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Great-granny blogger dies in Spain

A GREAT-GRANDMOTHER in Spain who described herself as the world's oldest blogger - and became a Web sensation as she mused on events current and past - has died at the age of 97.

Maria Amelia Lopez died on May 20 in her hometown of Muxia in Spain's northwest Galicia region, said her blog No cause of death was given.

Lopez started blogging in 2006 after her grandson - "who is very stingy," she wrote - created the site as a present for her 95th birthday.

The blog went on to attract a huge following, with more than 1.7 million hits, as Lopez shared her thoughts on everything from life in Spain under the rule of General Francisco Franco to the United States-led invasion of Iraq, which she criticized.

Lopez said discovering the Internet and communicating with people all over the world changed her life, and she urged elderly people everywhere to get wired.

"It took 20 years off my life," Lopez wrote. "My bloggers are the joy of my life. I did not know there was so much goodness in the world."

Lopez's notoriety even earned her a meeting last year with Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, who she supported enthusiastically.


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