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TOPIC: gibraltar


From The Rock Of Gibraltar, He Tracks The Passing Signs Of A Troubled World

From Gibraltar, a local ship-spotter watches the new Cold War through binoculars: Russian, American and Chinese warships, among others, regularly come through the Strait between Europe and Africa, connecting the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea.

GIBRALTAR — Michael J. Sanchez is a local retired policeman who has discovered a very global hobby to pass his time: watching, identifying and sometimes photographing ships that pass in front of the Rock of Gibraltar. Perched at this critical geographical juncture, he's noticed a bit less traffic than usual, as Russian ships no longer pass through Gibraltar because of the war in Ukraine.

On a recent week, a pair of support ships passed by: an oil tanker and a tugboat, on their way to Dover, UK. Two weeks ago a frigate, two smaller corvettes and a Russian tanker came through. Now, they are off the coast of Norway, where NATO is holding naval exercises. The opposing sides are face to face, looking right at each other. It's another Cold War.

I discovered Sanchez by happenstance and observation. On April 23, my mother, a keen coastline observer, noticed a column sticking out in the middle of the sea off the Gibraltar coast. It looked as if from one day to the next an oil platform had sprung into existence. I was with her at the time and while trying to unravel this mystery, we stumbled upon Sanchez's Twitter account. The retired policeman had reported, that it was an Italian frigate, and included a photo to his post.

Gibraltar is a gateway between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic. As a strategic enclave, its maritime traffic is some of the most intense in the world. So much so that the day before meeting Sanchez, he reported that three warships and a support tanker, all Russian, had sailed just a few kilometers from the Peninsula. The group was made up of two corvettes and the Admiral Grigorovich, a renowned frigate.

According to Europa Sur, it was responsible for bombing Aleppo in 2016, as part of the Kremlin’s support to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime during the Syrian civil war.

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Panama Papers, Polish Abortion Law, Spain Time Travel


A massive leak of more than 11 million documents has exposed an immense network of offshore shell companies, many of them illegal. The documents — dubbed the "Panama Papers" — were obtained by German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung and reveal the involvement of 72 current and former heads of state.

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Gibraltar And Brexit: How EU Referendum Could Rattle The Rock

GIBRALTAR — There is a troubling side story jutting into the Brexit debate from this tiny British territory at the southern tip of the Iberian peninsula.

Madrid-based daily El Mundo reports that in Gibraltar — affectionately known as "the Rock" — locals and the government alike are opposed to "Brexit", a British exit from the European Union, which is up before a national referendum this summer.

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