FIFTY teachers from across Alicante province attended the Fem Cinema course in l’Alfas del Pi which ran from Monday to Thursday this week.

Promoted by CEFIRE it aims to instruct teachers in the use of audiovisual equipment in the classroom and is carried out as part of the town’s annual Film Festival, which celebrates its 31st edition this year.

Trainers and attendees included film critics, directors and experts in the visual arts, while topics covered included directing films in the classroom, editing, soundtrack composition and graphic communication. The opening lecture was given by Judith Colell, screenwriter and director of  several well known films including “Women” and “53 days of winter”.

THE forensics team for the National Police were called in to help after a Denia house break in, with their work eventually leading to the arrest of a known criminal.

The burglary took place at the end of last year while the owner was abroad in his country of residence. The team found some biological trace evidence and sent this to the laboratory to see if it could be identified.

This week they were able to confirm that they had had a significant “hit” on their DNA database, following which a 24 year old Spanish man was arrested and charged with the crime. The young man had an existing criminal record which is how the police were able to make the match.

THERE were eight reported incidents on the first day of Denia’s controversial Bous de la Mar fiesta last weekend, three of them involving hospitalisation.

 In the first accident a 23 year old Alcoy resident suffered a dislocated shoulder after being struck by a bull. A 31 year old Barcelona man, reportedly part of a stag party, was later gored by another animal although his injuries are not serious.

In the third and most worrying incident a male was knocked unconscious and treated at the scene. This caused the festivities to be temporarily stopped but he is now understood to be in a stable condition.

The annual event is hugely popular, with predominantly young men travelling from all over Spain to take part. However many people, both Spaniards and expatriates, see it as cruel to the animals and dangerous for those taking part.

IF you’ve got a cool €63 million to spare, one of the most luxurious properties in one of Europe’s most expensive locations has just come on the market.

The eight bedroom villa in Cannes (France) has a cinema, Olympic sized pool (complete with bars), a dance studio, boxing ring, spa and a spacious 11,000 square metre grounds and garden.

The luxury pad also has some quirky features, not least the scale size sculpture of a Tyrannosaurus Rex in the downstairs living area. The price may be a bit out of most people’s reach but the rental income is handy – the current tenants are shelling out around €350,000 a month.

THE UK government has announced plans to ban properties from being sold on a leasehold basis, something welcomed by many householders associations. Community Secretary James Brokenshire said that the proposal follows concerns about hidden costs with leasehold properties and a lack of transparency in many contracts.

A recent survey found that the majority of leaseholders regret having purchased a property on that basis, particularly when it comes to maintenance costs levied by unscrupulous landlords. The change is part of a raft of new measures by the government which is also committing to building 300,000 new homes by the mid 2020s.

TWO people died and there were a number of injuries on the Valencia Community’s road system last Friday. In the first incident a 17 year old girl was killed in Valencia after being struck by a vehicle at the exit of the Gran Via Germanias tunnel, near the Plaza de España in the city centre.

The fatality occurred at around 3.45 in the morning and witnesses say the victim was hit by a taxi, although the police are saying it was a private vehicle. The teenager was treated at the scene and given CPR but died in hospital a few hours later.

Later that same day a 26 year old man was killed and three other people, including a five year old, were injured after an accident in Villena (Alicante). The victim’s vehicle was involved in a head-on collision at about 11.15; the dead man was the only occupant of the car he was driving while the injured were all in the other vehicle, namely the young girl and her parents. The mother needed to be extracted from the vehicle by the fire brigade and all three have been hospitalised.

Meanwhile in the Valencian town of Picanya two youths have been arrested after the car they were travelling in hit a wall and ended up blocking the middle of the road, completely written off. The driver has been charged with driving without a licence, driving under the influence of marijuana and cocaine and reckless driving. His companion has also been arrested as police say he was aware that his friend was under the influence and had no valid licence. The vehicle blocked the road for several hours before it could be moved.

A teacher at a school in Palma de Mallorca has been suspended after a picture of his young pupils giving a Nazi salute was widely spread across social media.

The children, all boys who appear to be in their early teens, are making the gesture in front of two Spanish flags in what was believed to be part of a project concerning openness in photography.

However one of the students at the centre, named as Aixa-Llaut, took to Twitter to apologise to the headmaster for the leaked picture. The Ministry of Education started an investigation and this week the class teacher has accepted he made a mistake and was also the person who took the picture. He is suspended with immediate effect while a full investigation is launched.

AFTER several years of decline, the number of foreigners moving to the Marina Alta increased slightly in 2018. There are now 53,551 officially registered foreign residents in the area, about 300 more than at the end of 2017 although still over 30,000 less than in 2012.

Expatriates make up slightly under a third of the regions population, with the vast majority of them living in coastal towns. Many British citizens are opting to make their move to Spain before Brexit finally kicks in while a generally healthy economy across Europe is making people generally feel more comfortable about moving abroad.

THE Guardia Civil have charged 41 drivers in the annual Modball Rally Europa, which this year runs from London to Ibiza, with various offences.

The event is an amateur affair that takes around eight days using generally modified performance vehicles and organisers stress that local traffic laws must be adhered to. However, competitors have a history of bending or breaking the law, particularly when it comes to speeding. 

A total of 58 vehicles were stopped and 34 reported for speeding, including one car doing 208 kmph. Three drivers tested positive for drugs and four more were charged with dangerous driving.

QUESTIONS are being asked about visitor safety in Barcelona after a high ranking member of a South Korean government delegation died after a mugging in the city last week.

The unnamed female 65 year old was walking on Calle Taulat in the Poble Nou area when a motorcyclist tried to snatch her handbag. In the ensuing scuffle she fell and hit her head, losing consciousness. She was taken to hospital but died three days later from her injuries.

The victim was part of a delegation from South Korea’s Tourism Ministry on an official visit to the Catalan capital. There have been concerns recently that wealthy tourists, in particular, are increasingly becoming a target in Barcelona and in the first quarter of this year violent robberies rose by 28% and overall crime by 17%.  Many visitors do not realise that away from the tourist hubs parts of the city are far from safe, especially after dark.