Select a country

Two motorcyclists crash on Coast Road

Two motorcyclists from Mqabba crashed while driving on the Coast Road on Saturday afternoon, with one of the drivers ending up grievously injured.  The collision happened at around 4.30pm and involved a 46-year-old man riding a Yamaha YZF R6 and a 67-year-ol
timesofmalta.com

Two motorcyclists crash on Coast Road

Two motorcyclists from Mqabba crashed while driving on the Coast Road on Saturday afternoon, with one of the drivers ending up grievously injured.  The collision happened at around 4.30pm and involved a 46-year-old man riding a Yamaha YZF R6 and a 67-year-old man riding a Honda CBR, police said. Both men live in Mqabba.  An ambulance rushed the 46-year-old Yamaha rider to Mater Dei Hospital, where doctors certified him as being grievously injured. The other motorbike rider emerged unscathed.  Police said they are investigating further 

President ‘must abide’ by minister’s advice

The President must abide by the advice of the justice minister, her office insisted on Friday when asked why she had decided to sign the warrants of two law students involved in a controversy. Both the former chief justice and the Chamber of Advocates declare
timesofmalta.com

President ‘must abide’ by minister’s advice

The President must abide by the advice of the justice minister, her office insisted on Friday when asked why she had decided to sign the warrants of two law students involved in a controversy. Both the former chief justice and the Chamber of Advocates declared earlier this year that the two students did not qualify to obtain a warrant to practise law because they had been found guilty of theft. The President’s Office said earlier this week the President had noted “the unanimous backing from the judiciary” on the matter. It also pointed out that in the performance of her duties the President had to act on the advice of Cabinet or a minister. The General Workers’ Union’s daily, L-Orizzont, on Thursday reported Justice Minister Owen Bonnici telling Parliament that all members of the judiciary were in favour of the two students being granted a warrant to practise law. But in a statement in reply to an article that appeared on The Malta Independent on Wednesday and titled ‘Minister to sign warrants of two lawyers with criminal record, backed by all judges, magistrates’, the Association of Maltese Judges and Magistrates made it clear no unanimous consent existed among the...

Vandal damages famous Russian painting, blames it on vodka

One of Russia's most famous paintings, which depicts Tsar Ivan the Terrible cradling his dying son, has been badly damaged after a man attacked it with a metal pole after drinking vodka. The canvas, «Ivan the Terrible and His Son Ivan on November 16, 15
timesofmalta.com

Vandal damages famous Russian painting, blames it on vodka

One of Russia's most famous paintings, which depicts Tsar Ivan the Terrible cradling his dying son, has been badly damaged after a man attacked it with a metal pole after drinking vodka. The canvas, «Ivan the Terrible and His Son Ivan on November 16, 1581,» was completed by renowned Russian realist Ilya Repin in 1885 and portrays a grief-stricken tsar holding his own son in his arms after dealing him a mortal blow, a historical incident whose veracity some Russian nationalists dispute. The gallery in central Moscow where the painting was displayed, the State Tretyakov Gallery, said a man had attacked the canvas just before closing time on Friday evening. It said he had somehow got past a group of gallery employees, picked up one of the metal security poles used to keep the public back from the painting, and struck its protective glass covering several times. «As a result of the blows the thick glass ... was smashed,» the gallery said in a statement. «Serious damage was done to the painting. The canvas was pierced in three places in the central part of the work which depicts the figure of the tsarevich (the tsar's son).» The frame was also badly damaged, the gallery said, but it...

Balcony balustrades give way in Qrendi, sending man falling down

A Qrendi man was gravely injured on Saturday evening after balustrades on a first floor balcony he was on gave way, sending him falling down.  The 48-year-old fell at a residence on Triq Patri Nikol Magro in his hometown at approximately 6pm.  An ambulanc
timesofmalta.com

Balcony balustrades give way in Qrendi, sending man falling down

A Qrendi man was gravely injured on Saturday evening after balustrades on a first floor balcony he was on gave way, sending him falling down.  The 48-year-old fell at a residence on Triq Patri Nikol Magro in his hometown at approximately 6pm.  An ambulance was called to the scene and took him to Mater Dei Hospital, where is he is being treated. Police are investigating further.  

Watch: Real Madrid win third successive Champions League

Real Madrid substitute Gareth Bale scored twice – including a brilliant overhead kick – to win a Champions League final which ended in tears for Liverpool's Mohamed Salah in Kiev. The Wales international, the first British player to score a winner in the
timesofmalta.com

Watch: Real Madrid win third successive Champions League

Real Madrid substitute Gareth Bale scored twice – including a brilliant overhead kick – to win a Champions League final which ended in tears for Liverpool's Mohamed Salah in Kiev. The Wales international, the first British player to score a winner in the European Cup final since Liverpool-born Peter Withe in 1982, produced an influential 29-minute cameo in the 3-1 victory which was a horror show for Reds goalkeeper Loris Karius. Out-of-form Karim Benzema was gifted an early second-half goal when he intercepted a Karius throw, poking the ball into the net - and although Sadio Mane quickly equalised Bale struck twice. The Wales international's first goal was sublime and in many ways reminiscent of his manager Zinedine Zidane's goal which won the 2002 final, but his second was pure comedy as Karius let a 30-yard strike slip through his fingers. It was a devastating blow for Jurgen Klopp's side, who lost Salah to a suspected dislocated shoulder midway through the first half. Madrid benefited to claim their 13th title – and fourth in five years– as Zidane became the first manager to win three successive Champions League finals, with Cristiano Ronaldo lifting his fifth European...

Multiple explosions rock fireworks factory on Naxxar's outskirts

Updated 4.40pm Explosions rocked a fireworks factory on the outskirts of Naxxar on Saturday afternoon, with the blasts leaving one critically injured and two others hospitalised. Four others escaped with minor injuries and were treated by paramedics at the sc
timesofmalta.com

Multiple explosions rock fireworks factory on Naxxar's outskirts

Updated 4.40pm Explosions rocked a fireworks factory on the outskirts of Naxxar on Saturday afternoon, with the blasts leaving one critically injured and two others hospitalised. Four others escaped with minor injuries and were treated by paramedics at the scene.   Emergency services were rushed to the factory site between Birguma and Salini shortly after 3pm, as a large plume of white smoke rose into the sky and a number of smaller explosions continued to pop within the factory. The factory is run by San Ġwann's Għaqda Piroteknika 11 ta' Frar, a fireworks group colloquially known as Ta' Lourdes.   As paramedics tended to the wounded, fireworks aficionados wearing Ta' Lourdes t-shirts milled around at a safe distance.  Residents in Pembroke, Għargħur and St Paul's Bay all reported hearing the blasts, which blew the roof off at least one of the factory's rooms. Home Affairs Minister Michael Farrugia made an appearance at around 4pm and was seen speaking to firefighters as they assessed the blast scene.  As of 4.25pm, Civil Protection Department firefighters were still putting out some remaining flames. 

Ricciardo takes Monaco F1 Grand Prix pole

Australian Daniel Ricciardo dominated every stage of qualifying to put Red Bull on pole position for Formula One's showcase Monaco Grand Prix in track record time on Saturday. Ricciardo, in blistering form since Thursday practice around the streets of the tin
timesofmalta.com

Ricciardo takes Monaco F1 Grand Prix pole

Australian Daniel Ricciardo dominated every stage of qualifying to put Red Bull on pole position for Formula One's showcase Monaco Grand Prix in track record time on Saturday. Ricciardo, in blistering form since Thursday practice around the streets of the tiny Mediterranean principality, made sure of the top slot for his team's 250th race start with a quickest lap of one minute 10.810 seconds. Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, last year's race winner in a Ferrari one-two, joined his former Red Bull team mate on the front row with world championship leader Lewis Hamilton third for Mercedes. Neither man could match the Australian's pace on the hypersoft tyres, with Vettel 0.229 seconds slower. «We sent a statement on Thursday and have been quickest every session. Just the race tomorrow and then we will celebrate. I have done everything I can so let's finish the job tomorrow,» said Ricciardo. Red Bull's hopes of locking out the front row of the starting grid disappeared before qualifying had even started after the gearbox on Max Verstappen's car was changed following a crash in final practice. That incurred a five place grid drop, which became academic when the 20-year-old Dutch driver...

Victoria Lines restoration works are under way

Restoration works on parts of the Victoria Lines are under way by the Restoration Directorate, architect Ivana Farrugia said. Works started on the perimeter of Ġnien l-Għarusa tal-Mosta in March and now expected to move to Għargħur. The long-term plan fo
timesofmalta.com

Victoria Lines restoration works are under way

Restoration works on parts of the Victoria Lines are under way by the Restoration Directorate, architect Ivana Farrugia said. Works started on the perimeter of Ġnien l-Għarusa tal-Mosta in March and now expected to move to Għargħur. The long-term plan for the directorate is to move progressively and eventually take on the entire perimeter of the Victoria Lines, which stretches up to 12 kilometres, Ms Farrugia said. “The approach adopted for this phase of the project is to target the most critical parts of the Victoria Lines – where there is lack of stability and the increased possibility of rainwater seeping into the walls,” Ms Farrugia said. The Restoration Directorate is also reinstating areas where there have been collapses. Ms Farrugia said concrete patches that jarred with the original structures will also be removed as part of the works. Ġnien l-Għarusa tal-Mosta abuts part of the Victoria Lines and a former World War II civil defence headquarters with its underground shelters. All structures are scheduled Grade 1 buildings. “We found long stretches of the wall where material used from different buildings had been used,” Ms Farrugia said. Slabs of concrete had also been...

Sunday Circle magazine out with The Sunday Times

As fashion frenzy hits Malta this week, Sunday Circle magazine turns the spotlight on everything related to style and design, whether related to fashion, food or interiors. Gracing this month’s front cover is model Amy Zahra and one of the muses behind th
timesofmalta.com

Sunday Circle magazine out with The Sunday Times

As fashion frenzy hits Malta this week, Sunday Circle magazine turns the spotlight on everything related to style and design, whether related to fashion, food or interiors. Gracing this month’s front cover is model Amy Zahra and one of the muses behind the latest Luke Azzopardi couture collection. The Gozitan designer explains how he threads a fine line between performance art and fashion. Matthew B Spiteri – an integral part of the Circle’s photography team – shares some of his top shots and talks about his nomination for the Malta Fashion Awards, while stylist Caroline Spiteri shares some fabulous spring looks. Also on the subject of style, editor Ramona Depares makes a few stops at some of the more celebrated restaurants in London, where celebrity chefs create dishes as gorgeous as they are sumptuous. And there’s also Lucy Bee, whose healthy and nutritious approach to food seduces the eye. It doesn’t get more stylish than San Anton palace, residence of the President and her family. With the State Rooms recently redecorated, the magazine gives an exclusive virtual tour of the sumptuous space. On a more serious notes, human rights lawyer Lara Dimitrijevic talks about women’s...

Korean leaders hold surprise meeting in attempt to revive Trump summit

South Korean President Moon Jae-in held a surprise meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Saturday to ensure a summit between Kim and US President Donald Trump goes off successfully, South Korean officials said. It was the clearest sign yet that the
timesofmalta.com

Korean leaders hold surprise meeting in attempt to revive Trump summit

South Korean President Moon Jae-in held a surprise meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Saturday to ensure a summit between Kim and US President Donald Trump goes off successfully, South Korean officials said. It was the clearest sign yet that the on-again off-again summit between Trump and Kim is likely to be held as initially agreed, in Singapore on June 12. The unannounced meeting at the Panmunjom border village between Moon and Kim came a month after they held the first inter-Korean summit in more than a decade at the same venue and declared they would toward a nuclear-free Korean peninsula. «The two leaders candidly exchanged views about making the North Korea-US summit a successful one and about implementing the Panmunjom Declaration,» South Korea's presidential spokesman said in a statement. Moon, who returned to Seoul earlier this week after a meeting with Trump, will announce details of the meeting with Kim on Sunday morning. Trump said on Friday that Washington was having «productive talks» with Pyongyang about reinstating the June 12 meeting, just a day after cancelling it. Politico magazine reported that an advance team of 30 White House and State...

Households overcharged up to €600 for electricity, PN study concludes

Updated 3pm - Added Energy Ministry statement People have been overcharged between €6 and €600 for their utility consumption over one year, according to a study of 100 families carried out by the Nationalist Party.Deputy leader David Agius said at a pres
timesofmalta.com

Households overcharged up to €600 for electricity, PN study concludes

Updated 3pm - Added Energy Ministry statement People have been overcharged between €6 and €600 for their utility consumption over one year, according to a study of 100 families carried out by the Nationalist Party.Deputy leader David Agius said at a press conference on Saturday afternoon that under a Labour government, people started receiving higher and more frequent bills.“According to an exercise we carried out based on 100 bills, around 80 per cent of customers paid more than they should have. Discrepancies vary between €6 and €600,” he said, calling on the authorities to address the issue and refund those who have been overcharged. The PN assessed households' electricity consumption after Adrian Delia had urged party supporters to pass on their bills for analysis. Addressing the same conference, PN councillor Michael Briguglio referred to a 2016 court case about the way bills are calculated, insisting that the government has known of this issue for a while.He commended civil society and local media for flagging consumers’ concerns, questioning why the government was dragging its feet. Fears that customers are overpaying on electricity due to the billing method were recently...

Picasso printmaking workshop for kids

A printmaking workshop on Pablo Picasso for children aged 10 to 14 is being held today. Those attending will first tour the exhibition Picasso and Miró: the Flesh and the Spirit on display at the Grandmaster’s Palace in Valletta between 10 and 10.30am. Aft
timesofmalta.com

Picasso printmaking workshop for kids

A printmaking workshop on Pablo Picasso for children aged 10 to 14 is being held today. Those attending will first tour the exhibition Picasso and Miró: the Flesh and the Spirit on display at the Grandmaster’s Palace in Valletta between 10 and 10.30am. After that the children will make their way to the Malta School of Art  in Valletta for some printmaking fun. A children’s workshop on Joan Miró will be held on June 2 from 10.30am to 12.30pm at the Grandmaster’s Palace for children aged eight to 12. To book a place, call Angela on 2123 1515. Attendance is against a €15 donation.

Watch: Stories from Syria (ARTE)

The Franco-Syrian theatre director, Ramzi Choukair, asked women from Syria to write their stories and to perform them on stage. Stories of resilient women faced with violence, torture and repression.
timesofmalta.com

Watch: Stories from Syria (ARTE)

The Franco-Syrian theatre director, Ramzi Choukair, asked women from Syria to write their stories and to perform them on stage. Stories of resilient women faced with violence, torture and repression.

China tightens reins on debt and raises spectre of slowdown

Debt growth for Chinese companies has slowed to the lowest rate in more than a decade, according to Reuters analysis, which could provide relief for policymakers worried about the fallout from years of loose lending practices across the economy. But this grow
timesofmalta.com

China tightens reins on debt and raises spectre of slowdown

Debt growth for Chinese companies has slowed to the lowest rate in more than a decade, according to Reuters analysis, which could provide relief for policymakers worried about the fallout from years of loose lending practices across the economy. But this growing caution about taking on new debt, along with tighter profit margins and slowing revenue growth, could point to rising risks facing the world’s second largest economy amid fears of a slowing growth. The overall debt levels of Chinese companies grew three percent in the first quarter of this year, according to analysis by Reuters of 1,843 firms listed in Shanghai and Shenzhen, the slowest pace in at least 13 years. Combined total debts – including borrowing via loans and bond issuances – amounted to $2.1 trillion at the end of March, the slowest pace of growth year-on-year since at least 2005, the analysis showed. That amount was down 6.2 per cent from the fourth quarter, a steep drop after companies ramped up leverage during 2017. Revenue growth, meanwhile, more than halved to 12.3 per cent in the first three months of 2018 from 26.7 per cent a year ago. Net profit margins were also squeezed to their lowest level in two...

China orders crackdown on religious statues

China's ruling Communist Party has ordered local governments to crack down on the construction of large outdoor religious statues amid increasing restrictions on expression of faith of all kinds. The directive from the United Front Work Department mainly targ
timesofmalta.com

China orders crackdown on religious statues

China's ruling Communist Party has ordered local governments to crack down on the construction of large outdoor religious statues amid increasing restrictions on expression of faith of all kinds. The directive from the United Front Work Department mainly targets followers of Buddhism and Taoism, two of China's five officially recognised religions. «The meeting required all localities to take up the regulation of large outdoor religious statues as their top priority in preventing the further commercialisation of Buddhism and Toaism,» the directive said. Thousands of Buddhist and Taoist temples and shrines, along with mosques and churches, were damaged or destroyed under communism, especially during the violent 1966-76 Cultural Revolution. Although many have been restored and reopened since then, new regulations and a bureaucratic overhaul earlier this year have put the day-to-day running of religious affairs directly under the officially atheistic party. That has been accompanied by a renewed campaign promoting atheism and loyalty to the party, along with a push to study the works of one of communism's founding fathers, Karl Marx, who famously wrote that religion "is the opium of...

Five keys to the Champions League final

Real Madrid face Liverpool in the Champions League final in Kiev. Below are five key tactical factors that could affect the outcome of Saturday's match. Can Real handle Liverpool out wide? Liverpool’s attacking threat hinges largely on their ability to atta
timesofmalta.com

Five keys to the Champions League final

Real Madrid face Liverpool in the Champions League final in Kiev. Below are five key tactical factors that could affect the outcome of Saturday's match. Can Real handle Liverpool out wide? Liverpool’s attacking threat hinges largely on their ability to attack in pairs down the flanks with speed and directness that several teams have found impossible to handle this season. In the knockout phase of this year’s Champions League, Liverpool have put five goals past both Porto and AS Roma in single legs while their three goals in 19 first-half minutes in the quarter-final, first leg against Manchester City effectively decided that tie. On the left, Andy Robertson powers forward from fullback to give support to the lightning quick Sadio Mane, meaning it could be a busy night for Real right back Dani Carvajal. On the Liverpool right, Trent Alexander-Arnold can quickly provide a double-threat with the prolific Mohamed Salah. What makes that pairing particularly dangerous to the Spanish side is that Real’s left back, Brazilian Marcelo, is brilliant going forward but often absent from defensive duties. While Juergen Klopp will hope his team’s ability down the wings will create scoring...

Baby panda makes first media appearance

A baby panda born in a Malaysian zoo five months ago has made her first media appearance. The female panda, which has not yet been named, is the second offspring of giant pandas Liang Liang and Xing Xing, both of which are on a 10-year loan to Malaysia since
timesofmalta.com

Baby panda makes first media appearance

A baby panda born in a Malaysian zoo five months ago has made her first media appearance. The female panda, which has not yet been named, is the second offspring of giant pandas Liang Liang and Xing Xing, both of which are on a 10-year loan to Malaysia since 2014. The first cub, a female called Nuan Nuan born in August 2015, was sent back to China last November as part of a deal with Beijing to return cubs born in captivity at the age of two. Members of the media watched and filmed the new panda cub in an air-conditioned enclosure at the national zoo through a glass shield. Zoo officials say the cub, which weighs nine kilos, will face the public later on Saturday.

'We got you' - Weinstein accusers relieved, elated at rape charges

Women in Hollywood expressed relief, hope and vindication on Friday as movie producer Harvey Weinstein was charged with rape after decades of alleged sexual misconduct. Weinstein was met by dozens of photographers and camera crews as he walked into a New Yor
timesofmalta.com

'We got you' - Weinstein accusers relieved, elated at rape charges

Women in Hollywood expressed relief, hope and vindication on Friday as movie producer Harvey Weinstein was charged with rape after decades of alleged sexual misconduct. Weinstein was met by dozens of photographers and camera crews as he walked into a New York City police station to be charged with two counts of rape and one count of a criminal sexual act involving two unidentified women. He was later released on a $1 million cash bond. Weinstein, 66, denies having non-consensual sex with anyone, and his attorney said his client would plead not guilty. Italian actress Asia Argento, one of more than 70 women who have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct, live-tweeted his surrender. «This is the only movie Harvey Weinstein will be remembered for #perpwalk,» Argento wrote. «Today Harvey Weinstein will take his first step on his inevitable descent to hell.» Weinstein was charged after a seven-month investigation in New York and more than 20 years of alleged misconduct. Actress Rose McGowan, who has accused Weinstein of raping her in 1997, said on NBC's «Megyn Kelly Today» program that she never believed this day would come. «We got you, Harvey Weinstein, we got you,» McGowan later...

Trump says North Korea summit may happen after all

US President Donald Trump late on Friday said the United States was having «productive talks» about reinstating a June 12 summit with North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un, just a day after he cancelled the meeting citing Pyongyang's «open hostil
timesofmalta.com

Trump says North Korea summit may happen after all

US President Donald Trump late on Friday said the United States was having «productive talks» about reinstating a June 12 summit with North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un, just a day after he cancelled the meeting citing Pyongyang's «open hostility.» «We are having very productive talks about reinstating the Summit which, if it does happen, will likely remain in Singapore on the same date, June 12th., and, if necessary, will be extended beyond that date,» Trump said in a Twitter post. South Korea's presidential spokesman said in response: «We are cautiously optimistic that hope is still alive for US-North Korea dialogue. We are continuing to watch developments carefully.» Trump had earlier indicated the summit could be salvaged after welcoming a conciliatory statement from North Korea saying it remained open to talks. «It was a very nice statement they put out,» Trump told reporters at the White House. «We'll see what happens - it could even be the 12th. »We're talking to them now. They very much want to do it. We'd like to do it." After years of tension over Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program, Kim and Trump agreed this month to hold what would be the first meeting between a...

Proof in the living room - David Casa

In the morning after news broke that the former Pilatus Bank chairman Sayed Ali Sadr Hasheminejad had been taken into custody in the United States on charges that he funnelled over $115 million from Venezuela to Iran, journalists naturally turned to Finance M
timesofmalta.com

Proof in the living room - David Casa

In the morning after news broke that the former Pilatus Bank chairman Sayed Ali Sadr Hasheminejad had been taken into custody in the United States on charges that he funnelled over $115 million from Venezuela to Iran, journalists naturally turned to Finance Minister Edward Scicluna to ask what action the Maltese government would be taking after that. The minister’s reply was: “Come on, will you be asking me such questions this morning?” Journalists also approached him and even sent him questions in the afternoon and the evening. However, no better answer than his “come on” was forthcoming. During a debate I had with Alfred Sant on TV chat show Xarabank a fortnight ago, the Labour MEP, who heads the Labour delegation, had a very similar response. For at least six or seven times, his retort to the endless list of corruption allegations I mentioned up a simple “Oh, come on”. This rhetoric is no simple slip of the tongue or coincidence. It is exactly the attitude this Labour administration adopts and wishes to instill in the public. A nonchalance that is meant to silently suppress criticism and protestors – as well as the genuinely concerned Labour voter – by stressing that what is...

Hunters denounce Commission’s proposal for autumn ban

The hunters’ federation has lashed out at the European Commission for allegedly proposing a hunting ban on turtle doves during the entire autumn season. In a statement, the FKNK yesterday claimed that such proposal was floated during an informal meeting of
timesofmalta.com

Hunters denounce Commission’s proposal for autumn ban

The hunters’ federation has lashed out at the European Commission for allegedly proposing a hunting ban on turtle doves during the entire autumn season. In a statement, the FKNK yesterday claimed that such proposal was floated during an informal meeting of the EU Experts Group on the Birds and Habitats Directive (Nadeg) between May 22 and 23. This entity comprises representatives from across all member states from both the hunting and anti-hunting lobbies. According to the federation, the majority of countries where turtle dove hunting takes place in autumn have rejected the Commission’s proposal for a species action plan which included a temporary moratorium.  It noted that Malta, along with Greece, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Spain and Italy, objected to this recommendation. Furthermore, France, Portugal, Romania and Austria may also come out against as they have not yet pronounced themselves on the matter, the FKNK said. The statement read that despite facing opposition from a number of countries, the Commission had not withdrawn its proposal and was asking member states to outline their position in writing. FKNK CEO Lino Farrugia welcomed the outcome of these meetings, saying a strong...

An unwarranted decision

The President and the Justice Minister should put on hold their decision to go ahead with granting warrants to two students who may not be legally entitled to practise law. When it emerged, earlier this year, that the two students could have a legal impedimen
timesofmalta.com

An unwarranted decision

The President and the Justice Minister should put on hold their decision to go ahead with granting warrants to two students who may not be legally entitled to practise law. When it emerged, earlier this year, that the two students could have a legal impediment in obtaining their warrant because they had been found guilty of theft, the Justice Ministry had announced it decided not to invite them to be given the warrants and that the students were asked “to regulate themselves with the law”. It then transpired that the court judgment given in the case of one of the two students was no longer accessible online. Dr Bonnici put his foot in it by authorising the director general of the courts to exercise his discretion and decide on requests by individuals to remove from the public database the court judgments in which they were involved. The decision gave rise to suspicion that there could be more than meets the eye in this story. This was confirmed a few days ago, a mere two months since the controversy erupted, when Dr Bonnici told this newspaper the two students would, in fact, be given a warrant to practise their profession. He said the process had been stopped so the matter...

Immersive experience for music and art lovers

An innovative piano and audio-reactive visual performance titled Amalgama is being held today in Lascaris Wharf, Valletta. The performance will see pianist Gabi Sultana and visual artist Mark Dingli exploring minimalistic works by John Cage, Philip Glass, Ste
timesofmalta.com

Immersive experience for music and art lovers

An innovative piano and audio-reactive visual performance titled Amalgama is being held today in Lascaris Wharf, Valletta. The performance will see pianist Gabi Sultana and visual artist Mark Dingli exploring minimalistic works by John Cage, Philip Glass, Steve Reich, Benjamin Van Esser and Chris Cerrone. Sultana’s piano sound is fed through Dingli’s visuals, which are specifically made for this programme and bring a visual aspect into what is usually a purely listening environment. The result is an immersive experience for music, art and experimental-sound enthusiasts. This project includes Sultana’s piano transcription of a piece by NSI –Non Standard Institute (a partnership between Tobias Freund and Max Loderbauer) and a piano and modular improvisation with electronic musician TR-S1. Almagama is being held this evening at 43, Lascaris Wharf, Valletta at 8.30pm. Due to limited seating, there will only be a handful of tickets available at the door. Pre-sale tickets are available online from shop.trackagescheme.com. Recommended age for this event is strictly 10+. There are 34 steps to enter the venue.

Watch: Senna's magical Monaco lap relived 30 years on

Saturday's Monaco Grand Prix qualifying is likely to see the fastest lap yet around Formula One's most glamorous circuit but a far slower one from 30 years ago will always be revered as one of the greatest ever. On May 14, 1988, Brazilian Ayrton Senna steere
timesofmalta.com

Watch: Senna's magical Monaco lap relived 30 years on

Saturday's Monaco Grand Prix qualifying is likely to see the fastest lap yet around Formula One's most glamorous circuit but a far slower one from 30 years ago will always be revered as one of the greatest ever. On May 14, 1988, Brazilian Ayrton Senna steered his Honda-powered McLaren MP4/4 car onto a dry track and put on a masterclass that is still discussed in astonished tones. It was, as the late triple world champion eloquently explained, almost unreal. «I was already on pole and I was going faster and faster. One lap after the other, quicker and quicker and quicker,» he told Canadian reporter Gerald Donaldson some time later. «I was at one stage just on pole, then by half a second, and then one second... and I kept going. Suddenly, I was nearly two seconds faster than anybody else, including my team mate with the same car. »And I suddenly realised that I was no longer driving the car consciously." Midway through the session, Senna recorded a lap of one minute 25.6 seconds. Then he clocked a 1:24.4. And finally a 1:23.998. His French team mate Alain Prost, who had won two of his four world championships by then, joined Senna on the front row but was an astonishing 1.427...

Watch: Rockets take Game 5, inch closer to dethroning Warriors

Eric Gordon sank two free throws with 2.4 seconds left, and the Houston Rockets eked out a 98-94 victory over the visiting Golden State Warriors in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals on Thursday at Toyota Center. The Rockets will take a 3-2 series lead b
timesofmalta.com

Watch: Rockets take Game 5, inch closer to dethroning Warriors

Eric Gordon sank two free throws with 2.4 seconds left, and the Houston Rockets eked out a 98-94 victory over the visiting Golden State Warriors in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals on Thursday at Toyota Center. The Rockets will take a 3-2 series lead back to Oakland, Calif., with a chance to close out the defending NBA champions on Saturday. With the Rockets clinging to a two-point lead, Gordon sealed the victory at the foul line. The Warriors had an opportunity to pull even on their previous possession, but Draymond Green lost the basketball attempting a drive to the basket. Gordon recovered the loose ball. Houston won Game 5 despite James Harden missing all 11 of his 3-point attempts while finishing with 19 points on 5-of-21 shooting. He also committed six turnovers. The Rockets' other leader, Chris Paul, was on the bench for the final 22.4 seconds due to a right hamstring injury. Paul scored 18 points on 6-of-12 shooting in the second half after scoring two points and missing all seven of his field-goal attempts before halftime. Houston coach Mike D'Antoni told reporters postgame that Paul is «worried» about his status. D'Antoni said, "He'll be evaluated tomorrow.

Iran may pull out of nuclear deal without guarantees from other countries

Iran will abandon a landmark deal to stop the country from developing nuclear weapons unless it receives guarantees that the economic incentives of the pact will be protected by the other parties, a senior Iranian official has warned. The news follows the US
timesofmalta.com

Iran may pull out of nuclear deal without guarantees from other countries

Iran will abandon a landmark deal to stop the country from developing nuclear weapons unless it receives guarantees that the economic incentives of the pact will be protected by the other parties, a senior Iranian official has warned. The news follows the US decision to unilaterally withdraw, and Washington's threat of sanctions against companies who trade with Iran. «We are still complying but we have not decided whether to stay in the deal or not,» the official told reporters on condition of anonymity. «It depends on the remaining JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] participants, if they can actually compensate for the absence of the United States in the deal.» The other countries involved in the JCPOA met on Friday for the first time without the US after Iran called for an urgent meeting of the body in Vienna. Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia reaffirmed their commitment to the deal, and the Iranian delegation emerged saying they were more confident than before, and made no mention of timelines. «I think we have good reasons to think we will succeed, provided that, once again, all of us have relevant political will,» said Mikhail Ulyanov, head of the Russian...

Abortion set to be introduced in Ireland after landslide vote - polls

The people of Ireland are set to liberalise some of the world's most restrictive abortion laws by a landslide, an exit poll showed on Friday, as voters demanded change in what two decades ago was one of Europe's most socially conservative countries. The Iris
timesofmalta.com

Abortion set to be introduced in Ireland after landslide vote - polls

The people of Ireland are set to liberalise some of the world's most restrictive abortion laws by a landslide, an exit poll showed on Friday, as voters demanded change in what two decades ago was one of Europe's most socially conservative countries. The Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI exit poll suggested that voters in the once deeply Catholic nation had backed a referendum by a margin of 68 percent to 32 percent.  Turnout could be one of the highest for a referendum, national broadcaster RTE reported, potentially topping the 61 percent who backed gay marriage by a large margin in 2015 as voters queued outside polling stations throughout the day in the blistering sunshine. Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, who is in favour of change and has called the referendum a once-in-a-generation chance, said earlier on Friday that he was «quietly confident» that the high turnout was a good sign. Vote-counting begins on Saturday morning, with the first indication of results expected mid-morning. Voters were asked if they wish to scrap a 1983 amendment to the constitution that gives an unborn child and its mother equal rights to life. The consequent prohibition on abortion was partly lifted in 2013...

PA approves demolition of Rabat townhouse

The Planning Authority has approved plans to demolish a Rabat townhouse and build a restaurant despite neighbours’ fears that the move would continue to push them out of their own community. The application, approved unanimously, will retain only the facad
timesofmalta.com

PA approves demolition of Rabat townhouse

The Planning Authority has approved plans to demolish a Rabat townhouse and build a restaurant despite neighbours’ fears that the move would continue to push them out of their own community. The application, approved unanimously, will retain only the facade of the existing building, part of a preserved row of houses in St Paul’s Street, close to the Ta’ Ġieżu church, while adding an extra floor to an overlying maisonette. The Planning Commission board requested a bank guarantee of €2,000 to ensure that two limestone staircases are removed, conserved and re-used in the new development, as well as additional noise mitigation measures. The approval came as a blow to residents who had complained that the stretch of road was already highly commercialised, and that the new restaurant would upset the already delicate balance between homes and businesses. “This particular application tips the balance against the residents should it be approved. Indeed, it will be sending out a message to the residents, that sooner or later they need to make space for commercial activity to take over the street entirely,” residents wrote in their objections to the PA. The Superintendence of Cultural...

Social media in trouble after data protection laws come into force

Complaints have been filed against Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and Google within hours of new EU data laws taking effect. Privacy group Noyb said it filed the complaints because it believes the technology companies are using what it calls «forced cons
timesofmalta.com

Social media in trouble after data protection laws come into force

Complaints have been filed against Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and Google within hours of new EU data laws taking effect. Privacy group Noyb said it filed the complaints because it believes the technology companies are using what it calls «forced consent». As part of the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), companies that gather data are required to gain consent, freely given, from users to collect and use their personal information. However, the group argues that the firms have threatened to no longer offer services to those who do not consent to new terms of service. Noyb chairman Max Schrems said: «Facebook has even blocked accounts of users who have not given consent. »In the end users only had the choice to delete the account or hit the 'agree' button - that's not a free choice, it more reminds of a North Korean election process.« In response, a Google spokesman said: »We build privacy and security into our products from the very earliest stages and are committed to complying with the EU General Data Protection Regulation. "Over the last 18 months, we have taken steps to update our products, policies and processes to provide users with meaningful data...

Italy PM-designate meets president as he assembles cabinet team

Italy's Prime Minister-designate Giuseppe Conte met with the head of state Sergio Mattarella on Friday, a source from the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement said, as Conte laboured to put together his cabinet team. Conte has been discussing with his politica
timesofmalta.com

Italy PM-designate meets president as he assembles cabinet team

Italy's Prime Minister-designate Giuseppe Conte met with the head of state Sergio Mattarella on Friday, a source from the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement said, as Conte laboured to put together his cabinet team. Conte has been discussing with his political backers who will be in his government since he was given a mandate to form a government by Mattarella on Wednesday. Conte went to the president's palace for an «informal discussion,» not to present his cabinet, said the source from 5-Star, one of the two parties that will be supporting Conte's government in parliament.

Saudi Arabia to exclude German firms from government tenders - Spiegel

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has ordered that no more government contracts be awarded to German companies, in a sign of continued irritation over Berlin's foreign policy in the Middle East, German magazine Der Spiegel reported on Friday. Citing no s
timesofmalta.com

Saudi Arabia to exclude German firms from government tenders - Spiegel

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has ordered that no more government contracts be awarded to German companies, in a sign of continued irritation over Berlin's foreign policy in the Middle East, German magazine Der Spiegel reported on Friday. Citing no sources, it said the move was likely to hit major companies such as Siemens, Bayer and Boehringer Ingelheim as well as carmaker Daimler. Relations between Germany and Saudi Arabia have been strained, and Saudi Arabia last year summoned its ambassador in Germany home for consultations over comments by then-Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel about the political crisis in Lebanon.  Saudi Arabia is a significant trade partner for Germany, generating 2017 exports worth €6.6 billion, according to Germany's statistics office. Siemens last year won an order worth around $400 million to deliver five gas turbines for a combined heat and power plant being built in Saudi Arabia. Daimler soon after secured an order for 600 Mercedes‑Benz Citaro buses from Saudi bus operator SAPTCO. A senior German businessman in Saudi Arabia, who asked to remain anonymous, told Reuters on Friday that especially the healthcare sector was currently feeling...

40% chance of NAFTA deal before July election - Mexico minister

There is about a 40 per cent chance of concluding the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) before Mexico's presidential election on July 1, Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said on Friday. «After July 1 and before
timesofmalta.com

40% chance of NAFTA deal before July election - Mexico minister

There is about a 40 per cent chance of concluding the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) before Mexico's presidential election on July 1, Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said on Friday. «After July 1 and before the US (mid-term) elections (in November), I would place the probability at another 40 per cent,» he told Mexican television. That meant there was about an 80 per cent chance of being able to conclude the deal before the US mid-terms, he said. For a deal to be reached between Mexico, the United States and Canada on reworking the 24-year-old trade accord, US negotiators would need to show flexibility, he said. Talks, which have ground on over nine months, have been stalled over US demands to impose tougher minimum content requirements for autos built in the NAFTA region. US President Donald Trump wants to change the rules to create more manufacturing jobs in the United States. He blames lower-cost Mexico for the loss of US employment. Guajardo said it was important to agree a new NAFTA deal as quickly as possible, but not at the expense of quality. On Thursday, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto expressed optimism about the...

Transport Malta to plant 108 trees to make up for those on Luqa Road

Transport Malta is to plant 108 trees as a counteractive measure for the uprooted 24 trees that have to be removed from Luqa Road in connection with an underpass to Sta Luċija. Permits were granted for the uprooting of 24 trees and the transplanting of 16
timesofmalta.com

Transport Malta to plant 108 trees to make up for those on Luqa Road

Transport Malta is to plant 108 trees as a counteractive measure for the uprooted 24 trees that have to be removed from Luqa Road in connection with an underpass to Sta Luċija. Permits were granted for the uprooting of 24 trees and the transplanting of 161 trees.  Read: Addolorata hill trees may be uprooted for Sta Luċija underpassOnce the relevant environmental applications related to infrastructural works on Vjal Santa Luċija are submitted by TM, the Environment and Resources Authority would be evaluating the proposal by applying similar criteria, based on the current Trees and Woodlands Protection Regulations to safeguard as many trees as possible, the government said on Friday. Read: Stop the massacre of trees, eNGO pleads «At the core of these decisions, the authority applies sustainability criteria that require one to see the environment in a holistic context, noting the adverse effects of traffic congestion on air quality,» it said.

More about numbers

In last week’s contribution I wrote about the growth in the gross domestic product as a measure of economic growth and how this may hide certain issues in our economy. I referred to the qualitative elements such as the need to have a more just and sustainab
timesofmalta.com

More about numbers

In last week’s contribution I wrote about the growth in the gross domestic product as a measure of economic growth and how this may hide certain issues in our economy. I referred to the qualitative elements such as the need to have a more just and sustainable economy, and the need for people to be satisfied with their lives. I had also mentioned that there are more qualitative elements to consider, which is what I will focus on in this week’s contribution. In 2017 the growth in the gross domestic product was 6.6 per cent in real terms (that is after accounting for inflation) over 2016. The growth since 2011 was of 43.6 per cent. This means that the so-called national cake has most certainly grown in quite significant terms in the last years. The growth in nominal terms (that is before accounting for inflation) was of 62.4 per cent. Students of economics know that there are three methods of measuring the GDP – the expenditure method, the production method and the income method. Each method gives the same result. The income method explains who were the beneficiaries of this growth. Between 2011 and 2017, the growth in total compensation of employees was of 60.6 per cent, while the...

Mellieħa bypass service road narrowed, contradicting Transport Malta's claims

Works to narrow a service road along the Mellieħa bypass began on Friday morning, less than 24 hours after Transport Malta insisted there was no change of plans.  The transport watchdog had told Times of Malta on Thursday afternoon that works on the bypass
timesofmalta.com

Mellieħa bypass service road narrowed, contradicting Transport Malta's claims

Works to narrow a service road along the Mellieħa bypass began on Friday morning, less than 24 hours after Transport Malta insisted there was no change of plans.  The transport watchdog had told Times of Malta on Thursday afternoon that works on the bypass would proceed as originally planned, following speculation that plans were being modified to narrow the service road. Barely two hours after Transport Malta had insisted nothing had changed, it was contradicted by Transport Minister Ian Borg. Dr Borg told parliament on Thursday evening that a decision had been taken to narrow the service road, allowing traffic lanes to be widened.  The contradictory statements are the latest in a series of mix-ups concerning the popular bypass. The issue revolves around a controversial decision that came to light last March when it emerged that Triq Louis Wettinger, as the Mellieħa bypass is called, would be narrowed. This was being done to accommodate a road servicing a massive block of 152 apartments, still under construction, by GAP Holdings. Though Transport Minister Ian Borg initially justified the move saying the road would become safer, he later backtracked in view of mounting...