Violent burglaries on homes in Barcelona have risen 40 percent over the last year (article in Castilian, La Vanguardia). Other crimes also went up in the city between August 2008 and 2009, including breaking and entering in unoccupied homes, and breaking into cars. The Catalan police, the Mossos d'Esquadrà, said that the rise in all these crimes was in large part related to an increase in the number of drug dealers and a strengthening 'criminal underworld' (hampa) in Barcelona. They believe that many of the violent robberies are carried out on and by people who are some way connected. In addition, the police said that violence is sometimes employed when a robber breaks into a flat thinking it to be empty and is surprised in the act, at which point they resort to attacking the home-owner.
The Catalan department of Civil Protection has issued a warning about the risk of strong winds affecting Catalunya today, with speeds up to 126 kilometres an hour possible (article in Castilian, El Periodico).This is a continuation of the weather front coming in from the Atlantic that saw heavy rain fall on Tuesday and Wednesda, with some towns having 100 litres per square metre of rain while several places located at least 2,300 metres above sea-level experienced several centimetres of snow. The strong winds are most likely to affect the southern parts of Catalunya, such as Baix Camp and Montsià. Other areas, including Lleida and the centre of the Barcelona province, could see winds that reach up to 90 kilometres. The snow in the Pyrenees was welcomed by ski resorts as good preparation for the start of the new season, planned for mid-November, while wild mushroom hunters (boletaires) were happy with the rain after a dry September as they are good for the growth of the funghi. However, both groups voiced concern about the possibility of strong winds.
Also in the news: Generalitat president gets Facebook profile (La Vanguardia); Girona to organise popular vote about independence (Avui); Ongoing controversy about freedom for Palau accused (El Periodico)