December 4, 2022

Spanish police believe letter bombs originated in Vallodolid

The booby-trapped letters and explosive packages that have been sent to high-profile figures and key locations in Spain over the last week are thought to have been posted from Valladolid.
December 4, 2022

World Cup 2022 diary: every good feeling in Qatar is lined with guilt

Away from the stadiums, there are ‘scenic’ strolls, gristly burgers and a chastening kickabout with Nedum OnuohaMy colleague Sid Lowe and I decide to take a leisurely stroll to the nearby Al Bidda Park. Good news: it’s only 15 minutes away. Bad news: you have to dodge a six-lane dual carriageway to get there. The park is practically deserted and the view of the glittering ocean only marginally tarnished by the enormous sewage pipe flowing into it. A timely and poignant reminder that in Qatar all beauty is fatally tinged by ugliness. Later, Spain draw 1-1 with Germany. Continue reading...
December 4, 2022

The heart of the World Cup: Doha Metro brings fans together

The Qatari capital’s $36bn underground rail network is a hive of activity – but its construction has carried a human costThe Gold line at 10 to eight on Thursday night in Doha. A crowded metro train is heading west towards the Khalifa International Stadium for Japan v Spain. A quick stock take of the carriage reveals the following: one Filipino woman from Hong Kong in a Spain shirt and baseball cap; two Japanese women in face masks talking to two Nepalese friends (one of whom flew to Qatar just for the game), both wearing Japan kits; three Korean-Americans searching for tickets; a family of Mexicans (a sombrero gives it away) rooting for Spain; three rowdy Saudi Arabia supporters; and above the door a calling card from the Argentinians who are never far away – a Panini sticker of Diego Maradona from USA 94.It was an unlikely combination, but not an unusual one in the city these past few weeks and here’s the argument: the Doha Metro is the place to be at this World Cup. If you want to spend time talking to people from across the world, if you want to learn about their hopes and fears (mainly football-related), if you want to laugh, to sing and be reminded how much human beings have in common, then take the train. Or march up and down the escalators, or congregate in the concourses. Really, honestly, it’s where it’s at. Continue reading...
December 3, 2022

England are World Cup contenders. Does it matter if they are any good? | Jonathan Wilson

Major tournaments are short and freakish things happen – and England, unlike more illustrious opponents, are still hereThree games into their World Cup campaign, 11 games into 2022, 79 games into Gareth Southgate’s reign, the question remains unanswered: are England actually any good?To which there are probably two answers. The first is simple: yes, reasonably. They finished top of their group. They were joint top-scorers alongside Spain. They kept two clean sheets. The second is a weary sigh as any discussion of England is immediately submerged by hackneyed debates about arrogance and expectation, set against a backdrop of implausible ideals of breezy attacking perfection. What even is good? Continue reading...
December 2, 2022

England doesn’t expect much these days: except when it comes to the World Cup | Marina Hyde

The country is riven by political incompetence and economic distress so expectations are low for everyone bar Gareth Southgate and his playersWell. About last night … to describe the conclusion of the group stages of this World Cup as crazy feels a bit like calling the residents of Arkham Asylum merely eccentric. For three minutes on Thursday, Costa Rica’s lead over Germany would have meant Spain were heading home, with the coach Luis Enrique mercifully in the dark about this potential outcome. “If I’d have known,” he reflected mildly afterwards, “I would have had a heart attack.” It was certainly the evening for it.ITV’s Graeme Souness appeared to be suffering from a number of baroque medical conditions as he “analysed” the notion that the ball did not go out of play before Japan’s crucial second goal against Spain. Graeme’s conniption swiftly tipped over into such deep conspiracy theory that he is expected to follow his stint in Qatar with a secondment to Donald Trump’s stop-the-steal campaign. “Why have we not seen the evidence?” the studio’s Oliver Stone kept demanding rhetorically. Continue reading...
December 2, 2022

CHECKLIST: Everything digital nomads moving to Spain need to consider

Spain’s Startups Law is 100 percent going ahead after its very last ratification by the Senate and Parliament. If you’re a remote worker who’s now planning to come to Spain, there’s a lot more apart from the enticing law to consider beforehand, from costs to location.
December 2, 2022

Football Daily | Schadenfreude addicts, conspiracy theorists and permutations junkies

Sign up now! Sign up now! Sign up now? Sign up now!What the Human Rights World Cup lacks in equality, dignity, human rights and Scotland, it is more than making up for in drama. The last group games have been popcorn-gorging, brain-melting belters, with something for everyone: schadenfreude addicts, conspiracy theorists, historians and permutations junkies. Belgium and Germany went out on Thursday, and for a delirious couple of minutes, in which it was beyond the wit of man to utter anything other than “Oh my God!”, it looked like Spain might join them. Belgium’s exit was on the cards after their defeat to Morocco on Sunday, but nobody saw the manner of it coming. Poor Romelu Lukaku produced a tragi-cameo for the ages, with a personal xG of 1.98 and a G of 0.00. His only shot on target was when he rammed his fist into the dugout after the game.This is an extract from our daily football email … Football Daily. To subscribe for the full version, just visit this page and follow the instructions. Continue reading...
December 2, 2022

Why are December 6th and 8th public holidays in Spain?

Spain has two public holidays in early December which often form a “puente” (bridge), allowing workers in the country to enjoy an extended break before Christmas. Why are these two days “festivos” in Spain?
December 2, 2022

Luis Enrique oblivious to team’s peril during Spain’s ‘collapse’ against Japan

La Roja briefly faced World Cup elimination but coach claims he was entirely focused on their struggles at Khalifa StadiumLuis Enrique was the last to know, or so he claimed. It was after midnight before he found out just how close he and his team had come to disaster at Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, the realisation caught on cameras. How had he felt during those three minutes when Spain were out of the World Cup, he was asked in the post-match press conference after his team’s 2-1 defeat by Japan. What was going through his mind? Instead of an answer, there was an “eh?!” and another question. “Three minutes out, why?!” he replied.A conversation followed in which only Luis Enrique’s half could be heard properly, the journalist’s microphone having been handed back. Usefully, it served as proof, evidence of his approach, the single-mindedness that sets him apart. That at least was the way he was playing it. “You didn’t know?” he was asked. “No,” the coach said. “I’m not focused on the other game; I’m only concentrating on mine … Continue reading...
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