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'Real News from All the Canary Islands'

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​Gran Canaria Hospital Pioneers Laser Eye Surgery

Gran Canaria Hospital Pioneers Laser Eye Surgery

This week the Insular Hospital in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria became the 8thmedical centre is all of Spain to offer femtosecond laser eye surgery, which is used for patients with cataracts or malformation of the cornea.

Therefore, patients who live in the south of Gran Canaria and those who live in Fuerteventura will be the first to benefit from this new laser eye surgery technique.

The femtosecond laser guarantees more precise results, making the work of the ophthalmologist and the health care system more productive.

The femtosecond laser is a device capable of emitting pulses of ultrashort laser light, which are counted in femtoseconds. These pulses are emitted at a wavelength of 1053nm which makes it possible to traverse the transparent tissues of the eye.

When they impact, they produce the so-called photodisruption and photoionisation effect, creating a plasma point of 1 to 3 microns in diameter and an acoustic shock that forms a micro-bubble of cavitation that separates the tissue. When thousands of impacts are placed in succession and together at high speed, a transparent fabric can be cut.

It is currently used in ophthalmology in corneal surgery and cataract surgery. In the cornea, it is used in transplants and in refractive surgery.

You can find this and other news stories from the Canary Islands and Spain in the free, online 'News from the Canary Islands':

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​Gran Canaria Orchestra Performs in Local Hospitals

Gran Canaria Orchestra Performs in Local Hospitals

The Strings Sections of the Orquesta Filarmonica de Gran Canaria (OFGC) this week gave a performance at the Dr Negrin Hospital in Las Palmas. This concert was part of a regular pattern of musical performances presented at local hospitals in association with the Youth Choir of the OFGC, and represents its high degree of commitment to local residents.

This concert also raised awareness of the 2018 Hemodynamic Days and the work undertaken by local hospitals to treat patients with health problems related to their blood flow. The concert was arranged in collaboration with the Canary Islands Institute of Hemodynamics and Hemotherapy attached to the Ministry of Health of the Government of the Canary Islands, which focuses on treating disease by the use of blood or blood products from blood donations to offer blood transfusions.

In addition to the patients currently admitted to this ward who enjoyed this string concert from this outstanding local orchestra, they were also joined by their families and friends who were visiting, and doctors, nurses and other hospital staff.

You can find this and other news stories from the Canary Islands and Spain in the free, online 'News from the Canary Islands':

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​Cirque de Soleil Will Be Based in Gran Canaria

Cirque de Soleil Will Be Based in Gran Canaria

This Montreal-based entertainment company that describes itself as the largest theatre producer in the world announced this week that it is making Gran Canaria its European headquarters for future Cirque de Soleil productions.

The parent company issued a press release to explain that Cirque du Soleil would be based in the south of Gran Canaria as a result of a new association between the company and Expo Meloneras, which has been planned for over a year, and supported by the Municipality of San Bartolome de Tirajana, the Government of Gran Canaria and the Government of the Canary Islands.

Finn Taylor, Senior Vice President of Cirque du Soleil circus shows said “Meloneras in Gran Canaria is a first class tourist destination, and for our company is the perfect location for our shows due to its good climate, connectivity and excellent hotels.”

This amazing circus project will first arrive at Meloneras in 2019, although the plans for next year’s tours, the details of the shows that will premiere in Gran Canaria and the dates of productions are not yet confirmed, but should be announced in the coming months.

Zoilo Aleman, Director of Expo Meloneras this week described this new association with Cirque de Soleil as a ‘dream come true’ after many long discussions and fact-finding visits, and now looks forward to very exciting times as Gran Canaria becomes the European headquarters for this world-class circus entertainment, but without animals.

You can find this and other news stories from the Canary Islands and Spain in the free, online 'News from the Canary Islands':

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​EU Residents Can Claim Compensation for Delayed Flights Outside Europe

EU Residents Can Claim Compensation for Delayed Flights Outside Europe

A landmark ruling by the European Court of Justice announced this week that a German passenger delayed on a connecting flight in Morocco should qualify for a 400 euro compensation payment.

This ruling is based on the complaint made by Claudia Wegener, who was due to fly from Berlin with Royal Air Maroc via Casablanca to Agadir. She was delayed at Casablanca and arrived four hours late.

Air passengers in the European Union have rights that stipulate compensation of between 250 euros and 600 euros, depending on distance, if a flight is over three hours late arriving at the destination.

In this case, the airline rejected Ms Wegener’s claim for compensation, and said that the change in aircraft for the connecting flight represented a separate journey, and as it began outside the EU and was on a non-European airline, no compensation would be paid.

Airlines have claimed that this is another blow and feel the rules are unfairly slanted in favour of passengers, because this new ruling opens up retrospective claims for flights up to six years ago.

This decision is legally binding throughout Europe and sets a new precedent. The European Court of Justice has enhanced the rights of air passengers to cover those on connecting flights, who will now have the same high level of protection as passengers flying direct to their destination.

For UK air passengers, this ruling could cover flights via Gulf hubs, such as Abu Dhabi, Doha and Dubai, and connections in North America. However, this only covers EU citizens and would not apply to UK residents after Brexit.

You can find this and other news stories from the Canary Islands and Spain in the free, online 'News from the Canary Islands':

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​Canary Islands President Visits Cuba and America

Canary Islands President Visits Cuba and America

The President of the Canary Islands Government, Fernando Clavijo, this week visited Cuba to strengthen relations between the islands. His meeting with Vice President of the Council of Ministers and Minister of Cuban Economy, Ricardo Cabrisas and with the Minister of Economy, Rodrigo Malmierca in Havana provided opportunities to enhance the friendship and economic relations between the Canary Islands and Cuba, because these two island territories share close historical ties.

At these meetings, Fernando Clavijo said that he wanted to open discussions on the economy in sectors related to renewable energy, industry and tourism, so that we can learn from each other to intensify economic exchanges.

This official visit to Havana by the President of the Canary Islands marks 8 years since the previous visit, and Fernando Clavijo invited representatives of the Cuban Government to make an official visit to the Canary Islands in the near future.

The President of the Canary Islands also used this visit to meet with representatives of the Canarian community living in Cuba, and are the largest group of Spanish people who travelled to Cuba many years ago for work. The President also said “It makes my hair stand on end at this meeting to realise that we could all have a relative, grandfather or great grandfather who travelled to Cuba.”

Following this meeting in Cuba, the President of the Canary Islands flew to the USA to accompany the King and Queen of Spain for their first visit to various cities in the States of Louisiana and Texas, and will also be accompanied by Josep Borrell, the new Minister of Foreign Affairs of the European Union Parliament.

Fernando Clavijo joined the reception given to the King and Queen in New Orleans, and visited San Bernardo, which was founded by early Canary Islands settlers, as well as one of the cities that was devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Finally, the President of the Canary Islands travelled with the King and Queen to San Antonio in Texas, which this year celebrates the 300thanniversary of its founding, and will meet the Association of Descendants of the Canary Islands. This sounds a wonderful opportunity to remember the close historical links between the Canary Islands and Cuba and the southern states of the USA, and to strengthen the relationship with distant communities whose families had travelled from the Canary Islands so many years ago.

You can find this and other news stories from the Canary Islands and Spain in the free, online 'News from the Canary Islands':

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​World Oceans Day Celebrated in Canary Islands

World Oceans Day Celebrated in Canary Islands

On the occasion of World Oceans Day celebrated on 8 June, the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sports of the Government of the Canary Islands introduced a new video that celebrates the beauty and natural richness of the water that surrounds these islands, as well as including the sounds created by various underwater species.

This new video is an audio visual piece in a specific format for social networks that is 30 seconds in length, and invites users to activate the audio of their smartphone to listen to the song of whales, conversations between dolphins and the sound of the bubbles of dozens of fish.

Through Facebook, it is expected to exceed half a million views for a video that will be subtitled in 9 different languages, and targets audiences in Peninsula Spain, France, Germany, Italy, the UK, Ireland, Sweden, Norway, Belgium, Holland and Poland.

You can find this and other news stories from the Canary Islands and Spain in the free, online 'News from the Canary Islands':

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​Woman in Gran Canaria Killed by Gas Explosion Had Been Stabbed

Woman in Gran Canaria Killed by Gas Explosion Had Been Stabbed

This week it was reported that the body of a woman found in her home in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria damaged by a gas explosion had already been stabbed.

Police investigations of this apparent accident are now following protocols relating to acts of violence on women as a possible motive.

Sources have indicated that at the first inspection of the scene of the gas explosion, the body of the 40-year-old woman had previously died from stab wounds. However, police specify that the autopsy must first determine whether the woman died as a result of those injuries or if she was still alive when the gas explosion took place.

At the time of the explosion, the woman’s husband was with her and suffered severe burns of second and third degrees.

You can find this and other news stories from the Canary Islands and Spain in the free, online 'News from the Canary Islands':

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​Winning Poster for Carnival Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

Winning Poster for Carnival Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

Carnival in 2019 in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, which will be celebrated under the theme ‘A Night in Rio’, this week has an official poster, which is the image of a tropical bird that brings the magic of the Brazilian city to the capital of Gran Canaria.

A jury composed of representatives of the Carnival Committee, graphic design professionals and local media chose the flight of a tropical bird to illustrate the idea of freedom of the Carnival of Las Palmas, which reflects a holiday of international tourist interest.

The silhouette of what could be a macaw or parrot, on a white background includes elements that combine the Rio Carnival with that of Las Palmas, and is the work of graphic designer Jorge Leal, who beat 13 other contestants for this prize.

The Councillor for the Carnival of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Inmaculada Medina, said “This poster represents the main essence of the party, a free bird, which is what Carnival is for us – a celebration of freedom, respect and diversity.

Jorge Leal received a prize of 3000 euros for designing the poster, and was also the winner of the 2015 Carnival poster contest that had the theme of ‘A Thousand and One Nights’.

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Carnival in 2019 will run from 15 February to 10 March, and looks like it is going to be another great party.

You can find this and other news stories from the Canary Islands and Spain in the free, online 'News from the Canary Islands':

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Winning Poster for Carnival Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

​Protests Against Budget Cuts for Agriculture in Canary Islands

Protests Against Budget Cuts for Agriculture in Canary Islands

The Government of the Canary Islands and representatives of 22 associations of the agriculture sector that involve 13,000 local producers have signed a document to form a common front against the 3.9% cuts announced by the European Union for the Community Programme of Support for Agricultural Production in the Canary Islands, known as POSEI-Agriculture, from the next budgetary period.

The reductions announced for the period from 2021 to 2027, which appear in the first advance of the European budget for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), are claimed by the Government of the Canary Islands to threaten to truncate the growth of the agricultural sector, but vital for these islands.

The budget decrease in the CAP proposed by the European Commission would affect both the POSEI and the Specific Supply Regime (REA) and the Rural Development Plan (PDR).

In the case of the Specific Supply Regime (REA), community aid would decrease from 72.7 million euros per year to 69.9 million euros, while in the case of the Canary Islands, it would decrease from 268 million euros to 257 million euros, and eleven million euros less per year.

The minimum commitment that had been reached with the governments of the three European states with outermost regions, Spain, France and Portugal, was to at least maintain the current aid in the next EU budget, which explains the concerns about the first budget proposals, and the Government of the Canary Islands wants not only to maintain these funds, but to increase them.

The Minister of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Water, Narvay Quintero, explained at this meeting that the need to reduce the budget of the European Union should not affect the outermost regions, because the agricultural production of the Canary Islands cannot compete on equal terms in a free market scenario.

You can find this and other news stories from the Canary Islands and Spain in the free, online 'News from the Canary Islands':

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​Music for Inclusion by Gran Canaria Philharmonic Orchestra

Music for Inclusion by Gran Canaria Philharmonic Orchestra

The Philharmonic Orchestra of Gran Canaria, with the collaboration of Obra Social La Caixa, has developed the project ‘De Acorde – music for inclusion’ in which members of the group teach different instruments to 30 people with learning difficulties.

From violin to cello to piano or singing lessons, the objective of this project is to contribute to the inclusion and empowerment of this group. The workshops that began in January will last until November, and will end with a concert in which these students will participate.

The Gran Canaria Philharmonic Orchestra has already participated in social inclusion projects, such as the Spanish Association of Symphonic Orchestras, under the name of Mosaico de Sonidos, with a final concert also in the Auditorium.

You can find this and other news stories from the Canary Islands and Spain in the free, online 'News from the Canary Islands':

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​Clean Seas Campaign in Gran Canaria

Clean Seas Campaign in Gran Canaria

The Maritime Rescue responders in Gran Canaria used World Oceans Day this week to become directly involved in collecting garbage through the Clean Seas Campaign across the north coast of the island.

This Clean Seas Campaign is a body that seeks to awaken consciences of residents and tourists, and to ensure the coastline remains free of plastics.

These lifesaving rescuers have become accustomed to seeing plastics and other garbage of the ocean from the air, but this week the crew of the Maritime Rescue of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria decided to get off their helicopters, and pick up this rubbish with their own hands.

These Maritime Rescue responders started on the coast of Moya, but now intend to repeat this initiative once a month across the entire coastline of Gran Canaria.

They report that it is their way of contributing to World Oceans Day and the environment, which every year receives 10 million tons of garbage, and mostly plastics, and point out that most marine rubbish comes from terrestrial activities.

It is hoped that this action that fights against marine pollution will also call for more public effort to prevent the oceans becoming the dumping grounds of the planet.

You can find this and other news stories from the Canary Islands and Spain in the free, online 'News from the Canary Islands':

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​Gran Canaria Bound Flight Emergency Landing Due to Smelly Passenger

Gran Canaria Bound Flight Emergency Landing Due to Smelly Passenger

This week the Transavia Flight from Schiphol Airport bound for Gran Canaria had to make an emergency landing at Faro Airport in Portugal, as one passenger was described by fellow passengers to have bad body odour. However, this smell was so bad that other passengers complained of feeling sick and feeling faint.

This passenger was asked to stay in the toilet to prevent the bad smell spreading through the plane, but the captain decided to make an emergency landing at Faro to remove him from the plane due to medical reasons of this passenger, but confirmed that the smell added to the problems for the continuation of this flight.

So far, no information has been released about the medical condition of this smelly passenger, but the Transavia flight later took off again with the rest of the passengers.

You can find this and other news stories from the Canary Islands and Spain in the free, online 'News from the Canary Islands':

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Man Attacks His Family with Knife in Gran Canaria

Man Attacks His Family with Knife in Gran Canaria

This week the Court in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria ordered a man accused of attacking his family with a knife to be remanded in custody. The incident occurred in the El Polvorin neighbourhood of Las Palmas.

The accused, aged 30 years, was admitted to prison without bail. The arrested man, who has multiple criminal records, went to his father’s house, which he was prohibited from approaching, and attacked his family with a knife. He was later arrested by police.

You can find this and other news stories from the Canary Islands and Spain in the free, online 'News from the Canary Islands':

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​Human Chain Formed to Stop Felling of Trees in Gran Canaria

Human Chain Formed to Stop Felling of Trees in Gran Canaria

More than a hundred people this week formed a human chain in the Municipality of Tejeda to protest the felling and transplanting of trees to create an open commercial area in the town.

The local residents’ association Avete claimed it spoke for the residents of this town in opposing what they describe as ‘pruning arboricide’ and chanted slogans against the Mayor to stop the felling of trees.

The President of this residents’ association, Alonso Cruz Cabrera, explained that the trees affected by this felling were between 50 and 70 years old, and in some cases over 100 years. He claimed that they should continue to live, and “although they belong to the vegetable kingdom, they are living beings like any of us.”

Dressed in green shirts with the motto, ‘Tejeda is not sold, Tejeda defends itself’, the protestors walked the streets of the town for an hour to end up in front of the Town Hall to read a manifesto in defence of the trees.

These protestors called on other Canary Islands residents to support the struggle of the inhabitants of Tejeda, since, “the transplant or felling is a mistreatment of trees.”

You can find this and other news stories from the Canary Islands and Spain in the free, online 'News from the Canary Islands':

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​Socialists in Canary Islands Support Pedro Sanchez as Prime Minister of Spain

Socialists in Canary Islands Support Pedro Sanchez as Prime Minister of Spain

This week the General Secretary of the Socialist Party PSOE of the Canary Islands, Angel Victor Torres gave his support to the appointment of Pedro Sanchez as Prime Minister of Spain following revelations of corruption in the PP right wing government of Mariano Rajoy.

Angel said “it was necessary to decide between honesty or to maintain a party that had been condemned for corruption.”

The local PSOE party had been celebrating in La Rosa in the Municipality of Valsequillo in Gran Canaria, and Angel said that the socialist party had done what it had to do to make this possible.

Pedro Sanchez gained success in becoming Prime Minister after achieving the support of Podemos, Compromis (Valencia), PDeCat (Catalonia), Equerra (Catalonia), the Basque Nationalist Party (PNV), EH Bildu (Basque Country) and Nueva Canarias (Canary Islands). So, the Canary Islands’ other socialist political party, Nueva Canaria, was instrumental in this rapid change of Prime Minister.

Following the investiture of the new Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, chose to make his acceptance speech without holding a Bible or a crucifix, which broke previous conventions, and so looks to be a leader who will lead the country in ways that will be different to those of Mariano Rajoy. Everyone now expects that the new Prime Minister will recognise the aspirations and needs of all regions of Spain, including the Canary Islands.

You can find this and other news stories from the Canary Islands and Spain in the free, online 'News from the Canary Islands':

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