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Police investigating shooting in Għaxaq

Police have been called in to assist following reports of a shooting in Għaxaq this afternoon.  Details are still sketchy but sources say two men were involved in an argument at a residence off Triq Santa Marija, before the sound of a shotgun was heard. Nob
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Police investigating shooting in Għaxaq

Police have been called in to assist following reports of a shooting in Għaxaq this afternoon.  Details are still sketchy but sources say two men were involved in an argument at a residence off Triq Santa Marija, before the sound of a shotgun was heard. Nobody appears to be injured and the police have already arrested a person.  More details to follow.

Two drivers injured, dog killed, in Mġarr accident

Two men were injured, one seriously, and a dog was killed following a traffic accident in Mġarr this morning. Police said the incident happened around 7.10am, in Triq Sir Temi Zammit when a Toyota Tercel, driven by a 30-year-old from Għarb collided with a M
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Two drivers injured, dog killed, in Mġarr accident

Two men were injured, one seriously, and a dog was killed following a traffic accident in Mġarr this morning. Police said the incident happened around 7.10am, in Triq Sir Temi Zammit when a Toyota Tercel, driven by a 30-year-old from Għarb collided with a Mitsubishi L200 driven by a 57-year-old from Xewkija. A 25-year-old riding in the Mitsubishi was unharmed. The two drivers were rushed to hospital where the 30-year-old was found to have sustained grievous injuries. An animal ambulance was also called to the scene after a dog, which happened to be crossing the street at the point of impact was hit. It was killed on the spot. The police are investigating.

Minister evasive on trust in police chief after press conference fiasco

The Home Affairs Minister would not say whether he had full trust in Police Commissioner Lawrence Cutajar, whose competence was questioned after a crime conference on Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder. Instead, Michael Farrugia insisted that investigations i
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Minister evasive on trust in police chief after press conference fiasco

The Home Affairs Minister would not say whether he had full trust in Police Commissioner Lawrence Cutajar, whose competence was questioned after a crime conference on Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder. Instead, Michael Farrugia insisted that investigations into the car bomb attack were going “full-steam ahead” and that Mr Cutajar’s role was to solve the case. Dr Farrugia was speaking to the Times of Malta outside Parliament after the debate on the Home Affairs Ministry’s Budget allocation. As happened with regards to other ministries, the debate was dominated by the latest developments in connection with Ms Caruana Galizia’s brutal killing, especially the belated crime conference held on Thursday evening, 72 hours after the car bombing. The Opposition has been calling for his resignation for months. Many who followed the crime conference on Facebook, questioned Mr Cutajar’s competence. Asked whether he subscribed to such views and if he still had full confidence in the Police Commissioner, Dr Farrugia replied: “His job is to find out who was behind this cowardly act… investigations are going full steam ahead until the case is solved.” He justified the scant information divulged...

Ex-British anti-corruption boss dubs Malta ‘mafia state’

The former head of a United Kingdom anti-corruption agency has dubbed Malta a “mafia state” where money laundering transactions of hundreds of millions of euros are made every year without any problem. Speaking on BBC radio in the aftermath of Daphne Caru
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Ex-British anti-corruption boss dubs Malta ‘mafia state’

The former head of a United Kingdom anti-corruption agency has dubbed Malta a “mafia state” where money laundering transactions of hundreds of millions of euros are made every year without any problem. Speaking on BBC radio in the aftermath of Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder, Jonathan Benton, who had addressed an anti-corruption conference together with Prime Minster Joseph Muscat in London last year, said he had personally experienced the transfer of hundreds of millions of euros deriving from Libya and sorted through companies in Malta. “In one of the cases I was involved in a few years ago, a €100 million transaction was all sorted and cooked up through Maltese companies in Valletta, put through private banks and made ready to be laundered in the UK’s financial system,” he said. Asked by the BBC whether dubbing Malta as a mafia state was an exaggeration, Mr Benton replied: “Malta has a very serious problem and the problem is growing”. “You cannot operate at the level you need to move tens, hundreds of millions without having corruption with its tentacles reaching into all areas,” Mr Benton said, adding that Maltese politicians must know what was going on. He said the fact...

We are all politicians now - Jacques Rene Zammit

This is not another “je suis” moment. This is a reaction to the idea that is being bandied about that the demonstrations and manifestations following the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia have to be sanitised in a bubble of non-political expression.
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We are all politicians now - Jacques Rene Zammit

This is not another “je suis” moment. This is a reaction to the idea that is being bandied about that the demonstrations and manifestations following the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia have to be sanitised in a bubble of non-political expression. It is probably a symptom of all that has happened in the country – of a nation that has grown up in a stultified environment and using a twisted code of expression where “politics’ became a taboo word. The risk we are running here is that we misunderstand all that is going on and transform this into a symbolic shambles – a memorial for the sake of a memorial that is taken out of context. The constant exchange of diatribes between the two parties that have monopolised our official political scene has rendered the nation’s citizens immune to the understanding of real politics. The reaction to a tragedy is mechanical and predictable. Candle-light vigils, walks, demonstrations are meant to help the mourners to cope and get their closure. No lessons are learnt. It is not just today. We can have an explosion in a fireworks factory, we can have a terrible traffic “black spot”, we can have multiple deaths on the workplace, we can have...

Knife-wielding man injures several people in Munich

A man injured several people with a knife in the German city of Munich on Saturday, police said on Twitter, adding that they were searching for the suspect whose motive remains unclear. Police urged people in the city to remain at home and described the suspe
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Knife-wielding man injures several people in Munich

A man injured several people with a knife in the German city of Munich on Saturday, police said on Twitter, adding that they were searching for the suspect whose motive remains unclear. Police urged people in the city to remain at home and described the suspect as a man in his 40s who had fled the scene on a black bicycle. More to follow

Fenerbahce clinch EuroLeague win in Milan

Defending champions Fenerbahce were the only side in Match Day 2 of the Euro League to clinch an away victory as all the other matches saw the hosts protecting their home court successfully. Fenerbahce fended off a late rally by AX Armani to clinch a thrilli
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Fenerbahce clinch EuroLeague win in Milan

Defending champions Fenerbahce were the only side in Match Day 2 of the Euro League to clinch an away victory as all the other matches saw the hosts protecting their home court successfully. Fenerbahce fended off a late rally by AX Armani to clinch a thrilling 92-86 win after overtime in Milan.   Kostas Sloukas paced the winners with 17 points and 9 assists, while Fenerbahce’s two Italian players, Nicolo Melli and Gigi Datome, also shined in their home country. Real Madrid sent a real statement of intent when they crushed CSKA Moscow 82-69 in the Spanish capital on Thursday. Madrid improved to 2-0 in the regular season, while CSKA dropped to 1-1. Anthony Randolph led the winners with 16 points before leaving the game with a shoulder injury. Luka Doncic added 14 for Madrid. Maccabi Tel Aviv showed off its depth by getting 53 points off the bench en route to a 74-68 victory over Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz at Menora Mivtachim Arena. Norris Cole recorded 24 points and 5 assists and DeShaun Thomas added 17 points as Maccabi improved to 2-0. Nick Calathes scored 14 of his game-high 23 points in the first half as Panathinaikos kept control throughout the night in a comfortable 93-83...

Food bank hungry for more generosity, may have to shut

The food bank in Valletta has had to turn away clients for the first time ever, as its shelves ran dry while the number of people knocking on the door tripled. Run by the St Andrews’ Scots Church, the food bank, at Old Bakery Street, Valletta, last week pr
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Food bank hungry for more generosity, may have to shut

The food bank in Valletta has had to turn away clients for the first time ever, as its shelves ran dry while the number of people knocking on the door tripled. Run by the St Andrews’ Scots Church, the food bank, at Old Bakery Street, Valletta, last week provided food for 66 families, while on Tuesday alone, it gave out food packs to 30 more clients. People started queueing on the doorstep at 8.30am, 90 minutes ahead of its scheduled opening time. Despite the staff having spent over €1,200 on food last week, the shelves were almost empty by the end of the day. When contacted, food bank administrator Reverend Kim Hurst noted that if it were not for a generous donation left by someone in their will, the facility would have had to close. The food bank survives on the generosity of food suppliers, the church congregation and charity from other individuals, including a Maltese person living abroad who sends a monthly donation. The food bank provides food for a few weeks for families temporarily facing a crisis, including people who have their benefits halted when admitted to hospital. Once discharged, it takes about six weeks for the benefits to start again, and this is where the...

GO plc tops performers’ list

The MSE Equity Total Return Index erased last week’s marginal increase, closing 0.13 per cent lower at 8,977.09 points. A total of 17 issues were active during the week of which four advanced, while eight declined, as HSBC Bank Malta share prices had a nega
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GO plc tops performers’ list

The MSE Equity Total Return Index erased last week’s marginal increase, closing 0.13 per cent lower at 8,977.09 points. A total of 17 issues were active during the week of which four advanced, while eight declined, as HSBC Bank Malta share prices had a negative impact on the index given its significant weighting. Total turnover during the week dipped from €3.54m to €2.84m. In the telecommunications sector, GO plc shares topped the list of performers during the week as the equity reached a three-week high at €3.59. A total turnover of €54,251 was generated among eight deals. Malta International Airport plc broke a three-day winning streak on Friday, adding 1.7 per cent to its value over the week to close at €4.68. The equity managed to notch the highest turnover during the week at €1.45 million, whilst also reaching a 20-month high, at €4.70. Maltapost plc shares also closed in positive territory, trading during Monday and Thursday’s sessions. The equity advanced by 2.5 per cent, managing to reach an 18-week high at €2.03. In the banking sector, HSBC Bank Malta plc registered the weakest performance among its peers as the equity contracted by 2.4 per cent, closing at €1.855. A...

BoE’s ‘unreliable boyfriend’ needs to get his message right

For the Bank of England, the hard bit about finally raising interest rates will be getting borrowers to heed the message it is likely to send: that they should not fear many more hikes any time soon. Britons have not seen their debt costs rise since July 2007
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BoE’s ‘unreliable boyfriend’ needs to get his message right

For the Bank of England, the hard bit about finally raising interest rates will be getting borrowers to heed the message it is likely to send: that they should not fear many more hikes any time soon. Britons have not seen their debt costs rise since July 2007, shortly before the financial crisis which pushed the world’s fifth-biggest economy into its deepest recession in decades. Now, eight years into the reco­very, the BoE is saying it is likely to raise rates “in the coming months”. Investors mostly say that means as soon as November 2, after its next policy meeting. At one level, increasing the bank rate to 0.5 per cent from 0.25 per cent would represent only a reversal of last year’s emergency rate cut after the shock Brexit vote. But many British businesses are worried it might have an outsized impact on the mindset of consumers. “When I have been around the country, businesses have been asking a lot about the Bank of England,” said Rain Newton-Smith, chief economist at the Confederation of British Industry. “There is nervousness about the psychological impact of the first increase.” The messaging challenge could be all the harder after several failed attempts in recent...

TomTom’s sales fall as services fail to offset satnav drop

Dutch satellite navigation and digital mapping company TomTom reported a bigger than expected drop in third-quarter revenue yesterday, as growth in its automotive services businesses failed to offset weakness in its consumer products division. The company is
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TomTom’s sales fall as services fail to offset satnav drop

Dutch satellite navigation and digital mapping company TomTom reported a bigger than expected drop in third-quarter revenue yesterday, as growth in its automotive services businesses failed to offset weakness in its consumer products division. The company is betting big on services, such as the sale of maps and software to car makers, fleet management systems and technology for self-driving cars, as the popularity of portable navigation devices continues to wane. The Amsterdam-based company’s revenue for the third quarter dropped by nine per cent to €218 million. Analysts on average expected €225 million. It reported a net loss of €5.3 million for the quarter, hit by a one-off restructuring charge of €15.4 million related to its consumer sports division, which includes running and golf watches. The shares were down 1.5 per cent at €9.18. The company also lowered its revenue forecast for the full year to about €900 million following the reorganisation of Consumer Sports. It had earlier expected revenue to come in at about €925 million. Separately, TomTom announc­ed its telematics arm – one of its fastest-growing business lines –has won a deal with Netherlands-based LeasePlan, the...

He’s just not up to it

Three days after the Bidnija murder, Police Commissioner Lawrence Cutajar finally came out to face the cameras. The event was a shambles. Chaotic and disorganised, he came across like a local village sheriff who was out of his depth and not enjoying the atten
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He’s just not up to it

Three days after the Bidnija murder, Police Commissioner Lawrence Cutajar finally came out to face the cameras. The event was a shambles. Chaotic and disorganised, he came across like a local village sheriff who was out of his depth and not enjoying the attention at all. Above all, it was a crime conference that told nothing. One understands the legal constraints that must exist on divulging certain information related to crime investigations. But the conference was pathetic. The Police Commissioner and his deputies answered nothing, apparently unaware there is a whole country waiting to know why a major journalist was blown to smithereens outside her home. Ironically, it was the Home Affairs Minister who the next day in Parliament said someone had already come forward with information. If the organisation of the conference was anything to go by, it did not look like the police were in control of anything. Former Nationalist Party leader Simon Busuttil said he was ashamed to watch the event. Actually, everyone was as no one wants to see the country’s police force presented in such a shambolic state. It adds credence to the Opposition’s call for the Police Commissioner to be...

Time for sober reflections - Lawrence Gonzi

“The situation is desperate.” These were Daphne Caruana Galizia’s last words before her assassination woke us all up to the reality that the situation is even more desperate than at the time Daphne wrote them. It is a time for sober reflections. First,
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Time for sober reflections - Lawrence Gonzi

“The situation is desperate.” These were Daphne Caruana Galizia’s last words before her assassination woke us all up to the reality that the situation is even more desperate than at the time Daphne wrote them. It is a time for sober reflections. First, let us keep the Caruana Galizia family in focus. We can never start to comprehend the pain and horror they must be going through. No words of solace will ever be enough for us to really and truly share in their grief and their loss. We are, of course, living through a national nightmare, which has international repercussions but, first and foremost, this is a human tragedy involving one of our families. We must never forget that fact. Second, whoever uses words that knowingly or unknowingly justify what is unjustifiable, defend what is indefensible or excuse what is inexcusable becomes an accomplice with those who ordered Daphne’s death sentence. Daphne’s cold-blooded assassination can never be condoned, whether directly or indirectly. Third, no doubt, evil forces were behind Daphne’s assassination. She was not a chance victim of unfortunate circumstances. She was targeted because what she wrote, more often than not, hit the nail...

Question time: Calling a spade a spade

Mark Anthony Sammut, PN candidate and local councillor The new leader of the Opposition was basically an unknown private individual until last June, known only in football circles as Birkirkara’s Football Club president, and in legal circles as a successfu
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Question time: Calling a spade a spade

Mark Anthony Sammut, PN candidate and local councillor The new leader of the Opposition was basically an unknown private individual until last June, known only in football circles as Birkirkara’s Football Club president, and in legal circles as a successful lawyer. This is a gamble which till now seems to be bearing fruit. Delia has re-energised most of the party’s disillusioned supporters and reignited the enthusiasm which looked close to being extinguished after last June’s unexpected heavy defeat at the polls. His encounters with people speak for themselves: he is charismatic and easy to connect with. He is able to explain the current institutional issues both in legal terms and in common speak which is easily understandable by the non-technical crowds. And for those who get to know him and his family, the values that drive them are easily. He might need to polish up his delivery in Parliament and his debating skills, but those are areas where he will improve while growing in his role. I have now met him on more than one occasion, and was impressed by his ability to grasp issues quickly. That is fundamental, especially if he really wants to put into practice the bottom-up...

Kremlin says «old friend» Blatter welcome to attend World Cup in Russia

Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter and ex-UEFA head Michel Platini will both be welcome to attend the 2018 soccer World Cup in Russia as «old friends» of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday. Blatter, wh
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Kremlin says «old friend» Blatter welcome to attend World Cup in Russia

Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter and ex-UEFA head Michel Platini will both be welcome to attend the 2018 soccer World Cup in Russia as «old friends» of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday. Blatter, who had been president of the global soccer body FIFA since 1998, was suspended in 2015 by the association’s ethics committee. Platini resigned in 2016 as head of governing body UEFA after losing an appeal against a ban for ethics violations.

Banif Bank becomes BNF Bank as it steps into the future

Banif Bank (Malta) today unveiled its new brand identity as BNF Bank, in a move that reflects its vision to grow its presence in Malta and abroad. Speaking at a press conference, CEO and managing director Michael Collis said the new name, BNF Bank, evolved fr
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Banif Bank becomes BNF Bank as it steps into the future

Banif Bank (Malta) today unveiled its new brand identity as BNF Bank, in a move that reflects its vision to grow its presence in Malta and abroad. Speaking at a press conference, CEO and managing director Michael Collis said the new name, BNF Bank, evolved from the bank’s proud history. The brand brought new features that clearly denoted the bank’s forward thinking and aspirations. “Although the name and image have changed, our clients will continue to be our first priority. We are embarking on a new journey, which we believe will deliver even greater benefits to our customers.” Mr Collis said. Banif Bank (Malta), acquired by Al Faisal Holding last year, has operated in Malta since 2008 and provides a full range of commercial banking services to personal and business customers through a network of 12 branches and three corporate and business banking units. Mr Collis said BNF Bank has ambitious plans to expand its business into asset management and investment banking services and was in the process of putting in place the necessary infrastructure for growth. “In the coming months, we will be rolling out new products to gain a greater market share. We recognise there is a...

Officers tell court how accused pulled trigger as he pointed gun at them

The three Rapid Intervention Unit police officers who arrested the young Albanian who stands charged with their attempted murder today described to the court the moments leading to his arrest. On being arrested, 22-year-old Albanian Daniel Muka had allegedly
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Officers tell court how accused pulled trigger as he pointed gun at them

The three Rapid Intervention Unit police officers who arrested the young Albanian who stands charged with their attempted murder today described to the court the moments leading to his arrest. On being arrested, 22-year-old Albanian Daniel Muka had allegedly pointed a gun at the officers during a scuffle, and pulled the trigger but no shots were fired. The accused. one of two Albanians arrested on suspicion of being involved in the Sliema jewellery store robbery on 5 October, is also charged with violently resisting arrest, threatening the officers, being in possession of cocaine and being in possession of a firearm. He had previously pleaded not guilty to the charges and is remanded in custody. Sergeant Cristopher Brincat testified that he was in his car with his partner, when they received a request for assistance by an RIU constable down the road from Baystreet.  He and his partner pulled up and the constable identified a man sitting on the outside of a bar with his back to the wall as being a person wanted in connection with the theft. He said he parked the car in front of the establishment and his partner got out. Together with his partner, he walked towards the man in...

Constitutional application by former Opposition Leader to be heard next month

An application filed yesterday by former Opposition leader Simon Busuttil claiming a violation of his right to a fair hearing is due to be heard next month. In his application, Dr Busuttil claimed his right was being violated through Mr Justice Antonio Mizzi
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Constitutional application by former Opposition Leader to be heard next month

An application filed yesterday by former Opposition leader Simon Busuttil claiming a violation of his right to a fair hearing is due to be heard next month. In his application, Dr Busuttil claimed his right was being violated through Mr Justice Antonio Mizzi’s decision not to abstain from presiding over appeals relating to the Panama Papers issue. Dr Busuttil requested the First Hall, Civil Court, in its constitutional jurisdiction, to declare a breach of his right to a fair hearing, revoke or annul any decree or sentence that affected the case, and provide for the appeals be heard by a different judge. The appeals had been filed by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, his chief of staff Keith Schembri, Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi, as well as Brian Tonna, Karl Cini, Malcolm Scerri and Adrian Hillman against a decision by magistrate Ian Farrugia regarding the Panama Papers case. Last July, Magistrate Farrugia had decreed that the pre-requisites for a criminal investigation into the alleged scandal had been met. The Prime Minister and the other six high-profile individuals targeted by said investigation had filed an appeal. However, Dr Busuttil had objected to the hearing of these...

Eight hurt after knife attack in Polish shopping mall

Eight people have been taken to hospital in south-eastern Poland after a man attacked them with a knife at a shopping mall, police said. A 27-year-old man has been detained after the attack in the city of Stalowa Wola. Six of the eight people injured in the a
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Eight hurt after knife attack in Polish shopping mall

Eight people have been taken to hospital in south-eastern Poland after a man attacked them with a knife at a shopping mall, police said. A 27-year-old man has been detained after the attack in the city of Stalowa Wola. Six of the eight people injured in the attack have serious wounds, police said.  

Court pushes ahead to make progress in Patrick Spiteri case

After resolving in its last sitting to make progress in the criminal proceedings against disbarred lawyer Patrick Spiteri, currently charged of misappropriation and fraud totaling some €7.4 million, a magistrate today granted the man three months within whi
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Court pushes ahead to make progress in Patrick Spiteri case

After resolving in its last sitting to make progress in the criminal proceedings against disbarred lawyer Patrick Spiteri, currently charged of misappropriation and fraud totaling some €7.4 million, a magistrate today granted the man three months within which to prepare his defence. Since his extradition from England to Malta in May, the former lawyer has been kept in prison in spite of several requests for bail filed before three separate courts presiding over the proceedings. Though the main argument for bail stemmed from the fact that prison conditions were proving detrimental to his health, causing a worsening of his symptoms related to Behcet’s syndrome, a secondary argument was based on his inability to physically access over 400 files of documents essential for preparing a valid defence. When once again faced with this latter argument this morning, the court took up a suggestion forwarded by the director of the Corradino Correctional Facility to have 10 box files sent at a time to the prison wing wherein Dr Spiteri was being kept. Upon hearing the prison director explain that 10 boxes had so far already been made available to the accused, defence lawyer Stefano Filletti...

All Hallows’ Eve: explore the catacombs on the eeriest night of the year

An All Hallows’ Eve activity will be organised by Heritage Malta on October 28 from 7pm at St Paul’s Catacombs in Rabat. A guide will show participants parts of the site and experience the stories and traditions connected with this dark, underground site
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All Hallows’ Eve: explore the catacombs on the eeriest night of the year

An All Hallows’ Eve activity will be organised by Heritage Malta on October 28 from 7pm at St Paul’s Catacombs in Rabat. A guide will show participants parts of the site and experience the stories and traditions connected with this dark, underground site in a way never experienced before. To make the experience more sinister, group of actors will read and animate stories usually associated with dark places like these ancient burials. Light refreshments will be given at the end of the activity. Tickets for the event can be bought from all HM museums and sites and online, https://shop.heritagemalta.org/index.asp?eventid=414 for €20 and €15 for HM members. This event is not suitable for children 12 years and younger.

Former director at American University of Malta sues company for damages

A woman commissioned to run the admissions office and attract students to the American University of Malta has filed a judicial protest against Sadeen Education Investment Ltd and the Attorney General claiming that her dismissal pending probation breached he
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Former director at American University of Malta sues company for damages

A woman commissioned to run the admissions office and attract students to the American University of Malta has filed a judicial protest against Sadeen Education Investment Ltd and the Attorney General claiming that her dismissal pending probation breached her fundamental rights. Chiara Ludovica Battistelli and her husband Gerardo Donati, formerly residing in Belgium, had moved to Malta together with their children following the woman’s consultancy contract with Sadeen which was effective between February 15 and the end of May. Upon the expiration of the contract, Ms Battistelli was to sign a definite contract as director of admissions for a further period of three years, commencing on June 1. Under this contract she was to earn an annual salary of €52,500 in addition to health insurance and expenses relative to her children’s schooling. This contract was subject to a six-month probationary period. Upon signing this contract, the woman, who formerly used to travel to Malta for three days on a monthly basis, decided to take up residence on the island. Her husband abandoned his managerial post at a financial firm in Belgium so as to be with his family. The couple’s son was also...

Maltese national implicated in Libyan oil smuggling operation arrested in Lampedusa

The authorities in Siciliy and Lampedusa today arrested former Maltese international footballer Darren Debono, 43, in Lampedusa. He was one of two Maltese reportedly involved in the transport of Libyan contraband fuel sold in Europe, according to Italian medi
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Maltese national implicated in Libyan oil smuggling operation arrested in Lampedusa

The authorities in Siciliy and Lampedusa today arrested former Maltese international footballer Darren Debono, 43, in Lampedusa. He was one of two Maltese reportedly involved in the transport of Libyan contraband fuel sold in Europe, according to Italian media. The judicial authorities in Sicily ordered the arrest of eight men and women implicated in the racket on Wednesday. They also include another Maltese national, Gordon Debono, who is also implicated. Both Maltese were reportedly involved in the transport of the oil. The other suspects were involved in the operations of the refinery and bunkering in Libya and Italy. READ: Operazione Dirty Oil, 9 arresti per riciclaggio di gasolio The oil was exported illegally from Zawyia Libyan refinery and shipped to Europe where it was mixed with other oil and then sold from various sources. Some 80 million kilogrammes of fuel oil worth €30 million was shipped to Italy in 30 tanker trips. READ: Fuel smuggled from Libya being brought to Malta - UN

Bay Street Hotel to get four-storey extension

The Bay Street Complex in St Julian’s will rise to 10 storeys after the Planning Authority approved an extension of four floors to the existing hotel. The development will see the demolition of the current pool area on the seventh floor of the complex for t
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Bay Street Hotel to get four-storey extension

The Bay Street Complex in St Julian’s will rise to 10 storeys after the Planning Authority approved an extension of four floors to the existing hotel. The development will see the demolition of the current pool area on the seventh floor of the complex for the construction of four levels accommodating 71 new guest rooms, a gym and spa. The new roof level, on level 11, will include a larger pool and bar area. The height limitation for the area is just six floors with semi-basement, but the proposal benefited from a local plan policy which specifies that hotels in the area may exceed this by one floor, as well as a separate policy for hotels granting two floors over and above that in the local plan. This limitation was interpreted in metres to allow the 10 floors proposed. A similar calculation was used in June to allow an eight-storey hotel in a residential area on Lourdes Lane, just up the road, where the height limitation is a mere three floors. The Bay Street permit includes a condition stating that any subsequent proposals for change of use, even partial, for any purpose other than a hotel, will not be considered unless the additional floors are first removed. The Malta...

Tender for largest phase of Marsa-Addolorata junction opens

While the tender for the first phase is closed, and the one for the second is undergoing adjudication, today sees the opening of the call for the third phase of the Marsa-Addolorata multilevel junction project. This is the largest phase of the project with wo
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Tender for largest phase of Marsa-Addolorata junction opens

While the tender for the first phase is closed, and the one for the second is undergoing adjudication, today sees the opening of the call for the third phase of the Marsa-Addolorata multilevel junction project. This is the largest phase of the project with works in this stage comprising the building of seven flyovers, designed to solve the problem of congestion and to improve road safety in this area. The flyovers are planned to direct traffic to the different localities, eliminating several traffic lights which create congestion due to the present structure of the junction, according to the Transport Ministry. Read: Five bids for second phase of Marsa junction project

ICAEW students celebrate graduation in Malta

Nineteen people graduated as associate chartered accountants from the Institute of Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW), during a ceremony held at Le Meridien Hotel. The graduates become members of the highly respected institute. The ACA certification wa
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ICAEW students celebrate graduation in Malta

Nineteen people graduated as associate chartered accountants from the Institute of Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW), during a ceremony held at Le Meridien Hotel. The graduates become members of the highly respected institute. The ACA certification was introduced in Malta in 2012 with support from large international accounting firms (including PwC, KPMG, Deloitte and EY). Following an agreement in 2012, the Malta Institute of Accountants and ICAEW collaborated to offer Maltese qualified accountants increased access to the latest technical developments and thought leadership, and to work on regulatory issues. This was the second ACA graduation ceremony on the island. ICAEW now has nine authorised training employers offering ACA training and there is an increasing demand from these organisations to employ more ACA students, which is good indicator of economic growth in Malta for the future. ICAEW’s global growth over the recent years has been significant and ACA training is now offered in 18 countries throughout the world including Vietnam, Indonesia, Czech Republic and Greece. ICAEW members are working in 154 countries worldwide and the ACA qualification continues to be...

Plague kills 94 in Madagascar

A plague epidemic has killed 94 people on the island of Madagascar and could spread further, the World Health Organization said today. WHO’s Africa emergencies director, Ibrahima Soce Fall, told reporters in Geneva the organisation was racing to stop both t
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Plague kills 94 in Madagascar

A plague epidemic has killed 94 people on the island of Madagascar and could spread further, the World Health Organization said today. WHO’s Africa emergencies director, Ibrahima Soce Fall, told reporters in Geneva the organisation was racing to stop both the Madagascar plague and an outbreak of the Ebola-like Marburg virus in Uganda that it was confident it could contain. Plague is endemic in Madagascar, but the outbreak that has caused 1,153 suspected cases since August is especially worrying because it started earlier in the season than usual, it has hit towns rather than rural areas, and it is mainly causing pneumonic plague, the most deadly form of the disease. The outbreak already looks big when compared with the 3,248 cases and 584 deaths reported worldwide from 2010 to 2015. Fall said the risk to Madagascar remained very high, although the international risk was very low. WHO has delivered antibiotics to Madagascar to treat up to 5,000 patients and as a prophylactic dose for up to 100,000 people who might be at risk, as well as 150,000 sets of personal protective equipment. About 2,000 healthworkers are tracing people who have had contact with plague sufferers, which...

Expect a ‘harsher influenza virus’

Mater Dei nurses and health workers started getting vaccinated against seasonal influenza this week amid growing concerns that this year’s influenza strain will be much more virulent. The vaccines are meant to prepare for an influx of at least 250,000 patie
timesofmalta.com

Expect a ‘harsher influenza virus’

Mater Dei nurses and health workers started getting vaccinated against seasonal influenza this week amid growing concerns that this year’s influenza strain will be much more virulent. The vaccines are meant to prepare for an influx of at least 250,000 patients who will fall ill, according to estimates by health authorities. The figure is higher than last year’s 150,000 flu patients and is attributed to the sudden drop in temperatures expected to follow the multiple heatwaves this summer. Hospital preparations are under way, with arrangements for more beds ex-pected to start as soon as a drop in temperatures is recorded. Influenza infections this year are not only expected to be more virulent but more dangerous, as authorities warn that Influenza A (H3N2), the most severe strain, will be the most predominant in the country. According to statistical models used by the Health Department, January will see the highest influx. Outbreaks in Australia prompted Malta to enhance its flu preparedness and expect a harsher season of outbreaks. Malta monitors influenza by community surveillance, recording visits from general practitioners. The influx of patients to Mater Dei Hospital follows...

New parish priests for Għaxaq and Luqa

Fr Gordon Refalo has been made parish priest in Għaxaq while Fr Michael Zammit will take his place in Luqa, the Curia said today. Fr Refalo was born in Sliema in 1961 and was the parish priest in Sta Luċija, Ibraġ and Swatar, before moving to the Luqa pari
timesofmalta.com

New parish priests for Għaxaq and Luqa

Fr Gordon Refalo has been made parish priest in Għaxaq while Fr Michael Zammit will take his place in Luqa, the Curia said today. Fr Refalo was born in Sliema in 1961 and was the parish priest in Sta Luċija, Ibraġ and Swatar, before moving to the Luqa parish in 2012. His replacement there, Fr Zammit, was born in 1986 and this will be his first role as parish priest.

77% of crimes in Marsa were committed by Maltese

Out of 389 people arraigned for crimes in Marsa between 2015 and June 2017, 301 of were Maltese, according to Home Affairs Minister Michael Farrugia. Replyng to a Parliamentary Question by MP Claudio Grech, Dr Farrugia said that there were 979 crimes reporte
timesofmalta.com

77% of crimes in Marsa were committed by Maltese

Out of 389 people arraigned for crimes in Marsa between 2015 and June 2017, 301 of were Maltese, according to Home Affairs Minister Michael Farrugia. Replyng to a Parliamentary Question by MP Claudio Grech, Dr Farrugia said that there were 979 crimes reported during that period, resulting in 283 cases involving 389 people in all. He said that 88 of those charged were foreign.

Almost 60,000 more vehicles on the road in five years

The number of vehicles on the road reached 369,261 at the end of September, some 60,000 more than there were five years ago. The National Statistics Office said today that there were still 41 vehicles being added every single day on average. The majority of n
timesofmalta.com

Almost 60,000 more vehicles on the road in five years

The number of vehicles on the road reached 369,261 at the end of September, some 60,000 more than there were five years ago. The National Statistics Office said today that there were still 41 vehicles being added every single day on average. The majority of new licences (4,814) were issued to passenger cars, followed by 882 for motorcycles. The number of motorcycles has actually trebled since the end of 2014, increasing from 1,740 to 5,721 by the end of September 2017. However, the number of vehicles using alternative energy has not grown as rapidly: there are now 377 electric cars and 788 hybrids, and 1,235 that use only LPG or LPG in combination with petrol or diesel. Once again, there were more second-hand vehicles licensed than new ones, with 3,793 of the former, compared with 2,721 of the latter.

Healthy eating ‘leads to better fitness in old age’

Eating well throughout adult life improves physical fitness in old age, a study has found. Researchers looked at the diets of 969 British men and women whose lifestyles had been monitored since they were born in March 1946. At four points in their adult lives
timesofmalta.com

Healthy eating ‘leads to better fitness in old age’

Eating well throughout adult life improves physical fitness in old age, a study has found. Researchers looked at the diets of 969 British men and women whose lifestyles had been monitored since they were born in March 1946. At four points in their adult lives, starting at the age of 36, their eating habits were compared with standard measures of mobility and fitness when they were in their 60s. People who ate more fruit, vegetables and wholegrain cereals and fewer highly-processed foods performed better in all the tests. Lead scientist Sian Robinson, a professor from the University of Southampton, said: “Improving the quality of your diet can have a beneficial effect on health whatever your age. “However, this study suggests that making good dietary choices throughout adulthood – by cutting down on highly-processed foods and incorporating more fruit, vegetables and whole grains into your diet – can have a significant beneficial effect on strength and physical performance later in life, helping to ensure a much healthier old age.” Three fitness tests were employed that involved rising from a chair, “up-and-go” standing and walking, and balance. Compared with those who had eaten...

Government slammed for opening bird trapping season

CABS has sharply criticised the government for opening the controversial bird trapping season today – saying this was an issue which landed Malta before the EU courts where it is accused of not respecting it obligations under the EU´s Birds Directive. “I
timesofmalta.com

Government slammed for opening bird trapping season

CABS has sharply criticised the government for opening the controversial bird trapping season today – saying this was an issue which landed Malta before the EU courts where it is accused of not respecting it obligations under the EU´s Birds Directive. “It seems that this government is willing to let Malta pay a high price to please a small group of trappers whose selfish hobby has destroyed bird populations, the Maltese countryside and Malta´s reputation abroad”, CABS president Heinz Schwarze said. The ornithologist also slammed the governments’ Wild Bird Regulation Unit (WBRU) and Parliamentary Secretary for Animal Rights Clint Camillieri for falsely claiming that trapping is being «rigorously monitored». “The opposite is the case with more than 50 cases of illegal trapping reported by CABS this year alone, with the police reacting too late to reports and a blooming and a totally uncontrolled black market for wild-caught birds”, Schwarze stated. CABS especially criticised the police and WBRU for not doing anything to prevent the illegal mass-sale of wild birds on the Sunday market in Floriana which is being held every week close to the Porte des Bombes (Bieb il-Bombi) and which...

Better business regulation

A great deal is written about the need to reduce the administrative burden and to have a more efficient regulatory framework for businesses. Some of this is very pertinent. However, some of it is simply not the case. We still need a good regulatory framework
timesofmalta.com

Better business regulation

A great deal is written about the need to reduce the administrative burden and to have a more efficient regulatory framework for businesses. Some of this is very pertinent. However, some of it is simply not the case. We still need a good regulatory framework that enables businesses to operate in an ethical environment within the parameters of the law. Business regulation can take various forms. It could relate to legal restrictions enacted by government; to licensing requirements; to information provision. The reasons why governments introduce business regulation could also be various. They could relate to the need to avoid or address a market failure; to ensuring professional conduct; to protect consumers; to take steps against any possible negative impact such as pollution; to protect employees; and more. The areas affected by business regulation include health and safety, food safety, environmental protection, waste, employment, planning, construction, trading standards and consumer protection. Moreover, it takes the shape of form-filling, applications for approval, inspections and investigations. Essentially business regulation forms part of the framework of the rule in the...

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