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Orange alert as Storm Ana approaches PortugalAll Portugal’s mainland districts are on orange alert for Sunday due to forecasts of strong winds and rain, snowfall and rough seas with waves reaching up to 10 metres.

The weather depression, dubbed storm Ana by Portugal’s forecasting authority in collaboration with authorities in Spain and France, is forming over Ireland today (Saturday), and expected to move southeast rapidly.

Strong rain is expected throughout the country, along with winds of up to 120 km/hr in the north and centre. Snow, too, is forecast for the Terras Altas region.

CataloniaPuigdemontCoaches and camper vans started to arrive in the Belgian capital on Thursday morning bringing demonstrators supporting the sacked president, Carles Puidgemont, who has been living in Brussels since leaving Spain last month for fear of being arrested.

The protest was held in front of the EU’s parliament building where around 45,000 flag-waving supporters of independence for Catalonia demonstrated to demand the European Union ceases its support of the Spanish government’s position and looks at the Catalonia issue seriously, rather than sticking to its weak get-out clause of “this is a matter for Madrid.”

FireLeiriaSmallCarsRoad management company Ascendi and electricity supply company EDP, both blamed for their part in the Pedrógão Grande fire this summer that killed more than 60 people, technically may be blameless.

Fernanda Paula Oliveira, a professor of Administrative Law at the University of Coimbra, has looked into the laws covering the obligations of Ascendi to keep the area alongside public roads clear of trees and of EDP to keep the area under power lines free of trees and combustible materials.

ryanair1Ryanair pilots in Portugal have voted in favour of industrial action up to and including strike action, according to the Portuguese Civil Aviation Pilots Union.

The move comes amid mounting discontent among pilots about the airline's refusal to negotiate with their chosen representative bodies, and following the mismanagement of annual leave which led to the cancellation of over 20,000 flights.

eucalyptusEucalyptus trees cause "dramatic reduction" of biodiversity, with researcher at the University of Coimbra concluding that "eucalyptus leaves prevent the growth of roots of other plant species."

An international study undertaken by the university and published in the journal Global Ecology and Biogeography,* concludes that "the eucalyptus trees generate authentic 'deserts' around them, causing a dramatic reduction of the biodiversity of the territory."

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