News & Media - The Guardian News for Spain brings you a news feed direct from The Guardian with the latest news from Spain, Southern Spain.

Gender issues become election battleground, as rightwingers complain of discrimination against men

Spain’s socialist PSOE party has vowed to outlaw prostitution in a series of measures designed to appeal to female voters ahead of the general election on 28 April, according to reports.

With polls suggesting women make up as much as half of the 40% of undecided voters, the party, led by the prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, has published a female-friendly manifesto. It contrasts with claims by some rightwing parties that so-called “feminazis” are discriminating against men.

Related: Rape and abuse: the price of a job in Spain’s strawberry industry?

Related: Far-right Vox party set for breakthrough in Spanish elections

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On 28 March 1939, General Franco’s Nationalist troops entered Madrid. See how the Guardian reported the immediate aftermath of the three-year civil war

29 March 1939

Related: Eighty years on, Spain may at last be able to confront the ghosts of civil war

Related: Spaniards new democracy Franco's long shadow

To-day the Red Army [Republican forces] is captive and disarmed, and the Nationalist troops have achieved their final military objectives. The war is over.

Related: The Spanish civil war united a generation of young writers, poets and artists in political fervour, says Eric Hobsbawm

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Upstart party is on course for 10% of the vote as Spanish right fragments after decades of dominance by People’s party

The symbolism of Vox’s election campaign launch in Madrid on Thursday was not particularly hard to fathom. In the central square named after Christopher Columbus, near a statue of Blas de Lazo, the battle-scarred, one-legged Spanish admiral who vanquished the British fleet off Colombia 278 years ago, the far-right party’s leader issued a familiar call to arms.

Vox weren’t after anything as prosaic as votes, Santiago Abascal told the crowd. What he had in mind was a political crusade to fly “the flag of Spain and of liberty” across the country and to take the fight to the “illegitimate” socialist government, an administration propped up by parties he termed “separatists, populists and friends of terrorists”.

Related: Franco’s shadow: reburial battle sees Spain confront its darkest days

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Ten Moroccan women say Spanish authorities have ignored claims they were trafficked, assaulted and exploited

Last April, Samira Ahmad* kissed her baby goodbye and boarded a bus, leaving her home in Morocco for the strawberry fields of southern Spain. In her bag was her Spanish visa and a contract that promised €40 a day plus food and accommodation. In the three months she’d be away, she hoped the pain of being separated from her family would be softened by the money she’d be sending back to them – a fortune compared to what she’d be able to earn at home.

A year on, and Ahmad’s life is in ruins. She is destitute, divorced and for the past 10 months has been living in hiding, surviving on handouts with nine other Moroccan women who – like her – claim they faced human trafficking, sexual assault and exploitation on the farm where they were hired to work. She says her biggest mistake – other than coming to Spain – was going to the authorities.

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Andrés Manuel López Obrador angered after Reforma leaked letter he wrote that triggered a minor diplomatic crisis

Press freedom advocates have criticized Mexico’s president for calling on a newspaper to reveal the source that leaked a controversial letter he wrote to the king of Spain, urging him to apologize for the conquest 500 years ago.

The letter prompted a furious reaction in Spain and triggered a minor diplomatic crisis with the Madrid government saying it “deeply regret[ed]” the publication of the letter.

Related: Spain hits back at Mexico in row over colonial rights abuses

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Meanwhile, sweltering heat grips parts of India, and a cold front sweeps across Spain

A western disturbance parked over north Pakistan has introduced rounds of heavy rain to Iran for three weeks straight, submerging much of the country. A western disturbance is a non-monsoonal low-pressure system driven by prevailing westerlies, with significant rainfall usually triggered by the Himalayas. The north-east province of Golestan received 70% of its average annual rainfall within one day, but the worst effects have since been felt in the south-west where further rain is due to arrive. Dams are presently at 95% capacity, renewing fears of flooding. Snowmelt from the mountain regions has also contributed to rapidly rising water levels.

Sweltering heat has gripped parts of India in the past week, with temperatures regularly exceeding 40C (104F) in the north-west and central states, though the heat has also shifted northward in recent days. High temperatures combined with moisture and instability owing to the nearby western disturbance also triggered thunderstorms and dust storms across Jammu and Kashmir, though the rain there has been to some extent a respite.

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Material that originated from Ecuadorian embassy was reportedly offered for sale

BREAKING: Julian Assange arrested at Ecuadorian embassy

WikiLeaks has said it has uncovered a surveillance operation against Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy and that images, documents and videos gathered have been offered for sale.

Spanish police were said to have mounted a sting operation against unnamed individuals in Madrid who offered the material for sale in what lawyers and colleagues of Assange said on Wednesday was an attempt at extortion.

Related: Revealed: Ecuador spent millions on spy operation for Julian Assange

(June 1, 2010) 

Related: Revealed: Ecuador spent millions on spy operation for Julian Assange

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Ángel Fernández recorded video with his wife, who had MS, discussing their plan

Spain is again wrestling with the issue of euthanasia after a man was arrested for allegedly helping his seriously ill wife to die.

Ángel Fernández, 70, is reported to have confessed to assisting in the death of María José Carrasco, 61, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 30 years ago. He was arrested in Madrid on Wednesday and released on Thursday night pending further inquiries.

Related: Death on demand: has euthanasia gone too far?

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Exclusive: Pedro Sánchez says rhetoric in both debates will lead societies down blind alley

Spain’s prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, has compared Brexit to the failed push for Catalan independence, warning that “engaging in campaigns or political projects based on lies eventually leads societies down a blind alley”.

Renewing his appeal for the UK to accept the EU’s withdrawal deal, Sánchez said he saw clear parallels between the rhetoric that drove the Brexit debate and the arguments used in the regional independence campaign that plunged Spain into its worst crisis in four decades.

Related: Faith in PM's Brexit offer 'virtually zero': European media's verdict

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Waiver agreed if UK keeps concession also for EU citizens, as most MEPs accept legal label of Gibralter as colony

British citizens will not need a visa for short trips to countries in the EU, following Brexit, now that EU lawmakers have struck a deal over a law that had been blocked by dispute over Gibraltar’s status.

It was agreed that British travellers would be granted a visa waiver for stays of up to 90 days in any 180-day period, as long as the British government upheld its promise not to require visas for EU citizens.

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Claude Moraes forced out over refusal to accept Spain’s description of British territory

A British MEP who challenged Spain’s description of Gibraltar as a colony has accused his opponents of “dirty tricks” after he was stripped of a key position in the European parliament.

Claude Moraes was forced out of the role of rapporteur for EU no-deal visa-free travel legislation, a position in which his job is to represent MEPs’ views, after he refused to accept the contentious description of the British overseas territory in a draft law.

Related: Brexit: May gives way over Gibraltar after Spain's 'veto' threat

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Exclusive: Survey of 14 countries show some Europeans now favour “emigration controls”

Southern and eastern European countries are more concerned about emigration than immigration, according to a wide-ranging survey of attitudes in 14 EU countries.

In Spain, Italy, Greece, Poland, Hungary and Romania, six countries where population levels are either flatlining or falling sharply, more citizens said emigration was a worry than immigration, according to the poll by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR).

Related: Why Viktor Orbán and his allies won’t win the EU elections | Ivan Krastev

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In first official comment on February incident, Pyongyang suggests Washington’s possible involvement

North Korea on Sunday described the February raid on its embassy in Madrid by a dissident group as a “grave terrorist attack” and urged an investigation into the perpetrators.

A group of armed men burst into Pyongyang’s Spanish embassy last month and roughed up employees before fleeing with documents and computers.

Related: Secretive group seeking to oust Kim Jong-un claim North Korea embassy raid

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Singer and Carlos Vives rejected claim by Livan Rafael Castellanos that their song contains lyrics, rhythm and melody similar to his

The Colombian singers Shakira and Carlos Vives have appeared in a Madrid court to answer allegations by a Cuban-born singer and producer that they plagiarized his work in their award-winning hit La Bicicleta.

Related: Recycled lines? Shakira faces plagiarism claim over hit song La Bicicleta

Related: Tax slips don't lie? Shakira under investigation for tax evasion

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Secretive group takes direct action against ‘immoral and illegitimate regime’ of Kim Jong-un

Secretive group seeking to oust Kim Jong-un claim North Korea embassy raid

Cheollima Civil Defence is believed to be the first organised opposition to the dynasty that has ruled North Korea for more than seven decades.

What little is known about the secretive group is based on its own public statements and Spanish court documents detailing its audacious raid on the North Korean embassy in Madrid in late February.

Related: Secretive group seeking to oust Kim Jong-un claim North Korea embassy raid

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Cheollima Civil Defence says it carried out daring raid on Madrid building in February

A secretive dissident group seeking to overthrow the regime in North Korea has claimed responsibility for last month’s raid on the country’s embassy in Madrid, as a court in Spain prepared to seek the intruders’ extradition.

Cheollima Civil Defence said in statement posted on its website that the 22 February raid on the embassy was “not an attack” and claimed that its members had been responding to an “urgent situation” inside the embassy. The intruders fled with computers, hard disks and other items after a failed attempt to persuade an embassy official to defect.

Related: Cheollima: the self-styled 'government-in-exile' fighting to free North Korea

The regime’s embassies and offices are hubs of illicit narcotic and arms trafficking

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One of 10 people who entered consulate by force in February contacted FBI, high court says

The details of how mysterious intruders raided North Korea’s embassy in Madrid last month, tricked the Spanish police and made off with a stash of stolen intelligence which they offered to the FBI have been laid out by a Spanish judge.

Spanish police were called to the embassy in the middle of the raid, but were warded off by the Mexican citizen Adrian Hong Chang who pretended to be a diplomat, the Spanish newspaper El País reported.

Related: Spain investigates possible CIA links to embassy break-in

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Madrid rejects Mexican president’s demand for apology for crimes against indigenous people

A diplomatic row has broken out between Mexico and Spain after the Mexican president wrote to King Felipe VI demanding he apologise for crimes committed against Mexico’s indigenous people during the conquest 500 years ago.

In a video filmed at the ruins of the indigenous city of Comalcalco, in southern Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador called on Spain and the Vatican to recognise the rights violations committed during the conquest, led by Hernán Cortés. The video was posted on the president’s social media accounts.

Related: Spain fights to dispel legend of Inquisition and imperial atrocities

Related: Conquistadors sacrificed and eaten by Aztec-era people, archaeologists say

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Only the octopus is a match for the deadly pincers of a creature that has found its way from the US to the Ebro Delta

Voracious and almost without predators, the blue crab was first sighted in the Ebro Delta on Spain’s Mediterranean coast in 2012, and since then the population has expanded exponentially, wiping out native species and forcing the fishing industry to adapt and find new markets.

The blue crab (Callinectes sapidus) is a native of the east coast of the United States. It probably found its way into the Mediterranean via ships’ ballast tanks, says Carmen Barberá, a researcher at the Marine Research Centre at the University of Alicante, who is a specialist in invasive species.

Related: Chinese fishmeal plants leave fishermen in the Gambia all at sea | Hannah Summers

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In letter to Spanish king, President Obrador cites massacres and oppression during conquest of Mexico

Related: Spain hits back at Mexico in row over colonial rights abuses

Mexico’s president Andrés Manuel López Obrador has written to Spanish King Felipe VI and Pope Francis urging them to apologize for the “abuses” of colonialism and the conquest.

Estamos en Comalcalco, vamos a Centla a conmemorar 500 años de la batalla de los españoles contra la resistencia de los mayas-chontales.

Related: Spain fights to dispel legend of Inquisition and imperial atrocities

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