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Somali journalist killed in car bombing

A Somali television journalist was killed in a car bombing in the capital Mogadishu on Monday, an editor for the TV station and local authorities said. Mohamed Ibrahim Gabow had borrowed the car from a friend, Mohamed Moalim Mustaf, an editor at Kalsan TV, to
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Somali journalist killed in car bombing

A Somali television journalist was killed in a car bombing in the capital Mogadishu on Monday, an editor for the TV station and local authorities said. Mohamed Ibrahim Gabow had borrowed the car from a friend, Mohamed Moalim Mustaf, an editor at Kalsan TV, told Reuters. «Unexpectedly it exploded and he died on the spot. We do not know who was behind it,» he added. Local government officials confirmed the incident. «The journalist ... died after a bomb planted in a car he drove exploded. His body has now been taken to a hospital. The police will investigate,» said Abdifatah Omar Halane, the spokesman for the mayor of Mogadishu. Gabow is the fourth journalist killed this year in Somalia, currently ranked 167th out of 180 countries for journalist safety by Reporters Without Borders. No group has ever claimed the killing of a journalist in the capital. Somalia has been convulsed by instability, violence and lawlessness since early 1990s following the toppling of military dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.

‘Air Malta’s strategy is to blame for its losses’

The downsizing made by Air Malta during the Labour government’s first term in office led to the loss of millions in revenue and reversed the benefits of the five-year restructuring plan agreed with the European Union in 2012, airline sources have said. The
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‘Air Malta’s strategy is to blame for its losses’

The downsizing made by Air Malta during the Labour government’s first term in office led to the loss of millions in revenue and reversed the benefits of the five-year restructuring plan agreed with the European Union in 2012, airline sources have said. The decisions taken by then tourism minister, Edward Zammit Lewis, and chairperson Maria Micallef to shrink the airline by reducing the number of planes, cutting routes and trying to sell the airline to Alitalia, led to a haemorrhage in revenue. “The result is now out for everyone to see,” one source said. According to the latest accounts, not yet deposited at the MFSA’s registry for companies as prescribed by law, Air Malta’s revenue was down approximately €25 million during the financial year ending March 2017, from the year before. That meant ending the year with a loss of more than €13 million, a figure three times higher than the €4 million in the red posted in March 2016. Airline industry sources told this newspaper that the reason given by the government – that the losses increased due to fuel hedging agreements entered into over previous years – did not make any financial sense. The airline’s fuel bill actually went down...

This US navy vessel is ‘a small city on the sea’

A United States Navy ship involved in a joint effort to take back Libyan cities from Islamic State forces visited Malta and is set to leave harbour on Monday. The operation, dubbed “Odyssey Lightning,” saw the US and Libyan governments collaborate to tak
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This US navy vessel is ‘a small city on the sea’

A United States Navy ship involved in a joint effort to take back Libyan cities from Islamic State forces visited Malta and is set to leave harbour on Monday. The operation, dubbed “Odyssey Lightning,” saw the US and Libyan governments collaborate to take back the city of Sert from ISIS forces. The USS Carney conducted battlefield illumination, providing light for marines conducting airstrikes, allowing them to close in and retake the city. Based in Rota, Spain, the ship was originally assigned for the Phased Adaptive Approach, a US initiative against long-range ballistic missile threats and to deploy protection of  North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) allies. Speaking to the Times of Malta, Commander Peter Halvorse­­­­­­­­­n said the ship is multi-mission capable, doing everything from ballistic missile defence and humanitarian assistance to natural disaster relief. The ship is “essentially a small town or a small city,” Commander Halvorsen said. “We need to have everything that a town needs, including our own fire department, catering service, laundry and all the essentials to keep a city functioning.” But the USS Carney is still primarily a warship, he noted, with...

Early morning shopping mall assault lands man behind bars

A man who violently assaulted a woman at the Embassy shopping complex in Valletta early on Sunday morning was handed a six-month jail term on Monday.  Hussen Hassan Abdirahman, 28, attacked the woman at some time between 7 and 8am on Sunday. He admitted to t
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Early morning shopping mall assault lands man behind bars

A man who violently assaulted a woman at the Embassy shopping complex in Valletta early on Sunday morning was handed a six-month jail term on Monday.  Hussen Hassan Abdirahman, 28, attacked the woman at some time between 7 and 8am on Sunday. He admitted to the violent assault, offending public morals, harassing and injuring the woman and damaging her mobile phone.   Duty magistrate Gabriella Vella sentenced Mr Abdirahman, who is Somali-born and lives in Marsa, to an effective jail term of six months. The court further bound him under a personal guarantee of €300 not to approach his victim once he has served his time behind bars. Inspector Daryl Borg prosecuted.

Police constable hurt in Qormi traffic accident

A police officer was rushed to hospital with serious injuries on Monday afternoon after he was involved in a traffic accident in Qormi.  The accident happened at around noon on Mdina Road, when the 26-year-old Naxxar constable riding a squad motorbike colli
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Police constable hurt in Qormi traffic accident

A police officer was rushed to hospital with serious injuries on Monday afternoon after he was involved in a traffic accident in Qormi.  The accident happened at around noon on Mdina Road, when the 26-year-old Naxxar constable riding a squad motorbike collided with a Toyota Yaris driven by a 45-year-old from Santa Venera.  He was taken to Mater Dei Hospital by ambulance, where he is being treated. Police say they are investigating further. 

Road traffic air pollution putting unborn babies’ health at risk

Air pollution from road traffic is putting unborn babies’ health at risk, according to a study. The findings published in the BMJ suggest exposure to traffic pollution in London during pregnancy is linked to low birth weight. A team led by Imperial College
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Road traffic air pollution putting unborn babies’ health at risk

Air pollution from road traffic is putting unborn babies’ health at risk, according to a study. The findings published in the BMJ suggest exposure to traffic pollution in London during pregnancy is linked to low birth weight. A team led by Imperial College London used national birth registers to study more than 540,000 births in Greater London between 2006 and 2010. Researchers estimated average monthly concentrations of traffic-related pollutants by looking at the mother’s home address at the time of birth. An analysis of the data found that increases in traffic-related air pollutants were associated with two per cent to six per cent increased odds of low birth weight and one per cent to three per cent increased odds of being small for gestational age. “The findings suggest that air pollution from road traffic in London is adversely affecting foetal growth,” the study’s authors concluded. The study found no evidence that exposure to road traffic noise was linked to birth weight but the authors said they “cannot rule out that an association might be observed in a study area with a wider range of noise exposures”. Researches said the findings apply to other cities across the UK...

Will reformed drug addict be jailed today, 14 years after drug trafficking case?

The destiny of a reformed drug addict accused of drug trafficking 14 years ago will be determined later today after he entered a guilty plea before a magistrate this morning. The plight of William Agius recently made the headlines, even prompting a petition t
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Will reformed drug addict be jailed today, 14 years after drug trafficking case?

The destiny of a reformed drug addict accused of drug trafficking 14 years ago will be determined later today after he entered a guilty plea before a magistrate this morning. The plight of William Agius recently made the headlines, even prompting a petition to President Marie Louise Coleiro Preca which gathered thousands of signatures in a matter of days. Mr Agius was 18 years old, unemployed and in the grip of drug addiction when he was caught red-handed in the middle of a drug deal in Qormi near a primary school.  WATCH: TimesTalk interviews William Agius here Police had swooped on two suspects just as Mr Agius had taken possession of a paper bag handed to him by the driver of a Toyota vehicle. Inside the bag there were some 2043 ecstasy pills, with a street value of around €28,000, declared to be the greatest ecstasy haul at the time. Both Mr Agius and his supplier, Geordie Felice, were arrested and charged with conspiracy and trafficking of drugs within 100 metres from a school as well as the aggravated possession of drugs which were clearly not for their personal use. However, during the pendency of the proceedings, Mr Agius underwent a total transformation, from an...

Champions League: Juve to face Tottenham; Man Utd vs Seville

Juventus face Tottenham and Manchester City will play Basel in the last 16 of the Champions League. The draws were made today at noon. The clashes are the following: Juventus v Tottenham Hotspur Basel v Manchester City Porto v Liverpool Sevilla v Manchester
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Champions League: Juve to face Tottenham; Man Utd vs Seville

Juventus face Tottenham and Manchester City will play Basel in the last 16 of the Champions League. The draws were made today at noon. The clashes are the following: Juventus v Tottenham Hotspur Basel v Manchester City Porto v Liverpool Sevilla v Manchester United Real Madrid v Paris St Germain Shakhtar Donetsk v AS Roma Chelsea v Barcelona Bayern Munich v Besiktas Further details to follow  

Champions League: Juve vs Tottenham; Utd vs Seville

Juventus face Tottenham and Manchester City will play Basel in the last 16 of the Champions League. The draws were made today at noon. They are the following: Juventus v Tottenham Hotspur Basel v Manchester City Porto v Liverpool Sevilla v Manchester United
timesofmalta.com

Champions League: Juve vs Tottenham; Utd vs Seville

Juventus face Tottenham and Manchester City will play Basel in the last 16 of the Champions League. The draws were made today at noon. They are the following: Juventus v Tottenham Hotspur Basel v Manchester City Porto v Liverpool Sevilla v Manchester United Real Madrid v Paris St Germain Shakhtar Donetsk v AS Roma Chelsea v Barcelona Bayern Munich v Besiktas  

Table tennis marathon in aid of charity

For the fourth consecutive year, the Table Tennis Club is organising a fundraising event whose entire proceeds will be donated to the Malta Community Chest Fund Foundation (MCCFF). As usual, it will consist of a table tennis marathon during which club players
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Table tennis marathon in aid of charity

For the fourth consecutive year, the Table Tennis Club is organising a fundraising event whose entire proceeds will be donated to the Malta Community Chest Fund Foundation (MCCFF). As usual, it will consist of a table tennis marathon during which club players, parents and the public are invited to attend and play. There will also be a tuck shop, fun games, individual coaching sessions, a book sale and many  other activities for the attendees to enjoy. The marathon will start at 9am on Saturday, December 16, and end at 3pm on Sunday, December 17. It will take place at St Albert the Great College, in Valletta.

Watch: Protecting nuclear stations from terror attacks (ARTE)

The security of nuclear power stations is a closely guarded state secret as there is a real risk from terrorism. This captivating and alarming documentary raises the question: are our nuclear sites safe from attack?
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Watch: Protecting nuclear stations from terror attacks (ARTE)

The security of nuclear power stations is a closely guarded state secret as there is a real risk from terrorism. This captivating and alarming documentary raises the question: are our nuclear sites safe from attack?

Harrowing account by male victim of domestic violence

Abused men are ashamed to speak up, have no one to turn to and are scared they will lose custody of their children, a man who suffered abuse for three decades has cautioned. “Domestic violence on men is real. Every day the local media and news is inundated
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Harrowing account by male victim of domestic violence

Abused men are ashamed to speak up, have no one to turn to and are scared they will lose custody of their children, a man who suffered abuse for three decades has cautioned. “Domestic violence on men is real. Every day the local media and news is inundated with reports about women suffering domestic violence. “It is so sad to hear about these matters but there are also men suffering domestic violence and yet they do not utter a word and have no one to lobby for them. Violence must be condemned, irrespective of whoever it is coming from,” James*, 60, told Times of Malta. The man has spent half his life suffering his estranged wife’s abuse, which started off with “verbal insults and mental torture” and led to physical injuries. He has now been kicked out of his house and proceedings are ongoing. As he flips through family photos of his daughter, filed back to back with photos of the physical injuries he suffered over the years, James explains that he only spoke up when he was scared for the child’s life. The violence on his daughter broke him mentally, he explained. But when he sought help, the lack of male support workers discouraged him even further.   James dates the abuse back...

Balanced Grand Prix d’Amerique expected next month

The Grand Prix d’Amerique, which is held every year during the last weekend of January at the Vincennes Racetrack in Paris, is considered as the World Cup for trotting horses. The best trotters from Europe and from time to time even from other continents ar
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Balanced Grand Prix d’Amerique expected next month

The Grand Prix d’Amerique, which is held every year during the last weekend of January at the Vincennes Racetrack in Paris, is considered as the World Cup for trotting horses. The best trotters from Europe and from time to time even from other continents are registered to take part in this race on a long distance of 2,700m. Definitely, the last two editions of this race confirmed that the French trotter Bold Eagle, sired by the French stallion Ready Cash and the French mare Reethi Rat Jet, is one of the best trotters of this decade. During the past edition, Bold Eagle, owned by French Pierre Pilarski and trained by Sebastien Guarato, triumphed in an average record time. owever, in the past weeks, trotters like Bird Parker and Valko Jenilat confirmed that they should also be considered as serious contenders to win the Amerique and beat Bold Eagle. It was on January 31, 2016 when Bold Eagle, driven by Franck Nivard and trained by Sebastien Guarato, managed to win this exciting race for the first time in its career. In that 95th edition of this competition, Nivard’s trotter clocked an average time of 1.11.4” per kilometre and which was a new record for this prestigious race. That...

28% of elite footballers in UK have exercise-induced asthma

More than a quarter of elite footballers, screened from top clubs across England, have exercise-induced asthma (EIA), a study has found. Researchers at the British Thoracic Society’s Winter Meeting in London were to call for all top clubs to implement a lun
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28% of elite footballers in UK have exercise-induced asthma

More than a quarter of elite footballers, screened from top clubs across England, have exercise-induced asthma (EIA), a study has found. Researchers at the British Thoracic Society’s Winter Meeting in London were to call for all top clubs to implement a lung health screening programme to help identify those with airway problems and treat them appropriately. The study, which was the first of its kind in scope and scale, was jointly conducted by the University of Kent and the Royal Brompton Hospital, London, and assessed the airway health and impact of treatment in 97 elite male footballers undergoing pre-season fitness and medical screening. It found 27 players (28 per cent of the sample) demonstrated airway problems by giving a positive result in a breathing challenge, which tested for exercise-induced asthma. Of these, 10 (37 per cent) reported no previous history of asthma or airway problems. Affected players were treated with medication to help reduce any inflammation and narrowing of the airways to increase airflow through the lungs and a follow-up assessment demonstrated reduced airway inflammation and improved lung function on testing. In a small number of players who also...

Expired medicine totals over €860,000

Expired medicine at the government’s procurement unit totalled over €860,000 last year, the Auditor General has found. According to the National Audit Office (NAO) annual report on public accounts for 2016, the stock, valued at €861,860, was not marked
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Expired medicine totals over €860,000

Expired medicine at the government’s procurement unit totalled over €860,000 last year, the Auditor General has found. According to the National Audit Office (NAO) annual report on public accounts for 2016, the stock, valued at €861,860, was not marked as such by the Central Procurement and Supplies Unit (CPRU). Some of the items had been expired for over five years, the auditors found. The CPRU manages the procurement and supply of materials used across the government’s healthcare services. The NAO said that a “considerable number” of stock items were not identified as expired, despite the fact that management reports to analyse expired stock, as well as items which will expire in the forthcoming three months, are generated on a monthly basis. In an analysis of the final stocktake report, the NAO noted that a list of 29 entries were marked as expired, with the items valued at €325,846. Some medicine had expired in January 2014. The CPRU management also told the NAO that each item has to be analysed on a case-by-case basis and that not all expired stock is disposed of as some items may be earmarked for return to supplier for replacement or credit. The use of expired medicine...

Determining the effectiveness of a board of directors

The board of directors of a corporation is a crucial part of an effective corporate governance system that provides a check and balance between management and shareholders. In order to determine the effectiveness of a board of directors, investors or investme
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Determining the effectiveness of a board of directors

The board of directors of a corporation is a crucial part of an effective corporate governance system that provides a check and balance between management and shareholders. In order to determine the effectiveness of a board of directors, investors or investment analysts must assess: · The composition of the board of directors and whether or not directors are independent – In order to assure that directors are serving shareholders, global best practice recommends that at least three quarters of board members should be independent · Whether the board has an independent chairman – Many companies have a single individual that serves the dual role of CEO and Chairman of the Board. Some arguments support the dual role as providing the board with in-depth knowledge and experience regarding company strategy and operations. However, other claim that having the CEO chairing, board meetings allows the CEO to control the board’s agenda and diminishes the role of independent board members, particularly when determining management compensation · Qualification of directors – Directors should bring skills and experience that will assure they will fulfil their fiduciary responsibilities to...

Fifth win for M.T. Gogogirl

The class Premier race topped the card during yesterday’s 54th meeting of the season at the Marsa Racetrack. This programme consisted of nine races all for trotters.  Sixteen trotters lined up for the class Premier race. It was Jackhammer (Rodney Gatt) whi
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Fifth win for M.T. Gogogirl

The class Premier race topped the card during yesterday’s 54th meeting of the season at the Marsa Racetrack. This programme consisted of nine races all for trotters.  Sixteen trotters lined up for the class Premier race. It was Jackhammer (Rodney Gatt) which went in front with a lap to go and opening a small lead from Banker’s Garcon (Shaun Portelli) and M.T. Gogogirl (Nathaniel Barbara). However midway through the final straight Rodney Gatt’s trotter was reeled in by M.T. Gogogirl which took its fifth win of the season and its second in a row.  Sacha Marboula (Charles Camilleri) and Sensei (Nicholas Bonello) finished respectively in third and fourth place. M.T. Gogogirl clocked an average time of 1.15” per km.  The other races on yesterday’s card were reserved for class Gold, Silver, Bronze and Copper trotters. In the first class Gold race, the early leader Topo De Bassiere (Carmelo Farrugia) ran out of steam midway through the final straight.  Farrugia’s trotter was overtaken by Urido d’Alban (Rodney Gatt) which gained its first win in Malta from My Account (Charles Camilleri) and Swan Des Tesnieres (Julian Farrugia).  Quetzal De Brix (Clint Vassallo) followed home in fourth...

Man seriously injured after falling out of wheelchair

A 66-year-old man from Valletta was seriously injured late on Sunday when he fell off his electric wheelchair. The accident happened in Paceville at 9.45pm in Triq Sant’ Andrija. The man was given first aid by passers-by until he was rushed to hospital in a
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Man seriously injured after falling out of wheelchair

A 66-year-old man from Valletta was seriously injured late on Sunday when he fell off his electric wheelchair. The accident happened in Paceville at 9.45pm in Triq Sant’ Andrija. The man was given first aid by passers-by until he was rushed to hospital in an ambulance.  A magisterial inquiry has been called.  

A Christmas celebration

Singers Lawrence Grey, Stefania Grech, Aldo Busuttil and Francesca Borg arejoining the Malta Concert Orchestra under the direction of Paul Abela in two Christmas concerts today and tomorrow. Still in its first year of operation, the Malta Concert Orchestra ha
timesofmalta.com

A Christmas celebration

Singers Lawrence Grey, Stefania Grech, Aldo Busuttil and Francesca Borg arejoining the Malta Concert Orchestra under the direction of Paul Abela in two Christmas concerts today and tomorrow. Still in its first year of operation, the Malta Concert Orchestra has already established itself among the local audiences with performances such as Suċċessi Maltin, Notte Italiana, the 41st edition of L-Għanja tal-Poplu Festival tal-Kanzunetta Maltija as well as through its community outreach programme Pjazza fi Pjazza that has seen the orchestra perform in Kalkara, Senglea and Victoria. Today’s concert will be held at the parish church of St Publius, Floriana, and tomorrow’s concert will take place at the Basilica of St Helen, Birkirkara. Both concerts start at 7.30pm and entrance is free but there will be a collection in aid of Puttinu Cares.  For more information, visit www.pjazzateatrurjal.com.

‘A somersault for my father’

This year’s Thomas Smith Charity Swim will not be seeing one of its eldest swimmers, Alfred Abela, performing his mid-air somersault before diving into the sea – a stunt that has become synonymous with the Christmas season and the annual fundraising event
timesofmalta.com

‘A somersault for my father’

This year’s Thomas Smith Charity Swim will not be seeing one of its eldest swimmers, Alfred Abela, performing his mid-air somersault before diving into the sea – a stunt that has become synonymous with the Christmas season and the annual fundraising event. Alfred, who was 80 years old, passed away last month after a short illness. “This time he was as keen as ever to take part in the swim, something he looked forward to every single year,” said his heartbroken son Steve, who will be attempting the somersault as a sign of respect for his father. “Every year, I would be there on the day, together with the rest of the family, wearing warm clothes and watching my father enjoy being one of the first to enter the sea with his famous somersault. This year, the swim means so much more, since, strangely, my father’s illness and death brought me closer to him.” Alfred loved the whole event by the sea – raising money, meeting friends, the President and other special guests, doing his traditional somersault, posing for pictures and seeing his family watching. “Although my father wasn’t a drinker, he always drank a tot of whisky to warm up after the swim,” said Steve who, together with his...

Saudi Arabia says cinemas will be allowed from early 2018

Saudi Arabia said on Monday that public cinemas would be allowed in the conservative kingdom and the first cinemas were likely to open early next year. «As the industry regulator, the General Commission for Audiovisual Media has started the process for
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Saudi Arabia says cinemas will be allowed from early 2018

Saudi Arabia said on Monday that public cinemas would be allowed in the conservative kingdom and the first cinemas were likely to open early next year. «As the industry regulator, the General Commission for Audiovisual Media has started the process for licensing cinemas in the Kingdom,» Minister of Culture and Information Awwad bin Saleh Alawwad said in a statement. "We expect the first cinemas to open in March 2018.” Earlier this year the kingdom also announced it would allow women to drive.

Case for Silvio Valletta’s removal from Caruana Galizia investigation starts on Tuesday

Proceedings in the case instituted by Daphne Caruana Galizia’s widower and children for the removal of Deputy Police Commissioner Silvio Valletta from the investigation into her assassination will start next Tuesday before Judge Silvio Meli. The plaintiffs
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Case for Silvio Valletta’s removal from Caruana Galizia investigation starts on Tuesday

Proceedings in the case instituted by Daphne Caruana Galizia’s widower and children for the removal of Deputy Police Commissioner Silvio Valletta from the investigation into her assassination will start next Tuesday before Judge Silvio Meli. The plaintiffs are arguing that Mr Valletta’s involvement in the probe could breach their fundamental rights, as his marriage to Gozo Minister Justyne Caruana makes him a politically exposed person. The argument is also based on the fact that both Mr Valletta and his wife were the subject of harsh criticism in Ms Caruana Galizia’s blog. In their application, four of her family members noted that following the Panama Papers revelations, Ms Caruana Galizia criticised the shortcomings of the government’s anti-money-laundering agency’s (the FIAU) board, of which Mr Valletta is a member. Following her murder on October 16, the deputy commissioner was at the forefront of police investigations and even addressed a crime press conference. For this reason the plaintiffs are requesting that the court declare Mr Valletta’s role in the investigation impinges upon the objectivity and impartiality which such circumstances dictate.  Lawyers Jason Azzopardi...

Harmful particles can cancel out benefits of walking for older people

City air pollution can cancel out the beneficial effects of exercise in older adults, say scientists. A London study found that short-term exposure to traffic fumes greatly reduced the positive impact of walking on the heart and lungs. Previous research has s
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Harmful particles can cancel out benefits of walking for older people

City air pollution can cancel out the beneficial effects of exercise in older adults, say scientists. A London study found that short-term exposure to traffic fumes greatly reduced the positive impact of walking on the heart and lungs. Previous research has shown that breathing in polluted air, especially fine particles from diesel engines, increases the risk of heart disease and death. For the new study 119 volunteers over the age of 60 were asked to walk for two hours in a relatively quiet part of Hyde Park and along a busy section of Oxford Street. All the participants, recruited through London’s Royal Brompton Hospital, were either healthy or had a stable lung condition or non-progressing heart disease. The study showed that all the volunteers benefitted from a stroll in the park, with lung capacity improving within the first hour, arteries becoming significantly less stiff and blood flow increasing and lowering in pressure. In contrast, walking along busy Oxford Street had little impact on arterial stiffness and led to only a small increase in lung capacity. Fan Chung, a professor from Imperial College London, who led the research reported in The Lancet journal, said:...

Economic growth and banking regulation

Following the 2017 financial crisis, the European Central Bank took drastic action to ensure that the major banks, as well as systemically important smaller banks in the eurozone, improved their governance. Weak management was perceived to have been the prima
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Economic growth and banking regulation

Following the 2017 financial crisis, the European Central Bank took drastic action to ensure that the major banks, as well as systemically important smaller banks in the eurozone, improved their governance. Weak management was perceived to have been the primary cause of the failures of some banks. Many are now asking whether the tightening of bank regulation is going too far and stifling the banks’ ability and willingness to lend. Early in October 2017, the ECB issued new guidelines for public consultation on how banks should provide for non-performing loans. The proposed changes in provisioning policy would apply to all unsecured loans declared non-performing after January 2018 and would require lenders to post provisions against the entire unsecured part of the lending within two years. In the case of secured lending, full provisions could be spread over seven years. The background to this drastic change in provisioning regulation is the stark reality that some banks in the eurozone, especially in Italy, Greece, Spain and Cyprus, are sitting on substantial amounts of non-performing loans. This fact immediately raises the question whether the ECB is right in treating all banks...

Meet the dames

The Friends of the Manoel Theatre and their guests will be meeting the panto dames at the Studio Theatre of the Manoel Theatre in Old Mint Street, Valletta, today. Edward Mercieca and Alan Montanaro will be telling Vicki-Ann Cremona, head of the School of Per
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Meet the dames

The Friends of the Manoel Theatre and their guests will be meeting the panto dames at the Studio Theatre of the Manoel Theatre in Old Mint Street, Valletta, today. Edward Mercieca and Alan Montanaro will be telling Vicki-Ann Cremona, head of the School of Performing Arts at the University of Malta, about their experiences over a glass of mulled wine. The event is in English and entrance is free. For reservations, call 9938 5374.

A ruse to calm nerves?

Take away the hype in practically anything the government puts across for public consumption and what emerges is generally a situation that is different to that projected. So much has been said about the progress made in the running of Mater Dei Hospital sinc
timesofmalta.com

A ruse to calm nerves?

Take away the hype in practically anything the government puts across for public consumption and what emerges is generally a situation that is different to that projected. So much has been said about the progress made in the running of Mater Dei Hospital since Labour took over in 2013 that many may easily get the impression that all is fine. Well, in at least one key area of its operations – outpatient clinics – reality shows a different picture,as a National Audit Office reporthas confirmed. Contrary to claims by Labour politicians that the waiting list has been slashed, the truth is that it has not, and unless and until inbuilt problems preventing a greater turnover of patients are tackled head-on, it will not be cut to a degree that may be reasonably considered acceptable.  Not a moment too soon, a team has now been created with a mandate and authority to identify and take corrective action.  But, since the problem has been known to exist for years, what has been holding the hospital management from tackling the issues involved? The solutions are so patently obvious that the public can hardly be blamed if it considers the latest move as simply a ruse to calm nerves. The audit...

Early Christmas for the parties - record sums raised

The political parties raised a staggering €1.23 million in fundraising telethons held yesterday. The Labour Party raised €611,497 and the PN 620,319. Both achieved new records. Both party leaders thanked their supporters for their generosity. The teleth
timesofmalta.com

Early Christmas for the parties - record sums raised

The political parties raised a staggering €1.23 million in fundraising telethons held yesterday. The Labour Party raised €611,497 and the PN 620,319. Both achieved new records. Both party leaders thanked their supporters for their generosity. The telethons were held between noon and midnight. Variety programmes were presented in both headquarters as volunteers, officials and MPs received phone calls.  The PL also held a Christmas market outside its HQ.

Listening to industry’s concerns - Silvio Schembri

The launch of the European Gaming Institute of Malta, EGIM, in November, was a priority from the very start of this legislature. Discussions with the authorities involved and educational institutions, paved the way for the official launch of EGIM through an a
timesofmalta.com

Listening to industry’s concerns - Silvio Schembri

The launch of the European Gaming Institute of Malta, EGIM, in November, was a priority from the very start of this legislature. Discussions with the authorities involved and educational institutions, paved the way for the official launch of EGIM through an agreement between the Malta Gaming Authority and Mcast. This significant signing represented two important things: the start of a journey which will lead to the development of new talent within the gaming sector and, most importantly, the government’s commitment to address the skills shortage in an industry that in the near future will be experiencing further exponential growth. In fact, a few days before EGIM was launched, a report published by the Malta Gaming Authority showed that during the first half of this year, the gaming industry contributed almost 12 per cent of the total value added of the Maltese economy and over €556 million in terms of gross value – this is an increase of over 10 per cent when compared to the corresponding period in 2016. Moreover, despite the Opposition’s malicious tactics, the number of companies licensed in Malta, till June 2017, grew by six per cent. These results are proof of the continued...

Alibaba in bricks-and-mortar push

In a small village shop near the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou, store owner Lu Qiwei uses his smartphone to place orders to refill stocks of instant noodles, rice and drinks. Lu, 61, says he didn’t own a phone two years ago, but he’s now one of 600,00
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Alibaba in bricks-and-mortar push

In a small village shop near the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou, store owner Lu Qiwei uses his smartphone to place orders to refill stocks of instant noodles, rice and drinks. Lu, 61, says he didn’t own a phone two years ago, but he’s now one of 600,000 people using a supply chain app made by e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, aimed at drawing millions of Chinese mom-and-pop stores into its orbit. The app is one part of a multibillion-dollar drive by Alibaba to extend its dominance of online shopping into physical stores, and build a data fingerprint for every consumer in China, where 85 per cent of retail sales are still made offline. “We’re working to make the net in the sky and the net on the ground,” CEO Daniel Zhang said last month after Alibaba took a $2.9 billion stake in top grocery chain Sun Art Retail Group Ltd. “We will cover all consumers seamlessly.” Alibaba’s strategy echoes Amazon Inc’s $13.7 billion deal this year for organic offline grocer Whole Foods Market Inc. – but with a twist. China’s fragmented market means Alibaba is spreading itself wider and thinner, hooking an array of mall operators and stores to its mobile payment, logistics and inventory...

We are all migrants now - Michael Briguglio

“We are all migrants now”. This was stated by distinguished sociologist Anthony Giddens in a recent scholarly interview with Labinot Kunushevci. The interview makes some pertinent statements on the opportunities and risks of our times. Giddens argues tha
timesofmalta.com

We are all migrants now - Michael Briguglio

“We are all migrants now”. This was stated by distinguished sociologist Anthony Giddens in a recent scholarly interview with Labinot Kunushevci. The interview makes some pertinent statements on the opportunities and risks of our times. Giddens argues that today’s societies are in flux. The rise of electronic communication has facilitated the global interdependence of societies, with substantive impacts on our personal lives. Digital communication has empowering and emancipatory aspects, for example in the world of healthcare. But it has also helped produce uncertainty and volatility which perpetuate existing ideological divisions. In this regard, as Giddens puts it, we are suffering from “cosmopolitan overload”, where reactions such as religious fundamentalism and political sectarianism are highly visible. The world which connects civil society and the press through the social media is the same world where terrorists and cyber-criminals make use of such technology. Such contradictions explain why we are all migrants. Migration is not only a question of physical movement. It also has to do with how we are in touch with diverse cultures and opinions around the world. Whether we...

Announcements - 11 December, 2017

VELLA. On December 10, VINCENT (former Halman Vella Group chairman), aged 87, of Mġarr, passed away peacefully at his residence comforted by the rites of Holy Church. He leaves to mourn his loss his wife Maria, his children Joe and his wife Doris, Mġarr May
timesofmalta.com

Announcements - 11 December, 2017

VELLA. On December 10, VINCENT (former Halman Vella Group chairman), aged 87, of Mġarr, passed away peacefully at his residence comforted by the rites of Holy Church. He leaves to mourn his loss his wife Maria, his children Joe and his wife Doris, Mġarr Mayor Paul Vella and his wife Simone, Miriam widower of Joe Schembri, Mark and his wife Rita, Martin and his wife Jackie, Simon and his wife Stefanie, and Veronica and her husband Martin Ciappara, his grandchildren Hugh and his wife Erika, Ian, Marie and her husband Michael, Matthew and his wife Elaine, Karl, Andrea, Mark-Vincent, Solange, Isaac, Naomi, Thea, Jean, Eryl, Kyle, Laura, Gianni, Malcolm, Maia and Eliza, and their respective fiancès and fiancèes, his great grandchildren, Chanel and Beppe, Pawla widower of his brother Karmnu, his brother Nazzarenu and his wife Rose, and his sister Rita and her husband Spiridione, in-laws, other relatives and friends. The funeral leaves the Vella residence today, Monday, December 11, at 2.45pm for Santa Maria parish church, Mġarr, where Mass praesente cadavere will be said at 3pm followed by interment in the family grave at the Mġarr cemetery. No flowers by request but donations to...

The PN’s destiny - Arthur Muscat

Daphne Caruana Galizia was murdered because she was getting better and better at fulfilling her role, that of Malta’s foremost investigative journalist. Her reporting attracted much hostility, ranging from death threats to a long string of libel procedures
timesofmalta.com

The PN’s destiny - Arthur Muscat

Daphne Caruana Galizia was murdered because she was getting better and better at fulfilling her role, that of Malta’s foremost investigative journalist. Her reporting attracted much hostility, ranging from death threats to a long string of libel procedures, some seemingly instituted with the sole purpose of shutting her up. Without fear she stood her ground and carried on with the task of uncovering and publicising what appear to be unchecked criminal activities and petty and not so petty corruption and stealing of public funds. She courageously fulfilled a role in the democratic process, that of ensuring a free and effective press to keep in check perceived corrupt and dishonest politicians and business operators. Whatever crime a citizen might commit, capital punishment does not feature in the laws of Malta. It seems however to feature in the minds of numerous citizens who believe that capital punishment should apply in respect of journalists deemed to have overstepped a limit. Is the murder of the journalist to serve as a sinister warning to whoever dares to criticise and oppose the dismal bad governance inflicted on Malta? Corruption and malpractices keep on accumulating...

The folly of flyovers

As another project involving flyovers is unveiled, as roundabouts are being shrunk and trees cut to accommodate more traffic lanes, one asks where do the government’s priorities lie? Why is the government facilitating car usage when the problem lies with th
timesofmalta.com

The folly of flyovers

As another project involving flyovers is unveiled, as roundabouts are being shrunk and trees cut to accommodate more traffic lanes, one asks where do the government’s priorities lie? Why is the government facilitating car usage when the problem lies with the car itself? Why is the government hoping for what Paul Mees calls auto-topia? Auto-topia refers to the government policy of satisfying a city’s transport needs by private transport, specifically the car.  Although it must not be ignored that the car offers reliability, comfort, convenience, security and a shorter travel time, these advantages can be offset if the car is stuck in traffic jams and if there are no free parking bays to be found close by. In transport literature, there is a general consensus that auto-topia does not relieve congestion because cars are not the most efficient means to transport people in a city. Public transportation is. A bus load full of people can occupy much less space than 40 cars. Even if everyone car shared, the bus would still remain the vehicle which needs the least amount of space. It should therefore only be logical that public transportation projects are favoured over projects catering...

Modern take on Scrooge

A theatrical performance based on Charles Dickens’s novel A Christmas Carol is being staged during the Christmas event in Rabat Natalis Notabilis, currently under way. Screwged is Zep Camilleri’s modern take on the classic novel, with the 30-minute show h
timesofmalta.com

Modern take on Scrooge

A theatrical performance based on Charles Dickens’s novel A Christmas Carol is being staged during the Christmas event in Rabat Natalis Notabilis, currently under way. Screwged is Zep Camilleri’s modern take on the classic novel, with the 30-minute show highlighting how man has become disconnected from the important things in life due to an increasingly hectic lifestyle. Screwged is being performed at Bottegin Palazzo Xara’s concert hall until tomorrow, when Natalis Notabilis comes to an end. Performances are at 7pm, 8pm and 9pm. Tickets may be obtained from ticket booths located at the Christmas market. For more details, visit www.natalisnotabilis.org.

Filfla ­– Prehistoric islet

In our islands’ prehistory, finds were apparently not restricted to our main islands of Malta and Gozo, and marginally to Comino, but also to our islet of Filfla (Pepper Island?) Filfla island is claimed to have had Copper Age and Bronze Age sherds, a few o
timesofmalta.com

Filfla ­– Prehistoric islet

In our islands’ prehistory, finds were apparently not restricted to our main islands of Malta and Gozo, and marginally to Comino, but also to our islet of Filfla (Pepper Island?) Filfla island is claimed to have had Copper Age and Bronze Age sherds, a few of which are dubiously said to be preserved in the National Museum of Archaeology in Valletta. Grid reference 467605 (Evans 1971). Bronze Age, or later cart ruts were reported by Fr Emmanuel Magri as existing on Filfla until the end of the 19th century. (Teuma 2003). “Temple period remains have also been found on the islet, probably belonging to a sailor’s shrine. These include pottery, jars and bones of animals. Whether it was inhabited or just visited is however still an open discussion…” (Farrugia Randon 2006:43). Sir Themistocles Zammit reported finds of Temple Period pottery on Filfla in the20th century. Next to, and west of Filfla, across a narrow channel, lie the large rock of Ix-Xutu l-Kbir, also known as Il-Blata ta’ Santa Marija; and the reef of Ix-Xutu ż-Żgħir which barely reaches above sea level, all surrounded  by deep sea. The submerged reef of Stork Rock lies 700 metres to the south of Filfla islet. It is a...

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