The world at a glance . . . Europe
Finding the disappeared: Spain has begun its largest investigation yet into the fate of thousands of people who disappeared during the fascist dictatorship of Gen. Francisco Franco. Judge Baltasar Garzon began gathering records from the Catholic Church and local government councils in an attempt to identify some of the estimated 30,000 bodies that lie in mass graves around the country. Most of the disappeared are believed to have been murdered by Franco’s forces during the 1936–39 Spanish Civil War or in the decades after. Franco ruled Spain until his death, in 1975. During the transition to democracy, Spanish parties agreed not to prosecute his henchmen.
Millionaire kills family: A British millionaire whose business was failing murdered his wife and daughter before setting his house on fire and killing himself, police said this week. Christopher Foster, his wife, Jill, and their 15-year-old daughter, Kirstie, were found dead of gunshot wounds in the charred remains of their home. The family’s three horses and four dogs had also been shot dead. Foster, 50, made his fortune developing insulation technology for oil rigs. Recently his company fell on hard times, though, and he owed more than
$1 million in back taxes and was being sued by a supplier. A judge in that case recently pronounced Foster someone “not to be trusted” and “bereft of the basic instincts of commercial morality.”