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Batecs de Hyde Park (1): La caverna

Batecs de Hyde Park (1): La caverna | AC Affairs | Scoop.it

Si s’ha d’anar alguna vegada a Hyde Park, que sigui un dia assolellat. El parc es mostra amb tot el seu esplendor i l’ambient és indescriptible. Als jardins italians, a la porta nord-oest del parc, el temps sembla que s’hagi aturat, amb el borboll constant de l’aigua caient de les fonts i una tranquil·litat infinita.

Presideix el jardí l’estàtua d’Edward Jenner, el pare de la vacunació moderna. El jardí està envoltat d’estàtues i d’escultures clàssiques, de bancs i de flors. En un dels bancs, una noia amb trets asiàtics ensenya xinés a un senyor anglès. Hi ha un petit monticle ple d’hamaques verdes i blanques amb gent ajaguda. Al fons, Long Water, l’extrem allargat del llac Serpentine.

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The only solution to the Catalan question is to recognise that Catalonia is a separate demos capable of deciding its own future - EUROPP

The only solution to the Catalan question is to recognise that Catalonia is a separate demos capable of deciding its own future - EUROPP | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
A non-binding consultation on Catalan independence was held on 9 November, with over 80 per cent of those voting indicating that they would like Catalonia to be independent. Montserrat Guibernau ar...
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David Mackay obituary - The Guardian

David Mackay obituary - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Architect in the Barcelona practice that designed the athletes’ village and harbour for the city’s Olympic Games in 1992

 

David Mackay, who has died aged 80, was a partner in the Barcelona architecture practice MBM (Martorell, Bohigas & Mackay), which designed the athletes’ village and harbour for Barcelona’s 1992 Olympic Games and gained an international reputation for repairing and shaping cities.

 

The career of the architect at the heart of the urban regeneration of Barcelona started in the 1960s, when he took a stand against the neglect and speculation that ravaged the city under the Franco dictatorship. It blossomed in the 1980s, when the Socialist party that ran the city council responded to pressure from below to create more public space and convert post-industrial wastelands to housing and social use...

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Barcelona’s Lionel Messi becomes Champions League’s all-time top scorer - The Guardian

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi becomes Champions League’s all-time top scorer - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Lionel Messi became the all-time leading scorer in the Champions League after scoring twice for Barcelona in their Group F clash against Apoel Nicosia
Lionel Messi has become the all-time leading scorer in the Champions League after scoring a hat-trick for Barcelona in their Group F clash at Apoel Nicosia. Messi moved level with the former Real Madrid striker Raúl’s tally of 71 goals with a brace in Barça’s previous match at Ajax, and on Tuesday he claimed sole ownership of the record...
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Catalonian independence referendum - Nouse

Catalonian independence referendum - Nouse | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
The decision of the Scottish people to remain part of the UK in September sparked relief across Britain. However, the decision by the British government to grant the Scottish people the opportunity...
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Lionel Messi's hat-trick breaks La Liga record as Barcelona beat Sevilla - The Guardian

Lionel Messi's hat-trick breaks La Liga record as Barcelona beat Sevilla - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Lionel Messi became La Liga’s record goalscorer, with 253, after hitting a hat-trick for Barcelona in their 5-1 defeat of Sevilla at the Camp Nou

 

Lionel Messi set a La Liga scoring record of 253 goals with his latest hat-trick, as Barcelona brushed aside Sevilla. The previous mark has been held by former Athletic Bilbao striker Telmo Zarra since 1955, which marked the end of the Spaniard’s 15-year career with the Basque club. Zarra scored his 251 goals in 277 appearances while Argentina captain Messi needed 289 games.

 

“We are all very happy and of course also for Leo,” Xavi, the Barça captain, said. “He has achieved an amazing and historic record.”

 

Messi, 27, equalled the record in the 21st minute with a typically breathtaking effort, curling a left-footed free kick around the wall and past Sevilla goalkeeper Beto. He struck again from close range in the 72nd minute and scored a third goal six minutes later with a powerful low drive from the edge of the penalty area...

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Lionel Messi happy at Barcelona, says manager Luis Enrique – video - The Guardian

Lionel Messi happy at Barcelona, says manager Luis Enrique – video - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
The Barcelona coach, Luis Enrique, says he is sure striker Lionel Messi is happy at the Catalan club
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Lionel Messi may leave Spain over tax jail threat - The Guardian

Lionel Messi may leave Spain over tax jail threat - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Sources close to Barcelona football star say he feels he is being singled out by having to stand trial over undeclared income

 

Lionel Messi, hailed by many as the greatest footballer of all time, may leave Spain after continuing to fall foul of the tax authorities, sources have said.

 

The player, who earlier this year agreed a new €50m (£40m) salary with Barcelona, has complained that he is being singled out for special treatment compared with other elite sports players in Spain with disputed tax affairs...

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What next for independence movements in Europe? - Future of the UK and Scotland

What next for independence movements in Europe? - Future of the UK and Scotland | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
One can imagine that the European Commission breathed a collective sigh of relief when the results of the Scottish independence referendum were announced on 19 September 2014.
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Prosecutors in Spain to charge Catalonia leader Mas - BBC

Prosecutors in Spain to charge Catalonia leader Mas - BBC | AC Affairs | Scoop.it

Spanish prosecutors are to file criminal charges against Catalan President Artur Mas in response to a 9 November unofficial independence vote.

 

The non-binding vote went ahead despite fierce opposition by the Spanish government and a ruling by Spain's constitutional court.

Catalan officials say more than 80% of those who voted backed independence.

 

Charges will also be laid against Mr Mas's deputy, Joana Ortega, and Catalan Education Minister Irene Rigau.

 

The three politicians face accusations ranging from disobedience and perverting the course of justice to misuse of public funds.

When the Spanish government appealed against the autonomous north-eastern region's plans for a referendum, Spain's constitutional court suspended the vote and ordered a ban on campaigning...

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Spain files suit against Catalonia head over secession vote - Reuters

Spain files suit against Catalonia head over secession vote - Reuters | AC Affairs | Scoop.it

MADRID (Reuters) - Spain's state prosecutor will sue Catalan leader Artur Mas for defying a court ruling and holding a symbolic vote on the regions's independence from the rest of the country.If successful,...

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Let them vote - The Economist

Let them vote - The Economist | AC Affairs | Scoop.it

SECESSION is a nasty business. A century and a half ago, America fought a civil war to prevent it.

 

Yet there are both principled and pragmatic reasons why the government should permit a vote. On the first, it is right to be cautious about breaking up countries, but when a region is a recognisable cultural, ethnic or linguistic entity, outright refusal to allow a vote is perverse. It would have been wrong to force Slovakia to remain in Czechoslovakia or Kosovo in Serbia, just as it was wrong for Britain to fight Irish independence. It would be just as wrong to make Flanders remain Belgian, Quebec stay Canadian or Scotland continue to be British, if a clear majority of voters preferred independence.


(...)


But the government should let the Catalans have a referendum'

'the issue now is whether Mr Rajoy wants to treat voters as grown-ups who can be trusted to decide sensibly about their own political future. By refusing even to contemplate a referendum for Catalonia on independence, he is failing to do that.

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Catalans who want independence are being thwarted by a flawed Spanish constitution - The Independent

Catalans who want independence are being thwarted by a flawed Spanish constitution - The Independent | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
These are tough times for Spanish politicians. The established parties in Madrid are mired in a corruption scandal for which Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has already been forced to apologise. And now they face a serious challenge ahead of next year’s general election from Podemos, a left-wing grassroots political start-up that was formed only in January, and that already threatens to dismantle many of the country’s political conventions.
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Catalan president facing prosecution after independence vote - The Guardian

Catalan president facing prosecution after independence vote - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Spain expected to charge regional leader Artur Mas with disobeying court order and misuse of government funds.

Public prosecutors in Spain are expecting to press charges against the president of Catalonia, Artur Mas, in the coming days after he held a vote on secession from Spain in defiance of a court injunction, court sources have said.

 

The symbolic referendum, in which 2 million people voted, was described as “a deep failure” by Spain’s prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, on Wednesday...

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The Spanish government should offer Catalonia a referendum on federalism, not independence - EUROPP

The Spanish government should offer Catalonia a referendum on federalism, not independence - EUROPP | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Catalonia held a non-binding consultation on independence on 9 November. Francesc Trillas assesses the argument that the Spanish government should now seek to address the Catalan independence debat...
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Apoel Nicosia 0-4 Barcelona - Lionel Messi scores hat-trick in Barcelona’s victory over Apoel Nicosia - The Guardian

Apoel Nicosia 0-4 Barcelona - Lionel Messi scores hat-trick in Barcelona’s victory over Apoel Nicosia - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Lionel Messi set a new Champions League scoring record with a hat-trick and Luis Suárez found the net for the first time in Barcelona colours as they comprehensively beat Apoel Nicosia 4-0 in the Champions League
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Barcelona’s Thomas Vermaelen may need surgery to resolve knee problem - The Guardian

Barcelona’s Thomas Vermaelen may need surgery to resolve knee problem - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Barcelona are concerned about the former defender who cost £15m from Arsenal but has yet to play
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The best goals of the week: Lionel Messi, Hulk and Jérémy Ménez - The Guardian

The best goals of the week: Lionel Messi, Hulk and Jérémy Ménez - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Featuring a screamer from the seventh division in Poland, a team goal from Milan and a swift counter-attack from Iran
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Catalan president faces multiple charges after independence referendum - The Guardian

Catalan president faces multiple charges after independence referendum - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Artur Mas has been charged with disobedience and misuse of public funds among other crimes by attorney general

 

The Spanish attorney general has charged Catalan president Artur Mas with disobedience, perverting the course of justice, misuse of public funds and abuse of power in relation to the unofficial referendum on independence held on 9 November.

 

The unofficial poll was called after the referendum scheduled for the same day was ruled illegal by Spain’s constitutional court. The court then also outlawed the unofficial vote but it went ahead anyway. Poll booths were staffed by volunteers and no civil servants were directly involved, a strategy Mas hoped would circumvent the ban...

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Lionel Messi could have joined Arsenal as a teenager, says Arsène Wenger - Guardian

Lionel Messi could have joined Arsenal as a teenager, says Arsène Wenger - Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Arsène Wenger has said that Lionel Messi could have joined Arsenal from Barcelona as a teenager along with Cesc Fàbregas and Gerard Piqué

 

Messi, the Argentina captain, developed into one of the world’s greatest players, but was considering a switch to England when he was 15 years old in the Barcelona academy La Masia...

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Letter from Barcelona: Inside the battle for Catalan independence - New Statesman

Letter from Barcelona: Inside the battle for Catalan independence - New Statesman | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
This crisis could have been avoided. In recent years, Madrid has run a masterclass in how not to handle breakaway nationalism.

 

Barcelona is a city draped in flags. Only a handful of windows surrounding my rented apartment in El Born – a fashionably ramshackle district close to the harbour – are flag-free. From the rest hang Esteladas, the distinctive blue-and-white-starred symbol of Catalan national sovereignty.

 

Catalonia has become increasingly polarised in recent years as requests for enhanced autonomy – consistently rejected by Madrid – have hardened into demands for outright independence from Spain. Polls suggest as many as 45 per cent of Catalans support secession, while 25 per cent favour federalism and a further 20 per cent support the constitutional status quo...

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Tossa de Mar cracks down on rowdy stag and hen parties - The Guardian

Tossa de Mar cracks down on rowdy stag and hen parties - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Tossa de Mar has banned such festivities during the August high season, and imposed strict regulations for the rest of the year

 

Tossa de Mar on Catalonia’s Costa Brava boasts beautiful beaches, seafront restaurants and a walled old town, but another increasingly common sight is exercising authorities - hordes of drunk and scantily-clad tourists celebrating stag and hen parties.

 

The town is cracking down on such festivities, banning them completely during August and slapping strict regulations on them during the rest of the year. “They come here and do what ever they want. It can’t be like that,” said the mayor, Gisela Saladich Parés...

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Lionel Messi sends mixed messages over his Barcelona future - The Guardian

Lionel Messi sends mixed messages over his Barcelona future - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
The Argentina captain Lionel Messi has given the strongest hint yet he could consider leaving Barcelona, saying “things can change a lot in soccer”
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Peret: Singer known as 'The King of the Catalan rumba' who worked with Manu Chao, Tom Jones and David Byrne - The Independent

Peret: Singer known as 'The King of the Catalan rumba' who worked with Manu Chao, Tom Jones and David Byrne - The Independent | AC Affairs | Scoop.it

The singer and guitarist Peret was known as the King of the Catalan rumba, the fusion of flamenco with South American rhythms that became a favourite of Barcelona high society at the end of the 1950s and was rediscovered by the jet set when the Gipsy Kings revived the genre in the '80s. An instrumentalist comparable to fellow gypsies Django Reinhardt, José Reyes and Manitas de Plata, he was credited with pioneering the rhythmic strumming combined with the guitar body slamming that are the trademarks of the Catalan rumba...

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Voting in their hearts - The Economist

Voting in their hearts - The Economist | AC Affairs | Scoop.it

MANUEL MOLINS remembers being called a “Catalan dog” after Spain’s civil war in the 1930s. But the 93-year-old had his revenge on November 9th, when he voted for the region’s independence in Lleida, one of Catalonia’s four provincial capitals. “Catalonia is important for Spain, but they treat us badly. If they didn’t, I might think differently,” he said. Mr Molins’ vote brought no consequences. He was one of 1.9m Catalans (out of 6.3m who were eligible) to vote for independence at a mock referendum called by the region’s president, Artur Mas. The turnout of 37% was hailed as a triumph by Mr Mas and a resounding failure by his opponents....

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The people of Catalonia have voted. Let democracy take its course - President Mas - The Guardian

The people of Catalonia have voted. Let democracy take its course - President Mas - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Following the Catalans’ overwhelming backing for independence, Spain needs to listen and give us an official Scottish-style referendum 

On Sunday, 2,305,290 people voted at 1,317 polling stations across Catalonia, in addition to 13,573 Catalans who voted worldwide. This was a similar turnout to May’s European elections. A cross-party international delegation of observers, which included members of different European and national parliaments, stated that the vote was “conducted successfully in challenging circumstances” and they emphasised the calm that dominated every aspect of the vote.

Up to 80.7% of the voters chose “yes-yes” in answer to the two-part question of “Do you want Catalonia to be a state?” and, if so, “Do you want that state to be independent?”. Another 10% voted “yes” to Catalonia being a state but “no” to that state being independent, while 4.5% voted a clear “no” to Catalonia being a state at all.

 

The Spanish government refused all of our requests for dialogue, and instead of seeking a political solution to a political problem opted for legal tactics to block every way we tried to hold a democratic vote on Catalonia’s future. We sought to have an authorised referendum like Scotland and Quebec, and the Spanish parliament refused that. The constitutional court then suspended our call for a non-binding consultation. When we then moved to a non-binding participatory process, they likewise tried to suspend that.

 

But a huge majority of Catalans, whether in favour of independence or not, just wanted to express their wishes at the ballot box having given my government and the Catalan parliament a mandate for that in the last parliamentary elections in November 2012. Therefore, despite constant threats from the Spanish government, we were not intimidated and went ahead with our vote. If the Spanish public prosecutor is looking for someone to blame, that person should be no one else but me...

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