News August 2003

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29 August, resumé

Madrid: elections called today for 26 Oct. disolves regional asembly, shortest ever; survey puts governing PP ahead of socialist PSOE in voting intentions - with 8 months to go for national elections; several new forest fires, mostly arson, along Med. coast; confessed murderer of 3 released before trial - after four years the case has not reached court- national justice leaders concerned, number of prisoners up over 20% since 2000; Americans pulled out of Iraqui region now 'protected' by Spanish troops; 7th worker dies from burns caused by oil refinery explosion at Puertollano; political climate warming up after the summer break; row brewing with Britain over right of Gibraltarians to vote for European Parliament; fire engine accident in Catalonia - one dead, all Pegaso trucks of the same model pulled out of service for time being, Firestone tyre model suspected - a similar accident just 3 weeks ago; 2,597,344 euros for lucky winner of last night's 'Lotería primitiva'; ecologists in action denounce excessive NO2 levels in air in Madrid over August - legal limit 54, actual level 76 in Santa Eugenia station, where the author used to live; the CSIC, top scientific research agency in Spain has also warned CO2 levels are rising.

Most Spaniards are now home from their holiday month and look forward (with regret?) to the resumption of 'normal life', school and so on, which marks September. While employees generally have one month of holiday, schools close from late June until mid (primaries) or late (highs) September. Universities also remain on holiday until October.

Sport: Magno, Brazilian football player for Alavés has announced his conversion kneeling as he scored a goal - he is claiming his good form at the start of this season is the inner peace he has found in Christ. This is reported in today's (27th August) As, leading sport daily:

More Sport: formula 1 driver Fernando Alonso winner in Budapest Grand Prix -youngest winner ever, first ever Spaniard and first for Renault team in 20 years, now acclaimed top threat to Michael Schumacher;
World Athletics Championships - 2 medals for Spain so far; Yago Lamela heads for medal in long jump
Tennis, US Open: Ferrero to 3rd round, Costa, Matrin, Nadal, Verdasco and Moya (on his birthday!) through first round, Conchita Martínez fell in 2nd.


Most summer campaigns are now over, but several continue. We have news of one new one, again in Galicia Keep praying! Many contacts and converts need to be followed up, pastors and evangelists also need some rest before September brings a renewal of activity. Thank you! Baptisms next Sunday (31st) in Coria, Extremadura

On this day, 1842, the treaty was signed between Britain and China to mark the end of the 'Opium War', lowest moment in the fascinating story of the (other side of the) Matheson clan! A little more on this:

Sources El Mundo, TVE, EP, AS, El Portal Cristiano