World Bulletin/News Desk
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Friday threatened unilateral measures in a spat with Gibraltar over fisheries although he also said he hoped for talks soon with Britain about the disputed territory.
Tensions over Gibraltar - a British overseas territory to which Spain lays claim - flared up this month after Spain complained that an artificial reef being built by Gibraltar would block its fishing vessels.
"I hope that this doesn't go any further, but it's clear that Spain has to defend its national interest and that's what we're going to do," Rajoy told reporters after a meeting with Spain's King Juan Carlos in Mallorca.
Among the measures under consideration were a 50-euro ($67) fee for people entering or exiting Gibraltar, tax investigations of Gibraltarians with property in Spain, and restrictions on use of Spanish airspace for flights heading to Gibraltar.
The recent war of words over Gibraltar has been more heated than similar tiffs in the past. Opposition politicians have accused Rajoy of using the situation to distract Spaniards from the country's severe recession and a corruption scandal that has damaged the credibility of his conservative party.
British Prime Minister David Cameron and Rajoy spoke on Wednesday to try to defuse the conflict but both sides seemed reluctant to back down from their public positions.
Rajoy played down a scheduled visit by British navy vessels to Gibraltar in the coming weeks, saying it was routine and had been planned well ahead of time.
Spain's right-leaning media ran testy headlines on the coming arrival of the ships. "Cameron intimidates Rajoy with his fleet," El Mundo newspaper blared on Friday morning.
Spain ceded Gibraltar to Britain in the Treaty of Utrecht 300 years ago. The tiny rocky promontory near the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula has some 30,000 residents who live off tourism, on-line gambling operations and financial services.
Friction over Gibraltar has ebbed and flowed over the centuries. Spanish dictator Francisco Franco sealed the land border for years, forcing the British enclave to get supplies from across the Strait of Gibraltar in Morocco.
The latest dispute arose after Gibraltar sank a number of concrete blocks into a bay to extend an artificial reef it says is aimed at fostering fish populations.
Previously, Spanish police would check some incoming cars for smuggling - particularly for cigarettes from lower-tax Gibraltar - either randomly or based on concrete suspicion, while letting other vehicles pass without delay.
Now, nearly every car is examined and others are forced to wait until an inspection is finished. Britain has criticised the new border controls as excessive.
Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo spoke with his British counterpart on Wednesday and said they agreed to set up working groups on issues such as fishing. But
Gibraltarian authorities said no working groups had been agreed, clouding the diplomatic prospects.
Rajoy said any talks must be four-way, involving Spain, Britain, Gibraltar and Andalusia, the Spanish region that abuts Gibraltar and is home to many workers who cross the border into the British territory every day.
($1 = 0.7471 euros)
The sources said the apartment in the northern town of Asoun housed Lebanese and Syrian gunmen wanted by authorities
Oxford-educated Bilawal Bhutto Zardari told Reuters that he planned a series of rallies in a challenge to Pakistan's embattled prime minister, Nawaz Sharif.
The detainees were moved to detention centers run by the internal security agency (Shin Bet) for interrogation
Student leader says can’t see any ‘practical need’ for second round of talks on political reform after first meeting Tuesday
A video footage by TV news cameras Wednesday night shows a man scaling over the White House fence on Pennsylvania Avenue.
Up to 60 women have reportedly been kidnapped in Nigeria's Adamawa State in the restive northeastern region
Hassoumi Massaoudou, Niger's minister of the interior and public security, said it would be operated by Niger's intelligence service, the General Direction of Documentation and External Security.
China announced last month that it would send the troops to help protect civilians amid renewed violence.
IFRC said some 571,710 people were affected by the drought in Honduras, which had left them in danger of hunger due to dying crops, higher food prices and less work for agricultural day laborers.
Thousands marched in Iguala to protest the disappearance of the teachers in training. After the march, masked men set fire to the municipal offices with Molotov cocktails and smashed the windows.
The travelers will be required to provide emails, phone numbers and addresses for themselves and for a friend or relative in the United States covering the 21 days
Prosecutors had detained Vladimir Ledenev, the leading airfield service engineer at Moscow's Vnukovo airport, the head of flights at the airport, Roman Dunayev, dispatcher-trainee Svetlana Krivsun as well as Vnukovo's dispatcher Alexander Kruglov.
Chinese Defence Minister Chang Wanquan told Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari that the two armed forces have seen "good cooperation on mutual visits, personnel training and other fields in recent years",
The men were returning from a vegetable market when gunmen intercepted the bus
Coalition strikes have hit the Syrian provinces of Aleppo, Deir al-Zor, Idlib, Raqqa and al-Hassakah, the Observatory said.