Portugal’s TAP says hackers stole, published passengers’ personal data

Portugal’s TAP says hackers stole, published passengers’ personal data

LISBON, Sept 22 (Reuters) - Portugal's flag carrier TAP told customers on Thursday that hackers had stolen some of their personal data and published it on the dark web, although the state-owed airline said all payment details appeared to be safe. TAP said in a letter to customers the cyber attack last month obtained from its servers people's names, nationalities, email and home addresses, phone contacts and frequent flier numbers. "The release of the personal data via open sources could increase the risk of their illegal use, namely aimed at obtaining other data that could compromise the digital systems in…
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Portugal rolls out number of measures to help families fight inflation

Portugal rolls out number of measures to help families fight inflation

Portugal's government on Monday rolled out additional measures worth 2.4 billion euros ($2.38 billion) to help families cope with soaring inflation, following similar announcements in other European countries in recent weeks. Prime Minister Antonio Costa said the new aid, in force until the end of 2022, includes a reduction of value-added tax on electricity to 6% from 13%, a one-off subsidy of 125 euros to working-age people earning up to 2,700 euros per month, and 50 euros for each child to all families regardless of their income. The government will also give an extra payment of half a monthly pension to all pensioners. "Thanks…
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Foreign tourism to Portugal surpasses pre-COVID levels in July

Foreign tourism to Portugal surpasses pre-COVID levels in July

LISBON (Reuters) - The number of foreign tourists visiting Portugal slightly surpassed pre-pandemic levels in July for the first time since the end of most COVID-19 restrictions, data from the National Statistics Institute (INE) showed this week. More than 1.8 million foreigners stayed in Portuguese hotels last month, up from around 600,000 a year ago, when the country still had some restrictions in place, and slightly above 1.78 million in July of 2019, which was a record year for tourism. Portugal's tourism sector accounted for almost 15% of gross domestic product before the pandemic that broke out in early 2020,…
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UPDATED Photo Story: European Parliament President Roberta Metsola visits Portugal

UPDATED Photo Story: European Parliament President Roberta Metsola visits Portugal

The European Parliament President Roberta Metsola (C-L) accompanied by the President of the Portuguese Parliament Augusto Santos Silva (C-R), before a meeting on Friday on the last day of her visit to Portugal, at the Portuguese Parliament, in Lisbon. Via EPA-EFE/JOSE SENA GOULAO Roberta METSOLA, EP President during a meeting with members of the European Peacebuilding Liaison Office (EPLO) in Lisbon. Roberta METSOLA, EP President, during a working lunch with Marcelo Rebelo de SOUSA, President of Portugal
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Portugal eases visa rules to tackle labour shortage

Portugal eases visa rules to tackle labour shortage

LISBON  (Reuters) - Portugal announced it would speed up granting visas to citizens of other Portuguese-speaking countries, including Angola and Brazil, as it seeks to tackle a labour shortage. The other countries in the Community of Portuguese language countries (CPLP) are East Timor, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Mozambique and São Tomé and Príncipe. Immigrants from these countries have had to get a visa if they plan to stay in Portugal for more than 90 days and often have to wait many months to get visa approval. From now on, visas to enter Portugal for citizens of any CPLP member…
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Strike cancels 60 flights at Portugal’s Lisbon airport

Strike cancels 60 flights at Portugal’s Lisbon airport

LISBON, Aug 28 (Reuters) - Around 60 flights were cancelled at Lisbon airport on Sunday, the last day of a strike by handling workers that has brought more disruption to summer travel at Portugal's main airports since Friday, data from national airports operator ANA showed. Employees of handling company Portway are demanding better holiday pay and more career progression. ANA's website showed 31 arrivals and 28 departures had been cancelled on Sunday at Lisbon, Portugal's busiest airport. Pedro Figueiredo, spokesman for the National Union for Civil Aviation Workers (SINTAC), told Reuters that around 90% of Portway's ramp operations workers at Lisbon and…
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Portuguese airport handling workers’ strike cancels 90 flights

Portuguese airport handling workers’ strike cancels 90 flights

LISBON, Aug 26 (Reuters) - Employees of Portugal's airport handling company Portway began a three-day strike on Friday at its main airports in Lisbon, Porto, Faro and Funchal, forcing cancellations of about 90 flights so far and bringing more disruption to summer travel. Around 90% of Portway workers walked out at Lisbon airport, where 60 flights have already been scrapped to and from the Portuguese capital, said Pedro Figueiredo, spokesman for the National Union for Civil Aviation Workers (SINTAC). The union was demanding better working conditions, wage increases and fully-paid holidays, among other things. Handling workers assist airlines with baggage…
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Portugal’s drought prompts water price rise, street-cleaning ban

Portugal’s drought prompts water price rise, street-cleaning ban

LISBON, Aug 25 (Reuters) - Facing an unprecedented drought, Portugal's government recommended 43 municipalities temporarily increase water prices for their biggest consumers and suspend street-cleaning and watering in public parks and gardens. All of mainland Portugal is suffering severe or extreme drought following heatwaves over recent months, the national meteorology institute IPMA says. Environment Minister Duarte Cordeiro said late on Wednesday that, out of the 61 dams in mainland Portugal, 10 are in a critical situation, with the stored volume of water below 20% of their capacity. The nearly dry dams supply 40 municipalities in the north and centre of…
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Brazil receives embalmed heart of Portuguese king to mark independence

Brazil receives embalmed heart of Portuguese king to mark independence

The embalmed heart of the Portuguese monarch who declared the independence of Brazil from Portugal 200 years ago was received with the military honors of a head of state in Brasilia on Tuesday at the start of bicentenary celebrations. The heart, kept in formaldehyde in a glass jar inside a gold urn, arrived at the presidential palace in an open Rolls Royce flanked by a mounted color guard and was received by President Jair Bolsonaro with a gun salute. Air Force planes flew past. Dom Pedro I's heart had been kept in a church in the Portuguese city of Porto…
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Portuguese wildfire envelops Madrid skyscrapers in smoke 400 km away

Portuguese wildfire envelops Madrid skyscrapers in smoke 400 km away

MADRID, (Reuters) - Smoke from a huge wildfire in central Portugal enveloped skyscrapers known as the "Four Towers" in Madrid 400 km (250 miles) away, and residents of the Spanish capital complained of a strong burning smell. The fire, which has ravaged Portugal's Serra da Estrela national park, started on Aug. 6 and had been largely put out as of Sunday, but reignited again on Monday, leading to the evacuation of several villages. More than 1,100 firefighters backed by 13 waterbombing aircraft were tackling the blaze, which has already torched more than 17,000 hectares. Civil Protection Commander Andre Fernandes said…
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Portugal’s airport workers threaten to strike in late August

Portugal’s airport workers threaten to strike in late August

Portugal's civil aviation workers are threatening to go on a three-day strike in late August, accusing the conglomerate that operates the country's biggest airports of failing to increase wages and provide better working conditions. The strike threat by Portugal's Civil Aviation Workers' Union (SINTAC) and the Commercial Aviation Staff Union (SQAC) is the latest in a series of walkouts at a time Europe's transport sector continues to struggle handling a return to travel after COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns. The strike is set to take place from Aug. 19 to Aug. 21, an usually busy summer weekend for travel, the unions said…
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Portugal to speed up solar parks to cut gas use

Portugal to speed up solar parks to cut gas use

LISBON,(Reuters) - Portugal will accelerate construction of solar parks to replace gas-fired electricity generation and hit an EU target to cut gas use, Energy Secretary Joao Galamba said this week. With Europe scrambling to close a gap between gas consumption and constrained supply, Galamba said speeding up installation of 1.2 gigawatts of solar photovoltaic capacity would "make a very important contribution, as it will allow electricity generators to consume less gas." "It is the most effective measure Portugal can take without applying heavier measures in the electricity or industrial sectors, which are the main consumers," he told public television RTP. EU energy…
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Portugal launches inquiries into alleged Catholic Church sexual abuse

Portugal launches inquiries into alleged Catholic Church sexual abuse

Portuguese prosecutors said they have launched 10 inquiries into alleged child sexual abuse by Catholic Church clergy, the first such move since a commission was created seven months ago to investigate accusations. A commission investigating child sexual abuse by Catholic clergy in the Iberian nation has collected around 350 testimonies since it started its work in January. It has said that number was "just the tip of the iceberg". The majority of the alleged crimes were committed decades ago, and can no longer be investigated due to Portugal's statute of limitations, but the commission has submitted 17 testimonies to public…
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More evacuations as crews tackle blazes in Spain and Greece

More evacuations as crews tackle blazes in Spain and Greece

Madrid/Athens (dpa) - A fire that broke out on the Spanish island of Tenerife this week was still raging on Sunday and has now destroyed more than 2,150 hectares, the regional president said, even as the situation eases in other parts of the country. Greece - Greek firefighters battled wildfires on the island of Lesbos for a second day on Sunday as well as new fires in the western Peloponnese and in northern Greece, evacuating nearby settlements as a heatwave set in. A wildfire that started in mountainous forests on Lesbos in the Aegean Sea near Turkey on Saturday, burning…
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Portugal cuts golf course irrigation in drought-hit Algarve tourist hub

Portugal cuts golf course irrigation in drought-hit Algarve tourist hub

Facing an unprecedented drought, Portugal will cut irrigation of golf courses and green spaces in its tourism-dependent Algarve region to avert water rationing for human consumption, the country's environment minister said. Mainland Portugal already has 99% of its territory in severe or extreme drought as a result of the recent heat wave, according to data from national meteorology institute IPMA published on Friday. IPMA said that, in the first 17 days of July, maximum temperatures in mainland Portugal averaged 33.9 degrees Celsius, 5.2 degrees above the same period last year. Fire burns near a swimming pool during a forest fire…
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Russian oligarchs’ citizenship bids face scrutiny in Portugal

Russian oligarchs’ citizenship bids face scrutiny in Portugal

LISBON (Reuters) - Portugal is analysing the citizenship applications of two Russian oligarchs - one of whom is under U.S. sanctions, the government said late on Friday, as a law granting passports to descendants of Sephardic Jews faces growing scrutiny. Russian-Israeli diamond oligarch Lev Leviev and Russian property developer God Nisanov are the latest high-profile Russians known to have applied for citizenship under the legislation. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said last month that Nisanov, who was hit by sanctions following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, was "one of the richest men in Europe and a close associate of several…
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Portugal ‘totally against’ EU proposal on gas usage cuts

Portugal ‘totally against’ EU proposal on gas usage cuts

LISBON, July 21 (Reuters) - Portugal is "totally against" an EU proposal for member states to cut gas usage until March because it would hamper electricity production through gas-fired plants when the country faces an extreme drought, Energy Secretary Joao Galamba said on Thursday. The European Union told member states on Wednesday to cut gas usage by 15% until March as an emergency step after President Vladimir Putin warned that Russian supplies sent via the biggest pipeline to Europe could be reduced further and might even stop.  Galamba told newspaper Expresso that the EU proposal did not address the specific hydropower needs…
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‘Climate change affects everyone’: Europe battles wildfires in intense heat

‘Climate change affects everyone’: Europe battles wildfires in intense heat

JERTE, Spain July 17 (Reuters) - Authorities across southern Europe battled on Sunday to control huge wildfires in countries including Spain, Greece and France, with hundreds of deaths blamed on soaring temperatures that scientists say are consistent with climate change. In Spain, helicopters dropped water on the flames as heat above 40 Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) and often mountainous terrain made the job harder for firefighters. Shocked residents watching thick plumes of smoke rising above the central western Jerte valley said the heat was making their previously green and cool home more like Spain's semi-arid south. "Climate change affects everyone," said resident Miguel Angel Tamayo. A study published…
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Foreign tourism to Portugal soars in May, still below pre-pandemic levels

Foreign tourism to Portugal soars in May, still below pre-pandemic levels

LISBON, (Reuters) - The number of foreign tourists visiting Portugal in May jumped almost six times from the same month last year but still fell about 9% short of pre-coronavirus pandemic levels, the National Statistics Institute (INE) said. More than 1.58 million tourists visited in May, up from around 274,000 a year ago, when the country still had restrictions due to the pandemic, the INE said. In May 2019, however, the number stood at 1.73 million. Portugal's tourism sector accounted for almost 15% of gross domestic product before the pandemic and was one of the main drivers of its recovery from the…
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UPDATED: As Europe bakes in heatwave, wildfires rage from Portugal to Croatia

UPDATED: As Europe bakes in heatwave, wildfires rage from Portugal to Croatia

LEIRIA, Portugal/RASLINA, Croatia, July 14 (Reuters) - Wildfires raged across tinder-dry country in Portugal, Spain, France and Croatia on Thursday, burning homes and threatening livelihoods, as much of Europe baked in a heatwave that has pushed temperatures into the mid-40Cs in some countries. In Portugal's central Leiria district, tired firefighters battled to control blazes that have been fanned by strong winds. Footage from the area on Wednesday showed smoke darkening the sky and billowing across a highway, while flames licked around the roofs of houses in one small village. "Yesterday was a very tough day," Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa…
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Soaring temperatures prompt warnings of extreme weather and forest fires

Soaring temperatures prompt warnings of extreme weather and forest fires

Forest fires in Portugal have left 29 people injured, as temperatures are predicted to reach up to 45C (113F) in parts of the country from Tuesday. On Saturday, the country recorded 125 fires, the highest number in a single day this year, with around 1,500 firefighters currently fighting three big blazes. Portugal's government declared a state of alert across the country, from Monday to Friday 15 July. Next week's weather has caused further concerns due to high temperatures. From Tuesday, the Portuguese weather agency predicts temperatures of up to 45C (113F) in Alentejo - the region between Lisbon and the…
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Portugal’s June inflation rise at fastest pace in 30 years

Portugal’s June inflation rise at fastest pace in 30 years

LISBON, June 30 (Reuters) - Portuguese consumer prices jumped 8.7% year-on-year in June, at their fastest pace since December 1992, up from 8% in May, flash data from the National Statistics Institute (INE) showed on Thursday. Core inflation, which strips out volatile food and energy prices, rose 6% year-on-year, the fastest rate since May 1994, up from 5.6% the previous month. Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent pressure on energy and food markets has stoked inflation, which was already accelerating as the global economy reopened after the coronavirus pandemic. Consumer prices in Portugal rose 0.8% in June, down from a 1%…
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‘Lots of talk, little action’: Hundreds protest outside U.N. Ocean Conference

‘Lots of talk, little action’: Hundreds protest outside U.N. Ocean Conference

LISBON (Reuters) - Aboriginal Australian activist Theresa Ardler travelled halfway across the world to tell leaders at the U.N. Ocean Conference in Portugal that they are failing to protect her fishing community back home. Ardler, 50, fears the humpback whales that travel through the deep blue waters surrounding her aboriginal village of Wreck Bay, on the east coast of Australia, will suffer if authorities do not act fast enough. "The ocean is what we call 'Our Mother' and it's thousands of years old - just like my ancestors," she said as she joined hundreds of other activists outside the conference venue in…
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Portugal wants long-term EU mechanism for security, energy investment

Portugal wants long-term EU mechanism for security, energy investment

Portugal wants the European Union to create a mechanism similar to its pandemic recovery programme to channel investment into defence, security, green energy and digital spheres, Prime Minister Antonio Costa said on Monday. He told a conference in Lisbon this would imply debt issuance by the European Commission, which would be paid for with transfers from member states, and also with new taxes on profits of multinational companies and on carbon emissions. "The challenges of the climate and digital transition, the strengthening of strategic autonomy of Europe and investment in security and defence require high coordinated investments at European level," he said. Costa said such investment projects…
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Doctor shortage pushes Portugal’s maternity units to the brink

Doctor shortage pushes Portugal’s maternity units to the brink

A shortage of obstetricians has forced several Portuguese hospitals to temporarily shut their emergency maternity units or operate with reduced staff, raising fears for women's safety. Bank holidays and the spread of COVID-19 among medical workers have aggravated the structural problem of a long-running shortage of doctors in Portugal. "We are in a situation of rupture and, if a solution is not found quickly, (more) services closures are imminent," Carlos Cortes, a regional head of regulatory body Doctors' Order, told Lusa news agency. Patient advocacy group OVO warned "serious situations" such as neglect could arise from the shortages. Public prosecutors…
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EasyJet gains EU okay to acquire Lisbon airport slots from TAP

EasyJet gains EU okay to acquire Lisbon airport slots from TAP

BRUSSELS, June 16 (Reuters) - British low-cost carrier EasyJet EZJ.L on Thursday won EU antitrust approval to acquire 18 daily slots at Lisbon airport from Portuguese airline TAP as part of the latter's rescue plan agreed with EU regulators last year. "EasyJet has now priority to conclude with TAP Air Portugal the agreement for the slot transfer that will allow easyJet to expand its operations at Lisbon airport and offer new flights as of 30 October 2022," the European Commission said in a statement. Under the 3.2-billion-euro ($3.3 billion) rescue plan, TAP which is 72.5% controlled by the Portuguese state, was forced to reduce…
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Ronaldo brace leads Portugal to big win over Switzerland

Ronaldo brace leads Portugal to big win over Switzerland

LISBON (Reuters) - Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice as Portugal swept to an emphatic 4-0  victory over Switzerland in their UEFA Nations League clash at the Estadio Jose Alvalade in Lisbon on Sunday. William Carvalho and Joao Cancelo were also on the scoresheet as the hosts wasted numerous opportunities to inflict more humiliation on the visitors, who suffered their biggest defeat since losing to Germany by the same scoreline in 2008. Portugal have four points from their opening two Group A2 matches and are ahead of second-place Czech Republic on goal-difference. Switzerland are on zero after back-to-back losses and are now…
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Portugal aiming to protect young workers, interns in jobs market

Portugal aiming to protect young workers, interns in jobs market

Portugal's government is aiming to protect young people in the jobs market with a new law to cut the repeated renewals of short-term contracts, increase overtime and redundancy payments, and secure minimum pay levels for interns. The ruling centre-left Socialists have a majority in parliament, meaning the bill, with 70 stricter labour measures, should be approved by its intended entry into force from Jan. 1. In the first quarter, Portugal's unemployment rate dropped to the lowest level in 20 years at 5.9%, but the share of precarious jobs is among the highest in Europe, and youth unemployment has remained above…
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Omicron sub-variant fuels Portugal’s COVID-19 surge

Omicron sub-variant fuels Portugal’s COVID-19 surge

LISBON, June 2 (Reuters) - An Omicron sub-variant has fuelled a surge in COVID-19 cases in Portugal that now has the world's second-highest infection rate, potentially threatening the tourism sector's recovery. Portugal registered an average of 2,447 new cases per million people over the last seven days. That compares to neighbouring Spain's 449 and Britain's 70, according to tracker Our World In Data. The rolling average has subsided slightly in the past few days and is just over a third of the Jan. 31 Omicron peak. Portugal has the world's fifth-highest death rate from COVID-19 and hospitalisations are on the rise, but…
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Belgium detects first two monkeypox cases, Spain, Portugal cases tallies each surpass 20

Belgium detects first two monkeypox cases, Spain, Portugal cases tallies each surpass 20

BRUSSELS, May 19 (Reuters) - Belgian health experts were due to meet on Friday after the country detected its first two cases of monkeypox, authorities said. The cases were diagnosed in different cities, though Flemish broadcaster VRTNWS said both patients had attended the same party in an undisclosed location. Reuters could not immediately confirm this. A leading virologist said the number of cases in the country would probably rise. "I do expect more cases," said Steven Van Gucht from national public health institute Sciensano. As things stood, he was however confident that Belgium would be able to control the spread…
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Portugal identifies five monkeypox infections, Spain has eight suspected cases

Portugal identifies five monkeypox infections, Spain has eight suspected cases

LISBON, May 18 (Reuters) - Portuguese authorities said on Wednesday they had identified five cases of rare monkeypox infection and Spain's health services are testing eight potential cases after Britain put Europe on alert for the virus. The five Portuguese patients, out of 20 suspected cases, are all stable. They are all men and they all live in the region of Lisbon and the Tagus Valley, the Portuguese health authorities said. European Health authorities are monitoring any outbreak of the disease since Britain has reported its first case of monkeypox on May 7 and found six more in the country since then. …
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Portugal blocks mansion sale over ‘strong conviction’ it belongs to Abramovich

Portugal blocks mansion sale over ‘strong conviction’ it belongs to Abramovich

Portugal blocked the sale of a 10 million euro ($10.4 million) luxury house over a "strong conviction" it belonged to sanctions-hit Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, Foreign Minister Joao Cravinho said. The property registry of the mansion in the luxury Quinta do Lago resort in the Algarve was frozen - meaning it cannot be sold, rented or mortgaged - on March 25 at the request of the foreign ministry, a month after Russia's full invasion of Ukraine. "We have a strong conviction, which hasn't been fully confirmed, the house belongs to Roman Abramovich," Cravinho said on the sidelines of a NATO…
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Ukrainian joins thousands in Portugal to pray for peace

Ukrainian joins thousands in Portugal to pray for peace

Armed with a candle and a blue and yellow flag, Karina Potomkina, a Ukrainian who has been watching her country being ravaged by war from afar, joined tens thousands of faithful in Portugal on Thursday evening to pray for peace. Potomkina, a 42-year-old who moved from the Ukrainian city of Vinnytsia to Lisbon two decades ago, and about 200,000 others gathered at one of Catholicism's most famous sanctuaries, the Fatima shrine. The annual event marks the first of three reported visions of the Virgin Mary, also known as Our Lady, more than 100 years ago. But many like Potomkina took…
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German prosecutor confident  Madeleine McCann murderer found

German prosecutor confident Madeleine McCann murderer found

LISBON, (Reuters) - Investigators have found new evidence potentially incriminating the key suspect in the disappearance of British toddler Madeleine McCann 15 years ago, said Hans Christian Wolters, the German prosecutor who has been investigating the case since 2020. In an interview with Portuguese TV channel CMTV this week, Wolters said detectives believed they had found "some facts, some new evidence", adding: "We are sure that he (Brueckner) is the murderer of Madeleine McCann." A handout photo made available by the Milan branch of Italy's Carabinieri police force shows an undated photograph of 43-year-old German convict Christian Brueckner, whom investigators…
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The 15-year hunt for missing British girl Madeleine McCann

The 15-year hunt for missing British girl Madeleine McCann

Portuguese prosecutors said late on Thursday a man had been formally identified as a suspect in the disappearance of British toddler Madeleine McCann 15 years ago. Prosecutors in Faro, Algarve's main city, did not publicly name the man but said in a statement he was identified as a suspect by German authorities at its request. German police said in June 2020 that Madeleine was assumed dead and that convicted child abuser and drug trader Christian Brueckner, 45, was likely responsible for it. Brueckner has not been charged with any crime related to the disappearance and denies any involvement. He is…
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For first time man named as formal suspect in Madeleine McCann case

For first time man named as formal suspect in Madeleine McCann case

Portuguese prosecutors announced a man had been formally identified as a suspect in the disappearance of British toddler Madeleine McCann 15 years ago. It is the first time Portuguese prosecutors have identified an official suspect in the case since Kate and Gerry McCann, Madeleine's parents, were named suspects in 2007. They were later cleared. Madeleine disappeared from her bedroom on May 3, 2007 during a family holiday in the Algarve region while her parents were dining with friends nearby in the resort of Praia da Luz. Prosecutors in Faro, Algarve's main city, did not publicly name the man but said…
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Seismic activity on Azores volcanic island remains above normal levels

Seismic activity on Azores volcanic island remains above normal levels

Seismic activity on the earthquake-hit, mid-Atlantic island of Sao Jorge, in Portugal's Azores archipelago, remained above normal levels, with the number of tremors topping 24,000 since the crisis began nearly two weeks ago. There are fears the tremors, which have reached a magnitude of up to 3.8 but caused no damage so far, could herald a volcanic eruption for the first time since 1808, or a powerful earthquake. Eduardo Farias, head of Azores' Civil Protection authority, said the number of daily earthquakes decreased on Thursday compared to the day before, but said there was no explanation for the drop. He…
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Volcano experts warn quake-hit Azores island could have eruption like La Palma

Volcano experts warn quake-hit Azores island could have eruption like La Palma

Volcano experts warned that the earthquake-hit island of Sao Jorge in Portugal's Azores archipelago could experience an initial eruption similar to Spain's La Palma last year, which destroyed thousands of properties and crops over 85 days. The lush mid-Atlantic island has been rattled by more than 20,000 small earthquakes in the past 11 days, with the strongest tremor since the beginning of the "seismic crisis" recorded on Tuesday evening with a magnitude of 3.8, said the region's CIVISA seismo-volcanic surveillance centre. A house is covered by the ashes in the Las Manchas' neighborhood next to El Paso volcano in La…
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Portuguese PM picks former Lisbon mayor as new finance minister

Portuguese PM picks former Lisbon mayor as new finance minister

LISBON, (Reuters) - Portugal's Prime Minister Antonio Costa has picked Fernando Medina, a former mayor of Lisbon like himself, as his new finance minister tasked with reducing the budget gap as the war in Ukraine clouds the prospects of post-pandemic recovery. Medina, 49, replaces Joao Leao, who had been part of Costa's minority Socialist government since mid-2020. The new government, this time backed by the party's parliamentary majority, will be sworn in on March 30. He is one of 17 government ministers proposed by Costa and accepted by President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, the presidency said on Wednesday. The well-spoken economist had…
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Azores on watch for large quake, eruption as island keeps shaking

Azores on watch for large quake, eruption as island keeps shaking

A series of multiple small earthquakes that have been rattling a mid-Atlantic Portuguese island for three days could trigger a stronger tremor or a volcanic eruption, experts said, as authorities urged people not to travel there. The number of earthquakes recorded on the volcanic island of Sao Jorge, in the Azores archipelago, since Saturday afternoon has increased to around 1,800 from an earlier figure of 1,329, said Rui Marques, head of the region's CIVISA seismo-volcanic surveillance centre. Only 94 of the 1,800 earthquakes, with a magnitude of between 1.7 to 3.3, registered so far have been felt by the population,…
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Portugal’s Azores island of Sao Jorge hit by nearly 90 small earthquakes

Portugal’s Azores island of Sao Jorge hit by nearly 90 small earthquakes

Authorities in Portugal's Azores archipelago have been placed on alert after nearly 90 small earthquakes hit the mid-Atlantic volcanic island of Sao Jorge in a little over 24 hours, although there have been no reports of damage. Sao Jorge's Urzelina volcano last erupted in 1808 and the Azores Civil Protection authority has requested an evaluation by experts from the region's volcanic surveillance centre. Civil Protection said in a statement that it had already contacted local mayors and fire units, asking them to "remain vigilant" and help the people of Sao Jorge if needed. The seismic activity began on Saturday afternoon,…
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UPDATED: Portugal to change law that allowed Abramovich to get citizenship, minister says

UPDATED: Portugal to change law that allowed Abramovich to get citizenship, minister says

Portugal has tightened a law that grants citizenship to descendants of Sephardic Jews and which allowed Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich to become a citizen, but the changes will not be retroactive, the foreign minister said on Wednesday. The billionaire was granted Portuguese citizenship last year based on the 2015 law that offers naturalisation to descendants of Sephardic Jews who were expelled from the Iberian peninsula during the mediaeval Inquisition.  Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva said a decree introduced a new requirement for applicants to show an "effective connection with Portugal", although he made no mention of any individuals when discussing…
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Photo – Meo Pro Surfing Event in Portugal

Photo – Meo Pro Surfing Event in Portugal

Caio Ibelli of Brazil in action during his opening round heat of the Meo Pro Portugal surfing event as part of the World Surf League (WSL) World Tour at Supertubos beach in Peniche, Portugal, 04 March 2022. Photo EPA-EFE/JOSE SENA GOULAO
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Fire dies down on ship carrying luxury cars, with little left to burn

Fire dies down on ship carrying luxury cars, with little left to burn

LISBON, Feb 21 (Reuters) - A fire which swept through a cargo ship carrying thousands of luxury cars and adrift off the coast of Portugal's Azores islands has lost its intensity, probably because there is little left to burn, a port official said. The Felicity Ace, carrying around 4,000 vehicles including Porsches, Audis and Bentleys, some electric with lithium-ion batteries, caught fire in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean on Wednesday. The 22 crew members on board were evacuated the same day.  "The fire has subsided in recent hours," João Mendes Cabeças, captain of the nearest port in the Azorean island of…
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Portuguese voters abroad to recast ballots after election mess-up

Portuguese voters abroad to recast ballots after election mess-up

Thousands of Portuguese voters living across Europe will be asked to cast their ballots for a second time in March, the National Electoral Commission (CNE) has announced, delaying the swearing in of a new Socialist government elected on Jan. 30. The partial rerun comes after the top court ruled on Tuesday that an informal agreement by political parties to scrap a requirement for voters to include a copy of their identity document with their mail-in ballot was "grossly illegal", deeming 157,000 such votes invalid. The CNE said voters in Europe would vote again at their local embassies or consulates on…
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UPDATED: No casualties after earthquake rattled Madeira Islands, Portugal

UPDATED: No casualties after earthquake rattled Madeira Islands, Portugal

MADRID, Feb 16 (Reuters) - A moderate earthquake rattled the Portuguese island of Madeira in the early hours on Wednesday, scaring residents but causing no damage or injuries, the Portuguese Sea and Atmosphere Institute (IPMA) said. The IPMA said the 5.1 magnitude quake, with an epicentre in the ocean, 45 km south of Madeira's capital, Funchal, struck at a depth of 30 km and was felt with the maximum intensity of V on the Mercalli scale in the councils of Camara de Lobos, Ribeira Brava and Sao Vicente. A V intensity quake is defined as moderate and is usually felt…
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Portugal to drop COVID test requirement for arriving passengers

Portugal to drop COVID test requirement for arriving passengers

Portugal will drop a requirement to present a negative COVID-19 test for air passengers arriving with a valid digital European Union certificate or recognised proof of vaccination, the government said. The move, approved in a cabinet meeting, is aligned with European Union rules. In a statement, the government said negative tests will no longer be required for "those who present the EU COVID Digital Certificate in any of its modalities or other proof of vaccination that has been recognised". It did not say when the decision would take effect, but the rules now in force were meant to last until…
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Drought prompts Portugal to limit water use

Drought prompts Portugal to limit water use

LISBON, Feb 1 (Reuters) - Facing a worrying winter drought, Portugal's government ordered some of the country's hydropower dams to temporarily limit water use for electricity production and irrigation, prioritising human consumption instead. The Portuguese Institute of Meteorology (IPMA) said the drought, which started in November 2021, has worsened, with 54% of the country now in moderate drought, 34% in severe drought and 11% in extreme drought. There are around 60 Portuguese hydropower dams, which produce 30% of electricity consumed in the country each year, according to the Portuguese Association of Renewable Energies. For now, just five dams in central…
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Portugal’s PM Costa stuns with majority win in snap election

Portugal’s PM Costa stuns with majority win in snap election

LISBON, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Defying all odds, Portugal's centre-left Socialists won an outright parliamentary majority in Sunday's snap general election, securing a strong new mandate for Prime Minister Antonio Costa, a champion of balanced public accounts. The result, boosted by a higher than expected turnout despite the coronavirus pandemic, comes as a surprise after the Socialists had lost most of their advantage in recent opinion polls, and means Portugal will have a stable government to oversee the application of EU pandemic recovery funds. The vote was called in November after Costa's hard-left former Communist and Left Bloc allies joined…
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Portuguese go to polls in snap election marked by COVID, uncertainty

Portuguese go to polls in snap election marked by COVID, uncertainty

LISBON (Reuters) - Portuguese will be marking ballots on Sunday in a snap parliamentary election with no clear winner in sight and uncertainty increased by potentially low turnout amid record coronavirus infections. The government has allowed those infected to leave isolation and cast ballots in person, recommending that they do so in the last hour before polling stations close at 7:00 pm (1900 GMT) and promising "absolute safety" during the vote. Over a tenth of Portugal's 10 million people are estimated to be isolating because of COVID-19. As in many European countries, infections have spiked lately, stoked by the Omicron…
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Portuguese parties wrap up campaign; Sunday election wide open

Portuguese parties wrap up campaign; Sunday election wide open

LISBON, ( (Reuters) - Waving colourful flags and shouting political slogans, hundreds of people took to Lisbon's streets on Friday to support candidates as they wrapped up two weeks of campaigning ahead of Sunday's parliamentary election. The election, called in November after parliament rejected the government's budget bill, is wide open as the ruling Socialists (PS) continue to lose their lead in opinion polls to the main opposition party, the centre-right Social Democrats (PSD). Ana Ferreira, 48, brought her young son Miguel to the PS rally in Baixa Chiado, one of Lisbon's most iconic neighbourhoods. Though a win for her…
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Portugal’s Sunday election wide open as Socialists’ lead narrows

Portugal’s Sunday election wide open as Socialists’ lead narrows

LISBON, Jan 28 (Reuters) - Portugal's ruling Socialists have lost more of their lead to the main opposition party, the centre-right Social Democrats (PSD), in two opinion polls released on Friday two days before Sunday's snap election. The contest remains wide open. Analysts say the election is likely to worsen political volatility and could produce a short-lived government as no party or known alliance is seen gaining a working majority. Premier Antonio Costa's centre-left party dropped to 35% support, according to a survey by ISCTE-ICS pollsters for TV channel SIC and newspaper Expresso, from 38% a month ago, while the…
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Portugal’s centre-right opposition clinches lead in poll days before election

Portugal’s centre-right opposition clinches lead in poll days before election

Portugal's main opposition party, the centre-right Social Democrats (PSD), secured a marginal lead over the ruling Socialist party after surging in opinion polls just days before a snap election, a survey published on Tuesday showed. The opinion poll carried out by Aximage showed a huge jump in support for the Social Democrats (PSD), led by moderate economist Rui Rio, to 34.4% from 28.5% a week ago. The election takes place on Sunday. Prime Minister Antonio Costa's centre-left Socialists saw a sharp decline, to 33.8% of voting intentions from 38.5% previously, confirming the downward trend seen in other polls. The PSD…
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Voting starts in Portugal’s snap election

Voting starts in Portugal’s snap election

Early voting began in Portugal on Sunday for a snap general election, with polls showing the incumbent Socialists still ahead though with their lead over the nearest centre-right rivals narrowing. Over 300,000 voters have signed up to vote a week early, with polls opening at 8am (0800 GMT). The early voting option was provided this year to reduce crowding on election day, next Sunday, due to the pandemic. Prime Minister Antonio Costa, who has led two consecutive minority Socialist governments since 2015, cast his ballot in the northern city of Porto. The snap polls were called after he failed to…
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Portuguese Socialists’ lead for Jan. 30 election narrows, poll shows

Portuguese Socialists’ lead for Jan. 30 election narrows, poll shows

LISBON (Reuters) - Portugal's centre-left ruling Socialists lost ground in an opinion poll published that left it with the narrowest lead in all recent surveys, keeping the ballot wide open just 10 days before a snap general election. Prime Minister Antonio Costa's party dropped to 37% support, according to the survey by Catolica pollsters, from 39% in the same poll a week ago, while their main rivals, the centre-right Social Democrats, rose to 33% from 30%. It leaves the Socialist Party further away from a parliamentary majority, which under the proportional representation system equates to between 42% and 45% of…
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Portugal’s ruling Socialists lead polls ahead of election but lack majority

Portugal’s ruling Socialists lead polls ahead of election but lack majority

Portugal's ruling Socialists extended their lead in a new opinion poll ahead of a Jan. 30 snap election but remained short of a majority, while another survey showed the main opposition party narrowing the gap. The first survey, published late on Wednesday, carried out by pollsters Pitagorica for TV channels TVI and CNN Portugal, gave the current premier Antonio Costa's PS party a 39.6% share of the vote, up from 37% last month. Although it was one of the best recent results obtained by PS it leaves them just short of a majority, which under the proportional representation system, equates…
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Portugal’s Socialists retain lead ahead of election but gap narrows – poll

Portugal’s Socialists retain lead ahead of election but gap narrows – poll

LISBON, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Portugal's ruling centre-left Socialists remain favourites to win a snap parliamentary election on Jan. 30, but the main opposition Social Democrats are narrowing the gap, according to a new opinion poll. Prime Minister Antonio Costa's ruling party commands 38% support, according to the survey by the Catolica University published late on Friday by the newspaper Publico and the RTP state TV channel. That represents a drop of just one percentage point from an earlier poll published on Nov. 5. The centre-right Social Democrats have risen to 32% support, from 30% in Catolica's previous survey, a…
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