International News

Information and articles of an international interest

Berklee College’s Valencia campus set to open

Exterior of the Berklee Valencia Campus

Berklee College of Music, whose headquarters is located in Boston, Massachusetts, recently announced that its new Valencia campus would be opening its doors in September 2012 in order to welcome students enrolled for the Master’s Degree Programme.
Apart from the formal Master’s programmes, Berklee Valencia will also offer summer schools and special courses, which will benefit talented students not only from Valencia but the whole of Spain. Berklee’s President, Roger Brown, says: “Valencia was selected for our new campus since not only is it one of the most popular destinations for students in Europe, but the city has a strong musical symphonic band tradition and is also connected to some of the richest musical cultures in the world, including Latin America, the Mediterranean and Europe, making it the ideal location.”

Spanish dancer Rojo to lead English National Ballet

Flamenca inspired outfit at Ballet in Madrid

On 13th April, the English National Ballet announced Tamara Rojo’s appointment as their new Artistic Director. The Spanish prima ballerina was recently described by British broadsheet, The Telegraph, as fiery and outspoken, yet articulate, funny and clever. She will formally take over from current Director, Wayne Eagling, in September of this year. Fans of the ENB will be hoping that her passion, determination and flair will revitalise the somewhat flagging ballet company to its former glory.

Lighting the way with Kindle

Solarkindle 4 e-reader

In July 2010, Amazon launched its first super affordable Kindle. Demand was so great for an e-book reader financially accessible to the masses that the Kindle 3 became the fastest selling Kindle ever, even before shipping had begun. Just six months later Amazon announced that digital books were outselling traditional paper-based media on their site for the first time by a staggering 15 per cent!
Amazon is continually releasing upgraded Kindle models but their USP remains the same: the amazing e-ink electronic paper display, which users claim is just like reading from paper. Not only is it clear and easy on the eye to read, but it uses very little energy and so optimises the gadget’s battery life.

Bob Dylan is latest name to be added to Benicassim 2012 programme

Bob Dylan in concert

Situated roughly halfway between Valencia and Barcelona, this attractive coastal town punches above its weight when it comes to attracting some of the biggest names in the world of music, and 2012 would seem to be no exception. Already the schedule includes a long list of exciting acts, including Florence and the Machine, The Stone Roses, New Order, Katy B, The Vaccines, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, De La Soul, The Maccabees, The Horrors and (many music critics’ nomination for Band of the Year 2011) Bombay Bicycle Club. However, the news that Bob Dylan is to play Benicassim – which will take place this year from Thursday July 12th until Sunday July 15th – has ensured that 2012’s festival will sell out early.

British Ambassador to Spain, Giles Paxman, visits Valencia

Valencian Regional Government welcome Giles Paxman, British Ambassador to Spain

Recently, members of the Valencian Regional Government extended a welcome to Giles Paxman, British Ambassador to Spain, who had arrived in the city with regional Consul, Paul Rodwell, to discuss issues concerning British nationals.
During a productive series of meetings, the Valencian government acknowledged the importance to the local economy of the spending power of British residents and visitors, and the Valencianos confirmed their commitment to working with British consular staff to resolve some of the more problematic issues facing Britons in the area.

Billionaire’s daughter pays $88 million for New York Apartment

New York apartment sold by Brown Harris Stevens lounge

The most expensive apartment in New York has sold for a staggering $88 million to a Russian billionaire, setting an unprecedented record in the Manhattan real estate market. The 627 square-metre apartment in Central Park West was sold by Brown Harris Stevens, the exclusive affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate. Rimontgó is also an associate of Christie’s, who is based in Valencia. The property was bought by Ekaterina Rybolovleva, the 22-year-old daughter of Russian billionaire, Dmitriy Rybolovlev, who made his fortune in the fertilizer business. Rybolovleva is currently studying at a US university and plans to stay in the apartment when visiting New York.

Science Magazine names 2011’s Top 10 Scientific Discoveries

Scientific discoveries

Science Magazine, one of the world’s most influential periodicals on the subject, recently nominated its Top 10 Scientific Discoveries of 2011, of which three emerged from Spanish research.
The much-heralded vaccine against malaria was developed in Spain along with the surprising discovery that human beings can be divided into types according to their intestinal flora, in a manner similar to the divisions drawn by blood grouping. Previously it was thought that each person’s intestinal flora was unique.

Ramiro Encizo raises the bar in luxury

Ramiro Encizo

It’s tempting sometimes to imagine that there is no rhyme or reason to the cost of luxury goods. The more cynical among us will – at least once in our lives – observe that the addition of a designer label to an everyday item can raise its price by an unimaginable amount.
Ramiro Encizo’s handbags are elevated above the ordinary by the fine quality craftsmanship that is put into every seam and diamond.

A flight of fancy?

Airbus transparent

Off anywhere beyond the usual radius of a road trip, and you’ll know the score. Turn up at the airport three hours early, hope your ticketless pre-booked flight actually features on the computer at the check-in counter, fret in case your luggage is too heavy, too big or contains anything remotely liquid – and then settle in for some fun queuing followed by the stylish spectacle that is the security check. Whip off your belt, take off your shoes, your watch, your jacket, then get shouted at for forgetting to also remove your mobile phone whilst simultaneously being frisked and told to get all that gear back on your person in under a minute.
As you finally emerge into the shopping area you suddenly realise that all those hours have evaporated and instead of a leisurely snack and a stroll through tax-free you now have to run like mad, only to reach another queue before being squeezed into that tightly-packed cigar with all the other proverbial sardines. Said cigar will then wing it’s way into the air amid alarming lurches as you suddenly rediscover religion. Once level and calmed into a false sense of security, you will realise just how squashed and uncomfortable these aeroplanes are before another bout of mid-air turbulence floods your mind with more basic thoughts of survival.

Leonard Cohen accepts the Prince of Asturias Award

Leonard Cohen on having received the award

In a ceremony held on Friday 21st October in Oviedo, the Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen accepted his Prince of Asturias Award for Letters.
Cohen – an accomplished poet and novelist, although best known for his melancholic yet humorous songs – used his acceptance speech as a platform from which to praise Spain’s extraordinarily rich cultural life

Pavements that light up the world

Trials using Pavegen took place in East London

Every day hundreds of millions of people pound the pavements of the world in their quest to shop, get to work or simply wander about town. According to the brainy team at Pavegen Systems that was somehow equal to an unmissed opportunity, and indeed, unleashing their conceptual and technological skills, the London-based R&D firm have created a system that could very well transform the role of the humble pavement.
No longer just a place to walk, these spaces dedicated to pedestrians have every potential of becoming major sources of electricity, as Pavegen Systems has launched tiles that harvest the kinetic energy produced as people walk on them. The potential of this kind of kinetic energy harvesting is obvious given the huge volumes of daily movements on the sidewalks and squares of the world’s urban areas.

Disney looks to Spain for staff

Magic Castle Disneyland Paris

Recently Disney announced that it would extend its quest for 4,000 extra staff members to Spain. This recruitment campaign has been necessitated by Disneyland Paris’s 20th anniversary next year, which will result in a number of extra events and an anticipated increase in visitor numbers.
One of America’s most powerful corporations, Disney attracted queues of prospective employees last February, when it took on 600 new Spanish workers. This latest drive will involve many European countries, including France, Greece, Italy, the UK, Spain and several locations in Eastern Europe.

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