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Pedestrian hit in Paola accident

A 29-year-old Nigerian national was seriously injured when he was hit by a car in Paola. The incident happened in Triq il-Perit Dom Mintoff in Paola at 6am on Thursday. The car was bring driven by a 34-year-old man from Tarxien. Police investigations are unde

The flight secret behind Malta's UN climate change initiative

Malta’s 30-year-old climate change initiative would never have gone ahead, according to its author, had he not been sat next to its main opponent on an eight-hour flight.  “I had been trying to sit next to this man for six months but he would have nothin
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The flight secret behind Malta's UN climate change initiative

Malta’s 30-year-old climate change initiative would never have gone ahead, according to its author, had he not been sat next to its main opponent on an eight-hour flight.  “I had been trying to sit next to this man for six months but he would have nothing to do with me... when I found out he was in the airport VIP lounge, I made sure to get bumped up and then there was no escaping me,” David Attard told a University seminar yesterday. Prof. Attard’s role as the island’s adviser to the UN was so significant that Malta was subsequently one of only 12 countries to be invited to a secret meeting to draw up the rules.  He recounted how Mostafa Tolba, an Egyptian scientist who at the time stood at the helm of the UN’s Environment Programme, had been staunchly against the Malta initiative.  It took Prof. Attard the duration of a flight from New York City to Amsterdam to convince him otherwise. “Had I not, we wouldn’t have been able to press ahead. When we landed we were best of friends,” he said, adding that it was an ex-student who he happened to meet that day who had pointed Dr Tolba out to him at the airport. The gathering was held to celebrated 30 years since the island’s UN...

Gozo reverse osmosis plant contract sealed

Works on an €11m reverse osmosis plant in Gozo are set to begin in “a few weeks” after a contract for the water generation facility was signed. The facility, which was granted planning approval in September, will have the capacity to produce 9,000 cubi
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Gozo reverse osmosis plant contract sealed

Works on an €11m reverse osmosis plant in Gozo are set to begin in “a few weeks” after a contract for the water generation facility was signed. The facility, which was granted planning approval in September, will have the capacity to produce 9,000 cubic metres of fresh water per day, at a production cost of around €0.40 per cubic metre. It will be situated at Ħondoq ir-Rummien, within an existing Water Services Corporation site which will be restored. Until now, Gozo has relied upon groundwater reserves and an underwater pipeline to Malta for its fresh water needs. Water Services Corporation CEO Richard Bilocca said that the project was part of the company’s “unprecedented investment” strategy, which would top €130 million. A call for tender for the plant was won by Israeli firm AST Clean Water Technologies.   Company representative Boaz Shitzer and Department of Contracts director-general Anthony Cachia signed the contract on Saturday morning at Ħondoq, at a ceremony presided over by Energy Minister Joe Mizzi, Gozo Minister Justyne Caruana and parliamentary secretary for EU Funding Aaron Farrugia. The project is co-financed through EU Cohesion funds.

Dogman crime thriller

Matteo Garrone, the master film-maker behind Gomorrah returns to the crime thriller genre with the tension-filled and relentlessly captivating Dogman.  Marcello (Marcello Fonte) is a small and gentle dog groomer who wants two things, to look after his dogs a
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Dogman crime thriller

Matteo Garrone, the master film-maker behind Gomorrah returns to the crime thriller genre with the tension-filled and relentlessly captivating Dogman.  Marcello (Marcello Fonte) is a small and gentle dog groomer who wants two things, to look after his dogs and take his daughter on exotic holidays. But to fund this lifestyle he runs a side business which has more unsavoury clientele and he soon finds himself involved in a dangerous relationship of subjugation with Simone, a former violent boxer who terrorises the entire neighbourhood. When Simone exploits him too much Marcello must make a crucial and potentially dangerous decision in order to regain his dignity. Marcello Fonte won Best Actor at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. The film, in Italian with English subtitles, is showing at Spazju Kreattiv Cinema, today at 8.30pm.

On board the oil price roller-coaster

It is no news that commodity prices are volatile and unpredictable. Countries which are dependent on the extraction of natural resources have their faith linked to the price of a particular commodity or a group of commodities. The end result of a shock in th
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On board the oil price roller-coaster

It is no news that commodity prices are volatile and unpredictable. Countries which are dependent on the extraction of natural resources have their faith linked to the price of a particular commodity or a group of commodities. The end result of a shock in the price of a commodity is usually adversity across the producing nation and its citizens. The opposite holds true when commodity prices trade at high levels for long. The price of oil was a case in point during the first decade of the 21st century when resource-rich countries benefitted from high commodity prices. During this period brent crude oil reached a high of nearly $144 in 2008. During the last 10 years the price of oil was not as benign. Brent crude oil has been on a roller-coaster since the last financial crisis, during which the price of oil tumbled, as oil traders expected demand to decline on recessionary fears. Since then it recovered ground and back in June 2014 brent crude traded at $115 a barrel but again hit a multi-year low in early 2016 as it hovered around the $30 level. The sharp sell-off came on the back of global growth worries and at a time when global demand was due to turn negative. However, over...

Local teacher comes third at international bikini fitness competition

A Maltese teacher whose hobby as a bikini fitness model took a more serious turn last summer has placed third in her first-ever pro-level tournament. Leanne Bartolo took a podium place at the WFF World Championship in California, just six months after victor
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Local teacher comes third at international bikini fitness competition

A Maltese teacher whose hobby as a bikini fitness model took a more serious turn last summer has placed third in her first-ever pro-level tournament. Leanne Bartolo took a podium place at the WFF World Championship in California, just six months after victory at the European Bikini Championship shot her into the pros. Ms Bartolo was the only European contender to make it to the WFF finals, where she competed with athletes from the USA, Australia, Mexico and South Africa, among others. Her target was to place among the top six. Instead, she ended up third. “I didn’t know what hit me,” she said. “I was overwhelmed with joy, I still can’t believe it. I was sharing the stage with professionals who do this for a living while I do this in my free time. My priority is always the kids in the classroom”. With all her hard work and strict diet paying off, Ms Bartolo is now setting her sights on two other upcoming competitions – defending the European championship title she won last summer and going for glory at a competition in South Korea. Ms Bartolo is also keen to encourage other locals to take up the sport, and will be taking part in local qualifiers for the European championship in...

Cultural and scenic walks

A balanced variety of cultural and scenic walks in Malta and Gozo are being held this month by the Ramblers Association. Participants are to wear good non-slip shoes and adequate clothing for autumn weather. Surfaces may be slippery when wet, which is likely
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Cultural and scenic walks

A balanced variety of cultural and scenic walks in Malta and Gozo are being held this month by the Ramblers Association. Participants are to wear good non-slip shoes and adequate clothing for autumn weather. Surfaces may be slippery when wet, which is likely at this time of year. A walk being held tomorrow will take in Buskett and its surroundings. The moderate walk involves steep inclines and rough terrain in the Buskett woods and nearby Wied l-Isqof. It starts at the covered car park in Buskett at 9am and lasts some four hours. Ramblers will be taken to Gozo for a moderate walk which starts at the Mġarr ferry terminal at 10.30am on Wednesday and will take about four hours from the harbour to Xlendi via Ta’ Ċenċ. On November 25 ramblers will go to Żurrieq valley for a moderate to hard walk over rough terrain that starts off from the parvis of Żurrieq parish church at 9am. It will follow paths along Wied Bassasa and Wied Babu for about four hours. In case of inclement weather, walks may be cancelled. For further information call 9949 7080 or 7733 2433 or visit http://www.ramblersmalta.org or www.facebook.com/ramblersmalta.

Vegans: why they inspire fear and loathing among meat eaters

Food critic William Sitwell has resigned as editor of Waitrose’s in-house magazine following a row over his astonishingly hostile response to a freelance journalist who proposed a series of articles on veganism. A statement from the food retailer said that
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Vegans: why they inspire fear and loathing among meat eaters

Food critic William Sitwell has resigned as editor of Waitrose’s in-house magazine following a row over his astonishingly hostile response to a freelance journalist who proposed a series of articles on veganism. A statement from the food retailer said that John Brown Media – which produces the Waitrose & Partners Food Magazine – had announced Sitwell would step down as editor of Waitrose & Partners Food magazine with immediate effect. The statement added: In the light of William’s recent email remarks, we’ve told John Brown Media that we believe this is the right and proper move - we will be working with them to appoint a new editor for the magazine. We have had a relationship with William for almost 20 years and are grateful for his contribution to our business over that time. The row erupted after freelance journalist Selene Nelson pitched a series on “plant-based recipes” to the magazine, given the rise in popularity of vegan products in recent years. Waitrose, like many UK supermarkets, has recently expanded its vegan product range and, as Sitwell’s own article in The Times in January 2018 noted – in less than welcoming terms – the number of vegan cookbooks available has...

CIA believes Saudi crown prince ordered Khashoggi's murder- sources

The CIA believes Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul, sources familiar with the matter said on Friday, complicating President Donald Trump's efforts to preserve ties with a key US ally. The sour
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CIA believes Saudi crown prince ordered Khashoggi's murder- sources

The CIA believes Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul, sources familiar with the matter said on Friday, complicating President Donald Trump's efforts to preserve ties with a key US ally. The sources said the CIA had briefed other parts of the US government, including Congress, on its assessment, which contradicts Saudi government assertions that Prince Mohammed was not involved. The CIA's finding, first reported by the Washington Post, is the most definitive US assessment to date tying Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler directly to the killing. The Saudi Embassy in Washington rejected the CIA assessment. «The claims in this purported assessment is false,» a spokeswoman for the embassy said in a statement. «We have and continue to hear various theories without seeing the primary basis for these speculations.» US Vice President Mike Pence, on a visit to Papua New Guinea, told reporters traveling with him that he could not comment on classified information. "The murder of Jamal Khashoggi was an atrocity. It was also an affront to a free and independent press and the United States is determined to hold all of those...

Is there a path back from Brexit?

To leave, or not to leave: Two and a half years since the United Kingdom voted to exit the EU, that is still the question. The crisis in Prime Minister Theresa May's government over her draft Brexit divorce deal has stirred interest in the possibility that th
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Is there a path back from Brexit?

To leave, or not to leave: Two and a half years since the United Kingdom voted to exit the EU, that is still the question. The crisis in Prime Minister Theresa May's government over her draft Brexit divorce deal has stirred interest in the possibility that the United Kingdom could change its mind, or 'regrexit'. In the June 23, 2016 referendum, 17.4 million voters, or 52 percent, backed Brexit while 16.1 million, or 48 percent, backed staying in the bloc. But ever since, opponents of Brexit have been exploring ways to hold another referendum. May has repeatedly said there will not be another referendum on membership and the leader of the main opposition party, Jeremy Corbyn, has indicated he is also not in favour. So what is the path to a second vote? 1) May's Brexit plan fails The first step, according to campaigners, is that parliament rejects May's draft divorce deal. To leave the EU on the terms of her deal, May would need the backing of parliament. The size of the rebellion inside her Conservative Party and the anger of her allies in the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party indicate she would have trouble passing the deal, even with significant support from Labour Party...

Vocational education

Vocational education prepares people for work in a trade, a craft, as a technician or in support of professionals. Craft vocations are usually based on manual or practical activities and are traditionally non-academic but related to a specific trade or occupa
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Vocational education

Vocational education prepares people for work in a trade, a craft, as a technician or in support of professionals. Craft vocations are usually based on manual or practical activities and are traditionally non-academic but related to a specific trade or occupation. In Malta, just over a quarter of all students aged between 14 and 16 opt for vocational subjects. This is the fourth lowest rate in Europe. According to Eurostat, in figures released to mark the annual European Vocational Skills Week, in 2016 of the over 19,000 students in Maltese upper secondary schools, only 5,557 chose to study vocational subjects. While some 28 per cent of the students studied such subjects, the numbers were lower than those of the majority of EU member states, where the average was almost 50 per cent. Despite the huge financial investments being made in education – this most vital area to Malta’s future development – these statistics are a sad indictment on educational standards and the skills gap in the Maltese labour market. Why?  According to Malta’s ambassador for the European Vocational Skills Week, Elaine Pavia, there is still a stigma associated with the learning of vocational subjects,...

Christmas fair returns

Christmas will come early to the Corinthia Palace Hotel & Spa in Attard this weekend with the annual Perfect Christmas Gift Fair.  As always, there will be a brilliant festive mix – from stalls selling beautiful things to fantastic Christmas fare prepare
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Christmas fair returns

Christmas will come early to the Corinthia Palace Hotel & Spa in Attard this weekend with the annual Perfect Christmas Gift Fair.  As always, there will be a brilliant festive mix – from stalls selling beautiful things to fantastic Christmas fare prepared by the hotel’s award-winning kitchen brigade. Funds will also be raised for the Hotel’s associated charity, Beyond the Moon, which gives seriously-ill children and their families the chance to go on the holiday of a lifetime. The Corinthia Palace has raised over €95,000 for Beyond the Moon since fundraising efforts first began 11 years ago, and the team hopes to push that total up even further this Christmas. In fact, a very special workshop will be held tomorrow afternoon, with proceeds going directly to Beyond the Moon. The workshop, to be held at 4pm, will cover festive cookie decoration and is suitable for children aged four to 10. The entrance donation for this workshop is €10 and bookings may be made on marisa.xuereb@corinthia.com. There will also be an exhibition of beautiful artworks that have been generously donated to the cause by local artists, and which will be for sale during the fair. The Perfect Christmas Gift...

Watch: Kosovo need to be wary of Malta, says Challandes

Kosovo's coach Bernard Challandes has called his players for maximum concentration as they face Malta in their penultimate UEFA Nations League commitment at the National Stadium in Ta' Qali, today (kick-off: 6pm).  Challandes' clan are leading Group D3 wit
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Watch: Kosovo need to be wary of Malta, says Challandes

Kosovo's coach Bernard Challandes has called his players for maximum concentration as they face Malta in their penultimate UEFA Nations League commitment at the National Stadium in Ta' Qali, today (kick-off: 6pm).  Challandes' clan are leading Group D3 with eight points after four games, two ahead of second place Azerbaijan. A victory against Malta would mean that when they host the Azeri side next Tuesday, a point would be enough to see them through, unless Azerbaijan fail to win today which would see Kosovo seal promotion to Group C.  «We are going to begin the final sprint of this competition and we are in a solid position,» Challandes told a news conference, on Friday. «However, these games will be tough, starting from Malta, and it won't be easy to hold on to the first spot.» Asked about Malta's threat, Challandes underlined the resilience that Ray Farrugia's clan showed against Azerbaijan, in Baku. «I was really impressed with Malta's display in Baku,» Kosovo's coach explained. «I did not think that they were capable of a good result given their result against us and the fact they had to travel to a distant country.» The Swiss-born coach introduced some new faces in his...

MCI concert

The Malta Cultural Institute is presenting its second concert for the 2018/2019 season at the G. F. Abela Junior College Theatre, Msida, tomorrow at 7pm. During this concert the MCI will be welcoming back the Malta University Junior College Orchestra under th
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MCI concert

The Malta Cultural Institute is presenting its second concert for the 2018/2019 season at the G. F. Abela Junior College Theatre, Msida, tomorrow at 7pm. During this concert the MCI will be welcoming back the Malta University Junior College Orchestra under the direction of Manoel Pirotta. The orchestra was founded in 1998 and, since then, has played in 400 concerts. Along with its successes in Malta, it has performed in several countries. Their repertoire includes a mixture of instrumental and chamber music and themes from films. It will be launching its second CD album, In Christmas Mood, to celebrate its 20th anniversary. The coordination and presentation of the concert is in the hands of Marie Therese Vassallo. Paintings by Cynthia Far will also be exhibited. Cynthia, of Gżira, is a very creative person who started painting only very recently. Although she has no educational background in art, the paintings she produces are well balanced in colour and composition. She loves nature and includes it in some of her works. She translates her thoughts and emotions to her paintings and puts a piece of herself in each one she creates. Free parking is available for guests in the...

Maltese flamenco dancer joins Seville company for one-off performance

Malta is set to experience a taste of genuine Andalusian flamenco as Maltese dancer Caroline Caruana teams up with famed dancer Maria La Serrana and her Seville-based troupe Compañia Maria la Serrana for a one-off event spanning two evenings. The performance
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Maltese flamenco dancer joins Seville company for one-off performance

Malta is set to experience a taste of genuine Andalusian flamenco as Maltese dancer Caroline Caruana teams up with famed dancer Maria La Serrana and her Seville-based troupe Compañia Maria la Serrana for a one-off event spanning two evenings. The performances, which are taking place at St Dominic Hall in Valletta, bring themes of struggle and perseverance to the Maltese stage as an ensemble of some of Seville’s leading flamenco artists dance to The Shoulders of Hercules. La Serrana and her ensemble are in Malta as part of the company’s international tour across Europe and the US. Here they will also be joined by dancer Antonio Moreno, singers Juan José Amador and Pepe de Pura and guitarist Luis Amador, besides Ms Caruana herself. Ms Caruana and La Serrana first collaborated when the latter was running a series of workshops in Malta. Noting that the spirit of flamenco, especially the guitar-driven music, is not unlike Malta’s own homegrown għana spirtu pront, Ms Caruana was determined to see La Serrana’s distinctive style brought to the local stage. “La Serrana is celebrated for the purity of her technique; she truly brings to life the spirit of flamenco. And it is this raw...

Court acquits accuser in 2012 ‘blackmail’ case

Businessman Joseph Borg was cleared by the Court of Appeal of blackmailing the then head of the Prime Minister Office’s internal audit bureau six years ago. Mr Borg, who had leased a restaurant to Rita Schembri and her husband, had sent her an e-mail givin
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Court acquits accuser in 2012 ‘blackmail’ case

Businessman Joseph Borg was cleared by the Court of Appeal of blackmailing the then head of the Prime Minister Office’s internal audit bureau six years ago. Mr Borg, who had leased a restaurant to Rita Schembri and her husband, had sent her an e-mail giving her 24 hours to settle her dues with a Nigerian family she had abusively sub-leased his restaurant to. He warned Ms Schembri he would report her to OLAF, the EU’s anti-fraud agency, if she failed to settle the matter. Ms Schembri had reported the matter to the police who arrested Mr Borg and charged him with blackmail and defamation. No action was however taken on the allegations made by Mr Borg, which had also been raised in a civil court case in which Ms Schembri was found guilty of violating property laws. He was cleared by the Magistrates’ Court of blackmail but was found guilty of defamation and given a suspended sentence. Both the Attorney General and Mr Borg appealed and the Court of Appeal decided that Mr Borg should have been cleared of all charges brought against him. The court concluded that Mr Borg had no intention of blackmailing Ms Schembri and, in addition, he could not be found guilty of defamation. Ms...

Demonstrators reclaim Great Siege monument in vigil for Daphne

Several hundred demonstrators gathered in front of the Valletta Law Courts on Friday to mark 13 months since the car bomb assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. Netting blocking off access to the Great Siege Memorial opposite the Valletta courts
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Demonstrators reclaim Great Siege monument in vigil for Daphne

Several hundred demonstrators gathered in front of the Valletta Law Courts on Friday to mark 13 months since the car bomb assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. Netting blocking off access to the Great Siege Memorial opposite the Valletta courts had been covered in graffiti recalling Daphne Caruana Galizia on Thursday night. The spray painted messages which read «Daphne was right» and «The truth is out», with the number «17» repeated throughout, were turned over by the government at around noon under the watchful eye of Valletta 2018 Foundation chairman Jason Micallef. The demonstrators, however, reclaimed the monument, removing the netting and placing flowers and candles were they had previously been. Protesters have used the monument as a makeshift memorial to Ms Caruana Galizia until authorities blocked it off without warning, citing restoration works. During Friday evening’s gathering, two of the late Ms Caruana Galicia’s nieces read out a long list of posthumous awards bestowed upon the journalist to applause and cries of “brava” from the crowd. Among the honours were the renaming of the press room at the European Parliament, and several investigative...

First-half goals sink  Malta U-21

    ALBANIA         2 MALTA            0 The Malta U-21 national team suffered a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Albania in the first of two international appointments against the Balkan side, at the Selman Stermasi Stadium in Tirana, on Friday
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First-half goals sink  Malta U-21

    ALBANIA         2 MALTA            0 The Malta U-21 national team suffered a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Albania in the first of two international appointments against the Balkan side, at the Selman Stermasi Stadium in Tirana, on Friday. This was the first match for Silvio Vella’s new look side as they step up their preparations for the upcoming qualifying campaign which gets under way in March 2019. Vella handed a debut to Conner Zammit (Hibernians), Nicholas Pulis (Valletta), Bradley Schembri (Ħamrun Spartans), Jan Busuttil (Pietá Hotspurs), Zach Brincat (Mosta) and Jamie Zerafa (FK Indija, Serbia). Albania made their intentions clear from the starting whistle as they pushed numbers forward in an attempt to draw first blood early in the game. After 15 minutes, goalkeeper Andreas Vella was forced to keep out a long-range shot Rubin Hebaj. Malta threatened ten minutes later. Brincat connected with a Myles Beerman cross from the left-hand side, but his header sailed over the bar. Nonetheless, it was the hosts who broke the deadlock. Showing great vision, Omar Imeri notched the ball towards the unmarked Sherif Kallaku on the left channel. The latter sent an inviting cross...

Watch: We need to put pressure on Kosovo, says Farrugia

Malta coach Ray Farrugia has urged his players to continue playing positive football as the national team take on group leaders Kosovo in their UEFA Nations League match at the National Stadium on Saturday (kick-off: 6pm). With two wins and two draws from the
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Watch: We need to put pressure on Kosovo, says Farrugia

Malta coach Ray Farrugia has urged his players to continue playing positive football as the national team take on group leaders Kosovo in their UEFA Nations League match at the National Stadium on Saturday (kick-off: 6pm). With two wins and two draws from their opening four matches, Kosovo have confirmed early predictions of being the strongest side in the division as they are leading the way on eight points, two clear of Azerbaijan, who they face in their final match in Pristina on Tuesday. On the other hand, Malta are still in search of their first win in the competition after picking up two draws from their opening four outings and desperately need a positive result from today’s match to keep alive their hopes avoiding  bottom place in the group. Malta coach Farrugia has first-hand experience on the strength posed by Kosovo after seeing his players struggle to contain the pace and power of the former Yugoslavia Republic players who cantered home to a comfortable 3-1 win in Pristina last month. “We’re playing against a very strong side who unsurprisingly are top of the group and will surely provide us with a very difficult challenge,” coach Farrugia told a news conference on...

Former Italy PM Berlusconi faces new trial over prostitution case

Silvio Berlusconi was sent to trial on Friday for allegedly bribing a businessman to lie over accusations he had supplied the former Italian prime minister with prostitutes a decade ago. Prosecutors say Berlusconi gave Gianpaolo Tarantini €500,000 in cash,
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Former Italy PM Berlusconi faces new trial over prostitution case

Silvio Berlusconi was sent to trial on Friday for allegedly bribing a businessman to lie over accusations he had supplied the former Italian prime minister with prostitutes a decade ago. Prosecutors say Berlusconi gave Gianpaolo Tarantini €500,000 in cash, found him a job and supplied him with lawyers to say that the then-premier did not know the women were being paid to attend parties at his villa. The trial is due to start on February 4 in the southern city of Bari. It is the latest in a long string of legal problems for the 82-year-old media tycoon since he entered politics 24 years ago. After a four-year jail sentence for tax fraud in 2013, linked to his Mediaset television company, was converted into a year of community service, he was barred from public office and stripped of his seat in parliament. Berlusconi, who can now run for elections, has always denied wrongdoing in the case and has repeatedly accused prosecutors of conducting a political witch-hunt against him. «We are relaxed that at the hearing president Berlusconi will be completely acquitted,» his lawyers Nicolo Ghedini and Francesco Paolo Sisto said. Berlusconi suffered a major political setback at national...

Stone bridge wall collapses in Burmarrad

The parapet wall of a stone bridge in Burmarrad collapsed when it was hit by a vehicle  a few weeks ago, leading the road to be closed to traffic. Readers sent in the dramatic pictures of the fallen stones earlier this week.   The old stone bridge was hi
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Stone bridge wall collapses in Burmarrad

The parapet wall of a stone bridge in Burmarrad collapsed when it was hit by a vehicle  a few weeks ago, leading the road to be closed to traffic. Readers sent in the dramatic pictures of the fallen stones earlier this week.   The old stone bridge was hit by a vehicle and, while the bridge’s stability was not compromised, access to cars was closed to facilitate ongoing road rebuilding works, Infrastructure Malta said.  A spokesman for the authority said Infrastructure Malta was in talks with the relevant heritage and environmental authorities to determine the best repair and restoration method for the structure so as to retain its historic and architectural value. The authority had already inspected the bridge before the incident, the spokesman said. It determined it was structurally sound but concerns were raised about its adequacy for traffic, especially considering its narrow width and the amount of heavy vehicles that used it to access the nearby industrial zones. The agency was currently rebuilding Triq Burmarrad, a two-kilometre country road extending from Burmarrad to the t’Alla u Ommu area of Naxxar. Infrastructure Malta removed the road surface and constructed new...

US judge temporarily restores White House press pass to CNN's Acosta

A US judge on Friday temporarily restored White House press credentials to CNN correspondent Jim Acosta, which were revoked following a contentious press conference with President Donald Trump, saying there should be a due process in place for limiting a jour
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US judge temporarily restores White House press pass to CNN's Acosta

A US judge on Friday temporarily restored White House press credentials to CNN correspondent Jim Acosta, which were revoked following a contentious press conference with President Donald Trump, saying there should be a due process in place for limiting a journalist's access to the White House. US District Judge Timothy Kelly, who is hearing CNN's lawsuit challenging to the revocation, ordered the White House to restore Acosta's press pass while the case is pending. «Let's go back to work,» Acosta said to reporters after the hearing. CNN said in a statement it «looked forward to a full resolution in the coming days» and thanked «all who have supported not just CNN, but a free, strong and independent American press». Kelly did not address the First Amendment's protections for freedom of speech and the press, but instead focused on due process provisions of the Constitution that provide for fair treatment through a judicial process. The White House revoked Acosta's credentials last week in an escalation of the Republican president's attacks on the news media, which he has dubbed the «enemy of the people.» In court, US government lawyers said there is no First Amendment right of...

Country needs people with integrity, bishop says

Malta needed people of honesty and integrity, Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Galea-Curmi told new graduates on Thursday. In his homily to students on their graduation – during the first of two Masses for graduates – Mgr Galea-Curmi highlighted integrity, respec
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Country needs people with integrity, bishop says

Malta needed people of honesty and integrity, Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Galea-Curmi told new graduates on Thursday. In his homily to students on their graduation – during the first of two Masses for graduates – Mgr Galea-Curmi highlighted integrity, respect and striving for a better society as three important values. “Our country will benefit greatly if you are people of integrity that can chose what is just and right,” he said. He encouraged the congregation to be just and right even when it is not popular to do so or when those around them think differently. “I pray that you use your talents, not to make money, or to take advantage of corrupt practices. Our country needs these people in every sector,” he said. He also encouraged the new graduates to strive for a better society and participate in political, social, economic and cultural life. “Do not shut yourselves out,” Mgr Galea-Curmi said. “When those with strong values are afraid to participate, their space is easily filled by those who want to do more harm than good,” he said. “Wherever you have the opportunity be agents of change. “Never give up or allow anyone to take away your enthusiasm or discourage you,” he added. “It...

Students absent for long periods struggle to reintegrate with classmates

Students who were absent for long periods were often struggling to reintegrate with their classmates, with educators “bending backwards” to help them keep up, the teachers’ union said. Malta Union of Teachers president Marco Bonnici told Times of Malta
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Students absent for long periods struggle to reintegrate with classmates

Students who were absent for long periods were often struggling to reintegrate with their classmates, with educators “bending backwards” to help them keep up, the teachers’ union said. Malta Union of Teachers president Marco Bonnici told Times of Malta that such long periods of absence often resulted in “serious misbehaviour and lack of adaptation to the school structure”. “Schools and educators are often bending backwards to address the needs of these students with little support,” the MUT head said. He was reacting to information tabled in Parliament showing that just short of 2,000 parents have had to face legal action for not sending their children to school during the 2016-17 scholastic year. Read: Tackle rising absenteeism holistically, say educator Replying to a question in Parliament by MP Etienne Grech, Education Minister Evarist Bartolo said that throughout the 2016-17 scholastic year there were 1,759 parents who had been taken to various tribunals for not sending their children to school for more than three days. These parents, the minister said, did not have a valid excuse for doing so. According to Mr Bartolo, in 619 of the cases, the students were still in primary...

'Final opportunity' for man who insulted police on Facebook

A Żabbar man who faced a stint in jail for having insulted police and posted other racist remarks on Facebook has been given a “final opportunity” after proving that he was getting his life back on track. Josef Vincenti, a 31-year old maintenance worker
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'Final opportunity' for man who insulted police on Facebook

A Żabbar man who faced a stint in jail for having insulted police and posted other racist remarks on Facebook has been given a “final opportunity” after proving that he was getting his life back on track. Josef Vincenti, a 31-year old maintenance worker, had landed on the wrong side of the law after airing inflammatory views on Facebook about the use of speed guns by traffic police and posting “racist” remarks. He was charged with instigation to commit an offence, incitement to disobey the law and to racial hatred, as well as the misuse of electronic equipment. He was further charged with having breached the conditions of an earlier bail decree, besides allegedly being a recidivist. He filed an early guilty plea, admitting all charges. A probation officer explained that Mr Vincenti had been facing hard times and was battling alcohol and drug addiction. He had also lost contact with his young son and was currently out of employment after undergoing surgery. Read: Fined €800 after calling police officer a 'liar' The probation officer had also reported that the man experienced difficulty in “controlling the way he expressed his thoughts and opinions in a civilised manner.” However,...

Lack of school toilets puts 620 million children in danger

A lack of proper school toilets threatens the health, education and safety of at least 620 million children around the world, the charity WaterAid said in a new study published on Friday. Children at one in three schools lack access to proper toilets, puttin
timesofmalta.com

Lack of school toilets puts 620 million children in danger

A lack of proper school toilets threatens the health, education and safety of at least 620 million children around the world, the charity WaterAid said in a new study published on Friday. Children at one in three schools lack access to proper toilets, putting them at risk of diarrhea and other infections and forcing some to miss lessons altogether, according to the study, based on data from 101 countries. Guinea-Bissau in West Africa has the worst school toilets while Ethiopian children fare worst at home, with 93% of homes lacking a decent toilet according to the report, released ahead of World Toilet Day on Monday. «The message here is that water and sanitation affect everything,» WaterAid spokeswoman Anna France-Williams told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. «If there's no toilet in schools, children will miss lessons and it will have an impact on their growing up.» A lack of proper sanitation puts millions of children around the world in danger of diarrhea, which kills 289,000 under-fives a year, WaterAid said. But some regions have started to clean up their act - notably South Asia, where access to toilets in schools has improved. More than half the schools in Bangladesh now...

All bets are off: UK bookmaker suspends wagers on timing of PM May's exit

British bookmaker William Hill suspended betting on the year that Prime Minister Theresa May will leave office, it said on Friday, amid speculation that she will face a confidence vote as she defended her draft Brexit deal. «After the press conference o
timesofmalta.com

All bets are off: UK bookmaker suspends wagers on timing of PM May's exit

British bookmaker William Hill suspended betting on the year that Prime Minister Theresa May will leave office, it said on Friday, amid speculation that she will face a confidence vote as she defended her draft Brexit deal. «After the press conference on Thursday night, we thought Theresa had probably saved her job, but that is perhaps no longer the case,» William Hill spokesman Rupert Adams said in a statement. The move follows a report that May will face a no-confidence vote next week with Conservative lawmakers expected on Friday to submit the 48 letters required to trigger a leadership contest. «It's almost impossible for us to predict what's going to happen,» Adams told Reuters by phone, explaining that due to the uncertainty, the bookmaker was not able to price the different outcomes. «We could be offering completely wrong prices,» he said. Former foreign minister and the figurehead of Britain's Brexit campaign Boris Johnson and Dominic Raab, who quit as Brexit minister on Thursday, are the bookmaker's favourite to replace May, William Hill said. But gambling odds aggregator Oddschecker had Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn as favourite to fill May's shoes with odds of 5/1 on...

Warehouse roof collapses in Mrieħel

Fire trucks and police squad cars rushed to Mrieħel on Friday afternoon after a roof collapsed at a store in Mrieħel.The collapse on Triq l-Esportaturi is understood to have affected nearby buildings, with a wall overlooking a construction site also caving
timesofmalta.com

Warehouse roof collapses in Mrieħel

Fire trucks and police squad cars rushed to Mrieħel on Friday afternoon after a roof collapsed at a store in Mrieħel.The collapse on Triq l-Esportaturi is understood to have affected nearby buildings, with a wall overlooking a construction site also caving in.  Fortunately, nobody was hurt in the incident, a police spokesperson confirmed.  Workers and customers of a hardware superstore in the area evacuated the building as a precautionary measure and an ambulance was also dispatched to the scene. More to follow

Caught with two blocks of cannabis, remanded in custody

A man caught with two blocks of cannabis resin amounting to just under 200g of the drug has been remanded in custody pleading not guilty upon his arraignment on Friday. Joseph Rizzo, a 56-year old self-employed salesman from Fgura, was arrested after a polic
timesofmalta.com

Caught with two blocks of cannabis, remanded in custody

A man caught with two blocks of cannabis resin amounting to just under 200g of the drug has been remanded in custody pleading not guilty upon his arraignment on Friday. Joseph Rizzo, a 56-year old self-employed salesman from Fgura, was arrested after a police surveillance team spotted him in the company of two others. The man was known to the police. Officers searched the men and found five blocks of suspected cannabis resin. Mr Rizzo had two blocks in his possession and another man present had three. Although three persons were arrested in the raid, two of them were subsequently granted police bail pending ongoing investigations. The third suspect, namely Mr Rizzo, today pleaded not guilty to charges of cannabis possession under circumstances indicating that it was not for his exclusive use, as well as to breaching bail, granted in respect of separate proceedings dating back to 2014. Prosecuting Inspector Mark Anthony Mercieca explained that the drug found in possession of Mr Rizzo amounted to some 186 grams. Defence lawyer Franco Debono, making submissions on bail, pointed out that this was a case of possession and not trafficking. As for the breach of bail, Dr Debono raised a...

86 court judgments removed from public database since 2013

Eighty-six judgments have been removed from the court’s online public database since 2013, it has emerged. The Times of Malta had reported earlier this year that since taking up office in 2013, Justice Minister Owen Bonnici had privately made the decision t
timesofmalta.com

86 court judgments removed from public database since 2013

Eighty-six judgments have been removed from the court’s online public database since 2013, it has emerged. The Times of Malta had reported earlier this year that since taking up office in 2013, Justice Minister Owen Bonnici had privately made the decision to introduce “the right to be forgotten” and which discovered by coincidence during an investigation. According to data tabled in Parliament this week by Dr Bonnici, in reply to a question by PN MP Jason Azzopardi – since the decision by the minister – there have been a total of 131 requests by individuals who no longer wanted judgments they were involved in to appear online. Of the 131 requests, there were 86 which were anonymised or which were in the process of being anonymised, the minister said, adding that this process involved removing the individual’s personal details. There were also 41 requests that were denied, while another three were still under consideration. One request was deemed to be “invalid”. Read: By April 2018, 22 judgments had been removed According to Dr Bonnici, lawyers would still be able to access the judgments that are removed through the court’s internal database. The “right to be forgotten” issue...

ŻiguŻajg 2018 is finally here!

After months of preparation involving hundreds of people behind the scenes and in front, the 2018 edition of the ŻiguŻajg International Arts Festival for Children and Young People opens today. This year’s festival offers audiences young and old a varied r
timesofmalta.com

ŻiguŻajg 2018 is finally here!

After months of preparation involving hundreds of people behind the scenes and in front, the 2018 edition of the ŻiguŻajg International Arts Festival for Children and Young People opens today. This year’s festival offers audiences young and old a varied repertoire celebrating many aspects of the performance arts, including theatre, puppetry, music, dance, film, opera, installations, site-specific projects and workshops. With a number of Maltese productions on the cards and performances from companies as far afield as Norway, France, Ireland, Spain, the UK, Italy, Belgium, Sweden, Austria and Canada, ŻiguŻajg 2018 truly promises to be an international event.  This eighth edition will undoubtedly be a unique celebratory experience with activities on the streets, interactive installations in main squares, and other artistic works in over 20 different locations. The 2018 European Capital of Culture, Valletta, will serve as the backdrop for many of the myriad productions on offer. Since its launch in 2011, ŻiguŻajg has grown consistently to become one of the major events in Malta’s cultural calendar – last year alone, over 20,000 children attended overall, testimony to the festival’s...

Cremation must be green and affordable - Malta Humanist Association

An eventual crematorium should be environmentally-friendly, cheaper than a usual burial allow for funeral services of up to 300 people, the Malta Humanist Association has said. In a statement issued on Friday morning, the MHA listed a number of suggestions wh
timesofmalta.com

Cremation must be green and affordable - Malta Humanist Association

An eventual crematorium should be environmentally-friendly, cheaper than a usual burial allow for funeral services of up to 300 people, the Malta Humanist Association has said. In a statement issued on Friday morning, the MHA listed a number of suggestions which it urged the government to consider when introducing cremation. The association emphasised that cremation should be accessible to all and suggested that the government should consider subsidising the service if needed to bring the cost of funerals down. It insisted that ashed remains should be given to the deceased’s next-of-kin, to be kept and disposed of in line with their wishes. “We think that by law, one should also be able to consider appointing a «post-mortem curator» to intervene at the point of death, to make sure that the deceased's body is treated as per the deceased's will,” the MHA said. The association also urged the government to ensure that a crematorium was accompanied by an adequate venue that could host funerals of any worldview. The venue, it added, should allow for ceremonies as large as those in a traditional church, with the association suggesting a 300-person capacity. Cremation should be as...

Obligatory trade union membership

Two weeks ago we had the proposal that every worker is obliged to be a member of a trade union of their choice. The objective of this proposal is that no worker would be exploited or discriminated against. Moreover it is also seen as another step to eradicat
timesofmalta.com

Obligatory trade union membership

Two weeks ago we had the proposal that every worker is obliged to be a member of a trade union of their choice. The objective of this proposal is that no worker would be exploited or discriminated against. Moreover it is also seen as another step to eradicate precarious work, abuses and the exploitation of workers. I would like to remove from my considerations who is making this proposal, because any such proposal should be discussed on its own merits and not on the merits of who has proposed it. There are legal considerations that need to be made, that would have an impact on the economy as a whole. As things stand today, a person has a right to join a trade union. Equally that person has a right not to join a trade union. Just as there is a right of association, there is also a right not to belong to an association. And if every worker is obliged to join a trade union, should employers be also obliged to be members of their own trade union, that gives them rights at law? And if we accept that workers are obliged to join a trade union, what if an employee decides that none of the trade unions offer to uphold the values that one cherishes? If all employees are obliged to join a...

Today's front pages - 16 November 2018

These are the headlines in local newspapers this Friday.Times of Malta reports that the national health service does not employ a single full-time psychiatrist to deal with children and adolescents. In another story, the newspaper reports that 86 judgements h
timesofmalta.com

Today's front pages - 16 November 2018

These are the headlines in local newspapers this Friday.Times of Malta reports that the national health service does not employ a single full-time psychiatrist to deal with children and adolescents. In another story, the newspaper reports that 86 judgements have been removed from the law court’s online register since 2013.The Malta Independent quotes minister Ian Borg as defending the Prime Minister for his handling of revelations surrounding 17 Black. Joseph Muscat, the minister said, showed “consistency” in his decision-making. L-Orizzont reports that antibiotic use in Malta has declined by 6 per cent – the third-largest decline across the EU. The newspaper also highlights parliamentary secretary Silvio Schembri’s calls for Malta to become a “powerhouse of economic innovation”.In-Nazzjon gives front page prominence to PN leader Adrian Delia, saying that Dr Delia will appear on Xarabank on Friday evening to talk about 17 Black. In a second story, the newspaper says Economy Minister Chris Cardona attacked journalists who asked him about 17 Black.

Graffiti and banners for Daphne, 13 months since she was murdered

Hoarding blocking off access to the Great Siege Memorial in Valletta was covered in graffiti recalling Daphne Caruana Galizia on Thursday night, 13 months since the journalist was assassinated. Spray paint messages said ‘Daphne was right’ and that the ‘
timesofmalta.com

Graffiti and banners for Daphne, 13 months since she was murdered

Hoarding blocking off access to the Great Siege Memorial in Valletta was covered in graffiti recalling Daphne Caruana Galizia on Thursday night, 13 months since the journalist was assassinated. Spray paint messages said ‘Daphne was right’ and that the ‘truth is out’, with the number ‘17’ repeated throughout. Protesters had used the monument as a makeshift memorial to Ms Caruana Galizia until authorities blocked it off without warning, citing «restoration works». The graffiti’s message – a reference to Ms Caruana Galizia’s claims that the Electrogas power station deal is mired in corruption – was echoed in banners which were also put up overnight across the country. Banners saying ‘Daphne was right’ were hung within view of motorists in Msida, Marsa and the Regional Road. It is not known who sprayed the graffiti or put up the banners. Ms Caruana Galizia was murdered in a car bomb explosion on October 16, 2017. The 13-month anniversary of her murder comes less than two weeks after a joint investigation between Times of Malta and Reuters revealed that an offshore firm intended as a ‘target client’ of Panama companies created by minister Konrad Mizzi and OPM chief of staff Keith...

The right to choose - Saviour Rizzo

The differentiations in the wage packets of workers suggest that collective bargaining, which ultimately leads to a collective agreement, is very effective in the adjustment of wages that can ensure the dual objective of maintaining the relativity of wages wh
timesofmalta.com

The right to choose - Saviour Rizzo

The differentiations in the wage packets of workers suggest that collective bargaining, which ultimately leads to a collective agreement, is very effective in the adjustment of wages that can ensure the dual objective of maintaining the relativity of wages while at the same time reducing or eliminating precarious work. On the strength of this argument an all-unionised workforce is the ideal scenario for a wage policy that would adequately address the issue of precarious employment and in the process bring about a higher degree of equity in wage policy. This would be complemented by a State apparatus that oversees the macro consequences of collective bargaining in order to restrain the potential spiral trend of negotiated wage increase. In such a scenario, the union would be bound to act in a socially responsible way by taking into account the external (third party) effect of negotiated wage. In taking such a stance the trade union would try to mitigate the impact on the prices of goods and services provided by the company, which results from the wage increases agreed by employers and union. Perhaps, it was the rationale of such an utopian vision of an industrial relations system...

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