Friday, May 8, 2009

Weekly Recap: May 2nd - 8th

The pandemic previously known as the swine flu, but now called called flue type-A, has stabilized and is no longer threatening humanity, joining SARs, foot and mouth disease and the bird flu as pandemics that never panned out (pun intended).  However, that hasn't stopped Russian authorities from banning the importation of Spanish pork pending certification that all products are free of any traces of the AH1N1 flu; even though you cannot get it from eating pig.

In some Spanish-US news, the investigation by Spanish Judge Baltasar Garzon into Bush Administration officials for their documented support of torture has provoked an editorial in the Washington Post, where the author (former U.N. Secretary John Bolton) likened it to "the Spanish inquisition," showing that it isn't only the Spanish who lack irony given that waterboarding (called toca then ) was one of the main ways the inquisitors converted the heathens.  Personally, the fact that Garzon is acting on his own and not through the normal channels smells a little bit like grandstanding, but if it keeps up the pressure on Obama to honor his word and enforce the rule of law, then I'm all for it. 

Locally, sports trumps all, and it was all Barça all the time with the thrashing of Madrid 6-2 at Madrid, and their last second heroics against Chelsea to see them through to the Champion's League Final.  Reports in England lable it a travesty and the competence of the referee is being called into question, but I also recall a phantom foul on Drogba that saw Barça reduced to ten, so the shitty refereeing went both ways.  And not to be undone, Espanyol continued its impressive run, beating Valenicia away and moving safely from the regulation zone.  Does this mean there is a god and he's a periquito?  Also, the Lakers are tied with the Houston rockets in what appears to be a bruising eighties style series.  For those interested in Badalona's own Pau Gasol's take on the playoffs and life in Los Angeles, he too has a blog .

Finally, a little insight into the leaders in Spain: With job losses of only 40,000 in April considered good news compared to the 120,000 in March and forecasts predicting twenty percent, news reports detail a recent government initiative that offers to continue to pay the unemployment benefits of Romanian immigrants in they sign a written promise to go back to Romania and look for work.  The Romanian Labor minster said few wanted to when they can live a more comfortable in Spain and still collect them.

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