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Half of homeless shelter residents are foreigners

When 120 migrants were evicted from a Qormi cow shed, at least a quarter of them ended up on the streets. The case threw fresh light on the social reality that is driving desperate people to sleep in fields, on beaches, in cars or stables.  At least half of
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Half of homeless shelter residents are foreigners

When 120 migrants were evicted from a Qormi cow shed, at least a quarter of them ended up on the streets. The case threw fresh light on the social reality that is driving desperate people to sleep in fields, on beaches, in cars or stables.  At least half of the people seeking shelter from homelessness are foreign, recent data from two main charities shows. According to YMCA Malta, which runs a shelter for homeless people, a third of its foreign clients were EU citizens, while nearly half were migrants. Meanwhile a third of the men at the Dar Papa Franġisku shelter, run by Caritas, are European and another third are African, with ages varying between 25 and 55. Additionally, while 70 per cent of the women and children hosted at its sister shelter Dar Maria Dolores are Maltese, the rest are mostly European. The Sunday Times of Malta sought comments from the two NGOs after 120 migrants were evicted from a Qormi cow shed and at least a quarter of them ended up on the streets. Some found shelter with friends, but others begged the man running the bed-rental business at the farm to be allowed back. A daily concern “When we are full up, we refer clients to the national agency Appoġġ,...

GRTU deems competition law proposals ‘positive’

Proposals presented by the government to restore full powers to the competition watchdog, the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority,  have received the thumbs up by traders who described the move as a “positive” one. The Chamber of Small and M
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GRTU deems competition law proposals ‘positive’

Proposals presented by the government to restore full powers to the competition watchdog, the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority,  have received the thumbs up by traders who described the move as a “positive” one. The Chamber of Small and Medium Enterprises (GRTU) was reacting when this newspaper sought its view on a set of amendments to the Competition Act which were published for public consultation a few days ago. The changes, which have been in the pipeline for more than two years, were dictated by a landmark Court of Appeal judgment, which in May 2016 ruled that certain provisions of the Competition Act were unconstitutional. Since then the regulator has refrained from imposing any administrative fines, thus rendering itself a toothless watchdog. Under the proposed model the Competition and Consumer Appeals Tribunal will be abolished, and instead decisions made by the regulator could be challenged before the Civil Court (Commercial Section). Asked for her reaction GRTU CEO Abigail Mamo told The Sunday Times of Malta that the proposed revision was a move in the right direction. The proposals seek to harmonise the role of the civil court and that of the Malta...

Our world in 90 seconds

It took less than 90 seconds to graphically reveal the horrific underbelly of globalisation and of ‘modern’ consumerism and business. In April 2013, the Rana Plaza building in Dhaka, Bangladesh collapsed, killing 1,134 people and injuring an additional 2,
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Our world in 90 seconds

It took less than 90 seconds to graphically reveal the horrific underbelly of globalisation and of ‘modern’ consumerism and business. In April 2013, the Rana Plaza building in Dhaka, Bangladesh collapsed, killing 1,134 people and injuring an additional 2,500. For many locals and trade unions, the event was deemed as mass industrial homicide. Rana Plaza contained clothing factories, a bank, apartments and several shops and while the latter (on the lower ground floors) were immediately closed following the discovery of cracks in the building, no such action was taken with clothing factories. The reaction to the collapse and the subsequent court case fuelled action when about 250 companies accepted two agreements an Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh and the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety. These agreements were designed to significantly improve safety in the estimated 2,300 factories which supplied western brand names. Judging by local reactions to the impact of the agreements, they have made a real difference. The fear of losing contracts from western buyers forced thousands of factory owners to invest in fire doors, sprinkler systems, electrical upgrades,...

Gig by Australian guitarist

Australian solo guitarist Plini will perform a concert entitled ‘Plini & Friends’ at the Valletta Campus Theatre, Valletta, on Wednesday. At 26, Plini has been ranked among the best progressive rock guitarists today and has already amassed critical prais
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Gig by Australian guitarist

Australian solo guitarist Plini will perform a concert entitled ‘Plini & Friends’ at the Valletta Campus Theatre, Valletta, on Wednesday. At 26, Plini has been ranked among the best progressive rock guitarists today and has already amassed critical praise from both the press and fellow musicians. Guitarist Steve Vai described Plini’s debut album Handmade Cities as “one of the finest, forward-thinking, melodic, rhythmically and harmonically deep, evolution of rock/metal instrumental guitar records I have ever heard”. Plini has also released three EPs and a variety of singles and has collaborated with some notable names in the field, including Marco Minnemann, Chris Letchford, Troy Wright and Rick Graham. In 2017, Plini started performing at a series of headline tours of Europe, the UK, North America and Australia. At Wednesday’s concert, organised by PS Music, Plini will be supported by genre-hopping local act The Ranch. Plini & Friends will be take place on Wednesday at 8pm at the Valletta Campus Theatre, St Paul’s Street, Valletta. For tickets, visit www.ticketline.com.mt. Seating is limited, so early booking is recommended.

Man injured in fall

A 41-year-old man was hospitalised on Monday morning after he fell at L-Aħrax in Mellieħa. The police said they were alerted at 5.30am when someone found the man after hearing his cries for help from behind a two-metre high boundary wall.  Rescuers from th
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Man injured in fall

A 41-year-old man was hospitalised on Monday morning after he fell at L-Aħrax in Mellieħa. The police said they were alerted at 5.30am when someone found the man after hearing his cries for help from behind a two-metre high boundary wall.  Rescuers from the Civil Protection Department helped recover the man.

Dzeko's volley gives Roma late win, Inter stunned

New-look Inter, who are harbouring title ambitions and boasted four new signings in their line-up plus Croatia World Cup finalist Marcelo Brozovic, got off on the wrong foot with a shock 1-0 defeat at modest Sassuolo. Roma striker Edin Dzeko scored with a mem
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Dzeko's volley gives Roma late win, Inter stunned

New-look Inter, who are harbouring title ambitions and boasted four new signings in their line-up plus Croatia World Cup finalist Marcelo Brozovic, got off on the wrong foot with a shock 1-0 defeat at modest Sassuolo. Roma striker Edin Dzeko scored with a memorable volleyed goal following a mazy run by debutant Justin Kluivert to give his side a 1-0 win at Torino in their opening Serie A game on Sunday. Parma, back in the top flight only three years after being declared bankrupt and demoted to the fourth tier, squandered a two-goal lead on their return in a 2-2 draw at home to Udinese. Dzeko's remarkable goal in the 89th minute was reminiscent of Marco Van Basten's famous effort for the Netherlands in the Euro 1988 final and rewarded Roma for their persistence after they had hit the woodwork three times. The battling hosts also struck the post and had a goal disallowed. The game appeared to be heading for a draw until substitute Kluivert, the son of former Barcelona and Netherlands forward Patrick Kluivert, collected the ball in midfield, slipped past two Torino defenders and forced his way to the byline. The 19-year-old crossed deep into the area where Dzeko met the ball with...

Man. United lose at Brighton

Manchester United's troubled start to the season took another unexpected twist as they lost limply 3-2 at Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday with manager Jose Mourinho admitting they were punished for making too many mistakes. Woeful defending led to two Bri
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Man. United lose at Brighton

Manchester United's troubled start to the season took another unexpected twist as they lost limply 3-2 at Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday with manager Jose Mourinho admitting they were punished for making too many mistakes. Woeful defending led to two Brighton goals in two first-half minutes as 34-year-old Glenn Murray and Shane Duffy outsmarted United's 117 million pound ($149.21 million) back four to demonstrate why manager Jose Mourinho had sought to upgrade it. Eric Bailly was particularly exposed and, having conceded a needless corner that led to Duffy's first Premier League goal, he blundered in to foul Pascal Gross, who put away the penalty via David de Gea's leg on the stroke of halftime. Although Romelu Lukaku had earlier reduced the deficit with a trademark header, United looked ill-equipped to mount a comeback and were often second best to the ball. Paul Pogba's injury-time penalty, after Marouane Fellaini was brought down, made the scoreline closer than the match itself with Mourinho admitting that his side deserved to lose. «We made big mistakes and were punished,» said Mourinho, although he refused to criticise individuals. "The accumulation of those mistakes,...

Woman dies in Għadira crash

A 63-year-old woman from Gzira died on Sunday afternoon when the motorcycle she was a passenger on was involved in a crash with a coach. The accident happened at 4.20pm in Marfa Road, Għadira. The motorcycle was being driven by a 52-year-old man from Rabat (
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Woman dies in Għadira crash

A 63-year-old woman from Gzira died on Sunday afternoon when the motorcycle she was a passenger on was involved in a crash with a coach. The accident happened at 4.20pm in Marfa Road, Għadira. The motorcycle was being driven by a 52-year-old man from Rabat (Malta), who was injured. A 40-year-old man from Birkirkara was at the wheel of the coach. Magistrate Joe Mifsud is holding an inquiry.  

Watch: Aguero hits hat-trick as City crush Huddersfield

Sergio Aguero netted his 13th hat-trick for Manchester City as the champions made light of the absence of the injured Kevin De Bruyne to thrash Huddersfield Town 6-1 and move joint top of the Premier League. Second half strikes from skipper Troy Deeney an
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Watch: Aguero hits hat-trick as City crush Huddersfield

Sergio Aguero netted his 13th hat-trick for Manchester City as the champions made light of the absence of the injured Kevin De Bruyne to thrash Huddersfield Town 6-1 and move joint top of the Premier League. Second half strikes from skipper Troy Deeney and Will Hughes gave Watford an impressive 3-1 win at Burnley. Former Burnley forward Andre Gray opened the scoring in the third minute with a superbly taken volley from a fine Deeney cross from the right flank. Three minutes later, though, Burnley got back on level terms when James Tarkowski rose well at the back post to head in a Johann Berg Gudmundsson corner. After an evenly balanced and entertaining first half, Watford hit Burnley, who have now gone seven league games without a win, twice after the break. Deeney drove home in the 48th minute after being found in the box by Abdoulaye Doucoure then a terrible giveaway by Burnley defender Matt Lowton to Will Hughes resulted in the Watford midfielder firing past Joe Hart with a brilliant left-foot strike.

Eight years late, Palestinian mail arrives in the West Bank

Palestinians in the occupied West Bank are about to receive a special delivery of more than 10 tonnes of mail that has been delayed by Israel for the past eight years. Postal workers have been sorting through thousands of mail sacks in the West Bank city of J
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Eight years late, Palestinian mail arrives in the West Bank

Palestinians in the occupied West Bank are about to receive a special delivery of more than 10 tonnes of mail that has been delayed by Israel for the past eight years. Postal workers have been sorting through thousands of mail sacks in the West Bank city of Jericho for the past several days after Israeli authorities allowed the entry of the letters and packages from neighbouring Jordan. The 10.5 tonnes of mail had been held in Jordan since 2010 because Israel would not permit direct transfer to the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, Palestinian officials said. Mail for the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the borders of which are under Israeli control, first passes through Israel, enabling it to perform security checks. Israeli authorities said the transfer was a one-time gesture and moves were under way to implement a 2016 agreement that would enable direct international mail links with the West Bank. At the Jericho facility, a wheelchair and toys were among the items being sorted. «A team was formed from across the city (Jericho) to deliver (the mail) to the people as soon as possible,» said Hussein Sawafta, director general of the Palestinian Post Service. But Ramadan Ghazawy,...

Back pain – the bright side

In plain and simple terms, eight out of 10 of all people reading this will experience back pain at some point in their lives – if you haven’t, unfortunately the likelihood is that you will. A statement such as this would have probably sent shivers down yo
timesofmalta.com

Back pain – the bright side

In plain and simple terms, eight out of 10 of all people reading this will experience back pain at some point in their lives – if you haven’t, unfortunately the likelihood is that you will. A statement such as this would have probably sent shivers down your spine (excuse the pun). Those who have been through such an experience will understandably have recollections of a period of time where their lives had been severely conditioned by pain and a significant change in daily lifestyle. Others, who have not yet been through such an experience, are probably expecting back pain to creep up on them at any second. In reality, and excluding physical trauma, there is no given definite period of time or pattern during which the onset of back pain can be predicted. However, there is good news – and much more than we expect. From the very first time we hear about back pain, we also hear about stories of prolonged periods confined to bed, multiple scans, strong medications, inactivity and also the dreaded wheelchair. This then leads us to believe that any pain coming from the region we refer to as ‘our back’ will have severe implications and is something that we should greatly fear. The...

'My son was used as ammunition against me'

Despite a steady increase in domestic violence reports, abused men insist that figures do not reflect reality, as victims are ashamed to speak up, have no one to turn to, and are scared they will lose custody of children. For some, this nightmare turns into r
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'My son was used as ammunition against me'

Despite a steady increase in domestic violence reports, abused men insist that figures do not reflect reality, as victims are ashamed to speak up, have no one to turn to, and are scared they will lose custody of children. For some, this nightmare turns into reality once they separate from their wife. Sarah Carabott reports. ‘I am mourning my child because of injustices in the justice system’ “What I am about to tell you is just the tip of the iceberg,” is the very first thing Peter* says. The man, who separated from his wife recently, lives in constant fear that he will lose total access to his 10-year-old son. “My heart bleeds as I feel that my child is slipping through my fingers. In a sense, I am preparing for the worst – I am already mourning him.” Peter feels that he has tried all he can to save his relationship with his son, but he has failed because the justice system is against him. The man suffered psychological and emotional abuse at the hands of his wife for years, but he did not want to leave the relationship for fear of losing his son. The abuse – including paying ‘rent’ to remain in the matrimonial home – increased until he could not take it anymore and he was...

Gozo’s flora and fauna

Joe Sultana: Il-Wirt Naturali ta’ Għawdex. A BirdLife MaltaEkoGħawdex publication, 2018. As I grew up in Sir Paul Boffa Street in Victoria (Gozo), I noticed that one of our neighbours – a middle-aged man of average height wearing a beard – used to vis
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Gozo’s flora and fauna

Joe Sultana: Il-Wirt Naturali ta’ Għawdex. A BirdLife MaltaEkoGħawdex publication, 2018. As I grew up in Sir Paul Boffa Street in Victoria (Gozo), I noticed that one of our neighbours – a middle-aged man of average height wearing a beard – used to visit and stay in a house next door with his wife and two children.  When I asked why, unlike our other neighbours, he did not stay on a permanent basis, the reply was that the gentleman’s name was Joe Sultana; he hailed from Xagħra, but crossed to Gozo to spend time observing nature and doing bird ringing. The reason for his frequent visits became more obvious when my elder brother began to accompany him on these ventures which took place various hours before dawn.  When, recently, Il-Wirt Naturali ta’ Għawdex came into my hands, I instantly guessed that the author would be the same Joe Sultana, an accomplished ornithologist, writer, visionary, environmental activist, but above all, a naturalist. As Jason Aloisio states in the foreword to the book, Il-Wirt Naturali ta’ Għawdex began as a series of articles that the ex-editor of Il-Ħajja f’Għawdex, Joe W. Psaila – an established poet and writer himself – invited Sultana to write, for...

Mental health is a community matter

Mental health community services in Qormi offer continuous support to patients and their families, helping them integrate better. Gillian Bartolo, a trustee of the Richmond Foundation, says psychiatric services as part of community health services in Malta ac
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Mental health is a community matter

Mental health community services in Qormi offer continuous support to patients and their families, helping them integrate better. Gillian Bartolo, a trustee of the Richmond Foundation, says psychiatric services as part of community health services in Malta actually started in 1994. No published statistics exist about the waiting time between one appointment and the next for people with mental health problems who use public services. However, reliable mental health sources, including users, have consistently told me that the average waiting time between appointments, for a person with serious mental health difficulties and on prescribed medication, is six months – unless they are prepared to pay for a €60 private consultation, in which case the waiting average is one month. And unless they live in the catchment areas of Qormi, Paola or Floriana, Mtarfa and Cospicua, where State-run multi-disciplinary community psychiatric services are in operation. Over the years, sporadic attempts have been made to extend the services to other areas but various forces, including money, lack of staff, but also prejudice, fear and self-interest, have stood in the way. Thankfully, more recently,...

FIAU probed Malta firm in Venezuelan funds racket 

The Maltese firm allegedly used by Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and other high-flyers to launder hundreds of millions of euros in pilfered State funds had been investigated by the FIAU several months ago. According to a criminal complaint filed in th
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FIAU probed Malta firm in Venezuelan funds racket 

The Maltese firm allegedly used by Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and other high-flyers to launder hundreds of millions of euros in pilfered State funds had been investigated by the FIAU several months ago. According to a criminal complaint filed in the courts of Miami by the US Department of Homeland Security last week, staggering sums of money were syphoned from the country’s State oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela in a complex money laundering scheme.  The funds were allegedly wired, in part, to an unnamed Maltese firm between late 2014 and early 2015, the court documents say.  READ: Venezuelan president's alleged Malta money laundering 'worrying' - PN Sources involved in policing the Maltese financial services industry said the mystery firm was Portmann Capital Management Limited, owned by Swiss financial advisors Kurt and Yves-Alaine Portmann. The US court documents allege that the Maltese firm received upwards of €20 million for laundering the money, which works out to be a four per cent service charge on the racket. Sources told this newspaper that the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit, responsible for probing money laundering matters, had started reviewing the...

‘Portmann heard of alleged Venezuelan racket from media’

Portmann Capital Management Ltd, the Maltese company allegedly involved in money laundering on behalf of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, has already informed the Malta Financial Services Authority that it was the unnamed company being referred to in th
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‘Portmann heard of alleged Venezuelan racket from media’

Portmann Capital Management Ltd, the Maltese company allegedly involved in money laundering on behalf of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, has already informed the Malta Financial Services Authority that it was the unnamed company being referred to in the international media reports on the case. Sources said the company claimed that it had learnt of the alleged racket from media reports.  According to a criminal complaint filed in the courts of Miami by the US Department of Homeland Security last week, staggering sums of money were syphoned from the country’s State oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela, in a complex money-laundering scheme.  Some of the names being mentioned in the court documents were “familiar” to the company. Among those clients is José Vincenete Amparan Croquer, a Venezuelan lawyer who is mentioned repeatedly in the criminal complaint.   According to the criminal complaint, Mr Croquer, known as ‘Chente’, is a Venezuelan national believed to be a “professional money launderer”. An affidavit submitted by a Homeland Security agent details how Mr Croquer is associated with a number of conspirators and a money laundering front operating as a real estate...

Blank celebrates six years with summer event

Blank Events, pioneers on the local dance scene and responsible for organising some of the most successful music gatherings on the island, are celebrating their sixth anniversary with what’s set to be another massive event featuring eight Maltese and intern
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Blank celebrates six years with summer event

Blank Events, pioneers on the local dance scene and responsible for organising some of the most successful music gatherings on the island, are celebrating their sixth anniversary with what’s set to be another massive event featuring eight Maltese and international artists. Always known for taking place in unique locations, the August 26 event will once again take party-goers to a spectacular location and backdrop – right across St Julian’s Bay, hidden behind the Beachgarden complex, within the old playground that is hidden right in the valley of the beautiful Villa Rosa. Every summer, this space is transformed into the Blank dance floor, hosting several house music artists. And this year, Blank is teaming up with Amsterdam’s legendary promoters PIV, hosting three of the label’s artists – Chris Stussy, Jesse Maas and Prunk. Also playing are homegrown artists Brian James, David Dee, Owen Jay, Louie G and UJ/DV. To celebrate the sixth anniversary, Blank has teamed up with Air Malta and is offering the chance to one ticket holder to win two free flights to Amsterdam to attend Amsterdam Dance Event 2018, together two tickets to the PIV showcase featuring the four-time Grammy Award...

Lyrics lucid and flowing

Ġorġ Borg: Fittixni fl-ilma ġieri: poeżijiHorizons, 2018. Following his 2013 volume Ċrieki fl-għadira, much praised by Oliver Friggieri in his critical note published in that volume, Ġorġ Borg has now produced this volume that is bound to please his f
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Lyrics lucid and flowing

Ġorġ Borg: Fittixni fl-ilma ġieri: poeżijiHorizons, 2018. Following his 2013 volume Ċrieki fl-għadira, much praised by Oliver Friggieri in his critical note published in that volume, Ġorġ Borg has now produced this volume that is bound to please his faithful readers and the lovers of his gift of writing short, finely-produced lyrics often expressing his experiences as a lover of friendship, nature and – perhaps above all – God and religion. In his short foreword to the volume, the author makes two striking statements.  He is a follower of T.S. Eliot in his desire “to wrestle  with words and meanings”, and he believes that poetry requires not only a well-chosen vocabulary but also conciseness.  He could have added his love of striking rhythms and elegant rhymes. Reading his poems aloud, even to myself, often leads me  to read poem after poem without tiring. I have been following Borg’s development since, perhaps, the 1970s (his successful Solitudni fir-Ramla, 1978) and have always been held by the transparency and fluidity of his verse.  He has never been led astray by fashion from his desire to write verse that is lucid, and using traditional prosody.  His desire to be simple...

Watch: Injured Flamingo gets a helping hand after getting trapped on power lines

See video below -  An injured Flamingo that got trapped in high voltage power lines near Popeye's Village was rescued by personnel from the Civil Protection Department on Saturday-Sunday night.  The department deployed a hydraulic platform manned by an offi
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Watch: Injured Flamingo gets a helping hand after getting trapped on power lines

See video below -  An injured Flamingo that got trapped in high voltage power lines near Popeye's Village was rescued by personnel from the Civil Protection Department on Saturday-Sunday night.  The department deployed a hydraulic platform manned by an officer and two fire-fighters from Xemxija Fire Station They worked closely with Enemalta personnel who shut down the power lines, and ensured that no residual electricity remained in the cables. The rescuers wore electrical protective suits on top of their fire suits. Once recovered, the flamingo was handed to Birdlife Mallta members who were on site. Images / Videos by Deputy Director Peter Paul Coleiro.    

Today's front pages - August 19, 2018

Good morning, the following are the top stories in Malta's Sunday newspapers. The Sunday Times of Malta reports that the Maltese firm allegedly used by Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and other high-flyers to launder hundreds of millions of euros in pil
timesofmalta.com

Today's front pages - August 19, 2018

Good morning, the following are the top stories in Malta's Sunday newspapers. The Sunday Times of Malta reports that the Maltese firm allegedly used by Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and other high-flyers to launder hundreds of millions of euros in pilfered State funds was investigated by the FIAU several months ago. The newspaper also reports that half of those staying in shelters for the homeless are foreigners.  The Malta Independent on Sunday also refers to the Venezuela case and says the MFSA is taking the case seriously and collaborating with the FIAU and foreign law enforcement agencies. The newspaper also reports that Malta is going against EU rules by allowing noise modification for cars and motorcycles. MaltaToday says Nationalist MP David Casa put his uncle and his brother-in-law on the European Parliament payroll. They were engaged as local assistants. Casa denied breaking rules on the employment of close relatives. The newspaper also says that Malta wealth managers were named in the Venezuela graft probe.  It-Torċa says the PN continues to have confidence in Magistrate Bugeja's Egrant report, even if some of its MPs think otherwise.  Il-Mument says the Attorney...

Colorado girls’ bodies stuffed in oil tanks

A Colorado father accused of killing his pregnant wife and two young daughters reportedly stuffed the girls' bodies in oil tanks on his employer's property.   Mourners gathered on Friday for a vigil outside the Colorado home Chris Watts once shared with hi
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Colorado girls’ bodies stuffed in oil tanks

A Colorado father accused of killing his pregnant wife and two young daughters reportedly stuffed the girls' bodies in oil tanks on his employer's property.   Mourners gathered on Friday for a vigil outside the Colorado home Chris Watts once shared with his pregnant wife and two young daughters.  Watts is behind bars on suspicion of killing his wife Shanann and their daughters, 3-year-old Celeste and 4-year-old Bella. The two young girls were reportedly strangled and their bodies were found inside tanks filled with crude oil on the property where Watts worked. His wife's body was found nearby. A day before authorities discovered the bodies of his wife and children, Watts pleaded for their safe return in a TV interview. Watts is expected to be formally charged on Monday on three counts of first-degree murder and three counts of tampering with physical evidence. He remains behind bars at the Weld County Jail. 

Mrieħel high-rise project never contributed to artistic fund

The Mrieħel high-rise project never made a promised €50,000 contribution to a new artistic fund despite public assurances from the Office of the Prime Minister, it has emerged. In September 2016, shortly after the Planning Authority controversially grante
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Mrieħel high-rise project never contributed to artistic fund

The Mrieħel high-rise project never made a promised €50,000 contribution to a new artistic fund despite public assurances from the Office of the Prime Minister, it has emerged. In September 2016, shortly after the Planning Authority controversially granted a permit for four towers of 14 to 19 storeys each in Mrieħel, the OPM said in response to questions by the Times of Malta that the developers would contribute €50,000 to the fund administered by the Arts Council. The artistic fund, announced in September 2015, requires developers to make a contribution of between €25,000 and €100,000 for permits issued under the Floor Area Ratio (FAR) policy, which governs high-rise projects. The fund is intended to support cultural infrastructure and spaces. In the case of Mrieħel, the OPM spokesman said the €50,000 would be allocated once the developers had paid a bank guarantee and other fees required for the permit to be made executable. The project was also the subject of an appeal which concluded last May in favour of the developers. However, it has now emerged from a report on fresh plans to extend the project that this contribution was never actually imposed. The developers have...

Lombok hit by fresh earthquake after magnitude 8.2 quake strikes deep in the Pacific

A 6.3 earthquake struck 7km deep in Lombok, in Indonesia on Sunday, the third earthquake in weeks in the area which has seen 400 killed. The latest earthquake came hours after a massive quake of magnitude 8.2 struck in the Pacific Ocean close to Fiji and Tong
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Lombok hit by fresh earthquake after magnitude 8.2 quake strikes deep in the Pacific

A 6.3 earthquake struck 7km deep in Lombok, in Indonesia on Sunday, the third earthquake in weeks in the area which has seen 400 killed. The latest earthquake came hours after a massive quake of magnitude 8.2 struck in the Pacific Ocean close to Fiji and Tonga but it was so deep that it did not cause any damage, authorities in Fiji said. The US Tsunami Warning Center also said the quake was too deep to cause a tsunami. The quake's depth at 347.7 miles (560 km) would have dampened the shaking at the surface. The director of Fiji's Mineral Resources Department, which runs the country's seismology unit, told Reuters on Sunday the earthquake was widely felt, but there were no reports of damage. «We are monitoring the situation and some places felt it, but it was a very deep earthquake,» Director Apete Soro said by telephone. The quake was initially reported as a magnitude 8.0 and then upgraded to 8.2, a magnitude that could cause tremendous damage had it not been so deep. «I would not expect any damage. People will feel it but it's so deep that I would not expect any damage,» USGS geophysicist Jana Pursley said by telephone. The epicenter was located 167 miles (270 km) east of...

Watch: Chelsea beat Arsenal in thriller

Chelsea beat Arsenal 3-2 in a pulsating London Premier League derby on Saturday with defender Marcos Alonso scoring an 81st-minute winner after the Gunners had fought back from an early 2-0 deficit. In a hectic first half, Chelsea went ahead in the ninth m
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Watch: Chelsea beat Arsenal in thriller

Chelsea beat Arsenal 3-2 in a pulsating London Premier League derby on Saturday with defender Marcos Alonso scoring an 81st-minute winner after the Gunners had fought back from an early 2-0 deficit. In a hectic first half, Chelsea went ahead in the ninth minute when Pedro buried a cross by Alonso. Out-of-form striker Alvaro Morata scored only his second league goal of 2018, fed by a through ball from Cesar Azpilicueta 11 minutes later. Arsenal clawed their way back into the game in the 37th minute when Henrikh Mkhitaryan drilled in a low shot that Kepa Arrizabalaga – the world's most expensive goalkeeper making his home debut – could not keep out. Alex Iwobi made it 2-2 four minutes later as Arsenal exploited Chelsea's vulnerability on the flanks. In a tighter second half, neither side could carve out as many chances but Alonso settled the game when Belgium winger Eden Hazard, on as a substitute, carved open the Arsenal defence for the Spanish defender to finish in Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri's first home game in charge.

Lethal Atkinson fires St Andrews to victory

MOSTA        1 Oliveira 13 ST ANDREWS 3 Atkinson 6 pen, 57, 74 Kevaugh Atkinson scored a fine hat-trick as St Andrew's breezed past Mosta to a 3-1 victory at the Tedesco Stadium. Only five minutes had elapsed when Atkinson's shot was deflected to a cor
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Lethal Atkinson fires St Andrews to victory

MOSTA        1 Oliveira 13 ST ANDREWS 3 Atkinson 6 pen, 57, 74 Kevaugh Atkinson scored a fine hat-trick as St Andrew's breezed past Mosta to a 3-1 victory at the Tedesco Stadium. Only five minutes had elapsed when Atkinson's shot was deflected to a corner by Tyrone Farrugia. From the resultant corner, Romeo Romao handled the ball inside the area and the referee pointed to the spot.  Atkinson stepped up to fire the ball into the net. Mosta took just eight minutes to restore equilibrium. From a cross by Massimo Sammartino, Renan Oliveira’s fine rising shot gave goalkeeper Matthew Calleja Cremona no chance. On 29 minutes, Amoy Brown was unlucky to hit the woodwork for St Andrews with goalkeeper Andreas Vella beaten. St Andrews regained the lead on 57 minutes. Brown sent Atkinson through on the right flank and the latter advanced into the area before slotting past the Mosta custodian. The Saints continued to hold the initiative and on 74 minutes, Butler released Atkinson on the right and the latter beat Vella with a fine angled shot. Mosta were reduced to ten men one minute from time as Adrian Borg received a second yellow card for a late tackle.

Juventus, Chelsea win thrillers with late goals

Cristiano Ronaldo made a winning start to his Juventus career as his new club came from behind to beat Chievo 3-2 in a dramatic start to the Serie A season. Ronaldo was thwarted several times by veteran Chievo goalkeeper Stefano Sorrentino and his handball i
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Juventus, Chelsea win thrillers with late goals

Cristiano Ronaldo made a winning start to his Juventus career as his new club came from behind to beat Chievo 3-2 in a dramatic start to the Serie A season. Ronaldo was thwarted several times by veteran Chievo goalkeeper Stefano Sorrentino and his handball in the build-up led to a late Juventus goal being disallowed. But, in the next attack, Federico Bernardeschi turned the ball in to give the champions a winning start. Meanwhile, in the UK Premier League, a second successive Chelsea win under Maurizio Sarri, 3-2 over an Arsenal side who have suffered back-to-back defeats under Unai Emery, gave both managers a crash course in the unpredictability of English football.  Alonso settled the game when Belgium winger Eden Hazard, on as a substitute, carved open the Arsenal defence for the Spanish defender to finish in Sarri's first home game in charge.

Spartans see off Floriana

ĦAMRUN SPARTANS     2 Tulimieri 66 Schembri 88 FLORIANA                     0 Ħamrun Spartans made a winning start to the season after chalking up a 2-0 win over Floriana. Floriana had initially seized the upperhand only to be frustrated by som
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Spartans see off Floriana

ĦAMRUN SPARTANS     2 Tulimieri 66 Schembri 88 FLORIANA                     0 Ħamrun Spartans made a winning start to the season after chalking up a 2-0 win over Floriana. Floriana had initially seized the upperhand only to be frustrated by some outstanding goalkeeping by Emanuel Bartolo. The erstwhile disjointed Ħamrun began to find their rhythm as the game moved past the half hour mark.  Their sudden improvement almost reaped instant dividends a free-kick by Matthew Gauci was headed by Caetano Calil onto the post. The Spartans kept the momentum after the change of ends and in a swift counter-attack, Njongo Priso’s measured cross was headed by Hernan Henneberg into the path of Kevin Tulimieri who nipped in and fire the ball past Floriana goalkeeper Ini Akpan. Ħamrun got their second two minutes from time. Latching onto a pass from Hennerberg, substitute Bradley Sciberras sped past his marker and despatched a fierce grounder past Inietim Akpan. Kevin Tulimieri was voted BOV player of the match.

Updated: Sliema humble champions Valletta

SLIEMA WANDERERS 3 Shaw 42 Fenech 60, 82 VALLETTA          0 Sliema Wanderers were off to an impressive start to their league campaign after brushing aside champions Valletta at the National Stadium. Ryan Fenech enjoyed an impressive debut on his
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Updated: Sliema humble champions Valletta

SLIEMA WANDERERS 3 Shaw 42 Fenech 60, 82 VALLETTA          0 Sliema Wanderers were off to an impressive start to their league campaign after brushing aside champions Valletta at the National Stadium. Ryan Fenech enjoyed an impressive debut on his return to Sliema as he capped a dynamic perfomance with two goals. Early on, it was Valletta who made all the early running with Matteo Piciollo missing an open chance on 10 minutes he shot straight at the onrushing Jake Galea, the Sliema goalkeeper.  Past the half hour mark, Enmy Pena Beltre outpaced his marker and squared the ball to Malano but the Argentine’s diagonal effort was kept out by Galea. But it was Sliema who drew first blood on 43 minutes. From a Ryan Fenech corner-kick, Kurt Shaw anticipated his marker to head past Valletta goalkeeper Henry Bonello.  The goal hit Valletta hard as they tried to redress the situation.  The closest they came to troubling Sliema was through a Malano header that finished into the hands of Galea after a fine move from wingback Pena Beltre just after the break. At the other end only an excellent triple-save by Bonello prevented Sliema from adding to their lead as the Valletta keeper pushed away...

Don't have sex during heat wave, Colombian mayor urges locals

Locals in a Colombian city have been told to stop having sex to ensure they stay cool during a scorching heatwave. Santa Marta city health secretary Julio Salas sparked a mix of laughter and disbelief this week when he urged residents of the Caribbean touris
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Don't have sex during heat wave, Colombian mayor urges locals

Locals in a Colombian city have been told to stop having sex to ensure they stay cool during a scorching heatwave. Santa Marta city health secretary Julio Salas sparked a mix of laughter and disbelief this week when he urged residents of the Caribbean tourist mecca to refrain from sex during the day as part of a list of recommendations, such as staying hydrated and wearing loose clothing to prevent overheating. “Avoid making love or having sex at times when the temperature is high, especially at noon, because this activity places physical demands on you and increases your heart rate,” he said. Mr Salas said if people find it too much of a struggle to abstain from sex, then they should at least wait until the sun goes down as «it is better to do it at night when the ambient temperature is lower». As temperatures climbed to 40C over the past week, hospitals throughout the city of Santa Marta were receiving patients, who were complaining of nausea and headaches, both symptoms of heat exhaustion.

Salvini uploads picture of migrants in 'Maltese waters'

Italy's right-wing deputy prime minister uploaded a picture of a migrants' boat he claimed was steaming through Maltese waters on Saturday.  The picture taken from an aircraft shows around 70 migrants packed into the dinghy, some of whom are seen waving at t
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Salvini uploads picture of migrants in 'Maltese waters'

Italy's right-wing deputy prime minister uploaded a picture of a migrants' boat he claimed was steaming through Maltese waters on Saturday.  The picture taken from an aircraft shows around 70 migrants packed into the dinghy, some of whom are seen waving at the prospective rescuers. «Exclusive images of a dinghy with 70 immigrants in a boat with a powerful engine, in Maltese waters. Will someone do something to intervene or will they send them once again towards Italy?», Matteo Salvini said in a tweet. Even since his election, the leader of Lega Nord kept up the pressure on Malta to take in any migrants that go through the island's search and rescue zone.  Just three days ago he lashed out at the Maltese authorities for failing to intervene as a boat with 171 migrants on board sailed through the island's search and rescue area. The migrants remain in limbo off Lampedusa. Read: Salvini says he has nothing against the Maltese people Malta has always maintained that such boats have a «right of passage» unless the migrants are in distress or request help.  The row between the two traditional allies illustrates how politically fraught the issue of coping with seaborne migrants...

Former cricketer Imran Khan sworn in as Pakistan's prime minister

Former cricket star Imran Khan was sworn in as prime minister of Pakistan on Saturday, taking on the challenge of forming a coalition to govern as a currency crisis looms over the turbulent, nuclear-armed South Asian country. Khan, a firebrand nationalist, wo
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Former cricketer Imran Khan sworn in as Pakistan's prime minister

Former cricket star Imran Khan was sworn in as prime minister of Pakistan on Saturday, taking on the challenge of forming a coalition to govern as a currency crisis looms over the turbulent, nuclear-armed South Asian country. Khan, a firebrand nationalist, won the general election last month promising to fight corruption and drastically reduce poverty among Pakistan's 208 million mostly-Muslim people. Hours after the oath-taking, Khan's office released a partial list of his choice of cabinet ministers, appointing Asad Umer, former CEO of Pakistani multinational Engro, to the post of finance minister, and party vice chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi to head the foreign office. Former chief minister of the northern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province Pervez Khattak was given charge of the defence ministry. Wearing a traditional black sherwani coat, in the style of his hero and Pakistan founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Khan recited the oath of office and vowed to respect the constitution. «I will bear true faith and allegiance to Pakistan,» Khan read from the oath, standing next to President Mamnoon Hussain. Later, he was given a guard of honour on the lawns of the prime minister's house. HISTORY...

Authority's pesticide test was 'flawed' - Environment Ministry

Questions need to be asked about the way authorities ensure pesticides are being applied correctly, according to Malcolm Borg, a deputy director at Mcast’s Institute of Applied Sciences. Mr Borg was reacting to a Times of Malta report on Thursday that a pes
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Authority's pesticide test was 'flawed' - Environment Ministry

Questions need to be asked about the way authorities ensure pesticides are being applied correctly, according to Malcolm Borg, a deputy director at Mcast’s Institute of Applied Sciences. Mr Borg was reacting to a Times of Malta report on Thursday that a pesticide linked to potentially irreversible neurological impairments had the highest readings of all Malta’s overused chemicals. The insecticide, chlorpyrifos, was thrust into the international spotlight in recent days after a group of eight US attorney generals won a last-ditch appeal to ban its use following growing public health concerns. Mr Borg said it was “quasi-comical” to hear that a chemical was being banned in the US but was being overused in the EU, where stricter controls were meant to apply. Chlorpyrifos, a widely used pesticide on food crops across the globe has been repeatedly shown to negatively impact the proper development and function of the central nervous system and brain following prenatal exposure.  A 2014 study by a pesticide awareness group tested whether residential proximity to the agricultural pesticide during pregnancy was associated with autism spectrum disorders and developmental delay. It found...

PN ready to take 'inflated' utility bills issue to court

The Nationalist Party said it is prepared to take the government to court over the way many households continue paying inflated water and electricity bills.  The government is not prepared to hand back the money it stole from the public, the Nationalist Part
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PN ready to take 'inflated' utility bills issue to court

The Nationalist Party said it is prepared to take the government to court over the way many households continue paying inflated water and electricity bills.  The government is not prepared to hand back the money it stole from the public, the Nationalist Party charged on Saturday. Consumers are arguing that utility bills being calculated once every two months as opposed to yearly or half-yearly would lead them to miss out on tariff brackets from one period to another. In a statement, the PN said that while the government stressed it was prepared to take action against pastizzi sellers, it was not ready to compensate the money it had been «stealing» for more than three years through utility bills.  Many households continue paying higher tariffs than stipulated at law and yet the government has done nothing to rectify the matter, PN deputy leader David Agius said.  The PN said it had received around 1,000 water and electricity bills from families, 80 per cent of which were overcharged. A new Nationalist government would give back to consumers the money they had been overcharged, the party pledged.   

San Ġiljan beat Neptunes to remain unbeaten

San Ġiljan preserved their unbeaten record when they edged out Neptunes 9-7  to stay on top of the standings ahead of the start of the play-offs. The result left the Balluta Bay team with the prospect of starting their play-off campaign from the quarter-fi
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San Ġiljan beat Neptunes to remain unbeaten

San Ġiljan preserved their unbeaten record when they edged out Neptunes 9-7  to stay on top of the standings ahead of the start of the play-offs. The result left the Balluta Bay team with the prospect of starting their play-off campaign from the quarter-final stage after missing out on a top two placing. But beyond the result, which was another hard-fought battle between these rivals, unfortunately the limelight was on a fiery ending to the game sparked by the unsporting behaviour of San Ġiljan stalwart Paulo Obradovic who was excluded with substitution.  Neptunes took an early two-goal lead that was wiped out in a four-goal blitz in the latter stages of the first session before Stevie Camilleri clipped the gap to 4-3. The Reds fought back to level matters before Jeremy Abela made it 5-4 for Jovan Popovic’s men. At this point, San Ġiljan looked to have the measure of their opponents with a cute lob from Ben Plumpton and another effort by Obdradovic.  Before the change of ends, Andreas Galea scored again and it looked as though it was going to be an easy night for San Ġiljan. Midway through the third session, Obdradovic was sent off with substitution for protests but he reacted...

What happened on... August 18

10 years ago - The Times Monday, August 18, 2008 Muscat proposes to lower voting age to 16 Labour Party leader Joseph Muscat is proposing to grant voting rights to 16-year-olds, using local council elections as a testing ground. In his weekly opinion piece p
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What happened on... August 18

10 years ago - The Times Monday, August 18, 2008 Muscat proposes to lower voting age to 16 Labour Party leader Joseph Muscat is proposing to grant voting rights to 16-year-olds, using local council elections as a testing ground. In his weekly opinion piece published in The Times today, Dr Muscat says that lowering the voting age to 16 from 18 for local elections would be a way of involving young people in local government. This was just one of the proposals discussed at party level on local council reform which is currently the subject of public consultation. He argued this would be an ideal way to involve 16-year-olds in politics, which is becoming increasingly detached from the people, and suggests that it might also be a good idea to lower the age for candidates. Having younger voters would help curb polarisation and partisan politics on a local level, he says. Asked to clarify a point, he said the proposal should be tested in local elections first and then a decision taken on whether to extend it to general elections. Labour, he added, will be leading by example by involving younger people within the party. 25 years ago - The Times Wednesday, August 18, 1993 GWU’s stand on...

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