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Archbishop discharged from hospital

Archbishop Charles J. Scicluna has been discharged from San Carlos de Apoquindo Hospital in Santiago, Chile, where he spent the past three days. He will continue with his recovery following a gallbladder intervention on Wednesday at the Apostolic Nunciature o
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Archbishop discharged from hospital

Archbishop Charles J. Scicluna has been discharged from San Carlos de Apoquindo Hospital in Santiago, Chile, where he spent the past three days. He will continue with his recovery following a gallbladder intervention on Wednesday at the Apostolic Nunciature of Chile, where he is also expected to continue his work related to the mission entrusted to him by Pope Francis. Read: Archbishop Scicluna sent to Chile to investigate bishop accused of child abuse cover up Mgr Scicluna is in Chile looking into accusations that a bishop covered up crimes against minors. He arrived on Monday and started hearing victims' testimony on Tuesday. Before his trip to Chile, Mgr Scicluna heard testimony in New York from a witness in the case against Bishop Juan Barros, who is accused by several men of covering up sexual abuse of minors by his mentor, Father Fernando Karadima. READ: Chile sex abuse victim 'hopeful' after meeting Archbishop Scicluna The Karadima case has gripped Chile, and several groups in the country protested Pope Francis' decision to appoint Barros bishop of Osorno in 2015.

New US embassy in Jerusalem set to open in May

The new US embassy in Jerusalem will open in May 2018 to coincide with the 70th anniversary of Israel declaring independence, White House officials said. Secretary of state Rex Tillerson has approved the security plan for the new embassy, while US congress i
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New US embassy in Jerusalem set to open in May

The new US embassy in Jerusalem will open in May 2018 to coincide with the 70th anniversary of Israel declaring independence, White House officials said. Secretary of state Rex Tillerson has approved the security plan for the new embassy, while US congress is being notified of the impending move on Friday. A ribbon-cutting ceremony is being planned for mid-May. Israel proclaimed independence on May 14 1948. The May opening marks a significant acceleration. US vice president Mike Pence had said previously the embassy would open by the end of 2019, while Mr Tillerson had said it could take years. Initially, the embassy will consist of just a few offices inside an existing US facility in Jerusalem.

Planning policies allowing full scale demolition of historic, traditional heritage questioned

The president of the Chamber of Architects and Civil Engineers has recently expressed serious concern about the alarming rate at which Malta’s unique built heritage was being lost to new development. Addressing the Din l-Art Ħelwa Awards for best Architect
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Planning policies allowing full scale demolition of historic, traditional heritage questioned

The president of the Chamber of Architects and Civil Engineers has recently expressed serious concern about the alarming rate at which Malta’s unique built heritage was being lost to new development. Addressing the Din l-Art Ħelwa Awards for best Architectural Heritage, Professor Alex Torpiano, who is also the Dean of the Faculty of the Built Environment at the University of Malta, did not mince his words when expressing his concern about the future of the built environment in the country. He questioned the planning policies that were allowing full scale demolition of the island’s historic and traditional built heritage. He said Malta’s unique built heritage was being lost as new development was not respectful of the past. He stressed the need to encourage the appreciation of the country’s historic built urban environment. Prof. Torpiano questioned planning policies and challenged architects to use higher skills so as to leave future generations ‘new built heritage’ which is sympathetic to that which already exists. After presenting the awards, Prof. Torpiano praised the successful projects and congratulated the winners. He said that they were outstanding examples of...

Call for debate on sex-work

A debate on sex-work is needed and should be framed within a context whereby sexist attitudes towards women are still predominant, the dean of the Faculty for Social Wellbeing said on Friday. He said in a statement this had to be founded on the human rights o
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Call for debate on sex-work

A debate on sex-work is needed and should be framed within a context whereby sexist attitudes towards women are still predominant, the dean of the Faculty for Social Wellbeing said on Friday. He said in a statement this had to be founded on the human rights of sex-workers and take into consideration issues, such as, the decriminalisation of sex-workers, high quality support services (medical and social), pimping and sex-trafficking, training of professionals (including the police and judiciary), improved legislation and public and educational campaigns. It also needed to be mindful of the fact that women working as sex-workers were at a higher risk of contracting STDs and watchful on evidence that seemed to indicate that factors such as poverty could be pushing women into prostitution. Prof. Azzopardi said the debate needed to frame the fact that affected women affected tended to come from broken families, wanted to escape their environment and were somehow vulnerable. It needed to relay the concern that this situation was a representation of a patriarchal society in which men felt entitled to have sex when they wanted to. The debate also needed to take into consideration the...

Second Russian athlete fails doping test at Winter Games

A second Russian athlete has tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, a major blow for the nation's hopes of regaining its Olympic status and drawing a line under years of doping scandals. Bobsledder Nadezhda Sergee
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Second Russian athlete fails doping test at Winter Games

A second Russian athlete has tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, a major blow for the nation's hopes of regaining its Olympic status and drawing a line under years of doping scandals. Bobsledder Nadezhda Sergeeva tested positive for a heart drug on Feb. 18, five days after a previous doping test returned a negative result for her, the Russian bobsleigh federation said in a statement on Friday. «On Feb. 13, her sample was clean. The team's medical staff did not prescribe the drug to the athlete,» the federation said in a post on its official Facebook page. «The Bobsleigh Federation of Russia and the athlete herself understand the extent of their responsibility and understand how what has happened can have an impact on the fate of the whole team.» Earlier this week, Russian curling medallist Alexander Krushelnitsky agreed to hand back his mixed-team bronze medal after testing positive for meldonium, which can aid in endurance. Krushelnitsky's case shocked the Russian athletes, who are competing at the Games as neutral athletes as punishment over allegations that the sporting powerhouse ran a systematic, state-backed doping programme.

Red-faced Arsenal lose and go through

Arsenal got through despite an embarrassing 2-1 home defeat by Ostersund. Borussia Dortmund snatched a late goal at Atalanta to progress with a 1-1 draw, while Milan with three-goal leads from the away legs, completed the formality of qualifying with a 1-0 wi
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Red-faced Arsenal lose and go through

Arsenal got through despite an embarrassing 2-1 home defeat by Ostersund. Borussia Dortmund snatched a late goal at Atalanta to progress with a 1-1 draw, while Milan with three-goal leads from the away legs, completed the formality of qualifying with a 1-0 win at home on Thursday. The evening was marred by the death of a policeman in Bilbao after rivals fans fought in the streets before the match between local side Athletic and Spartak Moscow, won 2-1 by the Russian team who still went out 4-3 on aggregate. Arsenal had a three-goal lead from last week's win in Sweden but were rattled when Hosam Aiesh and Ken Sema scored twice in two minutes for Ostersund midway through the first half. The North London side were spared further humiliation, though, after Ronald Mukiibi miscued when trying to clear a cross and defender Sead Kolasinac thumped the ball into the net from close range two minutes into the second half. Arsenal - Östersunds FK Live Score   Atalanta scored against Dortmund when Rafael Toloi prodded the ball home at the far post after Mattia Caldara flicked on a corner in the 11th minute to make it 3-3 on aggregate. There were then chances at both ends until Dortmund's...

Napoli win but exit Europa League, Lazio's Immobile hits hat-trick

Serie A leaders Napoli came agonisingly close to pulling off a dramatic Europa League comeback when they won 2-0 at RB Leipzig but went out on away goals at the last 32 stage on Thursday. The Italians lost 3-1 at home in last week's first leg with a performan
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Napoli win but exit Europa League, Lazio's Immobile hits hat-trick

Serie A leaders Napoli came agonisingly close to pulling off a dramatic Europa League comeback when they won 2-0 at RB Leipzig but went out on away goals at the last 32 stage on Thursday. The Italians lost 3-1 at home in last week's first leg with a performance that embarrassed coach Maurizio Sarri, although he has emphasised that winning Serie A is the priority. They restored some pride in the return as Piotr Zielinski scored from a rebound in the 33rd minute and Lorenzo Insigne turned in Jose Callejon's cross with five minutes to go. That set up a rousing finale and Callejon could even have won the tie in stoppage time but his shot sailed over. RB Leipzig - Napoli Live Score   Lazio striker Ciro Immobile scored a hat-trick to lead his side to a 5-1 win over FCSB, formerly Steaua Bucharest, after a 1-0 defeat in the first leg. Lazio - FCSB Live Score   Russian pair Lokomotiv Moscow and Zenit St Petersburg both won at home in frigid conditions to also progress. Igor Denisov's first-half goal gave Lokomotiv a 1-0 win over Nice, completing a 4-2 aggregate victory, while Zenit beat Celtic 3-0 to go through 3-1 with goals from Branislav Ivanovic, Daler Kuzyaev and Aleksandr...

Watch: New Ferrari looks a big step up, says Vettel

Ferrari's new SF71H Formula One car already looks a big step up from last year's before it has turned a wheel in anger, four times world champion Sebastian Vettel said at Thursday's unveiling. The sport's oldest and most successful team are hoping the car, wi
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Watch: New Ferrari looks a big step up, says Vettel

Ferrari's new SF71H Formula One car already looks a big step up from last year's before it has turned a wheel in anger, four times world champion Sebastian Vettel said at Thursday's unveiling. The sport's oldest and most successful team are hoping the car, with more red and less white in the livery following the departure of sponsor Santander, will take them to a first championship in a decade. Vettel won five races last season but finished runner-up to Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton, who is now also a four times world champion. «Now is the time when you see the car, it’s all ready and you want to get in and go out on the track and have a go,» the German told guests at the Italian team's Maranello factory. «To stand here now is very special for all of us. I think they are all waiting for us to say how it feels. So we can’t wait to get out on track to see how the car performs, how it behaves. »I think that’s the answer that we all want to hear and we go from there. For sure, the amount of effort that has gone in and the attention to detail in so many areas is impressive." The presentation, online and through social media channels, came on the same day that Mercedes were showing off...

€41,000 to safeguard Dwejra Conservation Area

Keeping the Dwejra Conservation Area safe is costing taxpayers around €41,000 a year, according to Gozo Minister Justyne Caruana. Replying to a parliamentary question by MP Chris Said, she said that three persons were stationed there every day from 7am to 7
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€41,000 to safeguard Dwejra Conservation Area

Keeping the Dwejra Conservation Area safe is costing taxpayers around €41,000 a year, according to Gozo Minister Justyne Caruana. Replying to a parliamentary question by MP Chris Said, she said that three persons were stationed there every day from 7am to 7pm. The Gozo Ministry gave the contract for this work by direct order, she added, giving the figure since March 2017. Surveillance of the area is being conducted as the result of an agreement between the Gozo Ministry, the Tourism Minster and the Sustainable Development Ministry.

Parents say 101 Nigerian girls missing after suspected Boko Haram attack

More than 100 girls are still missing three days after suspected Boko Haram extremists attacked their school in northern Nigeria, parents have said. The announcement came after government officials in Yobe state acknowledged that some 50 young women remained
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Parents say 101 Nigerian girls missing after suspected Boko Haram attack

More than 100 girls are still missing three days after suspected Boko Haram extremists attacked their school in northern Nigeria, parents have said. The announcement came after government officials in Yobe state acknowledged that some 50 young women remained unaccounted for in the Monday evening attack on the village of Dapchi. There have been a number of conflicting reports, in part because of limited access to the area. One parent, Bashir Manzo, told The Associated Press that the parents compiled a list of 101 missing children and presented it to the governor. The state governor, Ibrahim Gaidam, «told us the girls have not been found and we should continue to pray for their safe return,» another parent, Rabiu Sani, told the AP. Boko Haram horrified the world when it abducted 276 girls from a boarding school in Chibok almost four years ago. While some escaped and many others were released as part of negotiations, about 100 remain with their captors. The extremist group has kidnapped thousands of people over the years. Boko Haram fighters invaded Dapchi on Monday evening, forcing residents, including students of Government Girls Secondary school, to flee into the bushes. Police...

Internet key, suspicious looking powder found during searches at prisons

An internet key and some suspicious looking powder in a prisoner’s locker were the only prohibited items found during intensive searches at two prison divisions by the Police Drug Section, the government said. It said in a statement, steps would be taken ag
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Internet key, suspicious looking powder found during searches at prisons

An internet key and some suspicious looking powder in a prisoner’s locker were the only prohibited items found during intensive searches at two prison divisions by the Police Drug Section, the government said. It said in a statement, steps would be taken against the prisoner who had the internet key and an inquiry will be opened regarding the powder. The government said no mobiles or alcholic drinks were found . Home Affairs Minister Michael Farrugia said similar searches will continue to be held regularly whenever the need was felt to ensure security at the facility. He said he would continue working to destroy all illegal substances, prohibited items and abuse from the facility.

Foundation chaired by PM’s wife gets €48,000 in voluntary funds

The Marigold Foundation, which is chaired by the Prime Minister’s wife, Michelle Muscat, was given €48,000 last year, the second-highest sum given to a voluntary organisation after Inspire. Figures tabled in Parliament show Marigold received three payment
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Foundation chaired by PM’s wife gets €48,000 in voluntary funds

The Marigold Foundation, which is chaired by the Prime Minister’s wife, Michelle Muscat, was given €48,000 last year, the second-highest sum given to a voluntary organisation after Inspire. Figures tabled in Parliament show Marigold received three payments in 2017: two of €19,200 each and one of €9,600. Education Minister Evarist Bartolo provided the information in reply to a parliamentary question tabled by Opposition MP Claudette Buttigieg. The amount Marigold received was surpassed only by the Eden and Razzett Foundation, commonly known as Inspire, which was allocated four payments totalling €63,959. The St Helen Musical Society of Birkirkara received the third-highest amount – €47,849. Funds were given to about 30 organisations last year. Data for the previous year shows Marigold was not among the voluntary organisations that received any form of funding from schemes managed by the government. The Malta Council for the Voluntary Sector runs a number of schemes to support organisations in their work. Marigold was set up in 2014 and has since been chaired by Ms Muscat. According to its website, its main objective is to “positively empower people and to work with them to raise...

Marlene Mizzi to lead Euro Parliament talks on single digital gateway

The European Parliament’s internal market committee (IMCO) has approved with an overwhelming majority Labour MEP Marlene Mizzi’s legislative report on creating the first ever European single digital gateway. The gateway will make it easier for citizens an
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Marlene Mizzi to lead Euro Parliament talks on single digital gateway

The European Parliament’s internal market committee (IMCO) has approved with an overwhelming majority Labour MEP Marlene Mizzi’s legislative report on creating the first ever European single digital gateway. The gateway will make it easier for citizens and businesses to do their paperwork online and to find the right administrative information they need wherever they are in the EU. The committee also gave its approval to MEP Marlene Mizzi to start and lead the European Parliament's negotiations with EU ministers in order to reach an agreement on the final law, the PL said. The mandate was approved by 32 votes in favour (91.4%), three against and no abstentions. The gateway will help people interact with Member States' administrations by providing online access to the most important and frequently used administrative procedures. Citizens and companies based in another member state, but also for those staying home, would be able to request their birth certificates, register their cars, declare their taxes, enrol in public universities and much more fully online. Ms Mizzi said people and businesses still encounter serious difficulties in accessing and understanding the...

Watch: Achieving affordable housing (ARTE)

With house prices forever rising, ARTE looks at new ways of providing affordable housing from tiny houses to floating student accommodation to communal living.
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Watch: Achieving affordable housing (ARTE)

With house prices forever rising, ARTE looks at new ways of providing affordable housing from tiny houses to floating student accommodation to communal living.

Driver who punched security guard let off with a conditional discharge

A lorry driver who punched a security officer in the face got off with a conditional discharge by a court on Thursday after the victim forgave him. The incident happened in May 2014 at Laboratory Wharf in Grand Harbour. The fight broke out as Jesmond Micallef
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Driver who punched security guard let off with a conditional discharge

A lorry driver who punched a security officer in the face got off with a conditional discharge by a court on Thursday after the victim forgave him. The incident happened in May 2014 at Laboratory Wharf in Grand Harbour. The fight broke out as Jesmond Micallef, 32 of Qormi was about to drive his trailer out of the precinct. The security officer insisted that he could not drive through the gate unless he presented customs documents. It was when the officer insisted that the trailer was to be reversed so as not to block the way to outgoing traffic, that the driver allegedly reacted by getting out of the cabin, hurling abuse at the guard and landing him a frontal blow which knocked off part of a  tooth. In his statement to the police, Mr Micallef had contradicted the victim’s version, stating that he had been the one to suffer the aggression in the first place. Moreover, he had insisted that the whole episode had been witnessed by several people, none of whom, however, were ever summoned to confirm this version in court. Magistrate Consuelo Scerri Herrera concluded that the victim’s version had been more credible. As for punishment, the court observed that the accused was a...

Archbishop Scicluna thanks well-wishers as he recovers from operation

Archbishop Charles Scicluna has thanked well-wishers as he recovers from a gallbladder intervention, held yesterday in a Chile hospital. The Curia said Mgr Scicluna is recovering well after he had his gallbladder removed at a hospital in Santiago.  It i
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Archbishop Scicluna thanks well-wishers as he recovers from operation

Archbishop Charles Scicluna has thanked well-wishers as he recovers from a gallbladder intervention, held yesterday in a Chile hospital. The Curia said Mgr Scicluna is recovering well after he had his gallbladder removed at a hospital in Santiago.  It is expected that the recovery time at the hospital will take between 48 and 72 hours.   Mgr Scicluna is in Chile looking into accusations that a bishop covered up crimes against minors. He arrived on Monday and started hearing victims' testimony on Tuesday. Before his trip to Chile, Mgr Scicluna heard testimony in New York from a witness in the case against Bishop Juan Barros, who is accused by several men of covering up sexual abuse of minors by his mentor, Father Fernando Karadima. The Karadima case has gripped Chile, and several groups in the country protested Pope Francis' decision to appoint Barros bishop of Osorno in 2015. Mgr Scicluna had been due to hear testimony from victims until his scheduled departure from Chile on Friday. A spokesman for the Episcopal Conference, Jaime Coiro, said Mgr Scicluna would be replaced for the rest of the interviews by Monsignor Jordi Bertomeu, a Spanish priest, at the request of Pope...

PA approves airport terminal extension, three new Skyparks blocks

The Planning Authority has given the go-ahead for a masterplan for an extension of the airport terminal and other buildings on the airport car park, with parking being moved underground. Three blocks will be built on the lines of the existing Skyparks, one al
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PA approves airport terminal extension, three new Skyparks blocks

The Planning Authority has given the go-ahead for a masterplan for an extension of the airport terminal and other buildings on the airport car park, with parking being moved underground. Three blocks will be built on the lines of the existing Skyparks, one alongside it, another instead of the McDonalds restaurant and the third in the present petrol station/ car park. They, and the extensions to the terminal building, will be used for offices, shops, catering and entertainment venues and a hotel.  MIA said it will plough at least €100 million into the development. The PA approval gives the company the green light to proceed to the planning stage of its investment programme, which will be executed in three major phases, the company said. “Through this sizeable investment we expect to solidify Malta International Airport’s important role in the local economy, as we unlock its potential to welcome more tourists and generate further employment opportunities. We also envisage that this programme will build on the successes of past investments and go on to grow the airport campus into a go-to destination for business and leisure,” said Malta International Airport CEO Alan Borg. In the...

Investment and finance stakeholders promote Malta in Paris, Lille

Representatives from Malta Enterprise, Finance Malta, the Maltese French Chamber of Commerce and the Malta Tourism Authority were in France on January 30-31 to address business events organised by the Embassy of Malta. French entrepreneurs and members of the
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Investment and finance stakeholders promote Malta in Paris, Lille

Representatives from Malta Enterprise, Finance Malta, the Maltese French Chamber of Commerce and the Malta Tourism Authority were in France on January 30-31 to address business events organised by the Embassy of Malta. French entrepreneurs and members of the business community based in Paris attended a seminar held at the Embassy of Malta on January 30. The focus of the event was Malta’s strong economic performance and the ways in which Franco-Maltese commercial relations can be further intensified. Participants were addressed by Ambassador Jean-Daniel Tordjman, president of the Ambassadors’ Circle in Paris, who had formerly served as France’s Investment Envoy for several years. In underlining the importance that Malta attaches to its trade and commercial relations with France, Malta’s Ambassador Helga Mizzi gave an overview of the performance of the Maltese economy. She also referred to the consolidation of Trade Malta with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs as a further step in fully addressing Malta’s commercial potential with foreign partners. Meetings were also held in the northern city of Lille, where the Maltese delegates were received by Luc Doublet and Laurie Grzrechnik,...

Song cycles from the 19th and 20th century

Soprano Kateriana Fenech (right) will perform a concert of songs and song cycles from the latter part of the 19th to the 20th century at the Cathedral Museum, Mdina, tomorrow at 7.30pm. The programme will include music by Brahms, Strauss, Dvořák, Britten,
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Song cycles from the 19th and 20th century

Soprano Kateriana Fenech (right) will perform a concert of songs and song cycles from the latter part of the 19th to the 20th century at the Cathedral Museum, Mdina, tomorrow at 7.30pm. The programme will include music by Brahms, Strauss, Dvořák, Britten, Poulenc and Weill. Fenech is a highly-reputed soprano with an extensive and successful international career in the world of song and opera. In this concert she will showcase her versatility by singing in various languages. She will be accompanied on the piano by Ramona Zammit-Formosa. Kateriana Fenech will perform at the Cathedral Museum, Mdina, tomorrow at 7.30pm. Tickets are available from the venue or from http://ticketline.com.mt .

Craft brews and funky beats

Ten new beers from Mikkeller, Denmark’s top craft brewery, will be showcased this evening at the City Lights, Valletta. The event will be accompanied by live, funky beats by Jam Bo Sessions. The celebration of Mikkeller craft brews takes place today from 8p
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Craft brews and funky beats

Ten new beers from Mikkeller, Denmark’s top craft brewery, will be showcased this evening at the City Lights, Valletta. The event will be accompanied by live, funky beats by Jam Bo Sessions. The celebration of Mikkeller craft brews takes place today from 8pm onwards at the City Lights, 56, St John Street, Valletta.

The start of the financial reporting season

Earlier this week the financial reporting season commenced with the publication of the annual financial statements of HSBC Bank Malta plc while Malta International Airport plc released its results yesterday. The purpose of this article is not to provide a det
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The start of the financial reporting season

Earlier this week the financial reporting season commenced with the publication of the annual financial statements of HSBC Bank Malta plc while Malta International Airport plc released its results yesterday. The purpose of this article is not to provide a detailed analysis of the financial statements of two of the largest companies listed on the Malta Stock Exchange but to explain the importance of the reporting season and highlight some of the more important aspects that investors should look out for in the upcoming releases from some of these companies. The Listing Rules issued by the Malta Financial Services Authority stipulate that annual financial statements must be published within four months from the end of the company’s financial year while interim financial statements are due within two months. Moreover, an Annual General Meeting must take place within six months from the end of their financial year. The majority of companies that have their shares listed on the main market of the MSE have a December year-end. The only companies which have different accounting reference dates are MaltaPost plc (September 30), PG plc (April 30) while Simonds Farsons Cisk plc and Trident...

Luciano Busuttil not seeking re-election - fed up of being treated like a prostitute for votes

Former Labour MP Luciano Busuttil has explained why he will not seek a return to Parliament and its 'uncomfortable' green seats. Dr Busuttil was elected to the House in 2008 and 2013  and was chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee in the last legi
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Luciano Busuttil not seeking re-election - fed up of being treated like a prostitute for votes

Former Labour MP Luciano Busuttil has explained why he will not seek a return to Parliament and its 'uncomfortable' green seats. Dr Busuttil was elected to the House in 2008 and 2013  and was chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee in the last legislature. He accompanied the prime minister to meetings of the UN General Assembly in New York in 2015. He was one of the most frequent targets for criticism by Daphne Caruana Galizia and failed to be re-elected in the last general election. He, however, retains his position of trust as chairman of Sport Malta. Dr Busuttil said he was proud to serve his country, but there was a high price. «Nothing feels important any more. Not being able to see your children grow, being treated with disdain by all as being a politician is perceived to be tantamount to being a crook; having to endure lies about yourself and worst of all, about your family; being treated like a prostitute for votes with continuous threats from constituents, to mention a few, makes you realise that life is worth more than that uncomfortable green chair.»    

Japan dethrone Dutch to win women's team pursuit

Japan dethroned defending champions the Netherlands to claim gold in the women's Olympic team pursuit final on Wednesday as the Dutch took the silver medal. The Japanese trio of Miho Takagi, Ayano Sato and Nana Takagi set an Olympic record of two minutes and
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Japan dethrone Dutch to win women's team pursuit

Japan dethroned defending champions the Netherlands to claim gold in the women's Olympic team pursuit final on Wednesday as the Dutch took the silver medal. The Japanese trio of Miho Takagi, Ayano Sato and Nana Takagi set an Olympic record of two minutes and 53.89 seconds, beating the previous record set by the Netherlands during Monday's quarter-final by 1.72 seconds. The United States edged Canada for bronze, their first Olympic speed skating medal since the Vancouver Games in 2010, with Heather Bergsma, Brittany Bowe and Mia Manganello finishing 0.45 seconds ahead of their local rivals. «Clocking this lap time at the Olympics will give confidence to all the Japanese people,» a glowing Miho told reporters. «I'm so happy to have achieved an Olympic record that a lot of young Japanese skaters can go for. Her beaming elder sister Nana added: »I'm so proud that I was able to compete in the best race for the best Olympic Games". The Netherlands team of Lotte van Beek, Ireen Wust and Antoinette de Jong easily beat the U.S. in their semi-final, but were outskated by Japan even though they brought in the fresh legs of substitute Marrit Leenstra for the final. World record holders...

Woman allegedly held captive by former husband 'fit to testify'

A court-appointed psychiatrist has assessed Nathalie Williams and pronounced her as ‘fit to testify’ in the proceedings against her former husband who allegedly held her captive in an underground chamber beneath Fort Ricasoli last October. Roddy Williams
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Woman allegedly held captive by former husband 'fit to testify'

A court-appointed psychiatrist has assessed Nathalie Williams and pronounced her as ‘fit to testify’ in the proceedings against her former husband who allegedly held her captive in an underground chamber beneath Fort Ricasoli last October. Roddy Williams, the 37-year old Seychelles-born man, has been held behind bars under preventive arrest ever since, with a primary ground for the denial of bail being the fact that the victim of the alleged ordeal was still to testify. In the course of the compilation of evidence by magistrate Claire Stafrace Zammit, the prosecution had first presented a medical certificate by general practitioner Stephen Spiteri declaring that the woman was not fit to take the witness stand. When this certificate was declared insufficient by the court, another certificate by David Cassar, a psychiatrist chosen by the victim, was produced in court, with the specialist himself later confirming under oath that the patient was ‘currently unfit to testify’. READ: Woman found in cave was thrown down stairs, raped, threatened, court told Following this stage of the ongoing court saga, the defence team had requested the Criminal Court to appoint one or more...

Wearing sunglasses next to Queen branded as «bad manners»

Anna Wintour's decision to wear sunglasses while in conversation with the Queen at a London Fashion Week catwalk show has been labelled «unacceptable» and «the height of bad manners» by a royal expert. The editor of US Vogue, who is Br
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Wearing sunglasses next to Queen branded as «bad manners»

Anna Wintour's decision to wear sunglasses while in conversation with the Queen at a London Fashion Week catwalk show has been labelled «unacceptable» and «the height of bad manners» by a royal expert. The editor of US Vogue, who is British and was made a dame by the Queen last year, kept her signature sunglasses on as she spoke to and sat with the Queen on the front row of London-born designer Richard Quinn's fashion show on Tuesday. Grant Harrold, an etiquette expert who worked in the Prince of Wales' household, said Ms Wintour's actions had broken royal protocol. «Ms Wintour should know that to wear sunglasses when talking to another person, with no medical reason, is unacceptable,» he told the Press Association. «She should have removed them before being in the presence of the Queen, let alone in discussion.» «Eye contact is important while holding a discussion, and not removing sunglasses is the height of bad manners and a serious breach of Royal protocol,» Mr Harrold said. «If the Queen gave her permission to keep them on then that would be acceptable, however this would be unlikely.» Wintour, who has been at the helm of US Vogue for 30 years, is rarely seen without...

Number of people affected by mental problems continues to grow

The percentage of people experiencing mental health issues continues to grow –with figures now hinting at one in three people being affected, Social Solidarity Minister Michael Falzon cautioned on Wednesday. The minister was speaking in a residence in Attar
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Number of people affected by mental problems continues to grow

The percentage of people experiencing mental health issues continues to grow –with figures now hinting at one in three people being affected, Social Solidarity Minister Michael Falzon cautioned on Wednesday. The minister was speaking in a residence in Attard that hosts 10 women with mental health issues – the most recent addition to hostels run by Mount Carmel Hospital and Richmond Foundation, which is this year celebrating 25 years of service. “Mental health wellbeing can affect anyone, and international data shows that 25 per cent of the population experiences issues. That one person could be any of us, considering that the average family is made up of four people. Figures are now showing that we are inching towards one in three people being affected,” he said. The minister noted that while politicians had reached a common ground on the sector, they needed to be more innovative and fast-moving when it came to mental health issues. Earlier, former Social Policy Minister Louis Galea spoke of the struggles of mental health issues when the government was building a vision for the sector in the late 1980s and beginning of the 1990s. He recalled the neighbours’ skepticism and...

Syria's Ghouta residents 'wait to die' as more bombs fall

Residents of Syria's eastern Ghouta district said they were waiting their «turn to die» on Wednesday, amid one of the most intense bombardments of the war by pro-government forces on the besieged, rebel-held enclave near Damascus. At least 38 peop
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Syria's Ghouta residents 'wait to die' as more bombs fall

Residents of Syria's eastern Ghouta district said they were waiting their «turn to die» on Wednesday, amid one of the most intense bombardments of the war by pro-government forces on the besieged, rebel-held enclave near Damascus. At least 38 people died on Wednesday. At least 310 people have been killed in the district since Sunday night and more than 1,550 injured, the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor said. The eastern Ghouta, a densely populated agricultural district on the Damascus outskirts, is the last major area near the capital still under rebel control. Home to 400,000 people, it has been besieged by government forces for years. A massive escalation in bombardment, including rocket fire, shelling, air strikes and helicopter-dropped barrel bombs, since Sunday has become one of the deadliest of the Syrian civil war, now entering its eighth year. «We are waiting our turn to die. This is the only thing I can say,» said Bilal Abu Salah, 22, whose wife is five months pregnant with their first child in the biggest eastern Ghouta town Douma. They fear the terror of the bombardment will bring her into labour early, he said. "Nearly all people living...

Watch: Recovering from Vietnam (ARTE)

Cacao, a small village in the French Guianese jungle is inhabited by the Hmong people, refugees from the Vietnam War. 500 souls came here in 1977 and have since transformed the tropical forest into a heavenly garden.
timesofmalta.com

Watch: Recovering from Vietnam (ARTE)

Cacao, a small village in the French Guianese jungle is inhabited by the Hmong people, refugees from the Vietnam War. 500 souls came here in 1977 and have since transformed the tropical forest into a heavenly garden.

Fragmented fire safety laws to be reviewed, consolidated

Fragmented fire safety legislation will be consolidated as part of an upcoming building sector reform, Infrastructure Minister Ian Borg said on Wednesday. Addressing a “tragically timed” seminar on fire safety just days after the death of a young man in
timesofmalta.com

Fragmented fire safety laws to be reviewed, consolidated

Fragmented fire safety legislation will be consolidated as part of an upcoming building sector reform, Infrastructure Minister Ian Borg said on Wednesday. Addressing a “tragically timed” seminar on fire safety just days after the death of a young man in a fire on Sunday, Dr Borg said the government was reviewing existing laws. READ: Brave policemen tried in vain to rescue trapped man in Marsascala apartment block blaze “The problem we have today is that the laws on fire safety in dwellings and other buildings are sporadic, fragmented, and enforcement remains an issue. I am personally putting pressure on the [Transport] ministry’s legal team to do what needs to be done,” he told Times of Malta from the side-lines of the seminar. Although the government had highlighted fire safety legislation in a reform on public safety last legislature, stakeholders still complain that the current legal framework has remained vague and piecemeal. References to fire safety can be found in the Occupational Health and Safety Authority Act, the Catering Establishment Regulations, Holiday Premises Regulations, Maintenance of Good Order at Places of Entertainment and the Malta Travel and Tourism Act...

Klaebo cruises to relay gold for Norway

Cross-country skiing prodigy Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo of Norway cruised to his second Olympic gold medal in Pyeongchang on Wednesday, joining up with Martin Johnsrud Sundby to win the men's team sprint relay by 1.71 seconds. Denis Spitsov and Alexander Bolshu
timesofmalta.com

Klaebo cruises to relay gold for Norway

Cross-country skiing prodigy Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo of Norway cruised to his second Olympic gold medal in Pyeongchang on Wednesday, joining up with Martin Johnsrud Sundby to win the men's team sprint relay by 1.71 seconds. Denis Spitsov and Alexander Bolshunov, representing the Olympic Athletes from Russia, took silver and Richard Jouve of France held off Sweden's Calle Halfvarsson to claim bronze with Maurice Manificat. Sweden led a tightly-bunched field for most of the race as Marcus Hellner skirmished with Sundby at the front of the field, but the Norwegians soon exerted their cross-country dominance once again. The Nordic nation had taken three of the four men's cross-country gold medals on offer in Pyeongchang and with the 21-year-old Klaebo anchoring the race, any team looking to beat them would have to make an early move. Klaebo surged on a tough uphill stretch during the fourth lap to give Sundby a slender lead on his last trip around the course. Sundby increased the lead to over five seconds before handing back to Klaebo for the final lap and his young team powered up the first hill and away from the rest of the field. In the end he was unthreatened, turning the final...

Much-needed works start on road bordering Marsa sports facilities

The Infrastructure Ministry has started much-needed works on the street which from Aldo Moro Road leads to a number of sports facilities in Marsa and eventually links to Qormi. Infrastructure Minister Ian Borg said the road will be rebuilt in two phases. T
timesofmalta.com

Much-needed works start on road bordering Marsa sports facilities

The Infrastructure Ministry has started much-needed works on the street which from Aldo Moro Road leads to a number of sports facilities in Marsa and eventually links to Qormi. Infrastructure Minister Ian Borg said the road will be rebuilt in two phases. The authorities are collaborating with various sports associations to ensure that the works, as far as possible do not cause inconvenience.  

Stand up comedy night

Stand-up comedians Damian Kingsley, Conor Drum and Matthew Baylis will perform at the Eden Comedy Club’s 18th Stand Up Comedy Night on Friday at the Eden Cinemas. Damian Kingsley, the headline act, tells punchy, joke-packed stories and short anecdotes from
timesofmalta.com

Stand up comedy night

Stand-up comedians Damian Kingsley, Conor Drum and Matthew Baylis will perform at the Eden Comedy Club’s 18th Stand Up Comedy Night on Friday at the Eden Cinemas. Damian Kingsley, the headline act, tells punchy, joke-packed stories and short anecdotes from his personal experience. His persona wavers from cheeky and personable to irritable, deadpan and, at times, borderline sociopathic. This unique mix of traits has led to a strong and distinctive comic voice. In 2016 he did a 120-gig tour with no money or transport, from Land’s End to Edinburgh in aid of the bad housing and homelessness charity, Shelter, raising over £17,000. Irish comic and actor Conor Drum has appeared on both the RTÉ and the BBC’s New Comedy Awards and has performed around the world, from Barcelona to Los Angeles. He has been described as “a skilled raconteur” by Mumble Comedy and as having “very shrewd observational humour” by BroadwayBaby.com. Master of Ceremonies Matthew Baylis has travelled the globe with his own unique brand of unashamedly middle class comedy, sharing stories of growing up and getting old in the leafy suburbs of middle England. As a father of six he draws much of his humour from tales of...

Identifying investment options and alternatives

It is imperative for an investor, from the inexperienced to the seasoned one, to analyse what assets are available for generating future wealth and income. Along the years, and given the returns generated, investing has become a popular alternative to fixed-t
timesofmalta.com

Identifying investment options and alternatives

It is imperative for an investor, from the inexperienced to the seasoned one, to analyse what assets are available for generating future wealth and income. Along the years, and given the returns generated, investing has become a popular alternative to fixed-term deposits even more now that interest rates continue to remain at quite low levels (although we have seen them creep upwards over the past six months or so). A number of options are available to individuals of all ages and properly understanding where one stands on the spectrum is pivotal to making the right investment decision. Equities are considered to be one of the most volatile asset classes. They have the potential to generate substantial returns over the long term, supported by the fact that bull markets have almost always outlasted bear markets in previous economic cycles, according to Morningstar analysts. Whilst the past is no guarantee of future performance, patterns and economic cycles do tend to repeat themselves. Investors in their early years may benefit by keeping larger exposures to equity investments, assuming they have the potential for a longer investment horizon, and no major imminent financing...

Maltese now using economic gain as a measure of success, Church warns

Society is increasingly being driven by a mentality where economic gain is used as a measure of success, striving “incessantly, and often at all cost, to generate wealth”, the Church’s Social Justice and Peace Commission fears. In a document published t
timesofmalta.com

Maltese now using economic gain as a measure of success, Church warns

Society is increasingly being driven by a mentality where economic gain is used as a measure of success, striving “incessantly, and often at all cost, to generate wealth”, the Church’s Social Justice and Peace Commission fears. In a document published to mark the World Day of Social Justice, the Commission noted that while the Church’s teachings focused on a human-centred approach, this did not seem to be the force that was driving Maltese society. “Our society unashamedly favours the rich because of the real or perceived benefits that wealth brings our economy,” the 13-page document states. The Commission also argues that while the country enjoyed what it described as a “period of unprecedented economic growth”, there was still “ample evidence” that poverty was real and that some continued struggling to survive. “In spite of our relative affluence, an increasing number of people are denied access to basic services, and fail to find the support that they need. Yet, it is possible for us to go through life largely oblivious to the reality of the other, until the story of a miserable life or a tragic death hits the headlines and draws our attention, even if only momentarily, to...

Magistrate wants explanation from the police commissioner if man wanted for tax evasion remains missing

A magistrate warned on Wednesday that he would demand a personal explanation from the Police Commissioner if a man summoned by the courts on tax evasion charges for the past five years was not tracked down. Peter Paul Muscat, of Nadur, who has clocked up a bi
timesofmalta.com

Magistrate wants explanation from the police commissioner if man wanted for tax evasion remains missing

A magistrate warned on Wednesday that he would demand a personal explanation from the Police Commissioner if a man summoned by the courts on tax evasion charges for the past five years was not tracked down. Peter Paul Muscat, of Nadur, who has clocked up a bill in tax arrears, has been elusive for the last five years, always failing to turn up for court hearings.  The police have repeatedly reported to Magistrate Ian Farrugia that the accused was nowhere to be found. The man’s daughter and his brother have declared that she has no contact with him. This morning, after another no-show Magistrate Farrugia declared that unless Mr Muscat was found and produced for the next sitting, on May 9, the court would summon the Police Commissioner in person to explain why the man could not be found. ‘No other representative for the Commissioner will do’ the magistrate stressed. Meanwhile, sources said Mr Muscat had allegedly run into substantial debts with various individuals, other than the tax authorities. His ID card has also not been renewed, the same sources explained. Dr Vanessa Grech appeared on behalf of the Commissioner for Inland Revenue.

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