LATE NIGHT TRAINS FOR SAN SEBASTIAN

l THE Majorcan railway service, SFM, will provide a late night service tonight and tomorrow night on the occasion of the San Sebastian fiestas in Palma. Tonight, there will be a train at 1.30am to Manacor and another to Sa Pobla at 2.05am, to enable people to attend the concert in the Plaza Mayor. Tomorrow, there will be late night trains all night, seven to Sa Pobla and six to Manacor, and there will also be extra trains from these towns. The trains will stop at all stations en route and there will be a 50 per cent discount on fares.

INJURED IN ACCIDENT

l A person was slightly hurt yesterday morning when the van he was driving was involved in an accident on the Via Cintura near Palma cemetery, according to sources from the Ambulance service. The medical services checked the injured man at the scene, then took him to the Juaneda Clinic, where he was given treatment. The accident, which happened at 11.49am, caused tailbacks of traffic on the Via Cintura, according to the sources.

SPECIAL NEEDS IN EDUCATION

l A total of 4'573 Balearic students in Infant, Primary and Secondary education have special educational needs. Of these, 260 have been diagnosed as autistic or suffering general learning difficulties, according to figures from the 2005 to 2006 educational year, published by the Balearic Ministry of Education. Sources for this department said yesterday that, since the 1998 to 1999 school year, there had been a programme in place to support the integration of pupils with special education needs associated with these disorders. This is done via an agreement with the Union of Balearic Associations for the Disabled and the Gaspar Hauser Special Education Centre. This programme, to which the Ministry has given 128'341 euros for this school year, also offers advice to centres which have pupils with these needs and to the teachers who teach them. In order to see this in action, the Balearic Minister for Education, Francesc Fiol, and the director general of Orientation, Innovation and Training for Teachers, Joana Rossello, yesterday visited the Gaspar Hauser Special Education Centre, which has 65 pupils who suffer autism or other learning difficulties.

MEDICINES SENT TO GAZA STRIP

l THE organisation Medicos del Mundo (MDM - World Doctors) has started the distribution of 168'000 euros worth of medicines in the Gaza Strip. The objective is to relieve the situation of the people who live in the area. The operation has the collaboration of Palma council. This organisation, which has been present in Palestine from May, took two lorries loaded with medicines and other medical material from Cisjordania to Gaza. Once there, the medicines were given to the Palestine National Authority's Health Ministry, which took charge of its distribution to hospitals and clinics.

Among the medicines are immuno depressants, sedatives, antibiotics, anti inflamatories, and medicines to fight tubercolosis, pneumonia, anaemia, diarrhoea, leukaemia, asthma, diabetes, septicemia, meningitis and other serious infections. “We try to make the medicines as general as possible, in order to meet the basic necessities of the population”, said Eduardo de Francisco, coordinator of the MDM project in Gaza. Francisco, who yesterday went to this area to supervise the first delivery of the project, said that “the situation is horrific for the Palestinian Health Ministry, they lack practically all medicines and our work is like pouring water on the desert, everything is used immediately”. He said that the help the organisation can give, “is relatively small, because a million and a half people live in the Gaza Strip”, although he was confident that a “large donation” from the World Bank “could help to alleviate the situation as the structure of this Ministry has been seriously damage by the embargo”. He was referring to the fact that the international community has subjected the Palestinian Government (of the Islamic Hammas group) to an economic and political boycott, which came into force in March last year and which demands that the Government renounces violence, recognises Israel, and respects signed agreements between Israel and Palestine.

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