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By On July 22, 2018

The Latest: Spain rescues 447 migrants on busy summer Sunday

The Latest on immigration into Europe (all times local):

8:15 p.m.

Spain's Maritime Rescue Service says it has picked up 447 people who were trying to cross to the Mediterranean Sea from northern Africa.

The service said it rescued 257 migrants from 20 boats Sunday in the Strait of Gibraltar, the closest stretch of water between African and European shores. Another 190 were taken from four boats in the Alboran Sea.

On Saturday, the Spanish rescue service took 329 people off vessels crowded with migrant passengers.

The number of migrants and refugees crossing the Mediterranean Sea to Spain this year has surpassed arrivals in Italy.

According to the International Organization for Migration, a UN agency, over 18,000 people reached Spain by sea from January until mid-July.

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3 p.m.

A Spanish rescue group says it ha s filed a lawsuit in Spanish courts against the captain of a cargo ship and the captain the Libyan coast guard for not rescuing three migrants from a shipwreck in the Mediterranean Sea.

Proactiva Open Arms director Oscar Camps says the lawsuit accuses both the Libyan coast guard and the Panamanian cargo ship Triades of failing to rescue two women and a small boy from a migrant boat 80 nautical miles off the coast of Libya on July 17.

Open Arms later found and rescued them, but only one woman was still alive. The woman and the two bodies were brought to the Spanish island of Mallorca on Saturday.

Camps said the lawsuit was signed by his crew and former NBA player Marc Gasol who was accompanying the rescue mission on the Mediterranean.

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1:20 p.m.

Libya's coast guard says it has intercepted 40 migrants in the Mediterranean Sea, near its shores, bound for Europe.

Coast guard spokesman Ayoub Gassim says a boat carrying 31 men, eight women and a child was stopped on Saturday off the coast of the western city of Zuwara. He said Sunday that the migrants â€" who are from Morocco, Egypt, Syria and Nigeria, were taken to a naval base in Tripoli.

Libya has emerged as a major transit point to Europe for people fleeing poverty and war in Africa and the Mideast, as human traffickers take advantage of the country's lawlessness.

Libyan authorities have stepped up efforts to stem the flow of migrants with the help of training and money from European nations. Aid workers, however, say migrants who are returned to Libya often risk facing beatings, rape or slavery.

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12:45 p.m.

Pope Francis has lamented the latest migrant deaths in shipwrecks of smugglers' boats and entreated nations to act swiftly to prevent more tragedies.

Francis in his traditional Sunday appearance to faithful in St. Peter's Square expressed sorrow over recent deaths in t he Mediterranean Sea and assured victims' loved ones of his prayers.

He called on "the international community to act decisively and quickly so similar tragedies aren't repeated" and said the "safety, respect of rights and the dignity of all must be guaranteed."

Far fewer migrants have arrived in Italy this year compared to the same period in 2017, but U.N. refugee officials say recent crossings have been deadlier.

With Italy's new populist government and Malta not allowing aid groups' boats to dock, rescued migrants lately have been stranded at sea for days.

Source: Google News Spain | Netizen 24 Spain

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By On July 22, 2018

From Spain: Spurs warned as new Real Madrid boss Lopetegui considers bid for €40m AC Milan star

From Spain: Spurs warned as new Real Madrid boss Lopetegui considers bid for €40m AC Milan star 22 July at 17:30 AC Milan have undergone tremendous changes in recent days. They received welcome news as their UEFA ban was overturned, allowing them to compete in the Europe League next season afterall. However, the plans for their squad construction remain blurry as they may be forced to sell a top player or two to right the ship financially.
One of the possible names that could be on the move is playmaker Suso. Several clubs are interested in the 24-year-old, including English side Tottenham. In addition, there could be a new club after Suso and a massive one at that.
Real Madrid’s hypothesis for acquring Suso does not go away: according to rumors from Spain, the Milan playmaker remains one of the names followed by new manager Lopetegui.
Suso completed his youth development at Liverpool before breaking into the senior side in 2012. He stayed there until 2015 (with a loan move to Almeria in 2013-14), before making the move to Milan where he has played ever since.
Click here for more transfer stories from across Europe
Source: Google News Spain | Netizen 24 Spain

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By On July 22, 2018

Former Spain playmaker Iniesta makes debut in Japan

KOBE, Japan (AP) â€" Andres Iniesta made his debut in Japan on Sunday for Vissel Kobe but his new team went down 3-0 at home to Shonan Bellmare.

Keisuke Saka and Mitsuki Saito scored to give the visitors a 2-0 lead before Iniesta came on as a 59th-minute substitute. But Shunsuke Kikuchi added another in the 67th to put the result beyond doubt.

The 34-year-old Iniesta had his first touch in the 62nd minute, as he received a pass inside his own area before dribbling to halfway and passing to Takuya Yasui on the wing.

Iniesta created a chance when he sent a through ball that found Wellington inside the box in the 89th minute but the Brazilian's shot was deflected out for a corner.

Iniesta, who trained with his teammates for the first time Friday, is expected to make his first J-League start when Vissel play Kashiwa Reysol at home on Saturday.

Iniesta scored t he winning goal for Spain in the 2010 World Cup final. He also was a key part of Spain's two European Championships in 2008 and 2012.

Elsewhere, Iniesta's compatriot Fernando Torres made his debut for Sagan Tosu, coming off the bench early in the second half of a 1-0 loss to Vegalta Sendai.

The former Liverpool, Chelsea, and Atletico Madrid forward looked right at home with two scoring chances in the second half.

Torres scored 38 goals in his 110 caps for Spain and was in the winning squad for the 2010 World Cup.

In other matches, second place FC Tokyo thrashed Yokohama F Marinos 5-2 while third place Kawasaki Frontale edged V-Varen Nagasaki 1-0.

Kashima Antlers moved into 10th place with a 6-2 win over Kashiwa Reysol.

Gamba Osaka lost 2-1 to Shimizu S-Pulse, while Cerezo Osaka was held to a 1-1 draw by Urawa Reds.

League leaders Sanfrecce Hiroshima and Nagoya Grampus ended in a goalless draw, while Consadole Sapporo and Jubilo Iwata also finished scoreless.

Source: Google News Spain | Netizen 24 Spain

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By On July 22, 2018

Spain's Popular Party Elects Pablo Casado, a Hard Liner, to Replace Rajoy

  1. Spain's Popular Party Elects Pablo Casado, a Hard Liner, to Replace Rajoy New York Times
  2. Spain: People's Party picks Pablo Casado as new leader Aljazeera.com
  3. Spain's conservatives swing to the right with new leader Reuters
  4. Full coverage
Source: Google News Spain | Netizen 24 Spain

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By On July 22, 2018

Migrant rescue ship docks in Spain's Mallorca

BARCELONA, Spain â€" A survivor of a capsized migrant boat brought to the Spanish island of Mallorca along with two bodies from the wreck has been transferred to a hospital for trauma treatment, Spanish authorities said Saturday.

A rescue boat operated by Spanish aid group Proactiva Open Arms had found the Cameroonian woman along with the bodies of a toddler boy and another woman in the Mediterranean Sea. The aid group accused Libya's coast guards of abandoning the thr ee on Tuesday after intercepting some 160 Europe-bound migrants.

Video posted by the group showing the floating bodies and the rescue of the woman caused outrage across Europe.

Proactiva Open Arms director Oscar Camps said the two women and the toddler had refused to board Libyan vessels with the rest of the migrants and were left behind.

The Open Arms vessel docked in Palma, Mallorca earlier Saturday after a four-day journey across the Mediterranean. It was accompanied by its sister ship Astral.

The group said the surviving woman will receive medical treatment for physical and psychological trauma in the hospital.

The woman, identified only as "Josefa," told a journalist onboard the rescue vessel that the migrants had been at sea for two days and two nights.

It wasn't clear how many others from the woman's boat survived on their way back to Libya.

The rescuers had refused to dock in Italy, saying they didn't trust how Italian authorities would handle an investigation into the wreckage. Rome and the European Union have trained and financed the Libyan coast guard to halt the flow of migration.

The country's populist interior minister Matteo Salvini has repeatedly denied entry to aid ships rescuing migrants in the Mediterranean Sea, including Open Arms, and referred to the group's claims and account of their rescue operation as "lies and insults."

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Source: Google News Spain | Netizen 24 Spain

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By On July 22, 2018

Spain drops arrest warrant for former Catalan leader

&times &times &times &times Catalan regional government president Carles Puigdemont attends a regional government meeting at the Generalitat Palace in Barcelona on October 10, 2017.Pau Barrena | AFP | Getty Images Catalan regional government president Carles Puigdemont attends a regional government meeting at the Generalitat Palace in Barcelona on October 10, 2017.

Spain’s Supreme Court dropped a European arrest warrant for former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont on Thursday after Germany refused to extradite him to face a charge of rebellion for declaring Catalonia an independent state last year.

The Spanish court also dropped European arrest warrants for five other Catalan pro-independence leaders living abroad.

The move demonstrates the difficulty Spain has faced in trying to persuade its European Union partners to help it bring former members of Catalonia’s regional government to trial for holding a referendum on a split from Spain.

Puigdemont’s regional government held the vote last year in defiance of a Spanish court that had ruled it illegal. After the vote, the Catalan regional authorities declared independence, prompting Madrid to impose direct rule, fire the region’s government and hold new elections there.

Several members of Puigdemont’s former cabinet are now in jail in Madrid facing rebellion charges, while he and several others are scattered across Europe, where they so far have successfully avoided Spanish efforts to have them sent home.

A German court ruled a week ago that Puigdemont, 55, could be extradited to Spain to face a separate charge for misuse of public funds, but not for the rebellion charge. Under European law, that means Spain would have been barred from trying him on the more serious charge if the extradition were to proceed.

The Spanish court rejected that proposal, lifting the arrest warrant altogether.

“Withdrawing the European arrest warrants demonstrates the immense weakness of this case,” Puigdemont tweeted.

'We tread cautiously'

The charges against Puigdemont and the five others remain in place despite the lifting of the European warrants, meaning they would be arrested if they return to Spain.

Aamer Anwar, a lawyer for one of the other figures whose warrant was lifted, former Catalan Education Minister Clara Ponsati who is now a university professor in Scotland, said: “It’s excellent news, with regards to my client Clara Ponsati, and obviously for Puigdemont... but we tread cautiously.”

“The question that arises is whether the Spanish government are willing to allow Mr Puigdemont to simply return back to Catalonia and declare independence... I suspect not.”

The Spanish judge overseeing the case, Pablo Llanera, chided the German court for rejecting extradition for rebellion, saying it had shown a lack of commitment to the case and undermined the Spanish Supreme Cou rt’s powers.

It is the second time Spain has revoked the arrest warrant for Puigdemont since he went into self-exile when his independence bid for Catalonia collapsed last year.

Puigdemont initially traveled to Belgium where the prospect of charges being restricted led Spain to drop an arrest warrant in December. The judge reissued it later, causing Germany to arrest Puigdemont when he traveled there in April.

Six other Catalan politicians are being held in custody on rebellion charges that carry a potential 30 year sentence. Madrid would consider it unacceptable for Puigdemont to face only the lesser charges of misuse of public funds, which carry a maximum eight year jail term.

Since the Catalonia crisis of last year , Spain’s Conservative government which took a hard line has been replaced by a Socialist government. New Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has met Puigdemont’s successor - fervent separatist Quim Torra - in a thawing of relations between Madrid and Barcelona. However, Sanchez has reiterated that any referendum on independence by Catalonia is illegal and against the Spanish constitution.

The Spanish government has no influence over judicial decisions in the ongoing criminal cases.

Source: Google News Spain | Netizen 24 Spain