her in a Mercedes
Now she screamin’ rest in peace to Kia
Switch her whip out put her in a Mercedes
Now she screamin’ rest in peace to Uber
That’s some sick shit

Frank Zappa – A Little Green Rosetta

[Act III]

[after the song ends]
This is the CENTRAL SCRUTINIZER… As you can see, MUSIC can get you
pretty fucked up…Take a tip from Joe, do like he did, hock your imaginary guitar
and get a good job…Joe did, and he’s a happy guy now, on the day shift at
the Utility Muffin Research Kitchen, arrogantly twisting the sterile canvas snoot of
a fully-charged icing anointment utensil. And every time a nice little muffin comes
by on the belt, he poots forth… And if this doesn’t convince you that MUSIC
causes BIG TROUBLE…then maybe I should turn off my plastic’ megaphone and
sing the last song on the album in my regular voice…

[SCENE EIGHTEEN]
[A LITTLE GREEN ROSETTA]

[CENTRAL SCRUTINIZER:]
A little green rosetta
A little green rosetta
A little green rosetta
A little green rosetta
You’ll make a muffin betta
With a green rosetta
A little green rosetta
A tiny green rosetta
A little green rosetta
A little green rosetta
A little green rosetta
A little green rosetta
You’ll make a muffin betta
Betta
It’s really getting betta
It’s betta, it’s betta
With a green rosetta

Green rositti
A little green rositti
It’s really, really meaty
A little green rositti
Betta, betta,
(Hey, really out there…really good)
It’s really getting betta
It’s betta, it’s betta
With a green rosetta
Setta, setta
(Good God, give the drummer some)
Green rosetta
A little green rosetta
A little green rosetta
A little green rosetta
(Setta, setta, setta, etc….)
(Make a muffin, make a muffin, make a muffin,
Make a muffin betta, make a muffin betta, [etc….])
With a green rosetta
A little green rosetta
[Etc….]

Good God! You’re really jammin ! Now the Reggae version, hey, for the People in
the Third World… we haven’t forgotten anybody on this song.. .for all of you French
people…who think that you re outta sight… And for the people in Spain…who think
the French people are where its at… And for the people in Mongolia who always
wanted to go to Spain for a vacation… And for those of you in Taiwan who got chumped,
this chorus is for you: (Rang Tang Ding Dong, I am the Japanese Sandman…
Take eight…)

Green rosetta
Green rosetta
A little green rosetta
(Against the Reggae beat, though… No, it’s still Reggae, but it s all backwards)

A little green rosetta
A little green rosetta
A little green rosetta
You’ll make a muffin betta [Etc., etc., etc…]

Now you see, some places in the Third World it might be difficult to dance to this because
the kerosene record player is not a very efficient device.. .And a lot of times they run out of,
they run out of spunk right in the middle of the chorus… Causing the song to sound like this…

A little green rosetta

However we continue in spite of the fact that the fuel may be low on your record player.
We suggest that in places like the Fourth World where things are really tough that you
keep the record player going by rubbing two sticks together. And if all else fails, throw
the record away… build your own green rosetta…try this recipe: Well start with a lump of
grass… the grass bone connected to the ankle bone…the knee bone connected to the
wishbone…and then everybody moves to New York and goes to a party with Warren.
Hey! And we’ve flown in, at great expense, (triple scale, no less, ladies and gentlemen),
Steve Gad’s clone to play the out-chorus on this song…lies really outa-site, in spite of
thefact that the click track is totally irrelevant to what he’s doing now. I in listening to
the click, yes I’m suffering with the click track right now…this guy is totally out of sync with it,
but what the fuck. Ed Mann will call him up later, show him the sign. Okay Vinnie, where
is five?

They’re pretty good musicians
They re pretty good musicians
They’re pretty good musicians
They’re pretty good musicians
But it don’t make no difference
If they’re good musicians
Because anybody who would buy this record
Doesn’t give a fuck if there’s good musicians
On it
Because this is a stupid song
AND THAT’S THE WAY I LIKE IT
A little green rosetta
A little green rosetta
A little green rosetta
A little green rosetta
You make a muffin betta
With a little green rosetta
A little green rosetta
Rosetta, rosetta, rosetta
[etc., etc., etc….]

AL MALKIN.
Zetta..

Vince Staples – Samo (Big Fish Theory Album)

[Intro: Kilo Kish]
Way up, way up
Way up, way up

[Verse 1: Vince Staples]
Same old thang
Watch me do the same old thang
If I wrote your ass a love song, could I make it bang?
If I pull up with my gun drawn, run, I make it bang
Homie, tell me where you come from, tell me what you bang
Ain’t a damn thing funny, but we laughin’ to the bank
Never blow it on a chain, rather blow my fuckin’ brain
Decorator came from Spain, blow the budget on an accent couch
What that accent ’bout? Southern California livin’
Daddy in and out of prison, ain’t a father to my style
I’m the ODB of the OPB
When I go OT, all the shows sold out
And the hoes show out, tryna be a baby mama
Tryna break a player pockets, that’s a no no
This day forward, I ain’t takin’ photos
And we wear our own clothes, we ain’t givin’ promo no mo’

[Chorus: Vince Staples, (Kilo Kish) & A$AP Rocky]
Just the same old thing (way up, way up)
Watch me do the same old thing
Do the same old thing, do the same old thing (way up, way up)
Watch me do the same old thing, just the same old
Same thing (way up, way up, way up, way up)
Same old
Same thing (way up, way up, way up, way up)
Chain, big chain, ain’t shit changed, same old thing

[Verse 2: Vince Staples]
Win the race or fix your face, your woman on my dinner plate
I’m comin’ for that last supper, center seat, I’ve been a G
I traffic ‘cross the interstate
We cracked and launched the murder rate
They know who did the killin’, but they didn’t see
Want a verse? Issa price. Want a show? Issa fee
We don’t do no bargain shoppin’, we don’t show no empathy
Empty out your pockets, $10,000 fee for that talkin’
Eye contact is an extra five
No doubt in mind, we the best alive
No testifyin’, we solid
Never told on my partners
My partna them got bodies
I’m tryna put ’em in ‘Raris
They used to put us in G rides, so now I put ’em in college
Put ’em on with this business then put ’em on with your mama

[Chorus: Vince Staples, (Kilo Kish) & A$AP Rocky]
Just the same old thing (way up, way up)
Watch me do the same old thing
Do the same old thing, do the same old thing (way up, way up)
Watch me do the same old thing, just the same old
Same thing (way up, way up, way up, way up)
Same old
Same thing (way up, way up, way up, way up)
Chain, big chain, ain’t shit changed, same old thing

[Outro : Kilo Kish]
Way up, way up
Way up, way up

Mike WiLL Made It – Bars Of Soap (Ransom 2 Album)

[Intro]
Aye, aye, aye Ransom
Aye, aye
Aye, aye, aye Ransom
Aye, aye, aye
I’mma running man
Sandals slipping off my feet, on the sand
Counting up the bills with my dominant hand
Took twos on…. take this appreciate it
This too? why take the rims off?
Mike WiLL Made-It

[Verse]
I’m going postal – loco
Coast to coast like La Nostra
My G.I. Joe present, I get to see a cobra
So off my rocker got me sipping club soda
Some bombs never go off, some stars never blow up
I’m pitching [?] in a dug out
Reaching in my pants and I can’t take a head count
Flash back ’03, things was looking run down
Now I set foot in the place, it’s a luau
Killing shit like ten counts, y’all know how we get down
House with the fence around, y’all know that we in route
Transition from the Impala to the Fisker
I should charge admission for that girl to get the dessert
Left the doors up, now the lambo has pigtails
Since you getting comfy, I’mma let you sit there
I’mma let you stay there
When I shed a tear, they didn’t have no care, so I’mma charge retail
I brought some kush cause you say you want [?]
If you loves it in the room, you best get well
Every dog has its day, what the hell no tuck tail
Swae Lee went to magazine, Double X, L (XXL)

Floss with your Gucci on, bloods dipped in goo
Colors burst on the cars and the jewels
I’m a wanted man… seats looking like they got a spray tan
When I was without, not a helping hand
I got some women who throw it back, and make me drop the cans
I told Ben Frank, "Just to drop a pin" I collect my fit goal to the highest bid
Yes I might drop in, it all depends
Junior high I was dreaming of a Mach 10
I’m coming clean though, I mean not a speck
My girl be serving looks, I could kiss the chef
Katana sword popping out my walking cane
I’m overseas my Cali bae like, "How was Spain?"
We getting to the money and you niggas having issues
I bought a fucking piece and it came with a wet suit
The Buddha left me without breath, I really am a mess
I’m mooching off my mother-loving self
She be hoping that I take a knee like Kaepernick, Yes
I be open to that Sremm Life shit
This is how we live, this is how we exist
Hoes love the kicks and we love the hits
All in the house and I’m home-wrecking
If I sleep with his wife, Im a home-wrecker
I’m in my own world, throw the money up and make my own weather
Mami playing with my balls like tether, on my leather
Money talk, it’s a lecture, 80 pointers dance on me, it’s electric
Niggas don’t hate, I’m still unaffected
Chip on my shoulder, I move undetected
She said pop the question, the question got deflected
[?] made my boy, thats my motherfuckin brethren
Let’s cut to the chase, it’s only on the house when we in the place
My Houston lava boys got it up in some flames
Stirring up the cup with my wrist, souffle
Shaka Zulu chains with my name engraved
I told you I don’t swing, don’t say my name in vain
We bring it to your door like (doorbell) You rang?!
Spending all the money then we watch it boomerang
With the fendi belt angry face like Pootie Tang
Put some gold on my fingers, neck and shoestrings
"Long time, no see" That’s what they say when they see me mane
I been going crazy, just to stay sane
Hey, your girl [?] asking who’s to blame?
Young whipper snapper with the Range
Pause, then I went deranged
Call that hottie on my station
Long week, had a great day
Someone got my blowing tree like Sage
An army you should get erased
Army yeah, you can hate

Better on me – Pitbull feat. Ty Dolla Sign lyrics

Lyrics Pitbull – Better on me

It’s been a while and you found somebody else
They say you really doing good for yourself
But I know you out there feeling so lonely
As far as my eyes can see
Don’t need no proof or no validation
You leave no wound on you second to none
You said you over me but you looking lonely
So as far as my eyes can see, you look better on me
Aw aw aw, aw aw aw, aw aw aw
You look better on me
Aw aw aw, aw aw aw, aw aw aw
As far as my eyes can see, you look better on me.

Got a room with a mirror on the roof
Down in the keys keys keys
And I could bet the bank and almost guarantee
That you will always look better on me
I handle my business in the boardroom and the bedroom
My name ain’t max but I always got headroom
G-g- get it, g-g- g-g- get it
Went from selling perico and reefer
To New Year’s Eve with Snoop and Latifah
I shut down Spain
And I ain’t even have to take a pill in Ibiza
I’m a beast bro versuri-lyrics.info
I love when you put on them sexy one piece outfits
With the hole in the middle
Now take a look in the mirror
And see you always look better on me.

It’s been a while and you found somebody else
They say you really doing good for yourself
But I know you out there feeling so lonely
As far as my eyes can see
Don’t need no proof or no validation
You leave no wound on you second to none
You said you over me but you looking lonely
So as far as my eyes can see, you look better on me
Aw aw aw, aw aw aw, aw aw aw
You look better on me
Aw aw aw, aw aw aw, aw aw aw
As far as my eyes can see, you look better on me.

I’m allergic to the fake and these negative crabs
So get from me with your negative ass
I live for the future, you live in the past
Found somebody else, I hope that it lasts
But you know that I know that we know that you’ll be thinking bout me
But you know that I know that we know that you look, that you look better on me
I ain’t here to sell ya, I’m here to tell ya, all I’ve ever done is learn from my failures
So god bless mami, cause God knows I wish you the best mami, that’s right
I love when you put on that sexy one piece outfit with the hole in the middle
Now take a look in the mirror and see you always look better on me.

It’s been a while and you found somebody else
They say you really doing good for yourself
But I know you out there feeling so lonely
As far as my eyes can see
Don’t need no proof or no validation
You leave no wound on you second to none
You said you over me but you looking lonely
So as far as my eyes can see, you look better on me
Aw aw aw, aw aw aw, aw aw aw
You look better on me
Aw aw aw, aw aw aw, aw aw aw
As far as my eyes can see, you look better on me.

Better on meee
Better on meee
Better on meee
You look better on meee
Better on meee
Better on meee
As far as my eyes can see, you look better on meee.
Pitbull lyrics
Video me