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Do you take a nap?

Ecuadorean super-snorer wins siesta contest in Spain

A jobless security worker has won a competition billed as Spain's inaugural siesta championship, napping for 17 minutes in a busy shopping centre.

Ecuadorean Pedro Soria Lopez took first place and 1,000 euros (£890) for his efforts - or lack of them.

Judges praised the 62-year-old not only for the duration of his 40 winks, but also for his volume, notching up snores of 70 decibels - around talking level.

The contest was run by Spain's National Association of Friends of the Siesta.

It was part of a campaign to revive the Spanish power-napping tradition, which is seen as threatened by the fast pace of modern life.

Over the course of nine days, 360 competitors were challenged to sleep for as much of a 20-minute period allotted to them as possible.

Participants stretched out on sofas in the Madrid shopping centre while their pulses were monitored to check they were asleep.

Judges awarded points for the speed with which participa…

Avocados: the in-fruit

Avocados: Spanish company launches low-fat variety
From Instagram posts to morning smoothies, you cannot seem to escape the avocado in 2017.

But the fruit could soon become even more popular after a Spanish company announced it is launching reduced-fat avocados for the first time.

Isla Bonita claims their Avocado Light has up to 30% less fat than ordinary fruits.

They also say it ripens faster, and oxidises - or goes that weirdshade of brown - slower.

The avocados are grown under special soil and climate conditions to provide the same nutritional benefits with less fat, according to the company's website.

Avocados are a foodiehit for their rich and creamy texture caused by their high fat content - an average fruit has between 20-30g of fat.

Most of this is monosaturated fat, which has been linked to the reduction of cholesterol and lowered risk of cancer and heart disease.

But your morning avocado on toast could be less virtuous than you think, with the UK's NHS recommending …

The Postcard - another tradition dying out

UK's oldest postcard firmset to close
When was the last time you sent a postcard?

Ifthe pronouncement of UK publisher J Salmon is anything to go by it's likelyto have been a long time ago.

The family-owned firm, which has been publishing postcards and calendars since 1880, will close this December.

The reason? It says instead ofpenning a card, people are putting photos up on Facebook or Instagram or using WhatsApp to show friends and family at home just how much fun they're having.

Brothers Charles and Harry Salmon, the fifth generation of the family to run the firm, said the popularity of social media had had ahugeimpact on the business.

People are also tending to take shorter holidays, meaning they are likely to have arrived home long before their postcards, the brothers - joint managing directors of the firm - said.

As a result the business was no longer viable, they said.

"Increasingly challenging trading conditions and changes to the nature and size of the market …

Good luck, Catalonia!

Catalonia referendum: Spanish state poised toseize Catalan finances 
The Spanish government has given the regional government in Catalonia 48 hours to abandon "illegal" referendum plans or lose budgetary powers.

Finance Minister Cristóbal Montoro said a mechanism had been approved for the state to take control of the autonomous region's finances.

Madrid is seeking to stop the Catalan government spending public money on its planned independence referendum.

The Catalans are defyinga court order to suspend the 1 October vote.

Catalan President Carles Puigdemont launched his campaign for a "Yes" vote on Thursday night in the town of Tarragona, telling a rally at a former bullring: "Vote, and in so doing bring light to darkness that has lasted for too many years."

The crowd shouted back, "Independence", "We will vote" and "We're not afraid", AFP news agency reports.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy was taking the unio…

Dishonest Brits profit from holidays in Spain

Spain's hotels fight back against fake food poisoning claims from Brits 
Spanish hotels are turning to private detectives and the courts to repel a surge in fake food poisoning claims by British holidaymakers that has already cost them millions of euros.

The number of food sickness claims soared to more than 10,000 during the 2016-17 tourist season, from around just 600 in 2015-16, said the head of Spain's hotel confederation CEHAT, Ramon Estalella.

It estimates that more than 90 percent of the claims - usually made through small-claims management companies that promise payouts of several thousand pounds - are bogus.

For years Britons have been the biggest group of tourists to Spain by nationality. Estalella said they are responsible for virtually all of the fake illness claims.

The problem has arisen because British consumer law does not require claimants to produce any medical evidence of illness, and claims can be filed up to three years after a stay at a hotel, he said.

&…

Tourist Go Home; Refugees Welcome

Brits accused of TERRORISM in Spain as hotel bed numbers slashed and tourists intimidated SPANISH activists have accused Brits of terrorism in Spain as the Balearic government brings in plans to curb the thousands of UK citizens spending MILLIONS in the region.
Holiday hotspots like Mallorca and Ibiza are set to limit the number of holidaymakers to the islands as locals clash with visitors.

The number of beds sold to tourists will now be CAPPED at a combined 623,624 on the popular islands of Mallorca and Ibiza as boozy British groups are accused of causing mayhem around coastal towns.

New plans will cut that number to 120,000 over the next few years and 70% of the beds assigned will be in Mallorca.

Anyone breaking the laws will be finedup to €400,000.

Tourism minister Álvaro Nadal has said he is urginglawmakers to protect visitors from “those who perpetrate and instigate acts against tourism”.

He said: “Radical groups that attack the #turismo in @España are clearly politicised and se…

Good news for coffee drinkers

Drinking a cup of coffee may add nine minutes per day to your life 
It has become a national pastime but our obsession with drinking coffee could be having unexpected health benefits and even increasing our lifespan byup to nine minutes a day, new research suggests. 

Two new studies, including the largest ever conducted into coffee drinking, have found that imbibing even a single cup a day reduces the risk of dying early from any cause, and dramatically cuts the chance of death from digestive problems.

 People who consumed just one 350ml cup each day slashed their risk of dying early by 12 per cent over 16 years, while three cups reduced the risk by 18 per cent.

Prof Sir David Spiegelhalter, Winton Professor for the Public Understanding of Risk at the University of Cambridge, calculated that, if causal, it meant a cup of coffee a day extended the average life of a man by three months and a woman by a month.

“Pro-rata, that’s as if that cup of coffee puts, on average, around nine min…

Gangnam Style knocked off top spot

Gangnam Style is no longer the most-played video on YouTube 
Psy's Gangnam Style is no longer the most-watched video on YouTube.

The South Korean megahit had been the site's most-played clip for the last five years.

The surreal video became so popular that it "broke" YouTube's play counter, exceeding the maximum possible number of views (2,147,483,647), and forcing the company to rewrite its code.

But the song has now beenovertaken by another music video - Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth's See You Again.

The heart-wrenching ballad has now been streamed 2,895,373,709 times; beating Psy's current count of 2,894,426,475 views.

Adding it up, that means See You Again has been streamed for a total of 21,759 years. If one person was to listen to each of those streams consecutively, they'd have to have started during the glacial peak of the last Ice Age.

The song was written for the action movie Furious 7, playing over the closing credits in tribute to the actor …