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Earth, wind and fire at the Rolex Middle Sea Race

On the morning of the third day of the Rolex Middle Sea Race, well over half of the fleet had rounded the active volcano Stromboli, which marks the most north-easterly corner of the 606-mile race course. Fairer winds returned to the Rolex Middle Sea Race over
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Earth, wind and fire at the Rolex Middle Sea Race

On the morning of the third day of the Rolex Middle Sea Race, well over half of the fleet had rounded the active volcano Stromboli, which marks the most north-easterly corner of the 606-mile race course. Fairer winds returned to the Rolex Middle Sea Race overnight with breeze filling in from the west. It was not all good, with many crews reporting thunderstorms, reduced visibility and volatile local effects. George David's, Rambler, accelerated in the fresher conditions making short work of the leg from Stromboli to Favignana, turning the corner just before 0900 CEST this morning. In the previously lighter conditions, Dieter Schön's German Maxi72, Momo, had been a constant threat to David’s pursuit of a fourth successive Line Honours title. Rambler has now extended the lead to over 30-miles, and barring a serious problem looks to be secure. With 250 miles to go, their eventual finish time depends upon how conditions develop. The American Maxi is well outside the 2007 record pace and, with the stronger winds unlikely to arrive off north-west Sicily until this evening, she is expected to arrive some time tomorrow. During the night, the two leading multihulls in the race split...

At 79, nun supports deprived families in the Philippines

When they reach their 60s, most people start thinking of their retirement, but instead, Sr Annie Catania headed to the Philippines to support deprived families. Over the past 15 years she has been living and working with victims of the “wealth injustices
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At 79, nun supports deprived families in the Philippines

When they reach their 60s, most people start thinking of their retirement, but instead, Sr Annie Catania headed to the Philippines to support deprived families. Over the past 15 years she has been living and working with victims of the “wealth injustices” in Manila who do not afford to rent a room that they can call home. During a short visit to Malta, the 79-year-old recalled that a few years ago she had urged readers to help her turn into reality a “big dream” that would change the lives of some of these families.  She now wants to thank the Maltese who have financed, among others, the building of 13 homes that host people who would otherwise sleep on the streets. The complex is called Saint Paula’s village, after the foundress of the congregation St Dorothea. The largest family hosted there comprises seven children, and one family has actually started a tailoring business from one of these houses, Sr Annie told the Times of Malta on World Mission Sunday. The building of more houses depends on more sponsorships. Sr Annie, who forms part of the Sisters of St Dorothy community there, said the unjust sharing of wealth often led people to poverty. Salaries could range between €2...

Man accused of mowing down policeman also faces drug charges

The underage driver who mowed down traffic policeman Simon Schembri in May, has been charged over a drug possession incident dating back a year. Some three months into the compilation of evidence against Liam Debono over the attempted murder of the police off
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Man accused of mowing down policeman also faces drug charges

The underage driver who mowed down traffic policeman Simon Schembri in May, has been charged over a drug possession incident dating back a year. Some three months into the compilation of evidence against Liam Debono over the attempted murder of the police officer, the prosecution filed additional charges over the incident. Describing this move as one that was not «normal» in terms of procedural law, defence lawyer Franco Debono questioned whether any steps had been taken by the prosecution in respect of the earlier episode, which took place eight months before the Simon Schembri incident. Facing questions under cross-examination, Inspector Spiridione Zammit confirmed that no charges had been issued since investigations were still ongoing. Dr Debono asked who had decided to add these charges three months into the compilation of evidence, prompting Inspector Zammit to explain he had been informed by a colleague from the Drug Squad that fresh charges over the drug possession incident were to be added to the charges in the compilation. «No reason was given. I did not ask anyone about this,» the inspector continued. The new charges concern an episode dating back to October 30, 2017...

Watch: Shocking video shows body double used to cover journalist's murder

Newly leaked CCTV footage has emerged that appears to show a man leaving the Saudi consulate in Istanbul wearing the clothes of the murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi. CNN aired the footage on Monday, citing a Turkish official who identified the man as Musta
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Watch: Shocking video shows body double used to cover journalist's murder

Newly leaked CCTV footage has emerged that appears to show a man leaving the Saudi consulate in Istanbul wearing the clothes of the murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi. CNN aired the footage on Monday, citing a Turkish official who identified the man as Mustafa al-Madani, a «body double» and member of a 15-man Saudi team sent to Istanbul to target Khashoggi. The footage appears to show the Saudi agent entering the consulate without a beard and wearing a blue and white checked shirt and dark blue trousers. Footage from later in the day appears to show him leaving the consulate dressed as Khashoggi, but wearing the same pair of trainers that he had arrived in. Wearing glasses and a fake beard in an apparent attempt to further resemble the journalist, the agent is seen touring a number of landmarks in the Turkish city after leaving the consulate. The apparent Saudi aim was for footage of the man to be picked up by CCTV and distributed, thereby bolstering claims made in the days after Khashoggi’s disappearance that he had left the consulate unscathed. The killing of the Saudi journalist is a complicated murder that has been «monstrously planned», the spokesman for Turkey's ruling...

Threatens to kill partner unless she moves out

A man who allegedly threatened to kill his partner unless she moved out of their rented home was granted bail after pleading not guilty to charges of domestic violence. The 48-year old man from Żurrieq was arraigned on Monday following a report by the woman
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Threatens to kill partner unless she moves out

A man who allegedly threatened to kill his partner unless she moved out of their rented home was granted bail after pleading not guilty to charges of domestic violence. The 48-year old man from Żurrieq was arraigned on Monday following a report by the woman about the violence which allegedly took place inside the couple’s residence on Saturday. The following day, the alleged victim told the police she had been threatened she would be killed by the father of her two minor children unless she moved out of their home within one week. She also alleged to have been beaten by the man in a separate incident earlier in October. An assessment of the case by the Domestic Violence Unit led to the man’s arrest and arraignment. He was charged with causing the woman to fear violence and assaulting her in the earlier incident. A request for bail was made by the man’s defence counsel who pointed out that the charges were to be taken within the context of a relationship breakdown and that there would be no further contact between the couple once the woman moved out. While not objecting to bail as long as adequate measures were imposed by the court, prosecuting Inspector Roderick Attard pointed...

New traffic management plan at Mrieħel starts to be implemented

Several traffic enforcement and police officers will be deployed at Mrieħel on Monday, as the area gets a commuting overhaul. Following months of studies and discussions with Transport Malta and all business operators in Mrieħel, the Central Business Distri
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New traffic management plan at Mrieħel starts to be implemented

Several traffic enforcement and police officers will be deployed at Mrieħel on Monday, as the area gets a commuting overhaul. Following months of studies and discussions with Transport Malta and all business operators in Mrieħel, the Central Business District Foundation devised a traffic management plan that it hopes will ease congestion caused by haphazard commuting and parking. Seven TM enforcement officers will be on site in some of the area’s ‘hot spots’, following the unveiling of new traffic signs turning some roads into one-way streets and eliminating parking on both sides in others. Read: Traffic system in Mrieħel about to change A car park off the Wasteserv civic amenity site has meanwhile been opened for commuters to park at a fee. The facility will be a temporary one until another piece of land is transformed into a long-term parking lot. The introduction of a route bus is also in the pipeline. The officers will remain in the industrial area for two weeks, while two police officers will also be on site at the beginning of this week. They will “guide, educate and enforce motorists on the new arrangements”, according to TM. Negotiations are ongoing on reintroducing...

Maltese academic named in Trump scandal is 'alive' but has trail of disappearing acts

An investigation into the career of a Maltese academic named in connection with alleged meddling in the 2016 US election has uncovered a trail of disappearing acts but cites a source contradicting reports that he may be dead. Prof. Joseph Mifsud has a bizarr
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Maltese academic named in Trump scandal is 'alive' but has trail of disappearing acts

An investigation into the career of a Maltese academic named in connection with alleged meddling in the 2016 US election has uncovered a trail of disappearing acts but cites a source contradicting reports that he may be dead. Prof. Joseph Mifsud has a bizarre academic career punctuated by scandals and disappearing acts, according to an investigation carried out by Associated Press. The investigation also uncovered an international trail of mismanagement and financial problems stretching over a decade. A court document made public last year by US prosecutors alleged it was Prof. Mifsud who dropped the first hint of the hacking that rocked the 2016 US election when he met Donald Trump adviser George Papadopoulos on April 26, 2016, in London and told him the Kremlin had “thousands of emails” on his Democratic presidential rival, Hillary Clinton. When Prof. Mifsud’s name first surfaced in connection with US special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, the academic denied discussing emails with Papadopoulos or having any connection with Russia. He then fell off the map for nearly a year, leading some to speculate he might be dead. Prof.

Dance appeal

The public yesterday had the opportunity to get up close and personal with the professional dancers of ŻfinMalta National Dance Company during an open day at Pjazza Teatru Rjal. The open day, which included guided tours of the former Royal Opera House ruins
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Dance appeal

The public yesterday had the opportunity to get up close and personal with the professional dancers of ŻfinMalta National Dance Company during an open day at Pjazza Teatru Rjal. The open day, which included guided tours of the former Royal Opera House ruins, was the first of its kind and meant to reach out to new audiences. ŻfinMalta dancers are currently preparing for the big premiere of Voyager, which opens at the Manoel Theatre on November 2.

Doctor who signed medical certificates for wanted man to be summoned

A doctor who issued medical certificates to a man to justify his non-appearance to sign the bail book has been ordered by a magistrate to appear in court to give an explanation under oath. Magistrate Joseph Mifsud ordered the prosecution to summon the doctor
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Doctor who signed medical certificates for wanted man to be summoned

A doctor who issued medical certificates to a man to justify his non-appearance to sign the bail book has been ordered by a magistrate to appear in court to give an explanation under oath. Magistrate Joseph Mifsud ordered the prosecution to summon the doctor and said the court would order an investigation by the police commissioner and inform the Medical Council should a suitable explanation not be forthcoming. The doctor had signed some 27 medical certificates for wanted man Charlot Gauci, 49, of Gżira. Mr Gauci, who has been on the wanted list for two years, was arrested on Sunday after he was tracked in Fgura. He was escorted to court on Monday morning to face justice and entered the court room in T-shirt and shorts, handcuffed and asking for a glass of water. “Tardare si, scappare no,” (you can run, but you can't hide) said magistrate Mifsud as he revoked the bail decree granted by a different court in July 2013 and ordered the confiscation of the €500 deposit and €10,000 personal guarantee. “Thank you Maltese people for cooperating with justice and answering the appeal by the authorities,” enabling the police to track down the wanted man who had failed to turn up in court...

Malta registers €392.7 million surplus

Malta registered a €392.7 million surplus last year, official figures released on Monday show. In a statement, the National Statistics Office said the surplus was equivalent to 3.5% of GDP. Meanwhile, debt amounted to €5,670.6 million or 50.9% of GDP. Th
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Malta registers €392.7 million surplus

Malta registered a €392.7 million surplus last year, official figures released on Monday show. In a statement, the National Statistics Office said the surplus was equivalent to 3.5% of GDP. Meanwhile, debt amounted to €5,670.6 million or 50.9% of GDP. The balance, the NSO said, was calculated as the difference between the island’s total revenue (€4,424 million) and expenditure (€4,031.3 million). Revenue increased by €554.3 million over 2016, while total expenditure increased by €257.9 million. The balance surplus as a measure of GDP (3.5%) was an increase of 2.6 percentage points when compared to the surplus of 0.9% that was registered in 2016. And, consolidated debt decreased by €64.3 million to €5,670.6 million over 2016. The NSO said the figures were the result of adjustments in calculations that were necessary to shift from the Government’s Consolidated Fund into an accruals-based method in line with established methodology. One major positive adjustment, the NSO said, was the net lending (or surplus) recorded by what are known as Extra Budgetary Units (EBU) of €196.7 million, an increase of €23.9 million over 2016. The EBU registering the highest surplus was the...

Australia offers rare national apology to victims of child sex abuse

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Monday offered a rare national apology, only the second since 2008, to victims of institutional child sexual abuse and their families, bringing some survivors to tears. The gesture followed a five-year inquiry into
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Australia offers rare national apology to victims of child sex abuse

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Monday offered a rare national apology, only the second since 2008, to victims of institutional child sexual abuse and their families, bringing some survivors to tears. The gesture followed a five-year inquiry into child sexual abuse that delved into more than 8,000 cases of sexual misconduct, most of them at religious and state-run institutions responsible for keeping children safe. «Today, as a nation, we confront our failure to listen, to believe, and to provide justice,» Morrison told lawmakers in the Australian capital, Canberra. «We say sorry. To the children we failed, sorry. To the parents whose trust was betrayed and who have struggled to pick up the pieces, sorry.» Expressions of national regret such as Monday's are reserved for egregious misdeeds in which the state has played a role. In the previous instance in 2008, then prime minister Kevin Rudd apologised to members of the Stolen Generations of indigenous Australians, forcibly taken from their families and communities as young children under assimilation policies. Morrison also repeated Monday's apology in a speech to nearly 800 victims, some of whom began to cry, images...

Environmental pressures

It is often said that some parents tend to disengage from their children’s education. This translates into ‘giving up’ or resigning the parent role. The exercise of a parent’s authority tends to encounter various difficulties, whether it is due to a p
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Environmental pressures

It is often said that some parents tend to disengage from their children’s education. This translates into ‘giving up’ or resigning the parent role. The exercise of a parent’s authority tends to encounter various difficulties, whether it is due to a parent’s personal education (that is, lack of clear-cut criteria, patience, firmness or serenity) or due to their children’s education (lack of love and respect for elders). However, nowadays, it is notably environmental pressures that tend to have a stronger influence. The following are examples of factors that influence a parent’s authority in a negative manner: the behaviour of other parents; the lack of positive mass media; arbitrariness as the standard; the limited cultural content on television; the films; internet; confusion caused by doctrines; the rise of eroticism; the manipulation of advertisements; the confusion between tolerance and the abdication of rights and obligations etc. Are all environmental influences negative? Of course, not. The mass media can also contribute in building critical thinking and maturity in a person. On some occasions, environmental media do not seek to distort users but neither to educate them.

The day the music died - Rodolfo Ragonesi

The story of the US is very sad, really. Tragic more than sad. It often brings to mind that one- liner from a song by Canadian songwriter Gordon Lightfoot: “I don’t know where we went wrong, But the feeling’s gone, and                 
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The day the music died - Rodolfo Ragonesi

The story of the US is very sad, really. Tragic more than sad. It often brings to mind that one- liner from a song by Canadian songwriter Gordon Lightfoot: “I don’t know where we went wrong, But the feeling’s gone, and                                                                                          I just can’t get it back.” I grew up with a sort of childhood crush on the United States that keeps calling itself America. Like so many others I loved its music. I adored Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, The Boss Bruce Springsteen, the Beach Boys, Don McLean, the Doors and all the other rock ’n’ roll greats. And yes, even less rebellious country legends John Denver and Glen Campbell, whose guitar playing genius is little known outside the American South. I was enthralled by American comics and superheroes. I was mesmerised by the literary genius of Edgar Allen Poe in tales like the Fall of the House of Usher. I never missed an American comedy on TV. I even went through that boy phase, buying illustrated encyclopaedias of American warships, studying them inside out, and marvelling at all their firepower that seemed destined to save the world. Writing my constitutional law thesis on a...

Over 100,000 vehicles ‘disappear’ in Gozo in 8 years

More than 100,000 cars that crossed to Gozo from Ċirkewwa over the past eight years never went back to Malta, official statistics have shown. The statistics, issued by the National Statistics Office (NSO), show that between 2010 and 2012, there was a discrep
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Over 100,000 vehicles ‘disappear’ in Gozo in 8 years

More than 100,000 cars that crossed to Gozo from Ċirkewwa over the past eight years never went back to Malta, official statistics have shown. The statistics, issued by the National Statistics Office (NSO), show that between 2010 and 2012, there was a discrepancy of several thousand vehicles – but this got considerably more marked in 2013, when 15,677 vehicles were unaccounted for, with no clear explanation as to what might have happened to them. The figures emerged from data given by Gozo Channel to the NSO. According to the ferry company in its official explanation of the discrepancy to the National Audit Office, the source of the counts is different: the one at Mġarr is taken from the tickets sold while the other at Ċirkewwa is done by employees through a tally clock,  so it is subject to human error. Some of these vehicles would be new ones imported to Gozo – but the figure has to be seen in the context of 24,888 new vehicles being registered for the whole of Malta and Gozo in 2017. The discrepancy had already raised the concerns of the National Audit Office in 2013, and it did a follow-up exercise in 2016, although the figures now available show that they might only have...

Abstract spiritual art

Artist Anthony Spagnol has produced a collection of abstract paintings depicting spirituality which are currently being displayed at the Parliament Building in Valletta. “It takes long years of assiduous practice to be able to devoid oneself of superfluou
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Abstract spiritual art

Artist Anthony Spagnol has produced a collection of abstract paintings depicting spirituality which are currently being displayed at the Parliament Building in Valletta. “It takes long years of assiduous practice to be able to devoid oneself of superfluous noise and reach an interior communicative silence that opens up the personal search for the sacred,” says Anthony De Giovanni, the exhibition’s curator. Traditional religious painting consists of several layers, each of which contributes in its own way to the raison d’être of the work of art. A sacred image is the sheer artisanship and tactile skills, formal visual dynamics, the cultural baggage and visual quotes, its coherence to the general decorative scheme, the story told, but most importantly, the sacredness that emanates from its very material fabric and the visual imagery it depicts. In the din of such a busy setting, the essential sacral element of religious art is missed most often than not. Painting for Spagnol is a spiritual experience, a ritual that starts with contemplation. A sacred theme sparks off the process, often in visual and pictorial terms. Each painting in this exhibition is an opportunity for the...

Chilean court orders Catholic Church to pay damages over abuse

Chile's Court of Appeal has ordered the office of Santiago's Archbishop to pay $450 million pesos ($650,000) to three men who alleged they were sexually abused for decades by Chilean priest Fernando Karadima, a local newspaper said on Sunday. Citing a copy o
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Chilean court orders Catholic Church to pay damages over abuse

Chile's Court of Appeal has ordered the office of Santiago's Archbishop to pay $450 million pesos ($650,000) to three men who alleged they were sexually abused for decades by Chilean priest Fernando Karadima, a local newspaper said on Sunday. Citing a copy of a leaked judgment, La Tercera said the three judges who heard the case on Thursday found in favor of an appeal for «moral damages» against the church for allegedly covering up the crimes. The case was previously rejected by a lower court for lack of evidence. Reuters could not independently confirm the report. The Santiago Archbishopric, which could appeal to Chile's Supreme Court, said it would not comment on La Tercera's account. If confirmed by the court on Monday, it would be the first damages order to have been leveled against Chile's powerful Roman Catholic Church for a scandal of sex abuse and cover-up that prompted Pope Francis to apologize to its faithful. Legal experts have said it could pave the way for more claims amid a new climate of discovery which has seen hundreds of people come forward to allege they were abused and criminal prosecutors launch scores of new investigations. In a statement hailing the...

‘And then I stopped writing’

Rumours of Trevor Zahra’s possible retirement have been causing turmoil within Malta’s circle of literati. Ramona Depares asks the writer, widely considered as the godfather of Maltese fiction, whether his upcoming new book is really intended as his curta
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‘And then I stopped writing’

Rumours of Trevor Zahra’s possible retirement have been causing turmoil within Malta’s circle of literati. Ramona Depares asks the writer, widely considered as the godfather of Maltese fiction, whether his upcoming new book is really intended as his curtain call. As Trevor Zahra’s latest publication, 365, is set to hit book stands in time for this year’s National Book Festival, hints of a possible retirement for the veteran author are creating waves through the industry. It all started when sample copies of Mr Zahra’s new collection of stories, memoirs, monologues and snippets made their way through the usual circle of literati. Mr Zahra has been working on the publication, which takes the form of a journal that encourages readers to read a snippet on a daily basis, for the past three years. The book, in fact, put his typically prolific publishing career on a temporary hiatus, as Mr Zahra wrote and perfected what he describes as “the book that I have always wanted to write”. However, among those who read it pre-publication, it was the very last story that really stood out and sent out alarm bells ringing among a community that has come to regard Mr Zahra as the one of the...

Hofmann's maiden hat-trick sends Gladbach into second place

Jonas Hofmann scored his first Bundesliga hat-trick as Borussia Moenchengladbach hammered Mainz 05 4-0 on Sunday to climb to second place in the standings. The 26-year-old winger put the hosts ahead in the 21st minute and almost got a second with an audaciou
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Hofmann's maiden hat-trick sends Gladbach into second place

Jonas Hofmann scored his first Bundesliga hat-trick as Borussia Moenchengladbach hammered Mainz 05 4-0 on Sunday to climb to second place in the standings. The 26-year-old winger put the hosts ahead in the 21st minute and almost got a second with an audacious lob on the half hour mark. He again got onto the score sheet in the 53rd when he slotted in at the far post, before completing his hat-trick 10 minutes later, firing into an empty goal after rounding keeper Florian Mueller to finish off yet another quick Gladbach break. Thorgan Hazard, who helped set up two of Hofmann's goals, had made it 3-0 in the 58th with Mainz capitulating early in the second half. Glabdach move up to second place on 17 points, ahead of third-placed Werder Bremen on goal difference. Champions Bayern Munich are a point behind in fourth place after their 3-1 win over VfL Wolfsburg on Saturday. Earlier Hertha Berlin stumbled to a 1-1 draw at home against Freiburg, to drop to sixth on 15.   Standings provided by Sofascore LiveScore

Raikkonen wins in US as Hamilton forced to wait

Britain's Lewis Hamilton was kept waiting for his fifth Formula One world championship on Sunday after the Mercedes driver finished third in a U.S. Grand Prix won by Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen. The victory was the 39-year-old Finn's first since the Australian G
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Raikkonen wins in US as Hamilton forced to wait

Britain's Lewis Hamilton was kept waiting for his fifth Formula One world championship on Sunday after the Mercedes driver finished third in a U.S. Grand Prix won by Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen. The victory was the 39-year-old Finn's first since the Australian Grand Prix of March 2013, a gap of 113 races dating back to when he was racing for Lotus, and 21st of his career. Red Bull's Dutch youngster Max Verstappen finished a surprise second after starting 18th in a thrilling finale with the top three cars separated by just 2.1 seconds at the chequered flag. Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, Hamilton's only title rival, spun down to 15th on the opening lap but fought back to finish fourth -- a result that means the championship remains open until Mexico next weekend. Hamilton now has a 70-point lead over his four-times champion rival with 75 points remaining to be won from the last three races. «I actually thought we would have been able to do better but this is the best we were able to do in the end,» said Hamilton. «We just have to keep working and keep pushing for the next race. »I'm not really quite sure how the strategy ended up like that," added the Briton, who had started on pole...

Watch: Icardi snatches stoppage time winner for Inter in derby

Inter forward Mauro Icardi scored with a stoppage time header to give his side a dramatic 1-0 win over neighbours AC Milan in their derby at San Siro on Sunday. Ventura replaced Lorenzo D'Anna earlier this month and it was the first time the 70-year-old ha
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Watch: Icardi snatches stoppage time winner for Inter in derby

Inter forward Mauro Icardi scored with a stoppage time header to give his side a dramatic 1-0 win over neighbours AC Milan in their derby at San Siro on Sunday. Ventura replaced Lorenzo D'Anna earlier this month and it was the first time the 70-year-old had sat on the bench since Italy's 0-0 draw at home to Sweden last November which resulted in them missing the World Cup for the first time in 60 years. Josip Ilicic scored a hat-trick between the 28th and 52nd minutes for Atalanta after Marten de Roon had given them a 25th minute lead. Robin Gosens completed the rout and Valter Birsa's late penalty was scant consolation for Chievo who are winless and have minus one point from nine games after having had three deducted for accounting irregularities. To compound a miserable day for Ventura, Chievo also had Federico Barba sent off for a second bookable offence in the 40th minute. Standings provided by Sofascore LiveScore

A fable of its time

Tebut Isfar, by Clare Azzopardi, is a story about Ġorġ, an Elvis-loving coffin maker who lives with his daughter, and whose wife is mysteriously missing from their lives. His only companion in life is Yasmina, his dreamer daughter who, at 18 years of age, s
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A fable of its time

Tebut Isfar, by Clare Azzopardi, is a story about Ġorġ, an Elvis-loving coffin maker who lives with his daughter, and whose wife is mysteriously missing from their lives. His only companion in life is Yasmina, his dreamer daughter who, at 18 years of age, still plays with dolls and makes up fables about existence outside the coffins in which she sleeps, plays, and lives. The father and daughter get a new look on life outside of their boxy garage when Phyllis comes knocking at their door. She is well-dressed, decked in designer clothing and wants to order a custom-made yellow coffin. Next, Gustav, a development mogul, also comes banging on their door. He expects Ġorġ and Yasmina to pack up and leave by offering them a new apartment and a new life. However, what he can’t understand is that things just can’t be packed and left behind. In her foreword, Azzopardi says that the play is written to bring to the forefront the gentrification happening in Valletta, and how the little people are having their memo­ries and everyday lives crushed under the high-rise plans. Although the play, directed by Marcelle Teuma,  was an enjoyable experience, and the humour serves its purpose thanks to...

Antojitos 

AvotacoTa’ Xbiex Food: 9/10Service: 8/10Ambience: 7/10Value: 8/10Overall: 9/10 They have let the street in. This is Avotaco of street food fame and food truck mania. They soon realised they had a hit on their hands. And from the success of the Avotaco truc
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Antojitos 

AvotacoTa’ Xbiex Food: 9/10Service: 8/10Ambience: 7/10Value: 8/10Overall: 9/10 They have let the street in. This is Avotaco of street food fame and food truck mania. They soon realised they had a hit on their hands. And from the success of the Avotaco truck they have moved on to this –  a bricks and mortar eatery, a Mexican street food headquarters in the hectic hub of Ta’ Xbiex. It’s a casual, functional space with colourful graffiti murals and easy, wipe-down tables. There’s great energy emanating from the open kitchen and good banter coming from the staff. They are passionate, eager to please and Mexican food-obsessed. Their work is a labour of love. Mexican cuisine is a cuisine of opposing forces from a country of many contrasts, as bludgeoningly hot as habanero salsa and as refreshing as smooth, mushy avocado. There’s no subtlety to Mexican food. It is bold, it is fearless. It is fun, exuberant with enormous flavours and a kaleidoscope of tastes. Portable, on-the-go and easy to consume, Mexican street food is big. This is food eaten without utensils and it is marvellously messy. It’s the type of Mexican fare that allows for extreme versatility and variety within a...

Single flower marks Daphne memorial

The battle over the memorial to Daphne Caruana Galizia continued Saturday afternoon as a single bloom stood in defiance of the repeated clearance of activists’ candles and flowers. The tributes to the slain journalist placed in front of the hoarding at the
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Single flower marks Daphne memorial

The battle over the memorial to Daphne Caruana Galizia continued Saturday afternoon as a single bloom stood in defiance of the repeated clearance of activists’ candles and flowers. The tributes to the slain journalist placed in front of the hoarding at the Great Siege monument in Valletta had been taken away earlier in the day. Activists estimate that the memorial, which also represents their demand for justice after the murder, has been removed over 20 times so far, often by government workers acting under the instructions of the Justice Ministry. The activists from Occupy Justice and other groups had defied the government by unfurling a new banner across the hoarding last Tuesday, during a vigil marking the first anniversary of Ms Caruana Galizia’s killing. “Do not dare remove this memorial,” they said to loud applause. Watch: Daphne memorial tussle goes on as banner is removed and then put back up The banner and makeshift memorial were still there on Wednesday and Thursday but there was no sign of either by Friday morning.  More flowers and a portrait of the journalist were put in place on Friday evening but by Saturday morning everything had been cleared. In their place, a...

Australia stares at hung parliament as by-election count goes to the wire

As the count from a crucial Australian by-election dragged into Sunday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison faced the possibility that his Liberal party may have been too quick to concede a contest that would reduce his administration to a minority government. Morr
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Australia stares at hung parliament as by-election count goes to the wire

As the count from a crucial Australian by-election dragged into Sunday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison faced the possibility that his Liberal party may have been too quick to concede a contest that would reduce his administration to a minority government. Morrison became Australia's sixth prime minister in 10 years in August after his predecessor Malcolm Turnbull fell victim to infighting among the Liberals, and the suspense over the count in Sydney's affluent Wentworth constituency was in keeping with the unpredictable politics of recent times. On Saturday, Morrison had surrendered the seat, vacated following Turnbull's retirement from politics, after the early count showed a swing of more than 20 percent away from the Liberals. But by Sunday evening, his candidate trailed an independent rival by 1,600 votes with several thousand votes still to be counted, the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) said. Still claiming victory, but sounding less sure, the independent candidate Kerryn Phelps described the wait for the result as a «white knuckle ride» in a post on her Twitter account. «Holding our breath for the AEC outcome,» she tweeted. Should the Liberals lose Wentworth,...

Süleyman the Magnificent and other Ottoman Great Siege protagonists... after Malta 

It is said that Süleyman the Magnificent was extremely angry at the outcome of the Malta campaign in 1565. Defeat was something he had never taken into consideration. He had not taken into account the fact that Mustafa and his supposedly mighty troops coul
timesofmalta.com

Süleyman the Magnificent and other Ottoman Great Siege protagonists... after Malta 

It is said that Süleyman the Magnificent was extremely angry at the outcome of the Malta campaign in 1565. Defeat was something he had never taken into consideration. He had not taken into account the fact that Mustafa and his supposedly mighty troops could be resisted and defeated by the relatively small garrison of the Knights of St John based on the Mediterranean island. There were other issues that contributed to worsen the Sultan’s mood. According to the English chronicler Richard Knolles, his anger was compounded by the fact that the Governor of the island of Sakız (Greek, Chios) had not only revealed some of the Ottoman plans to the Grand Master of the Order of St John, Jean de Valette, but had also witheld payment of the 10,000 ducat yearly tribute, for over two years. Süleyman could not tolerate such affront. He therefore ordered his admiral Piyale Paşa to sail to Chios at the command of 80 galleys and to take over the island. Piyale Paşa, who had been Mustafa Paşa’s right-hand man at the Malta siege not more than eight months earlier, duly obliged, arrived in Chios on April 15, 1566, and duly took it over without much ado. While Süleyman was engrossed in his...

What are the best of times?

A major anniversary of a national milestone, such as Independence or EU membership, often presents an occasion to reflect on how far the country has come. The first anniversary of the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia last week brought home, more clearl
timesofmalta.com

What are the best of times?

A major anniversary of a national milestone, such as Independence or EU membership, often presents an occasion to reflect on how far the country has come. The first anniversary of the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia last week brought home, more clearly than ever, how far the country has left to go. Where, exactly, are we going as a nation? We once naively assumed that, having joined the EU, there was no going back, that we were heading inexorably towards the fulfilment of the European ideals of democracy, freedom of expression, human rights.  Many in Malta have been duped into thinking that we’ve already made it; that progress is defined purely by the level of prosperity that the country has achieved. And the powers that be want to keep them thinking that way. Hence the Labour slogan l-aqwa żmien, the best of times, which equates exclusively to economic well-being. On this basis, it seems, Labour wants us to become “the best in Europe”. Only, a nation’s development is not measured by affluence alone. Economic stability and prospe­rity lay the essential foundation stone for other gains, such as higher levels of education, health and social welfare, as this government is...

Budget will help families adjust to growing economy

Monday's Budget will help families “adjust to a fast growing economy and enjoy its fruits”, Finance Minister Edward Scicluna told The Sunday Times of Malta on Saturday as he made final preparations for the Budget speech. He said: “The Budget will give a
timesofmalta.com

Budget will help families adjust to growing economy

Monday's Budget will help families “adjust to a fast growing economy and enjoy its fruits”, Finance Minister Edward Scicluna told The Sunday Times of Malta on Saturday as he made final preparations for the Budget speech. He said: “The Budget will give ample examples of such measures.” Asked whether the Budget would help those finding it difficult to make ends meet, he said statistics showed that at the national level these income earners were better off in absolute terms than before. “The budget will make the needed adjustment to ensure that this continues to apply also in relative terms.” The surge in property prices would be tackled “with concrete measures”, while there would also be measures to improve the infrastructure to better cope with the growing economy, such as roads, traffic and public transport.

MSSP launches 2018-9 pastoral programme

The Missionary Society of St Paul (MSSP) Oratory in Birkirkara recently launched its pastoral programme for 2018-9. The programme focuses on the Word of God and the Liturgy, around which all its other activities revolve. Retreats and other preparatory events
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MSSP launches 2018-9 pastoral programme

The Missionary Society of St Paul (MSSP) Oratory in Birkirkara recently launched its pastoral programme for 2018-9. The programme focuses on the Word of God and the Liturgy, around which all its other activities revolve. Retreats and other preparatory events are held during Advent and Lent. A monthly one-hour catechesis session for adults takes place on the first Monday of every month. This year the sessions will rediscover the beauty of the Psalms. A series of short courses will be delivered throughout the year on various biblical or psycho-spiritual themes, including MSSP spirituality, the art and skills of leadership, sexuality in the light of the Gospel and an introduction to the Fathers of the early Church. Specific activities in the programme are dedicated to youths, adolescents and engaged couples. The Oratory is once again also organising a number of pilgrimages and spiritual journeys abroad, with different age groups in mind. These include one to the Holy Land between  February and March, a week in a monastery in Bose, Italy, and another on the Cammino di Santiago in April, a pilgrimage in St Paul’s footsteps in Greece in July, and a missionary experience in Peru in...

Pharmacies open today - October 21, 2018

Empire Pharmacy, 77, Old Theatre Street, Valletta (2123 8577);Thomas’s Pharmacy, 796, St Joseph High Road, Ħamrun (2123 8018);Evans Pharmacy, 96/98, St Sebastian Street, Qormi (2148 7020);Rational Pharmacy, 74/75, Valley Road, Birkirkara (2144 1513);Deby
timesofmalta.com

Pharmacies open today - October 21, 2018

Empire Pharmacy, 77, Old Theatre Street, Valletta (2123 8577);Thomas’s Pharmacy, 796, St Joseph High Road, Ħamrun (2123 8018);Evans Pharmacy, 96/98, St Sebastian Street, Qormi (2148 7020);Rational Pharmacy, 74/75, Valley Road, Birkirkara (2144 1513);Deby’s Pharmacy, 1, Quarries Square, Msida (2122 7920);Krypton Chemists, Ibraġ Street, Tal-Ibraġ, Swieqi (2137 0141);Edward’s Pharmacy, 115, Manwel Dimech Street, Sliema (2133 4102);St Catherine Pharmacy, Vine Street c/w St Catherine Street, Attard (2141 3442);St Albert Pharmacy, Oratory Street, Għargħur (2141 3402);Euro Chemist, Kurazza Street, Qawra (2158 1876);St Monica Pharmacy, Bereux, St Monica Street, Paola (2166 5848);Brown’s Pharmacy, No. 8, Archbishop Gonzi Square, Kalkara (2180 7740);Cilia’s Pharmacy, 303, Żabbar Road, Fgura (2180 1962);Gudja Pharmacy, 9, St Cyrus Street, Gudja (2169 6422);Safi Pharmacy, St John Street c/w Bieb il-Ġarra Street, Safi (2164 9552);De Rohan Pharmacy 24, St Anthony Street, Żebbuġ (2146 4128);Imtarfa Pharmacy, 207, St David Road, Mtarfa (2145 1261);Abela’s Pharmacy, 42, G.P.F. Agius De Soldanis Street, Victoria (2155 6170);St John’s Pharmacy, 85, Independence Street, Xewkija (2156 3052). Airport...

Amid scepticism, Saudi official provides another version of Khashoggi death

As Saudi Arabia faced intensifying international scepticism over its story about the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a senior government official laid out a new version of the death inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul that in key respects contradicts
timesofmalta.com

Amid scepticism, Saudi official provides another version of Khashoggi death

As Saudi Arabia faced intensifying international scepticism over its story about the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a senior government official laid out a new version of the death inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul that in key respects contradicts previous explanations. The latest account, provided by a Saudi official who requested anonymity, includes details on how the team of 15 Saudi nationals sent to confront Khashoggi on October 2 had threatened him with being drugged and kidnapped and then killed him in a chokehold when he resisted. A member of the team then dressed in Khashoggi's clothes to make it appear as if he had left the consulate. After denying any involvement in the disappearance of Khashoggi, 59, for two weeks, Saudi Arabia on Saturday morning said he had died in a fistfight at the consulate. An hour later, another Saudi official attributed the death to a chokehold, which the senior official reiterated. Turkish officials suspect the body of Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and critic of powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was cut up but the Saudi official said it was rolled up in a rug and given to a «local cooperator» for disposal. Asked...

Juventus' perfect run ended by Genoa

Juventus’ perfect start to the season came to an end in Turin on Saturday as Genoa earned a 1-1 Serie A draw on Ivan Juric’s return as coach. The Croatian boss replaced Davide Ballardini before the international break for his third spell in charge of Geno
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Juventus' perfect run ended by Genoa

Juventus’ perfect start to the season came to an end in Turin on Saturday as Genoa earned a 1-1 Serie A draw on Ivan Juric’s return as coach. The Croatian boss replaced Davide Ballardini before the international break for his third spell in charge of Genoa and he made an immediate impact as the Italian champions failed to record a victory for the first time in nine league games this season. Cristiano Ronaldo gave Juventus a deserved lead in a dominant first half, but sloppy defending from the hosts allowed Daniel Bessa to draw Genoa level after the break and end Juve's winning streak at ten matches in all competitions. Ronaldo had come close to opening the scoring after just 14 minutes when he powered a header onto the post from a Juan Cuadrado cross. The Portuguese opened his account just five minutes later, tapping in from close range after Genoa failed to clear their lines when Joao Cancelo’s shot took an awkward deflection inside the box. The atmosphere at the Allianz Arena was dampened after racist chants during Juve’s last home league game against Napoli resulted in a closure of the ‘Curva Sud’ section of the stadium. The Italian champions, though, were allowed to fill the...

Salah back on the scoresheet as Liverpool scrape past Huddersfield

Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah scored his first goal in four matches to give his side a 1-0 win over Huddersfield Town in the Premier League on Saturday, lifting the Merseyside club back up to second in the table. Salah scored after 20 minutes and it remaine
timesofmalta.com

Salah back on the scoresheet as Liverpool scrape past Huddersfield

Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah scored his first goal in four matches to give his side a 1-0 win over Huddersfield Town in the Premier League on Saturday, lifting the Merseyside club back up to second in the table. Salah scored after 20 minutes and it remained the only goal of the game as Liverpool boss Juergen Klopp condemned his close friend and compatriot in the opposite dugout David Wagner to a sixth defeat in nine league matches this season. The breakthrough came when Xherdan Shaqiri crafted himself some space to play a precise pass to Salah in the area. With one touch, the Egyptian found the bottom far corner for his fourth goal of the season. Huddersfield rallied and almost pulled it back, with a long-range effort from Jonathan Hogg hitting the post and Philip Billing's distant freekick curling just wide. They then had a penalty appeal turned down for a handball by James Milner. Huddersfield fans thought they had seen their team score their first home goal in six months when Alex Pritchard latched onto a high ball and dinked it past goalkeeper Alisson just before the break. However, the strike was ruled out for offside. The hosts' intensity slightly dropped after...

Milan technically superior to Inter - Gattuso

Milan coach Gennaro Gattuso has urged his players not to fear rivals Inter Milan in Sunday’s Serie A derby and insists he has the more technically gifted players. The first Milan Derby of the season takes place at the San Siro, with four points separating I
timesofmalta.com

Milan technically superior to Inter - Gattuso

Milan coach Gennaro Gattuso has urged his players not to fear rivals Inter Milan in Sunday’s Serie A derby and insists he has the more technically gifted players. The first Milan Derby of the season takes place at the San Siro, with four points separating Inter in third from 10th-placed Milan, who have a game in hand. Both teams went into the international break in good form, with Inter on a six-match winning streak in all competitions and Milan unbeaten in eight. Gattuso underlined the importance of keeping cool heads in front of a sell-out crowd. “These games prepare themselves,” he told a press conference. “We need to be strong to not let the emotion get to us too much and not lose too much energy on the pitch. “Inter aren’t just a strong team on paper, which they’ve shown in the Champions League. They have great quality and physicality and we must be very focused, we can’t afford to commit mistakes or be afraid. “If we go through each player they have different characteristics. We’re lacking a little physically, that’s the difference. But on a technical level we don’t feel inferior - on the contrary we have something more. “Over the last month, my team has improved a great...

Venice Commission opinion on rule of law due in December

The Venice Commission is expected to unveil its opinion on the state of the rule of law in Malta in December, Times of Malta can confirm. While the Commission has been asked by the Council of Europe and then also by the government to provide legal advice to M
timesofmalta.com

Venice Commission opinion on rule of law due in December

The Venice Commission is expected to unveil its opinion on the state of the rule of law in Malta in December, Times of Malta can confirm. While the Commission has been asked by the Council of Europe and then also by the government to provide legal advice to Malta in light of recent concerns on the state of the rule of law, a spokesman for the advisory body told the Times of Malta that there will only be one single opinion. Earlier in the week, the newspaper reported that the government’s request to the Council of Europe for assistance came after the Venice Commission had already confirmed it would look into Malta’s structures at the request of the body’s Legal Affairs Committee. The government’s request, Dutch rapporteur Pieter Omtzigt insisted, was “superfluous” since it had already been requested by the committee. Asked why the government had decided to ask for an opinion after the rapporteur had already requested this, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat told members of international press freedom and freedom of expression NGOs on Monday that the government had been discussing the issue for months. According to Flutura Kusari, media lawyer from the European Centre for Press and...

Birkirkara return to winning ways

BIRKIRKARA 2 Orlandic 32 Cassar 64og. TARXIEN RAINBOWS 0 If Birkirkara had an edge over Tarxien Rainbows in terms of quality of their starting XI, this was not manifested in the opening quarter when goal-mouth action was nonexistent. The two goalkeepers onl
timesofmalta.com

Birkirkara return to winning ways

BIRKIRKARA 2 Orlandic 32 Cassar 64og. TARXIEN RAINBOWS 0 If Birkirkara had an edge over Tarxien Rainbows in terms of quality of their starting XI, this was not manifested in the opening quarter when goal-mouth action was nonexistent. The two goalkeepers only had one routine cross each to deal with in the first 25 minutes. The boredom was interrupted just shy the half hour mark when Tarxien goalkeeper Andrea Cassar thwarted Carlos Chavarria when blocking his point-blank drive. The ensuing corner by Jake Grech was nodded on by Eduardo Ferreira and Petar Orlandic directed his header into the net. Birkirkara clearly needed to raise their game to go beyond the mediocrity of the first half. By way of reaction, Grech’s inswinging cross from a corner was fisted away by Cassar. Another inswinger from Grech seemed to pose no danger to the well-placed Cassar but the goalkeeper fumbled the ball and the alert Chavarria duly capitalised. However, the Irish referee Jamie Robinson ruled that the ball had only crossed the line before the Brazilian’s touch.   Standings provided by Sofascore LiveScore