This weekend we take a look at a reformed bullring in Barcelona. Holland cracks down on tourists in coffee houses smoking dope. And, TSA will be challenged in Utah following their showdown with Texas.

Barcelona’s bullring is turned into a shopping center

Bullfighting has been banned in Catalonia for some time. The bullring had not seen a fight since 1977 and eventually, it fell into disrepair. The city together with architect Richard Rogers have created a fascinating shopping center with a floating roof and observation walk that is sure to become a tourist attraction. On its opening day, reportedly, one out of every ten Barcelonans reportedly showed up to check it out.

The historic bullring, built at the end of the 19th century, fell largely into disuse during the 1970s due to the declining popularity of bull fighting in Catalonia. However, the strong civic and cultural role which the building played in the life of Barcelona over nearly a century led to a decision by the city council that the façade should not be demolished. The design has created an open and accessible entrance to the new building at street level. In addition, a separate building – the ‘Eforum’ – in Carrer Llança, adjacent to the bullring, will provide retail and restaurants at ground and first-floor levels, with four levels of offices above.

Dutch government: No more dope for tourists

The rulers in Holland said this week that they are banning visitors from buying cannabis from “coffee shops.” The coffee shops have been one of the most alluring tourist destinations for teenagers and others who come from less enlightened countries.

Backed by the far-right party of anti-immigrant politician Geert Wilders, the coalition government that came into power last year announced plans to curb drug tourism as mart of a nationwide programme to promote health and fight crime.

“In order to tackle the nuisance and criminality associated with coffee shops and drug trafficking, the open-door policy of coffee shops will end,” the Dutch health and justice ministers wrote in a letter to the country’s parliament on Friday.

Under the new rules, only Dutch residents will be able to sign up as members of cannabis shops.

Utah legislators planning anti-TSA groping law

Rep. Carl Wimmer in the Utah legislature is planning to introduce a bill at the end of this year or early next year that will challenge the TSA groping procedures just as in Texas. He says that federal law does not necessarily have supremacy in the matter

Wimmer’s bill initially is being modeled after a bill that was being considered in the Texas Legislature, House Bill 1937. That bill states it would be an offense to search a person without probable cause and if the person performing the search touches the sexual organs of the other person receiving the search.

The bill caused some controversy in Texas, as a U.S. attorney from San Antonio reportedly sent a letter to Texas lawmakers claiming the state had no authority to regulate federal agents and employees. The letter went on to say the federal government would seek to block the law if passed and that TSA would likely shut down any flight or series of flights for which it could not ensure the safety of the passengers and crew.

Photo: Richard Rogers Architecture