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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

Horse dies after hitting car in Marsa, pregnant woman in hospital as a precaution

A pregnant woman got the shock of her life on Wednesday when an escaped horse trampled over her Toyota Yaris close to Pavi in Marsa. The horse died on impact. The police said the accident happened at 5.15pm. The woman was taken to Mater Dei Hospital as a prec
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Horse dies after hitting car in Marsa, pregnant woman in hospital as a precaution

A pregnant woman got the shock of her life on Wednesday when an escaped horse trampled over her Toyota Yaris close to Pavi in Marsa. The horse died on impact. The police said the accident happened at 5.15pm. The woman was taken to Mater Dei Hospital as a precaution.  

Malta spends among the least on social protection

Malta is sixth from the bottom when it comes to expenditure on social protection, official figures show. The figures also show that Malta’s spend actually decreased to 17.5 per cent in 2015 from the 19.3 per cent of GDP spent in 2010. The European Union’
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Malta spends among the least on social protection

Malta is sixth from the bottom when it comes to expenditure on social protection, official figures show. The figures also show that Malta’s spend actually decreased to 17.5 per cent in 2015 from the 19.3 per cent of GDP spent in 2010. The European Union’s statistics office revealed that while social protection expenditure in the EU had increased slightly, from 28.6 per cent of GDP in 2010 to 29 per cent, Malta’s expenditure had decreased. France has spent most on social protection, with 34 per cent of its GDP, followed by Denmark and Finland (both 32 per cent), Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria and Italy (all 30 per cent). Social protection expenditure stood below the 20 per cent mark of GDP in Romania and Latvia (both 15 per cent), Lithuania and Estonia (both 16 per cent), Ireland (17 per cent), Malta, Bulgaria and Slovakia (all 18 per cent) as well as in Czech Republic (19 per cent). According to Eurostat, these disparities reflect differences in living standards, “but are also indicative of the diversity of national social protection systems and of the demographic, economic, social and institutional structures specific to each Member State”. In 2015, the two main sources of...

Bringing locals and migrants together is healthy for society, study suggests

Projects which bring locals and migrants together greatly benefit social cohesion, but organisations which run them are often bogged down providing basic services which should be the government’s responsibility, a new report has found. Spanning two years an
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Bringing locals and migrants together is healthy for society, study suggests

Projects which bring locals and migrants together greatly benefit social cohesion, but organisations which run them are often bogged down providing basic services which should be the government’s responsibility, a new report has found. Spanning two years and eight partner countries including Malta, JRS Europe’s I Get You project looked at various community building initiatives and their effects on participants. Local researchers assessed 20 such initiatives, from intercultural evenings to drop-in centres, language lessons and prayer groups. They found overwhelming evidence that the projects left both local volunteers and migrant participants better off. READ: The priest who refused to walk away from hell “Most of the volunteers we met described their experience as humbling and spoke of how they felt they had received more than they had given,” report writers noted, adding that migrants interviewed all said that the initiatives had “made them feel welcome and respected... without the fear of being judged on the basis of their appearance.” Despite the benefits, the study found that many such local initiatives found it hard to offer truly intercultural progammes which forced...

The staunch carnivore who married a militant vegan

Before Fausto Brizzi found himself in hot water when he made headlines as ‘Italy’s Weinstein’, he was already in a pickle with his wife Claudia Zanelli. The Italian film director, a staunch carnivore, married a militant vegan and wrote a book about it,
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The staunch carnivore who married a militant vegan

Before Fausto Brizzi found himself in hot water when he made headlines as ‘Italy’s Weinstein’, he was already in a pickle with his wife Claudia Zanelli. The Italian film director, a staunch carnivore, married a militant vegan and wrote a book about it, which has just been adapted to Maltese. The launch of Iżżewwiġt Vegana, [I Married a Vegan] comes at interesting times, not just because people seem to be increasingly opting for a vegan diet, but also as Mr Brizzi himself has ended up in the midst of a scandal.  At least, ten women have accused Mr Brizzi of sexual harassment, which the 49-year-old categorically denies. Merlin Publishers director Chris Gruppetta heard the news on the late-night RAI bulletin while he was preparing a snack after a long day at the Malta Book Festival. “I almost choked on my very non-vegan ham sandwich when I saw his face on the news and heard about the allegations,” he told this newspaper. “It doesn’t directly affect me of course as the book – while non-fiction and dealing with his private life – doesn’t talk about Mr Brizzi’s sexual adventures or lack thereof,” he added. The only relationship Mr Brizzi talks about in the book is with his wife – his...

Pensioner found dead in Kerċem in suspected gas heater accident

A British pensioner was found dead in his Kerċem apartment on Wednesday morning in what police believe is a case of gas asphyxiation.  Police were dispatched to Triq it-Torri at around 8.30am and immediately noted a strong smell of gas inside the apartmen
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Pensioner found dead in Kerċem in suspected gas heater accident

A British pensioner was found dead in his Kerċem apartment on Wednesday morning in what police believe is a case of gas asphyxiation.  Police were dispatched to Triq it-Torri at around 8.30am and immediately noted a strong smell of gas inside the apartment block the 79-year-old lived in. They entered his apartment, and found his lifeless body in bed. A gas heater nearby appeared to be leaking, police said.  Duty magistrate Josette Vella Cuschieri is leading an inquiry into the death.   

Lunches, councillors’ allowance among ‘issues’ flagged by NAO

Overspending on Christmas lunches, donations exceeding the threshold and payment of full allowance to councillors who did not attend all meetings are among the compliance issues flagged in the 2016 Local Government Workings report. Published annually by the N
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Lunches, councillors’ allowance among ‘issues’ flagged by NAO

Overspending on Christmas lunches, donations exceeding the threshold and payment of full allowance to councillors who did not attend all meetings are among the compliance issues flagged in the 2016 Local Government Workings report. Published annually by the National Audit Office, the report comprises an analysis of the audited accounts of all 68 local councils in Malta and Gozo, whose total allocation from the central government last year was €33 million. Apart from giving the full picture on the financial situation of every council, the NAO flags certain practices which are not in line with set regulations and could give rise to abuse. The following are some of the shortcomings found: Councillors’ allowance A recurring issue was that related to the payment of an annual allowance of €1,200 to all local councillors. Introduced in 2010, the measure was meant as compensation for any council-related expenditures. This allowance is paid in proportion to the number of meetings attended. However, absenteeism on the grounds of sickness (if attested by medical certificates), duties abroad and other circumstances of which the executive secretary was previously notified, are justified. In...

‘Life is not a game – don’t drink-drive’

With Christmas just around the corner, the authorities are once again reminding the public of the danger of drink-driving, with a new campaign under the tagline: Life is not a game. The annual campaign will run on various media and urges drivers to take step
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‘Life is not a game – don’t drink-drive’

With Christmas just around the corner, the authorities are once again reminding the public of the danger of drink-driving, with a new campaign under the tagline: Life is not a game. The annual campaign will run on various media and urges drivers to take steps to ensure their own safety and that of their friends, such as nominating a designated driver, using a cab, taxi or bus service, or sleeping at friends or a hotel after a party. Health Promotion and Disease Prevention director Paula Vassallo said yesterday that even small amounts of alcohol significantly affected driving ability and increased the risk of a crash for motorists and pedestrians. Alcohol impairs vision and reaction time, but is also associated with impaired judgement, and is therefore often linked to other high-risk road use behaviour, such as speeding or not using seatbelts, further increasing the risk of accidents. In 2012, it was estimated that 14 and 5.9 per cent, respectively, of male and female road traffic deaths were due to alcohol consumption. In 2016, road traffic accidents led to 1,853 casualties, up from the previous year, of which 22 cases were fatal. There are also serious legal implications, with...

Material, social deprivation drops by more than half

Material and social deprivation in Malta dropped by more than half in two years, according to Eurostat figures, although one in 10 remain unable to afford basic resources. Material deprivation refers to a person’s inability to afford typical goods and servi
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Material, social deprivation drops by more than half

Material and social deprivation in Malta dropped by more than half in two years, according to Eurostat figures, although one in 10 remain unable to afford basic resources. Material deprivation refers to a person’s inability to afford typical goods and services, such as facing unexpected expenses, eating meat, chicken or fish every other day, replacing worn-out clothes and furniture, keeping houses warm, taking a one-week annual holiday away from home, or meet friends and family for a meal or drinks once a month. A person is considered to be suffering material deprivation if they cannot afford at least five of 13 such items. According to Eurostat, 10.5 per cent of people in Malta experienced these difficulties in 2016, down from 15.3 per cent the previous year and 22.9 per cent in 2014. Last year, the rate was highest among those with up to a secondary level education – 15.3 per cent – and under five per cent for those with a higher-secondary or tertiary level. The EU average was 17 per cent, with the highest and lowest rates recorded in Romania (50 per cent) and Sweden (three per cent) respectively. Anti-poverty campaigner Charles Miceli, from Alleanza Kontra l-Faqar, said the...

On the cutting edge of hospital care, for camels

A $10.9 million hospital designed to treat camels -- and only camels -- has opened in Dubai, with local veterinarians stating it provides state of the art treatment for the desert animal.  «There are a lot of equine hospitals because horses have existe
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On the cutting edge of hospital care, for camels

A $10.9 million hospital designed to treat camels -- and only camels -- has opened in Dubai, with local veterinarians stating it provides state of the art treatment for the desert animal.  «There are a lot of equine hospitals because horses have existed for centuries and their races have long existed so they had to have hospitals for it, but for camels, no. We here are very interested in preserving our heritage and we found that we must care for camels, not only by breeding and raising them, but also by being able to medically treat them,» the hospital director said. Camel racing is common in several countries but this hospital says its been difficult to find equipment specific to the desert beast, having to custom order it. Now they have an operating theater and x-ray room, with MRI and CAT scan facilities coming next year. It also has a small race track to help rehabilate patients. Hospital staff come from as far away as the United Kingdom and and Mexico. They say they plan to also conduct medical research to better understand nuances of camel biology.

Charged with domestic violence, two weeks after being ordered to steer clear of his wife

Two weeks after being ordered to stay away from his wife, a 48-year-old man this morning was back in court once again on Wednesday to face domestic violence charges.The man, who works as a gardener, was accused of threatening and insulting his wife, as well a
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Charged with domestic violence, two weeks after being ordered to steer clear of his wife

Two weeks after being ordered to stay away from his wife, a 48-year-old man this morning was back in court once again on Wednesday to face domestic violence charges.The man, who works as a gardener, was accused of threatening and insulting his wife, as well as making her fear that violence was going to be used against her. He was also charged with damaging the door of her home and breaching a protection order in her favour issued by another court on November 27. The latter case was also related to domestic violence, and the man was supposed to receive anger management treatment. Inspector Hubert Cini said that the latest incident happened on Tuesday afternoon when the man turned up at his wife’s residence in Paola. He was arrested a couple of hours later at his daughter’s shop.Legal aid lawyer Joe Ellis requested bail on the grounds that the only evidence against his client was the woman’s report. Furthermore, he noted that she had already been granted a protection order, and consequently, there were little chance that the accused would approach her. Magistrate Joe Mifsud, however, turned down the request.“A person being threatened at home is not a private matter but an attack...

Magistrate concerned by increase in unlicensed weapons

A magistrate has expressed concern about the dangers posed to society by an increase in the use of unlicensed firearms. as well as the practice of registering vehicles on third parties rather than the driver’s name. Magistrate Joe Mifsud made his remark
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Magistrate concerned by increase in unlicensed weapons

A magistrate has expressed concern about the dangers posed to society by an increase in the use of unlicensed firearms. as well as the practice of registering vehicles on third parties rather than the driver’s name. Magistrate Joe Mifsud made his remarks during the arraignment of a car wash employee who was accused of firing a shot which left a gaping hole in the door of an elderly woman’s residence. The incident happened on the afternoon of November 19, in Luqa Road, Paola, but the woman only discovered what happened the following morning. Melvin Debono, 26, from Paola, who is on bail over a separate court case related to drugs, denied all charges. He was remanded in custody. Police inspector Chantelle Casha told the court that on November 19 the woman heard a loud bang at around 4.50pm but only discovered what had caused it on the following day when a nurse visited her home and noticed a hole in the main door. The police subsequently found a bullet case. The motive for the shooting was not known.  The accused was traced on the strength of CCTV footage which showed somebody firing from the driving seat a white Mercedes. Although the vehicle was registered in the name of the...

Five arrested after drug finds in Marsa, Ħamrun

Three Maltese and two Libyan men were arrested last night after police raids in Marsa and St Paul Square, Ħamrun, the police said. They were found in possession of cocaine, cannabis resin, cannabis grass and heroin.  Another eight persons were held after
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Five arrested after drug finds in Marsa, Ħamrun

Three Maltese and two Libyan men were arrested last night after police raids in Marsa and St Paul Square, Ħamrun, the police said. They were found in possession of cocaine, cannabis resin, cannabis grass and heroin.  Another eight persons were held after they were found taking drugs.

Burglars find nothing to steal at Vittoriosa church

Thieves managed to break into St Lawrence parish church in Vittoriosa last night, but they got away with nothing other than some coins from collection boxes. The break-in followed the usual method of climbing on scaffolding, which was on the facade of a priva
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Burglars find nothing to steal at Vittoriosa church

Thieves managed to break into St Lawrence parish church in Vittoriosa last night, but they got away with nothing other than some coins from collection boxes. The break-in followed the usual method of climbing on scaffolding, which was on the facade of a private property adjoining the church. Once on the roof, the thieves broke down a door and gained access to the church. But with all gold and precious items having been removed as a precaution, they only got away with two collection boxes containing some coins. Thieves earlier this year climbed scaffolding and stole precious items from Cospicua church. The items have been been recovered and arraignments have been made. A similar burglary was made at Zejtun church.

Watch: Serenading La Serenissima (ARTE)

Guided by the journalist and writer Alberto Angela, we take a special journey through the Venetian night, taking in La Serenissima’s artistic and architectural treasures.
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Watch: Serenading La Serenissima (ARTE)

Guided by the journalist and writer Alberto Angela, we take a special journey through the Venetian night, taking in La Serenissima’s artistic and architectural treasures.

A festival for performance lovers

The second edition of the Maltese Islands Festival (MIF) is taking place this week. Hundreds of talented children and adults flocked to St James Cavalier in Valletta last December  to showcase their skills in the performance category of their choice – fro
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A festival for performance lovers

The second edition of the Maltese Islands Festival (MIF) is taking place this week. Hundreds of talented children and adults flocked to St James Cavalier in Valletta last December  to showcase their skills in the performance category of their choice – from solo singing and violin playing to group ballet and hip-hop. “The first edition of the Maltese Islands Festival was a huge success with lots of brilliant performers of all ages taking part in a vast range of categories across the disciplines of dance, drama, singing and music,” says festival manager Cathy Lawlor. The festival, which is an official member of the British and International Federation of Festivals,  will once again include a myriad of categories in each of the four departments. “This lively festival gives applicants the chance to form an appreciation of artistic standards, to perform before a different type of audience, to be assessed, encouraged and inspired by professional international adjudicators,” adds Lawlor. Taking the shape of competitions, MIF is open to children aged four and older, and adults. The MIF is being held in collaboration with Spazju Kreattiv at St James Cavalier, Valletta, between today and...

Christmas découpage at the Malta Postal Museum

Creative sessions will take place at the Malta Postal Museum make-and-take workshops being held today and on Friday, December 22. During the sessions children can try their hands at making their very own baubles or some other small decorative object. The orga
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Christmas découpage at the Malta Postal Museum

Creative sessions will take place at the Malta Postal Museum make-and-take workshops being held today and on Friday, December 22. During the sessions children can try their hands at making their very own baubles or some other small decorative object. The organisers will provide all the necessary materials and an arts and crafts specialist will guide children. Children under eight need to be accompanied by an adult. There are special prices for parents wishing to join in the fun with their children. A place is secured upon payment. Christmas Découpage is being held at the Malta Postal Museum, 135, Archbishop Street, Valletta, today from 10am to noon and on Friday, December 22, from 10am to noon and from 1.30pm to 3.30pm. For bookings, call 2596 1750 or send an e-mail to info@maltapostalmuseum.com.

Deep sleep

As work worries abate, sleep difficulties may also diminish when workers make the transition to retirement, according to a recent study from Finland. In particular, complaints of nonrestorative sleep and waking up too early in the morning decreased significan
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Deep sleep

As work worries abate, sleep difficulties may also diminish when workers make the transition to retirement, according to a recent study from Finland. In particular, complaints of nonrestorative sleep and waking up too early in the morning decreased significantly, especially among pensioners who had poor health and stressful work lives before retirement, researchers found. “People reported experiencing more early morning awakenings and non-restorative sleep during the final working years than after retirement,” said lead author Saana Myllyntausta, a psychology doctoral candidate at the University of Turku. Sleep is considered non-restorative when a person is still tired after sleeping seven to eight hours. Sleep difficulties and short sleep cycles are associated with an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and early death, Myllyntausta and her colleagues note online in the journal Sleep. “This study would suggest that sleep quality, a key component of our health, is considerably poorer during the working years,” Myllyntausta said. The study team analysed survey data from 5,800 Finnish public sector employees who retired on a statutory basis between 2000 and 2011. Mandatory...

CABS, Birdlife, call for enforcement of hunting, environment laws

BirdLife Malta and CABS, the Munich-based anti-bird hunting group, in separate statements today called for the enforcement of environmental and hunting laws. In a letter to Police Commissioner Lawrence Cutajar, CABS complained about almost inexistant enforc
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CABS, Birdlife, call for enforcement of hunting, environment laws

BirdLife Malta and CABS, the Munich-based anti-bird hunting group, in separate statements today called for the enforcement of environmental and hunting laws. In a letter to Police Commissioner Lawrence Cutajar, CABS complained about almost inexistant enforcement of the hunting laws at night. Instead of taking a clear stand against wildlife crime, the police appeared to be actually tolerating the illegal trapping of plovers and the widespread use of illegal electronic bird callers during the night, it said. «This impression is based on the fact that, despite a clear legal ban, in more than 83% of the cases reported by CABS the police simply did not respond to reports of illegal night trapping or the use of illegal bird callers.» CABS said that its teams have been monitoring and reporting illegal nighttrapping of Golden Plover and other nocturnal bird species on Malta and Gozo during November and December since 2014. 43 calls were made to the police, to report in excess of 100 illegal trapping sites and electronic lures. All reports were made by phone. Thirty-six of these 43 reports were not acted upon.  The majority of district police stations simply refused to respond to...

China likely to keep 2018 GDP target around 6.5%

China will likely set its 2018 economic growth target at around 6.5 per cent, unchanged from the previous year, leaving more room for quality growth as a government deleveraging campaign is set to intensify, a policy adviser was quoted as saying yesterday. Lo
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China likely to keep 2018 GDP target around 6.5%

China will likely set its 2018 economic growth target at around 6.5 per cent, unchanged from the previous year, leaving more room for quality growth as a government deleveraging campaign is set to intensify, a policy adviser was quoted as saying yesterday. Lou Feng, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, a state think tank, expects China to rely more on “innate drivers” for economic growth such as technology innovation in 2018, stressing the country is now minimising the importance of quantitative targets, according to Chinese newspaper 21st Century Business Herald. China routinely sets an annual growth target which is widely watched by the market for clues on how much the government will likely stimulate the economy throughout the year. A proposed target would be endorsed by top leaders at the closed-door Central Economic Work Conference taking place this month and then announced at China’s annual congress in early 2018. China lowered its 2017 growth target to around 6.5 per cent from the previous year’s 6.5 to seven per cent, but its debt-fuelled investment binge has driven up infrastructure investment and real estate development, which has given the economy...

Malta commemorates Republic Day

Malta is today commemorating Republic Day with a series of events in Valletta. This morning, members of the Armed Forces of Malta, accompanied by the AFM band, will march along Republic Street trooping the presidential colour. The parade, organised by the Nat
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Malta commemorates Republic Day

Malta is today commemorating Republic Day with a series of events in Valletta. This morning, members of the Armed Forces of Malta, accompanied by the AFM band, will march along Republic Street trooping the presidential colour. The parade, organised by the National Festivities Committee within Festivals Malta, will start at 10am following a band march parade that will leave Freedom Square towards St George’s Square at 9.30am. Trooping the presidential colour dates back to the times when the regiment’s colours provided a rallying point on the battlefield. Without modern means of communication, it was all too easy for troops to become disoriented and separated from their unit during conflict. For troops to know what their regiment’s colours looked like, these were displayed regularly. This was done by marching the colours along the lines of troops in slow time with the aim to impress it upon the soldiers’ memories. The presidential colour was presented to the Armed Forces by the President in 2014. It symbolises the Armed Forces’ loyalty and devotion to the head of State and the people of Malta. The National Festivities Committee is also organising a programme of band marches in...

Man shot, slightly injured in Burmarrad

A man suffered a slight gunshot wound following an argument in Burmarrad late on Tuesday, the police said. The argument was reportedly over money. The argument, between three men, flared at about 11.30pm in Burmarrad Road. At one time, one of the men produce
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Man shot, slightly injured in Burmarrad

A man suffered a slight gunshot wound following an argument in Burmarrad late on Tuesday, the police said. The argument was reportedly over money. The argument, between three men, flared at about 11.30pm in Burmarrad Road. At one time, one of the men produced a shotgun and fired at the other men, hitting and slightly injuring one of them. He then fled the scene. The injured man is a 43-year-old, resident in Paola. He is receiving hospital treatment. 

Exxon to provide details on climate change impact to its business

Exxon Mobil Corp. said it would publish new details about how climate change could affect its business in a move aimed at appeasing critics and forestalling another proxy fight next year. The largest US oil and gas producer said in a filing to US securities r
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Exxon to provide details on climate change impact to its business

Exxon Mobil Corp. said it would publish new details about how climate change could affect its business in a move aimed at appeasing critics and forestalling another proxy fight next year. The largest US oil and gas producer said in a filing to US securities regulators that its board agreed to provide shareholders with information on “energy demand sensitivities, implications of two degree Celsius scenarios and positioning for a lower-carbon future.” Scientists have warned that world temperatures are likely to rise by more than 2°C this century, surpassing a “tipping point” that a global climate deal aims to avert. Exxon’s statement, which came three days before the deadline for its 2018 annual meeting resolution submissions, said additional information would be released in the near future but did not provide details. The company’s board originally opposed providing shareholders with a report outlining the potential impact of global warming on Exxon’s long-term outlook. Thomas P. DiNapoli, New York State’s comptroller, heads one of the two lead sponsors of a shareholder resolution calling for Exxon to issue a climate impact report. He called Monday’s  decision “a win for...

EU tax harmonisation

The focus on tax harmonisation remains at the centre of the European Commission’s plans to promote economic growth and prevent tax avoidance by those operating in the EU. In October 2016 the Commission announced plans to overhaul the way in which companies
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EU tax harmonisation

The focus on tax harmonisation remains at the centre of the European Commission’s plans to promote economic growth and prevent tax avoidance by those operating in the EU. In October 2016 the Commission announced plans to overhaul the way in which companies are taxed in the Single Market “delivering a growth-friendly and fair corporate tax system”. Some smaller EU member states have made tax competitiveness their critical success factor for strong economic growth. Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Malta see a threat in the revived plans for the introduction of the Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base (CCCTB). A recent study by the UK-based think-tank Tax Justice Network found that Malta will see its income tax arrangements deriving from subsidiaries or multinationals registered in Malta decline by more than half, and in some cases slashed by two thirds. The extent of the adverse effects of the introduction of CCCTB and other tax harmonisation policies is staggering. Maltese politicians serving locally and in the European Parliament are adamant in opposing the proposed Brussels meddling with taxation which has often been called “an essential pillar of a state’s...

Heavy rain triggers flooding in Northern Italy

Heavy flooding in northern Italy on Tuesday  caused rivers to flood their banks and hundreds of people were forced to evacuate their homes, with remaining residents taking shelter in the upper floors of their houses. Two of the worst hit areas were the town
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Heavy rain triggers flooding in Northern Italy

Heavy flooding in northern Italy on Tuesday  caused rivers to flood their banks and hundreds of people were forced to evacuate their homes, with remaining residents taking shelter in the upper floors of their houses. Two of the worst hit areas were the towns of Lentigione and Brescello, in the northern Italian province of Reggio Emilia, where some of the community were evacuated by helicopter. Firefighters rescued people from houses flooded by the Enza and Parma rivers, using amphibious vehicles and rafts to access the flooded areas. Meteorologists say bad weather will continue to batter Italy during the next few days, with intense rainfall expected in the central part of the peninsula.

Women’s rights - Martin Scicluna

The newly elected leader of Alternattiva Demokratika (AD) recently used his inaugural speech to call for a parliamentary discussion on abortion rights in Malta. Building on what the Youth Parliament had said just before he became leader, Carmel Cacopardo unde
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Women’s rights - Martin Scicluna

The newly elected leader of Alternattiva Demokratika (AD) recently used his inaugural speech to call for a parliamentary discussion on abortion rights in Malta. Building on what the Youth Parliament had said just before he became leader, Carmel Cacopardo underlined that abortion was a reality in Malta as scores of women were going abroad every year to terminate their pregnancies. Malta should stop pretending there was no problem. Quite fortuitously, to add some substance to the views expressed by AD and the members of the Youth Parliament, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muiznieks, on a brief visit to Malta, expressed astonishment about the lack of debate about abortion in Malta. An expert in the art of understatement, he said: “Malta has one of the most restrictive regimes in the Council of Europe… it’s almost a taboo subject.” Reflecting on the atmosphere of omertà that surrounded Maltese women’s “sexual and reproductive rights”, he added that women’s organisations were fearful of intimidation by pro-life activists or of losing public funding. A report just published by the Council of Europe calls for reform, specifically naming Malta and Ireland,...

Announcements - 13 December, 2017

ABELA. On December 12, at Mater Dei Hospital, CHARLIE (Il-Baker) of Dingli, former Dingli local council member and former Dockyard employee, aged 73, comforted by the rites of Holy Church. He leaves to mourn his loss his wife Luckie, his children Audrey and h
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Announcements - 13 December, 2017

ABELA. On December 12, at Mater Dei Hospital, CHARLIE (Il-Baker) of Dingli, former Dingli local council member and former Dockyard employee, aged 73, comforted by the rites of Holy Church. He leaves to mourn his loss his wife Luckie, his children Audrey and her husband Stephen, Roderick and his wife Tiziana and Fabienne and her fiancé Christopher, his grandsons Tristan and Kieran Mark, his brothers and sisters, in-laws and their families, other relatives and friends, amongst whom Emanuel Scicluna. The funeral leaves Mater Dei Hospital tomorrow, Thursday, December 14, at 3pm for Dingli parish church where Mass præsente cadavere will be said at 3.30pm, followed by interment in the family grave at Dingli cemetery. No flowers by request but donations to Hospice Malta, Balzan, will be appreciated. Lord, grant him eternal rest. ANDERSON. On December 11, at Mater Dei Hospital, ISOBEL MARGARET (Hazel), widow of James, aged 86. She leaves to mourn her loss her children Fiona and Ian, and his wife Seonaid, grandchildren Alasdair and Louise, sister Yvonne and her husband Alex, nieces and their families as well as many other relatives and friends. A funeral service will be held at Ta’ Xbiex...

Audi CEO drops plan to sell motorcycle brand Ducati

Germany’s Audi has abandoned plans to sell its Italian motorcycle brand Ducati, its chief executive Rupert Stadler said, in a sign of confidence that the carmaker expects to be able to carry the costs of its transformation. Steps to reduce costs by €10 bi
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Audi CEO drops plan to sell motorcycle brand Ducati

Germany’s Audi has abandoned plans to sell its Italian motorcycle brand Ducati, its chief executive Rupert Stadler said, in a sign of confidence that the carmaker expects to be able to carry the costs of its transformation. Steps to reduce costs by €10 billion cut red tape and deepen ties with fellow Volkswagen-owned brand Porsche are “gradually increasing our financial and organisational leeway for the strategic realignment,” chief executive Rupert Stadler told reporters. There is therefore no economic need to sell Ducati, Stadler said. Volkswagen asked banks to evaluate options for Ducati and transmissions maker Renk earlier this year as it seeks to become more nimble in its shift towards electric and self-driving cars following its diesel emissions cheating scandal. “I can assure you that Ducati belongs to the Audi family,” said Stadler. “Ducati is the perfect implementation of our premium philosophy in the world of motorbikes.” The plans had already stalled in the summer when VW’s powerful labour unions, backed by the controlling Porsche-Piech families, opposed the logic and need for asset sales given the group’s financial resilience. Investors and potential Ducati buyers,...

Maltese politics in limbo - Desmond Zammit Marmarà

The aftermath of the tragic assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia has served to highlight the confusing situation Maltese politics finds itself in today. At present, we have a very efficient government which is supported by an ever-increasing maj
timesofmalta.com

Maltese politics in limbo - Desmond Zammit Marmarà

The aftermath of the tragic assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia has served to highlight the confusing situation Maltese politics finds itself in today. At present, we have a very efficient government which is supported by an ever-increasing majority of Maltese citizens but which also has to face a barrage of criticism over issues of good governance, albeit most of it unfair and based on mere allegations. On the other hand, we have the main party in Opposition splintered into two factions, the majority backing the Nationalist Party leader, Adrian Delia, and a totally disloyal minority who still seem to believe that the leader is Simon Busuttil. To complicate things even further, we also have two Democratic Party representatives in Parliament who are treated as outsiders by the Nationalists despite the fact that they formed part of the same coalition at the June general election. This splintering of the Opposition and the power vacuum it has created on a political level has meant that people are sometimes looking beyond the Nationalist Party for leadership in forcefully opposing the Labour government. Some have put their hope in the Civil Society Network and its...

What is normality?

How disappointed and dejectedI felt after reading Martin Scicluna’s unfair and biased assessment (December 17) of the situation we are living in after Daphne Caruana Galizia’s brutal assassination. There are so many realities making up our society that o
timesofmalta.com

What is normality?

How disappointed and dejectedI felt after reading Martin Scicluna’s unfair and biased assessment (December 17) of the situation we are living in after Daphne Caruana Galizia’s brutal assassination. There are so many realities making up our society that one finds it difficult to give a clear picture in a single statement. One reality is sure, though, partisan politics has blurred our vision of the real Malta we are living in. Whatever the exaggerations, fake news and blind faith in partisan politics, one cannot sincerely conclude that we are living in a normal healthy democracy. How untrue is Scicluna’s judgement when he suspects “that many of those leading the cry for democracy and the rule of law have only one objective: to face a new election”. Why does Scicluna conclude that all of us see things with either blue or red blinkers? Why aren’t those of us who really want the good of Malta and who sincerely feel concerned about the trampling of our autonomous institutions and the crumbling of the rule of law, not considered as citizens of goodwill really preoccupied about the alarming situation in Malta? In order to show one and all how normal life in Malta is, after Caruana...

Wise words

I cannot let go unnoticed the wise and timely reflection preached by Rev. Dr Richard Farrugia, rector of the Diocesan Seminary of Gozo, and delivered as an homily during Mass for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception celebrated at St Francis Conventual C
timesofmalta.com

Wise words

I cannot let go unnoticed the wise and timely reflection preached by Rev. Dr Richard Farrugia, rector of the Diocesan Seminary of Gozo, and delivered as an homily during Mass for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception celebrated at St Francis Conventual Church in Victoria on Friday. The reflection emphasised the need for every Christian to carry a smile that reflects the beauty of the sequela Christi.  In short, the preacher mentioned the call for every follower of Christ to search for all that is good, beautiful and true, thus echoing the ancient values of the bonum, pulchrum, verum; the three notions that have always been at the centre of the Gospel but which, unfortunately, we tend to forget from time to time. I couldn’t help myself bringing to mind Pope Francis’s apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium which might easily have been a powerful inspiration for the preacher himself. If only our brothers and sisters in Jerusalem would heed this message, peace could be possibly restored to the Holy City ignoring the lack of wisdom that emanates from the powers that be, which – given their position of authority – should know better. Fr Richard, thank you and keep it up.

Oil hits two-year high on shutdown of pipeline

Oil prices jumped to their highest in more than two years yesterday after the shutdown of a North Sea pipeline knocked out significant supply from an already tightening market. World stocks took a break from a three-day rally. Brent crude futures, the global
timesofmalta.com

Oil hits two-year high on shutdown of pipeline

Oil prices jumped to their highest in more than two years yesterday after the shutdown of a North Sea pipeline knocked out significant supply from an already tightening market. World stocks took a break from a three-day rally. Brent crude futures, the global benchmark for oil prices, rose above $65 a barrel – their highest since mid-2015 – after Britain’s Forties pipeline was shut due to cracks as a cold snap sweeps the country. The Forties pipeline is important for the global oil market because the crude it carries normally sets the price of dated Brent, a benchmark used to price physical crude around the world and which underpins Brent futures. The shutdown comes as oil supply cuts by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) have helped chip away an excess of inventories built up following a global supply glut which began to emerge in late 2014. United States crude oil futures were last 0.7 per cent higher at $58.41 a barrel. Prices of gas across Europe also soared following an explosion at Austria’s main gas transfer hub. Meanwhile, the MSCI index of world equities, which tracks stocks across 47 countries, was flat after posting three straight days of...

Teatru Unplugged ready to kick off

Held annually since 1998, Teatru Unplugged brings together a mixture of new, upcoming and established bands and artists under one roof. This year’s edition being held this week will feature seven musical acts: Pete & Papps with Gianni and Renzo Spiteri, Du
timesofmalta.com

Teatru Unplugged ready to kick off

Held annually since 1998, Teatru Unplugged brings together a mixture of new, upcoming and established bands and artists under one roof. This year’s edition being held this week will feature seven musical acts: Pete & Papps with Gianni and Renzo Spiteri, Duo Khkkanja, Gillian Zammit and Rosetta Debattista, Pink Floyd Tribute Band, Cheryl Balzan and Narrow Lane fronted by Kurt Calleja. Teatru Unplugged 20 is being hosted by Trudy Kerr and Joseph Bonello. Teatru Unplugged is being held at Sir Temi Zammit Hall, University of Malta, Msida, tomorrow, on Friday and Saturday at 8pm. For tickets, log on to www.ticketline.com.mt.

Recognising a Maltese artist

I had the opportunity to visit my native city, Cospicua, and saw the magnificent theological, poetical, romantic painting of the Immaculate Conception by Peter Paul Caruana, born in Valletta in 1794. Caruana studied in Rome under well-known professor Tommaso
timesofmalta.com

Recognising a Maltese artist

I had the opportunity to visit my native city, Cospicua, and saw the magnificent theological, poetical, romantic painting of the Immaculate Conception by Peter Paul Caruana, born in Valletta in 1794. Caruana studied in Rome under well-known professor Tommaso Minardi  in 1821. Minardi led the St Luke Academy that was situated at Palazzo Dori Pamphili, in Piazza Venezia.  Caruana at the age of 35 years, painted the titular painting of the Immaculate Conception. There in Rome, at this academy probably he met photographers and artists among whom one can mention Gioacchino Altrobelli and Pompeo Molins who were in Minardi’s circle. Unfortunately Caruana died at 58 in 1852 but his son Raphael continued his artistic vocation. At that time in Rome there was Pope Pius IX. I am writing so that the local authorities will show this important painting to tourists, not only during December but all the year round. One must visit this church at Cospicua and tours should be organised to see this important painting. After all, he was a Maltese national artist. We must show our Maltese artists’ works to the tourists. It must be a touristic attraction. I appreciate it if there are readers who know...

Prime Minister pays tribute to Malta Republic

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat this evening paid tribute to Malta as a Republic placing a wreath at the foot of the Republic Monument in Marsa. The Prime Minister said Malta was celebrating the 43rd anniversary since the historic event and the country should lo
timesofmalta.com

Prime Minister pays tribute to Malta Republic

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat this evening paid tribute to Malta as a Republic placing a wreath at the foot of the Republic Monument in Marsa. The Prime Minister said Malta was celebrating the 43rd anniversary since the historic event and the country should look ahead with and come up with Constitutional changes. The Prime Minister said he was committed to implement these changes throughout this legislature. He was accompanied by members of the party administration, members of the Parliamentary group and members of the Marsa council.

Gozo and its products promoted in Brussels

Genuine producers from Gozo are an integral part of the feel-good factor that the island has to offer and deserve more support, MEP Francis Zammit Dimech said during a round table discussion held last week. Together with representatives of the Gozo Tourism As
timesofmalta.com

Gozo and its products promoted in Brussels

Genuine producers from Gozo are an integral part of the feel-good factor that the island has to offer and deserve more support, MEP Francis Zammit Dimech said during a round table discussion held last week. Together with representatives of the Gozo Tourism Association (GTA), the Gozo Business Chamber (GBC) and NGOs, the producers held meetings at the European Parliament in Brussels. Dr Zammit Dimech said that since being elected to the European Parliament, he started holding a series of consultation meetings with various stakeholders to understand their challenges and aspirations and to reflect this in his work at the European Parliament. Referring to discussions on the future of Europe, Dr Zammit Dimech said that these also needed to take into account national and regional sentiments. He emphasised on the European principle of subsidiarity and the need for regional issues to be decided in Gozo. Paul Scicluna from the GTA said that while tourism played an important economic role for the island’s economy, limited data and statistics specific to tourism in Gozo was in hand. He said that seasonality in Gozo was still remarkable and thus the association was proposing measures, such...

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