Portuguese president closes airspace over his vacation site

Lisbon  - Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva has ordered the closure of the airspace over the southern Albufeira district where he is holidaying, the daily Diario de Noticias reported Thursday.

The measure, which is unprecedented in Portugal's recent history, affected especially the beach of the village of Sao Rafael, where Cavaco Silva has a summer residence. The airspace will remain closed until August 31, when the president returns to work.

National security coordinator Leonel de Carvalho justified the measure by saying that being a president represented a permanent security risk.

Madeleine died in apartment, Portuguese investigator claims

Lisbon - Three days after the Portuguese judiciary freed Madeleine McCann's parents of the status of suspects in her disappearance, the former chief investigator into the case Thursday still insisted that they may have hidden her body.

The British toddler died accidentally in Gerry and Kate McCann's holiday apartment in the southern Portuguese tourist resort of Praia da Luz on May 3, 2007, Goncalo Amaral claimed in his book A Verdade da Mentira (The Truth of the Lie) which was published Thursday.

There was evidence that the McCanns subsequently hid the body and led police to believe that their daughter had been abducted, Portuguese press reports quoted the book as saying.

Britain formally ratifies EU reform treaty

London - Britain on Thursday formally ratified the European Union's Treaty of Lisbon, the country's Foreign Ministry said in London.

Portuguese police suspected of high-tech spying

Lisbon - Portugal's judicial police (PJ) investigates criminal suspects and ordinary citizens illegally with high- technology methods, the daily Diario de Noticias reported Wednesday.

Fire prompts evacuation of 150 people in Lisbon

Lisbon - A fire in central Lisbon prompted the evacuation of dozens of people overnight in the Portuguese capital, media reported Monday.

VW to launch electric car in 2010

Lisbon - Volkswagen will launch its first electric car based on the "Up!" minicar concept in 2010, the company's CEO Martin Winterkorn announced recently.

Speaking at a function in Lisbon, Winterkorn said the company was planning a series of measures to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions of its vehicles.

The new Golf would be available as a so-called mild-hybrid fitted with start-stop technology.

The next generation of the Touareg would also be built as a full hybrid version, enabling full electric driving over short distances.

A Jetta "plug-in-hybrid" was in the planning, with a loading of the battery possible by connecting the car to the electric grid.